how many appetizers should you have for thanksgiving

Three or four bites of food per person should be plenty. For shrimp cocktail, oysters or larger crostini, plan about two pieces per person. If you’re serving smaller, one-bite hors d’oeuvres, allot three per person total. For dip, 3 ounces per guest will be plenty.
how many appetizers should you have for thanksgiving

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There is no exact formula for cooking for a crowd, so you have to consider your crowd. Do they really enjoy eating? Will many children be present? Are most people in your crowd weight conscious? All these questions and similar ones impact how much food you prepare.

Quantity planning for holiday appetizers

Appetizers and drinks don’t have to be a pain in the neck, but planning them tends to be confusing. Because appetizers don’t lend themselves to a quantity chart per se, you can let the following list guide you:

  • For appetizers preceding a full meal: Offer at least four different types of appetizers and six to eight pieces per person. For example, say you have 20 guests. In that case, you’d need at least 120 total appetizer pieces.
  • The more variety you have, the smaller portion size each type of appetizer will need to have: Therefore, you don’t need to make as much of any one particular appetizer.
  • When you serve appetizers to a crowd, always include bulk-type appetizers: Bulk-type foods are items that aren’t individually made, such as dips or spreads. If you forgo the dips and spreads, you’ll end up making hundreds of individual appetizer items, which may push you over the edge. To calculate bulk items, assume 1 ounce equals 1 piece.
  • Always try to have extra items: Black and green olives and are great for extra filler.

4 No-Bake Thanksgiving Appetizers from Damaris Phillips


How many sides should you serve for Thanksgiving?

How many dishes should I serve with the turkey? For 4 people, choose 1-2 appetizers and 3 sides. For 8 people, choose 1-3 appetizers and 3 sides. For 16 people, choose 2-3 appetizers and 3 or more sides.

Should you serve appetizers at Thanksgiving?

You might think there’s no need for appetizers when you’re preparing a big turkey dinner with all the classic sides (plus pies for dessert!), but having some easy bites that guests can nibble on when they arrive means that no one notices if it takes a few extra minutes to get the meal on the table.

How much food do I need for Thanksgiving for 12 people?

I recommend 4 appetizers or bites per person. Most resources out there will recommend between 1 and 2 pounds of turkey per person. I think it’s safe to plan for 1 1/2 pounds per person.

How much of everything do you need for Thanksgiving dinner?

Menu Item
Small (2 to 4 )
Medium (6 to 10 )
Turkey (whole)
6 pounds
8 to 13 pounds
1 to 2
3 cups
6 cups
Mashed Potatoes
3 cups
6 cups

How many appetizers should you serve on Thanksgiving?

Take the guesswork out of portion size and shopping math with our Thanksgiving planner. The number of appetizers you serve depends on their type and on how much other food you are having. Their purpose is to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, to take the edge off people’s hunger and to whet their appetites.

What is a good make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizer?

Warm and cheesy dips are a must on your roster of easy make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizers. Prosciutto, artichoke hearts, and roasted red bell peppers give this hot dip loads of flavor and color. Make-Ahead Tip: After assembling the dip, refrigerate it up to 24 hours before baking.

Can you make a Thanksgiving appetizer ahead?

To make this Thanksgiving appetizer ahead, roll up to 24 hours before serving. Slice and serve at party time. Put pumpkin seeds to good use in this make-ahead dip recipe. Make it three days before Thanksgiving and stash it in the fridge. Top with crispy pepitas before serving.

When should Thanksgiving appetizers be served?

Appetizers should be part of every Thanksgiving menu. They can be served throughout the day as people gather to cook in the kitchen, or take breaks from football out in the yard. You could also wait to serve as guests arrive and wait for the rest of the food to finish! Thanksgiving Appetizer recipes should be served about an hour before dinner.

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