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Jan 30, 2005 08:08 PM

How much food is enough?

  • c

Just wondered what some of you do in figuring how much food you need for a party...One never wants to run out of food, but I get so upset with food waste.

Planning a party of 40 people...Half male and half female...All between 45 and 60. It's an outdoor BBQ..sort of.

Green Chili and Cheese dip as an appetizer. Recipe called for serving 14 so I'm figuring I should double it...

Another appetizer..Not sure what yet.


Pulled pork sandwiches - I figure to cook 12 lbs of pork shoulder

Glazed Oriental chicken legs - Maybe 35 legs?

Adobo/ancho Wings - Maybe 40 whole wings cut in half?

Baked Beans - 9 lbs?

Mustard Slaw - 2-3 heads ?

Potato Salad - 9 lbs ?

Salad - 1 lg bowl

I try to figure 1/4 lb of protein for each person and 3/4 cup of a mixture of sides? Any comments greatly appreciated.

Maybe total of 3 cakes and or pies and a banana pudding?

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  1. Whenever I have a lot of food leftover, I go down to a shelter and give them the food. Sometimes there is a line and I just give them the food. I realize this doesn't answer your question but at least some of the food won't go to waste.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RUBulldog

      I tend to agree that leftovers go with party territory.

      I LOVE leftovers so we often eat them ourselves, freezing those which freeze well.

      I also often take leftovers to work where my team, doing its swarm of locusts imitation, will eat anything left out for 30 seconds or so.

    2. My only advice would be to triple your dip recipe, no matter what kind of dip I serve at parties it always runs out first. I think because it is hard for people to gauge how much they are eating on each chip, veggie, piece of bread, etc.

      1. My experience leads me to advise switching some/most of the dessert to easily pick-up-ables like cookies or brownies and/or to stay away from any but the simplest cakes. I've noticed that people shy away at buffets from the layer cakes they love at dinner parties. Maybe it seems like Too Much? Something deep & psychological going on, because they'll gorge themselves on brownies and leave the cake - even if it's pre-cut. Be very interested if that matches the experience of others.

        1. I think you're going to run out...of everything. I normally plan on 3 pies for 20 people. Perhaps a large cake and three pies and some cookies or brownies for 40. And don't count on people limiting themselves to 3/4 cup of sides. I've never seen a guy put a dab of potato salad or beans on their plate at a barbeque. Try 3/4 cup of each! You look to be OK in the meat department. And you might want to add another appetizer. This is of course if you actually think 40 people are going to come. You might have some leftovers but heck, that comes with the territory.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ellen

            I agree -- you look to be OK on meat, but need quite a bit more of both sides and desserts and probably another app. People generally eat more at parties than they do normally.

          2. To me, it is bad form to run out, especially if it is meant to be a celebration.

            What I would recommend is that you purchase a few carryout containers and encourage your guests to yake some of the food home with them. It will not go to waste.

            I hate to waste food but I am not going to run out either,

            1 Reply
            1. re: jlawrence01

              Hey Hounds

              I want to thank all of you. I feel I have received some excellent advice; I'm making changes as I post this! Hope I can return the favor in the future with some advice on something I am more informed about.