All the RSVPs are in, now the task of planning the meal is upon you. Here’s a quick guide that shows you how much food to plan to bring the full flavor to your next gathering.
Party Portion Guidelines
All amounts are per person.
- As the basis of your meal (such as a cocktail party) – 4-6 bites, per hour
- Before a meal – 6 bites
- As a general rule for cocktail parties, the longer the party and the larger your guest list, the more variety you should plan to offer.
The Main Course
- Ham (serving a single main course) – 3-4 ounces
- Ribs (serving a single main course) – ½ rack
- Meat, fish or poultry (serving a single main course) – 6 ounces
- Meat, fish or poultry (serving two or more main courses) – 8 ounces total
- Rice and grains (as a side dish) – 1.5 ounces
- Rice and grains (as a main course dish such as risotto) – 2 ounces
- Potatoes – 5 ounces
- Vegetables – 4 ounces
- Beans (as a side dish) – 2 ounces per person
- Pasta (side dish) – 2 ounces
- Pasta (first course) – 3 ounces
- Pasta (main dish) – 4 ounces
- Garden Salad – 1 ounce without dressing
- Cake, tart or pastry – 1 slice
- Pudding or mousse – 4 ounces
- Ice cream – 5 ounces
- When offering multiple dessert choices, reduce each by approximately half.