This is how much food to prepare per person for Christmas

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This is how much food to prepare per person for Christmas

For some of us, Christmas is the biggest cooking event of the year. And while we all love leftovers, there are only so many of them you can continue eating long after Christmas ends. This year, Christmas might also be slightly smaller than usual, so in case you’re feeling a little unsure of how much to cook, this guide is for you.


Whether your choice of protein is turkey, chicken, lamb or beef, a good rule of thumb is to work on is 250–350 g of meat per person. If you’re serving off something off the bone, aiming closer to 250 g per person should cover you, while if you’re calculating something on the bone (or a whole turkey, for example) work on 350 g per person. If you’re going to be doing two different kinds of protein, such as turkey and gammon, then you can work around the 250–300 g mark. While this is a good base measurement to make sure you’re not over (or heaven forbid, under) catering too heavily, having a little extra protein leftover is always first prize.
the perfect juicy braaied turkey
Find our ultimate turkey recipe guide here.

Roast potatoes

Can there ever really be enough roast tatties? In theory, no, but when you consider how sad cold roast potatoes are, there might be an argument against making too many. When making something like a baked potato, you might work on one potato per person (plus an extra one or two, in case) but roast potatoes do shrink somewhat when cooking. This coupled with the fact that people always seem to eat more potatoes at Christmas than any other time, means you should work on 200–250 g of potatoes per person. Depending on the size of the potatoes, this roughly works out to 1.5 –2 potatoes per person.
the crispiest ever roast potatoes
Get the recipe for Hannah’s crispiest roast potatoes here.


Stuffing might be divisive, but polite guests won’t make their disdain public and so should be catered for. To keep everyone happy, work on about 100 g of stuffing per person.
pistachio-and-duck stuffing bacon-wrapped terrine
Get the recipe for pistachio-and-duck stuffing terrine here.


Depending on what your final menu looks like, you might not need a mass of vegetables, but to play it safe, you’ll want about 80 g of each veg per person.

Find some of our favourite summer vegetable recipes here.


You might think politics or religion would cause a family feud, but running out of gravy would surely cause an irreparable rift. If you know your dinner guests to drown their plate in gravy, half a cup per person should cover it. If this sounds like an enormous amount of gravy, chances are your family is not of the plate-drowning variety, in which case you can make about a quarter to a third of a cup per person.
foolproof gravy
Get the recipe for foolproof gravy here.


Disclaimer: this depends on how much your guests drink (if at all), as well as on whether you’re serving other forms of booze such as cocktails or beer. Our rough guideline is to work on half a bottle of wine per person, or closer to three-quarters of a bottle if your guests like to party. If you’re doing welcome drinks or anything over and above the wine, half a bottle per person should be fine (but stash an extra bottle or two away to be safe). It’s worth mentioning that if you’re hosting, you shouldn’t be supplying all the wine anyway – and a good way of circumventing this is to ask each guest to bring a bottle.

Looking for more Christmas inspiration? Find our ultimate Christmas recipe guide here.


Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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