No matter how often you host Thanksgiving, one big question remains the same: Exactly how much turkey do I need to make? Since the turkey size will change how big of a helping each guest gets—not to mention how much will be left for leftovers. To make things simple, we’ve created a guide to help you pick the perfect-sized turkey for your holiday feast. Make sure you know how to buy the absolute perfect turkey in the first place.
Sydney Watson/Taste of Home
How to figure out how much turkey per person
First, finalize your guest list. Once you know the exact number of attendees, use this formula: Number of guests x 1.25.
You’ll want to plan on about 1.25 pounds of turkey per person attending. That means that if you are expecting 12 guests, plan for a 15-pound bird.
If you have a large number of kids coming, simply round down when calculating your turkey. The kids usually go for the rolls and side dishes anyway.
Pro tip: If you have a large group this year, try dividing your turkey number by two and buying smaller birds. This will allow them to cook faster and more evenly.
Next, choose a great turkey recipe
Next, it’s time to think about turkey prep:
- For large groups: We love this simple marinated Thanksgiving turkey recipe.
- For small groups: This slow cooker turkey recipe is an easy way to cook a turkey breast.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect turkey recipe, don’t forget to add plenty of sides and desserts. Get inspired by our sample Thanksgiving menu to host an amazing holiday.