Cooking for Large Groups

Picture of park pavilion

Loaves&Fishes generally serves 30 or more people at each meal. Cooking for large groups is very different from a typical family dinner. The links below will take you to other web sites that can provide recipes and tips for preparing food in large quantities. For our volunteers, we provide the ingredients and often the cookware you need for preparing large quantities. If you need assistance please be sure to discuss your questions with the volunteer coordinator.

FDA sample plate showing balance between Protien, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy.

One challenge is knowing how much food to buy/cook for any number of people. There are several internet-based resources that can help us plan. Something to keep in mind, however. Most of these sites look at portions for each person like you are serving them one meal out of several in a day. Most of our neighbors who are homeless or indigent may be getting their only meal for the day, so we give 1 1/2 to 2 times the portions recommended.

One resource is Ellen’s Kitchen in the Big Pots section. Ellen provides many recipes and tips for preparing large quantities of food, from turkeys to peanut butter bars. I particularly liked her Festive Family Brunch for 100.

Another source that includes charts for 50 servings is the Chef Menus web site. The site also has a conversion calculator that allows you to convert a variety of measurements, e.g. gallon/quarts to ounces or liters or teaspoons.