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Figuring Portion-size When Planning Your Party

Image of Dining Room Table Figuring Portion-size When Planning Your Party

Figuring Portion-size When Planning Your Party. When planning a party or other fun gathering, figuring out the portions can be a “guess and by-golly,” many times, it’s either too much, or you run out. Either one is not exactly what you plan for.

I ran across a guide to help figure out meal portions for your next get-together. Many factors come into play when planning, like how long you will be entertaining, for how many, and whether you will be serving appetizers, a full meal, or dessert.

The type of venue will also play into how much food. For example, a simple cocktail party requires less food than a multi-course meal or barbeque.

There are rules of thumb you can follow and make adjustments where needed.

Always round up estimating food portions and the number of people attending. There will be some items on your menu that are more popular than others and will get consumed more.

The more choices you give your guests, the smaller the portion size should be. If you offer five different salads, each salad may only need to prepare to feed some of the crowd. However, when offering one or two salads, you’ll want enough for everyone to have some.

         Also, the fewer the choices, the more some guests will fill their plates.

You might want to add “filler” food like bread on the table to fill any “hungry” spots. “Filler” food for cocktail parties may include party nuts, olives, and pretzels at your cocktail parties which don’t take any time to prep.

Figuring Portion-size When Planning Your Party

Hors D’oeuvres

When preceding a meal, six bites.

If Hors D’oeuvres are the meal, expect to provide four to six bites per hour.

The Main Meal

Serve six ounces of meat (meat, fish, or poultry) when there is only one main dish. However, you may offer 8 ounces to your guests when you offer two or more main courses.

If serving potatoes, offer 5 ounces each.

Four ounces of Veggies.

Two ounces for Baked Beans if they serving as a side dish.

Pasta would require serving two ounces if a side dish like a salad, but three ounces if serving as the first course, and if served as a main course, four ounces.

Green Salads are figured in around one ounce without dressing.

The Desserts

If you serve any pastry like a cake or tart, you will provide one piece per person.

Servings of puddings, creamy desserts, or mousse will be four ounces each and five ounces if you serve ice cream.

If you offer your guests more than one dessert, like cake and ice cream, you’ll want to reduce the portions to less than half each.

Other things to think of for your Party

Impress your guests with a blend of hot and cold food offerings and food choices that complement each other and are a variety of choices. Of course, you’ll want to mix up your choices so that if you’re serving Shrimp Scampi for your main course, you’re not serving shrimp as an appetizer. 

When sending out your invitations, please ask your guests about food allergies or if they are on a special diet. 

Parties are to enjoy and have fun any time of the year. Planning when creating your menu will make it even more enjoyable.

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