You are here:

Cooking for Parties/Cooking for 300


I have been asked to make salads and a dessert for a friends wedding.  I am looking for recipes for italian salad (no Veggies, add pepperoni) , Macaroni salad (no Peas) and a fruit bowl.

Do you have any idea the size of the job you have volunteered for? Do you know how many servings of each salad you will need?  I ask because IF YOU DON'T you are going to have to make 900 portions of salad which will result in a lot of waste of your money and time.  I'd suggest a antipasto-type macaroni salad and then a fruit salad.  As for the fruit salad, you will have to make it the day of or night before.  You will also have to have the refrigerator space for 900 4 oz servings of food which means TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS OF SALADS.  Do you have that kind of refrigerator space?  I ask because you cannot make any of this more than a day in advance, and a restaurant would not be able to do this kind of task, not to mention the cost of this food, you're looking at probably $500-$600 worth of ingredients if not more.
I am sending you recipes scaled for 300 servings which will be literally 300 pounds of ingredients, and you need to check the venue as most places will NOT allow food from an unlicensed and uninspected home kitchen--and you will need a commercial size kitchen and 5-6 people helping you to pull this off.  This is a task that a PROFESSIONAL would not be able to pull off alone, and ruining someone's wedding by not being able to do something like this is something that destroys friendships. My best advice would be to do ONE salad because there's always way too much food and waste--and when you see the size of the shopping list you will realize that you are trying to undertake an impossible task.

Macaroni Salad

120 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
30 cups mayonnaise
7-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
20 cups white sugar
4-2/3 cups prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup and 3 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
30 large onion, chopped
60 ribs of celery chopped
30 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
7-1/2 cups grated carrot
3-3/4 cups chopped pimento peppers

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, celery, green pepper, carrot, pimentos and macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight. (Remember the refrigerator space I told you that you would need?)

Italian Salad with Pepperoni

225 cups shredded romaine lettuce
37 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
37 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
37 cups chopped fennel bulb
56 cups cubed fresh mozzarella cheese
37-1/2 (8 ounce) packages pepperoni  

Basil-Sour Cream Dressing:
25 cups mayonnaise 25 cups sour cream
9-1/3 cups milk
9-1/3 cups chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In the bottom of large aluminum hotel half the romaine. Layer in the following order: tomatoes, bell peppers, fennel, the remaining romaine, the mozzarella cheese, and bison pepperoni. Spoon Basil-Sour Cream Dressing over salad. Serve immediately or cover tightly and chill for up to 24 hours before serving.

Basil-Sour Cream Dressing
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, basil, salt, and black pepper in a LARGE container
(Still have refrigerator space?  fruit salad is next)

Fruit salad

20 cups fresh orange juice
10 cups fresh lemon juice
10 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

60 cups cubed fresh pineapple
60 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
90 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
90 bananas, sliced
60 oranges, peeled and sectioned
30 cups seedless grapes
60 cups blackberries (an 8 oz package is 2 cups and $3.89 you will need 30 of them so $117 JUST for blackberries)

Bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil in a pan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
Layer the fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

I'd suggest you rethink this, because you are looking at close to $900 worth of ingredients alone--that doesn't count preparation work and you are going to have to pay some people to help you do all this.
Good Luck.

Cooking for Parties

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.
Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

Past/Present Clients expert for 9 years, owner with 30 thousand original recipes on site.

©2016 All rights reserved.