Help planning a party for 75 people

Help. I have been asked to plan and prepare for a party for 75 people. Can anyone tell me the total weight of food per person. I do not know how to estimate how much to prepare for so many people. My thoughts for a menu are:

Roast pork loin tortellini with pesto meatloaf (stuffed with mozzarella), tomato salad sausage bread baked brie orange salad
Some cheeses and Italian bread.

For dessert, ricotta - whipped, some sugar, vanilla and topped with strawberries - with a biscotti servied along side.(I usually serve the ricotta in a martini glass)

So, what do you think? How many pounds of pork - how big of a meatloaf? And any other suggestions.

Re: Help planning a party for 75 people

Sounds like a great feast!

Here would be some questions that I would ask to help me determine portions:

• Is there going to be cocktails before Dinner (people tend to eat more if they have cocktails before dinner without appetizers, less with appetizers)?

• How long (hours) for meal/dessert? The more hours, the more that is eaten.

• What is the make-up of crowd (i.e., all adults, kids, or both)? Adults and count as one serving. Young kids count as half serving. Teenagers (the bottomless pits) one and a half.

• Is the weather outside cold or warm (people eat more in cold weather)?

Here is some general guidelines (per person/portion size):

• 4-6 oz. entree

• 4 oz. sides

• 2 - 3 oz. pasta

• 4 - 5 oz. dessert

• 2.5 - 3 oz. brie

For what you have on menu and not knowing your recipes or their yields:

  • I would go with 4-5 oz. for pork considering you are also serving meat loaf and sausage bread. Based on 4 oz.for meatloaf that’s about 18 ¾ lbs. of meat (I would round up a little to account for safety margin) Note: a 2 lb. loaf baked in 9x5” loaf pan sewrves about 8.

  • For meat loaf: You will get about 4-4 oz. servings from a meatloaf made from 1 lb. of meat (assuming you are slicing for service).

  • Pasta salad: 2 oz. per person

  • Tomato salad: 3-4 oz. per person

  • Orange salad: 3-4 oz. per person

  • Dessert: since it is a creamy dessert - 4 oz. per person

  • Brie: 2 oz. per person. 2(oz.) x 75(number of people) = 150(total oz) ÷ 16(oz. in pound) = 9.375 lbs. (round up to be safe)

Hope some of this helps you get started.

Re: Help planning a party for 75 people

Thank you so much for the information you provided. It was extremely helpful. It appears that you are saying that the total amount of food per person is roughly one pound.

On another point…I saw Andrew’s recipe for a breakfast fritatta with sliced tomato. It looks beautiful. The idea of drying the pan over heat is an excellent one.I wondered, though, if you ever tried to move the egg with a spatula so the uncooked egg can run under, (instead of using oven) take a plate larger than the pan and invert the pan onto plate. Next step - slip the egg back onto the pan - the uncooked side (of course) now on the bottom.

This is a wonderful site, and I am so glad to have discovered it!


Re: Help planning a party for 75 people

Good luck with your party Adele. Let us know how it turns out.

And thanks for your suggestion regarding my Layered frittata recipe. Your suggestion makes perfect sense and proves the notion that there is no one set way when it comes to cooking. Ingenuity is always valuable.

Re: Help planning a party for 75 people

A party doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive to be a success. By making your party plans well ahead of time and preparing in advance, you can entertain in a style that suits you and your guests and be guaranteed a wonderful time.