Cooking for Parties/pasta bar


QUESTION: For my wedding I'd like to do a pasta bar for 200 people (around 50 will be children, and 125 adults, with a little extra just incase). With all my research on line, I've come up with:
-my thought was 100 servings per 1 gallon of sauce-
800oz of pasta (Penne,Spaghetti,linguine,shells)
400-500 meatballs (Prepared way ahead of time and frozen)
?? diced or sliced chicken.(How many lbs for 100 people?)
1 gallon Alfredo sauce
1 gallon spaghetti sauce
1 gallon scampi sauce
3 velveeta cheese loaves(for at least 50 servings?)
5 12pks of hot dogs sliced (for at least 50 servings)
30 loaves of bread (What size of loaves will I need tho?)
50 lbs of salad mix / or 40 heads of lettuce
200 single serving ranch dressing packets
100 single serving Italian dressing packets

I'm not sure if my estimate for everything else is correct but i defiantly don't know how much diced or sliced chicken i need.
Which would feed more with the lest amount needed?

ANSWER: Your estimate of the amount of sauce you're going to need is WAY off.  You will need approximately 5 ounces of sauce per serving of pasta, that is slightly more than 1/2 cup 1 gallon sauce for hundred servings of pasta is woefully inadequate.  You will need 2 ounces of uncooked pasta per person. You will need 2 ounces of salad greens and 1 ounce of dressing per person. You will need 4-6 ounces of chicken per adult person if you did not send out a menu card you're not going to know how many servings of chicken you're going to need without your guests choosing their meal. You have to send out a menu card so you know how much you need to make. Figure children servings at one half the adult portion. You will need 3 to 5 one ounce meatballs per person which is approximately 4 to 6 ounces of meat per person. Your estimates for the amount of Lettuce you need her way off you're going to have way too much lettuce.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is it way too much or not enough? Its gonna be a pasta bar so they can decide what they want when they get there.  Was thinking 100 servings of chicken and 100 servings of meat balls. And about how much sauce ( in gallons) for 200?

Your problem is that you don't know who will eat chicken and who will eat meatballs. That's why they put those little "chicken or beef" check boxes on the RSVP cards in the wedding invitations.  If everyone chooses chicken, you will run out of it halfway through so you have a problem that I don't have a solution for because you didn't ask "chicken or beef" but if you make enough of each for everyone you will have a ton of leftovers and waste.

Here's how you figure the sauce.  5 oz per person x 200 people = 1000 oz of sauce. Divide this by 128 which is the number of ounces in a gallon to know how many gallons you will need which in this case is 7.8 gallons so I'd round it up to 8 gallons to be sure.  Your 1 gallon would have been woefully inadequate.  You can figure the meatballs and lettuce and such with the above formula for every dish to figure out what you will need. The amounts per person are standard catering guidelines for a crowd.  Good luck!

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Teri Davis Newman


I am a wedding and party planner in St. Louis, Missouri and I do weddings and parties all over the country! My brides are my number one priority as I understand how important their wedding day is to them! Any questions about catering and cooking for large groups. This would include recipes, cooking techniques, what to serve, how to prevent food poisoning, food storage and food integrity. I have thousands of recipes that are scaled for large groups and gatherings and will be happy to share them! If you are in need of professional assistance for helping you to plan your wedding, party or corporate event, please feel free to contact me! I do a limited amount of weddings and parties every year in order to make sure that I have the best service for my clientele. Feel free to visit my business website at this address: WWW.EXQUISITEEVENTSUSA.COM for detailed information on what services I offer. I have price point weddings for every budget--no matter what size and I am very specific about what you get for your hard-earned money.


Catering and parties are a large part of the restaurant business. I do a lot of catering for local parties and weddings.
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