How Much Food To Serve At A Party | Printable Food Quantity Guide

How Much Food To Serve At A Party | Printable Food Quantity Guide

Serve the right amount of food at a party with this {free} food quantity guide.

Ever wondered how much food to serve at a party? Here’s the ultimate food quantity chart to help you serve the right amount of food at your next get together! This free guide will help you plan the exact amount of food so you can feed a crowd, but not be eating leftovers for days. No food waste, and no hungry guests. This is just the thing you need to help plan your next party!

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The most stressful thing about any party or gathering is making sure there is enough food and nobody is going to leave hungry. If you’ve been asking yourself, ‘how much food do I serve?’ you’ve come to the right place!

This is your complete guide to entertaining serving sizes. You’ll learn the correct food quantity per person to serve at a party, along with party menu ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

Before we get started, make sure to download your free food quantity guide.

How Much Food to Serve At a Party

It can be so difficult to know how much food to make for a crowd. But, with this food quantity guide, you won’t have to stress anymore!

This guide will teach you how much food to serve at a party. There is everything from quantities for appetizers, main course, pasta, grains, veggies, and more! Here’s a sneak peek inside.

food quantity for a party

I also like to make a few extra servings just in case an extra guest comes or someone has a large appetite.

If you’re a pro at hosting parties at home, or just want to start entertaining more, this food quantity guide is for you! Once you get a feel for the amount of food to prepare for a gathering, hosting seems less intimidating and stressful.

Ultimate Party Food Planner Menu Ideas

Whenever you’re hosting a party or get-together, one of the most important things to do is create a menu that fits with the theme and vibe of the party.

To help you plan your next menu, I wanted to give you some party food planner menu ideas. You can use these menu planning templates to help create a full, robust meal, no matter the party you’re hosting!

summer dinner party tablescape

Dinner Party Menu

For an upscale dinner party, include the following courses in your menu:

  • Appetizer: A finger food that’s nice and light – nothing too filling. I love a crostini, charcuterie board, or something with puff pastry.
  • Salad: Serve the salad before dinner or during dinner – whichever you would prefer!
  • Main: This could be a main with protein (steak, chicken, pork) or a vegetarian/vegan-friendly main.
  • Side dish: Make two side dishes. Typically, one with veggies and another with grains.
  • Dessert: Keep the dessert nice and light after a large meal like this. I really enjoy a mousse, angel food cake, or sorbet.
  • Signature cocktail: This is completely optional, but can be really fun! Here are some cocktail ideas.

steak with compund butter

Cocktail Party Menu

For a fancy or casual cocktail party, include the following dishes on your menu:

  • Wine: Buy a variety of red, white, and maybe even some rosé or champagne.
  • Signature cocktail: This is completely optional, but can be really fun! Here are some cocktail ideas. If not, be sure to have a variety of liquor available.
  • Beer: It’s fun to try some different craft beers local to your region.
  • Bite-sized appetizers: Make a variety of finger foods for appetizers like bacon wrapped dates or canapés.
  • Cheese: Whether or not you make a whole charcuterie board is up to you. Have a few different types of cheese available (a hard, soft, aged, and blue cheese) – bonus point if each one pairs with the wine!
  • Crudités: Basically a fancy word for a vegetable tray. Choose your favorites and slice them up to look pretty.
  • Bite-sized desserts: To fit our theme of hors d’oeuvres, make some tiny desserts. You could do cannolis, mini cheesecakes, or even small brownies.

peach crostini with ricotta

Holiday Party Menu

A holiday party menu can vary depending on your preferences. Refer to the dinner party menu or cocktail party menu above. You can mix and match these menus, or just select one and put a fun holiday twist on it!

Casual Get Together Menu

A casual get-together menu can look different depending on your group, the time of day, and the reason for gathering together. For casual get-togethers, I like to encourage people to split up the menu – ask your friends to bring a dish so all of the cooking doesn’t fall on you as the host.

Rather than have a full breakdown of the menu, here are some general ideas:

  • Snack Attack: Everyone brings their favorite snacks and shares!
  • Family Style Dinner: Family-style dinner is where you have large portions of each dish, place them in the middle of the table, and share everything. Set a fun theme, and have everyone bring a dish around it.
  • Casual Dining: Don’t make anything too fancy or too fussy. Just make a large quantity of food you know everyone will love – a big pot of spaghetti, a few types of pizza, or even a big batch of baked potatoes with different toppings.
  • Appetizer Board: Throw all your favorite appetizers on a large serving tray and let everyone munch while they hang out.

Sporting Game Menu

For a sporting game we want a laidback, casual menu. Nothing too stressful to make, and things that a crowd will love! Also, remember to think about how you will keep the dish warm (or cool) throughout the game.

  • Hot appetizer: Something warm like queso, french fries, or wings.
  • Cold appetizer: Typically this is something you can make ahead of time, store in your fridge, and pull out right before the game. Maybe some deviled eggs or guacamole.
  • Dip: If neither of your hot or cold appetizers is a dip, I suggest throwing one on the menu. It’s always a crowd-pleaser!
  • Hearty main dish: Make sure you have something that will fill people up. This could be sheet pan nachos, homemade pizza, or pulled pork sliders.
  • Something healthy: I always like to throw in a little something healthy like a veggie or fruit tray. You could also do a hearty salad!
  • Crowd-friendly dessert: Something everyone will love and is easy to make a large portion – brownies, ice cream, or even a cookie cake.
pulled pork nachos

Birthday Party (Casual) Menu

Whether you’re hosting a casual kid’s birthday party or an adult birthday party, this menu needs to feed a crowd and be something everyone will love. For birthdays, I love making bars or tables that people can graze off of. Here are some ideas:

  • Grazing table: Basically a table of your favorite foods. They can be a mix of sweet and savory.
  • Hot dog bar: Prep your hot dogs, and have a station full of your favorite toppings like cheese, chili, and jalapenos.
  • Taco board: A fun way to still serve a hearty meal. You could also do a tamale board.
  • Pasta bar: Cook up your favorite pasta noodle, or a variety of noodles. Then get your favorite add-ins like chicken, different sauces (and pesto), and cheeses.
  • Birthday dessert board: A fun way to showcase all your favorite desserts. You can even make the board the number of the birthday guest!
  • Ice cream sundae bar: Grab all your favorite ice cream flavors and lots of fun toppings and sauces.

cake batter ice cream

Entertaining Essentials You Need

For all my party people – people who love to entertain at home – it’s helpful to stock up on some entertaining basics to make your life easier when hosting.

I like to purchase neutral-colored platters/bowls that can mix and match with any party or theme. And of course, if you love making cocktails, don’t forget some basics to stock your home bar. Let me show you how I use some of my favorite entertaining kitchen items.

  • Stemless Wine Glasses: Great not only for wine but also for cocktails and mocktails.
  • Serving Tray: Can be used to create a charcuterie/cheese board, set up a drink station, or as an appetizer platter.
  • Large Pitcher: Fill with water, a fun cocktail, soda, lemonade, or whatever drink your guests will love. This comes in handy so guests can self-serve as needed.
  • Serving Bowls: These bowls are great for serving appetizers in, like a large bag of chips, or to serve side dishes during a dinner party. Feel free to add in a linen cloth to make it a bread serving bowl, or a pop of color with some fun serving utensils.
  • Serving Flatware/Utensils: This is especially useful if you’re serving food at a dinner party. Make sure to get a set with lots of different pieces so you have a utensil for any need!
  • Cork Screw/Bottle Opener: A great tool to have on hand so friends and family can open their drinks!

Don’t Forget Your Free Guide

Don’t forget to download your serving sizes guide with all of the food quantities you’ll want to know for hosting parties and gatherings!

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