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May 11, 2009 06:01 AM

Help, I'm feeding 60 people

Please give me some suggestions on feeding 60 people at my home. This is an engagement party (very casual) for my daughter and her fiance. I am on a very tight budget so I am planning to barbeque hamburgers and hotdogs. I will also make salads i.e. pasta, potato, fruit. How do I even begin to calculate how much to make for 60 people. Can anyone give me any suggestions of how to handle such a large crowd as far as food is concerned. Thank you!

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  1. Nearby to where I live is a meat wholesaler that operates a retail space next to their warehouse. They have bulk boxes of hamburger patties and hotdogs as well as a large assortment of other items. For pasta salad I usually make about a pound of pasta for every 6 adults, seeing as it is a side. The more sides you add the more you can gently decrease the quantities.
    For the cooking, ask friends and neighbors if they have grills to borrow. Given that it is an engagement party, what better way for the men of the families to get to know each other than standing over grilling meat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lenox637

      Thank you so much for all your great suggestions. This is my first time at this site and I am so pleased with the responses I have received. I'll check into a meat wholesaler, but if that doesn't work I will try Costco. Also, I appreciate your pasta salad numbers. I have a dear friend who said he would grill but I am sure other men will join in, like you said.
      Thank you again Lenox637 for taking the time to reply.

      1. re: skit

        I've been assigned to shopping for and cooking at a church school picnic that involves similar number of people and your same menu for about 10 years and I can't say enough good about Costco! We have tried local supermarkets and small mom and pop grocery stores (sadly no longer in business) and Costco. Costco has the best quality and prices for the burgers (frozen), dogs (in a box), and rolls for both. You might want to check out their red bliss potato salad, it's good (but I'd rather make my own.) I'd also suggest saving money by not having an expensive fruit salad and go with a platter of fresh sliced tomatoes, red onions and lettuce to garnish the burgers or plates with. We have also learned you can never have enough pickles and chips- also bargains at Costco
        What are you serving the vegetarians? Ours like Boca Burgers and we try to make a large meatless chile or cowboy beans as a side dish- drop dead easy and cheap and delicious.
        Sounds like a fun party

        1. re: ginnyhw

          Boca burgers are a great idea. Just make sure to keep them on a separate grill, since a lot of veggies won't eat them if they're cooked with the meat. or you can grill them on foil. Another tip- keep the (empty) boca box out near the grill in full view. That way everyone knows they're available, and no one has to feel awkward asking for a veggie burger.

    2. I made this recipe for Three-Cheese Spaghetti Pie for a Christmas lunch, and it fed about 20 people who were taking smallish portions. The baked pie refrigerated great, and it was very good served at room temperature. I thought the pie was easy to make; it was popular enough that people wanted the recipe; I think a few of these could help you out at the engagement party.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChesterhillGirl

        Thank you for the suggestion. I have bookmarked the site and will definitely give it some consideration. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, ChesterhillGirl!

      2. Lots of people will have a hotdog and a hamburger, some will eat the hotdogs off the grill, so I'd have plenty of those. They're cheap and they freeze well. Probably 90 burgers and an extra package available. Freeze all leftovers. Three fruit trays, a 10 lb. bag of potatoes for salad should be enough with the other salads. Don't forget a huge platter or two of condiments and hamburger makings. Good luck!


          That's a link to a site where you will find sugestions and recipes for dishes which will feed 50 people and more..... a large assortment of Apps, Mains, Salads, Sides, etc. Also: A guide for buying in bulk.
          Have fun!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            What a great site, Gio! I see that there is a recipe for "Maine" potato salad. Might have to make that since my daughter's fiancee's family is from Maine! I appreciate you taking the time to respond, Gio! I'm excited to go into the site and explore my options!

            1. re: skit

              skit - you'll continue to love this site - it's the only one I contribute to - feel comfortable contributing to - these chowhounds are THE BEST!

          2. I agree to plan for a burger and a dog for each person with some extrasn and second the urging of lots of condiments and "fixings". Then pretty much think about how much one person would eat if they ate some of everything (maybe 4 oz each of potato salad, pasta salad and fruit salad -- are you having anything else?) and multiply by how many people will be there. Not everyone will actually have everything but it will even out over 60 people. I can't urge you strongly enough to farm out some of the salads to anyone who offers to help. Even if you have 5 people making potato salad and they are all different, that's a good thing! Great suggestion about borrowing friends' or neighbors' grills; you will also need to "borrow" some fridge space to store food for 60 but people are happy to help with that in my experience. Think ahead about bowls for all those salads and borrow some of those too if you need to.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GretchenS

              I like your idea about "farming out" to some close friends. I believe this is what I might need to do. I have some great friends and I don't think they will mind. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, GretchenS. You have some great suggestions!