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How Much Should You Serve for Thanksgiving?

How Much Should You Serve for Thanksgiving?

Whether you’re feeding five or twenty people, err on the side of extra, but first make sure you’ll make enough

Here's another infographic that will make your Thanksgiving planning just a little bit easier.

Holidays shouldn’t be a time for portion control (unless you really feel inclined!) but you should have a good sense of how much food you’ll need to buy and serve.

Whether you’d like the post-Thanksgiving table to be free and clear, or chock full of leftovers (yes, please), here’s a great guide to the amount of food you’ll need to serve.

And, whether you’re serving your immediate family or every cousin you’ve ever known, you should know how to double, triple, or even exponentially increase your grocery list, cooking time, and of course, the size of your turkey.

It’s not an exact science, but it will help you make sure that there’s enough gravy for all the mashed potato volcanoes, and enough wine for everyone to relax into a nice, long coma-nap.

This infographic was provided courtesy of American Express’ Tumblr and Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, where you can more helpful planning tips for Thanksgiving.

For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


How Much Turkey Per Person Do I Need for Thanksgiving?

No matter the size of your crew, here's how big of a bird you'll need (plus serving size suggestions for sides!).

Editor's note: This story was updated for 2020, but experts recommend holding small Thanksgiving gatherings this year to minimize COVID-19 risks. Read the latest coronavirus updates for Thanksgiving here.

Cooking for a crowd can be complicated: The prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes way longer than your typical fall weekday meal, there are far more dishes to clean, and a whole lot more mouths to feed. You know the ideal roast chicken size for your family, but do you know how big of a turkey you&rsquoll need for 12 people? 15 people? Even more than that? So before you can even turn on the oven, you need to do the math to figure out how much turkey per person, which stuffing recipe makes sense for your crowd size, and how many Thanksgiving side dishes and Thanksgiving desserts you&rsquoll need to make (or delegate to guests!).

We put together a kind of calculator that will help you determine how many pounds of turkey per person you can prep for your feast, plus our best estimates for sides and desserts. Consider this your ultimate Turkey Day cheat sheet to read, use, and forget while you spend more time focusing on your family, friends and of course, all that food. Quick rule of thumb to get you started: If you&rsquore buying a whole turkey, plan on 1 pound (uncooked) per person. For a boneless turkey breast, get ½ pound per person. Feeding an army? Rather than buying the biggest bird you can find (which can be tricky to cook evenly while retaining moisture), get two smaller turkeys or one whole turkey and one breast. These generous estimates will likely leave you with delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to enjoy when all that hard work is over.


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