NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Ready for ALL the Guests

Ready for ALL the Guests


          Food and fellowship and summer in ND go hand in hand.  North Dakota summers are a time for family reunions, weddings, school reunions, town centennials and more.  Providing sustenance for all those guests can be a major undertaking.  How much is enough?  How do I prepare it?  How do I prepare and store it for food safety’s sake?

          Food safety when feeding a crowd is an important first step.  From shopping with that long, long ingredient list to storing the ingredients to preparation to storing the prepared dishes, food safety needs to be accompanying you.  Clean, cook thoroughly, cool and store safely is the abbreviated version of all the food safety guidelines.  When cooking large batches of food, it is important that they are cooked thoroughly all the way through. Use a thermometer to be sure. If you are transporting food, you must think ahead to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold for the duration of the trip and during the serving period.

Double Up or Not?  Many standard recipes can be multiplied to feed larger crowds. However, not all ingredients need to be multiplied. For example, the fat or oil needed for sautéing need not be multiplied, as long as you have a proper amount to cover the bottom of the pan. Cooking times may not necessarily need to be multiplied by the same factor as the recipe ingredients.  

Frig Space is Premium.  Plan ahead to have space in your refrigerator or stove for all you will be cooking. And do not forget you will also need to store leftovers. Those large dishes need space!
          How Much?  The amount of food you plan for your party can change depending on the time of day, type of food, or even by the people attending (have you watched teenagers eat?). But as a general rule, consider these guidelines for individual portions:

  • Eight appetizer pieces: appetizers should consist of two to three bites
  • Three ounces of dip or salsa (about 1/3 cup per person)
  • One cup of soup (less if it’s a thick soup, like chowder)
  • Three ounces of salad (about one cup)
  • Six ounces of meat or main entrée
  • Five ounces of starch (potato, pasta, or rice)
  • One and a half pieces of dessert
  • Punch - One gallon for every 10 guests

  • Potato Salad for 100

    30 lbs. potatoes
    4 c. chopped onions
    7 1/2 c. chopped celery
    30 hard -boiled eggs

    6 tbsp. salt or to taste
    2 tbsp. pepper
    2 qts. Mayonnaise
    2 qts. Miracle Whip

    Cook potatoes until tender. Cool. Peel and cut up. Add onions, celery, and eggs. Mix dressing ingredients together and stir into potato mixture.

    Refrigerate overnight to let flavors blend.


    Macaroni Salad for 100

    6 lb. fully cooked ham, cubed
    6 lb. macaroni, cooked & drained and rinsed under cold water and drained
    3 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
    2 bags, frozen peas, thawed, 20 ounces each
    2 bunches celery, chopped (12 cups)
    2 lg. onions, chopped (2 1/2 cups)
    2 cans pitted sliced ripe olives, drained

    2 qt. mayonnaise
    1 bottle western or French salad dressing
    1/4 cup vinegar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 cup light cream
    1 1/2 tsp. onion salt
    1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. pepper

            Combine first 7 ingredients. Combine all dressing ingredients; pour over the ham mixture and toss well to coat. Refrigerate.


    Creamy Coleslaw

    15 lbs. cabbage - shredded
    2 lbs. carrots - shredded
    1 lb. onion - finely chopped

    3 qt. mayonnaise
    2 1/2 c. sugar
    3 c. milk
    celery seed to taste (1 Tbsp.)
    mustard seed to taste

          Mix dressing and pour over cabbage, carrots and onion mixture.

    Best if made and refrigerated for at least 4 hours before using.

    Serves 100.

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