Here’s How Much to Make of Every Favorite Thanksgiving Dish

Time to fill up your plate!

Whether this is your first or twentieth year hosting Thanksgiving, figuring how much of each dish to make (or request to bring) is a head-scratcher. Avoid dishes full of leftover green bean casserole or running out of pumpkin pie by following our handy serving size charts for every single course, including beverages.

Make this year’s Thanksgiving the most flavorful yet with our best Thanksgiving recipes of all time.


Start the night off on the right foot with a platter or two of tempting appetizers. Since each guest will have about 6 pieces (or 2 tablespoons of dip) you can mix-and-match apps until you reach the right count.

Guests Pieces
Per Person 6
5 30
10 60
20 120

Here are some appetizer ideas you’ll want to make this year.

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Running out of drinks (or ice!) can be a hosting nightmare. Does someone run to the store halfway through the evening or does everyone sip on warm tap water? Keep the cocktails and mocktails flowing with these suggested volumes.

5 Guests 10 Guests 20 Guests
Wine 3 bottles 5 bottles 10 bottles
Beer 15 cans 30 cans 60 cans
Champagne 3 bottles 5 bottles 10 bottles
Spirits 1 bottle 2 bottles 4 bottles
Liqueurs 1 bottle 1 bottle 2 bottles
Nonalcoholic (if alcohol provided/if not) 5/15 cans 10/30 cans 20/60 cans
Ice 5 lbs. 10 lbs. 20 lbs.

Note: These allotments are based on one type of beverages over two hours. If your party is longer or you’re planning on having more than one type of drink, adjust accordingly.

Here are some cocktails to get your holiday party going.

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As the star of any Thanksgiving spread, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have enough turkey to go around. If you find yourself in need of 20 pounds of turkey or more, split the weight between two smaller birds or add in turkey breast.

Guests Pounds of Turkey
5 7-8
10 15
20 30

These turkey recipes will have you counting down the days to next year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

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Organizing the score of Thanksgiving side dish options doesn’t have to be a brain-buster. We grouped side dishes into six main categories so you can split up the serving based on what dishes your family likes to eat.

Per Person 5 Guests 10 Guests 20 Guests
Veggies Sides 3-4 ounces 2-3 cups 4-5 cups 9 cups
Potato Sides 1 potato 5 potatoes 10 potatoes 20 potatoes
Stuffing 3/4 cup 4 cups 7 1/2 cups 15 cups
Gravy 1/2 cup 2 1/2 cups 5 cups 10 cups
Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup 2 1/2 cups 5 cups 10 cups
Bread (small rolls or slices) 2 10 20 40

Round out your holiday spread with our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

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Make sure you save room for dessert! After all, what’s Thanksgiving without a slice of pumpkin pie?

Per Person 5 Guests 10 Guests 20 Guests
Pie/Tart 1 slice 1 pie 2 pies 4 pies
Cake 1 slice 1 9-inch round 1 layered 9-inch round 1 sheet cake
Cookies 1-2 cookies 1 dozen 2 dozen 3 dozen
Brownies/Bars 1 pieces 1 8-inch square 1 13×9-inch baking pan 2 13×9-inch baking pan
Ice Cream 5 ounces 2 pints 1.5 quarts 2 gallons

Take a look at these recipes that begging to be on your dessert table.

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But what about kids?

If you have little rascals attending your Thanksgiving feast, here’s how to count them in the carts above.

  • 12 years old and over is equal to 1 adult portion.
  • 6-11 years old is equal to half an adult portion.
  • 5 years old and under is equal to about a third of an adult portion.
  • A super picky eater is equal to two adult servings of mashed potatoes and a pad of butter.

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Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.