How Much to Buy

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Use the charts below to help determine how much to buy of the foods listed below when preparing a meal or a recipe for a specific number of people.

Pasta Buying Guide | Rice Buying Guide | Egg Buying Guide | Meat Buying Guides

Pasta Buying Guide

The quantities in the chart below are approximates only.
Quantities will vary according to the size, shape and brand of pasta.

Serving Sizes Uncooked Quantity
Cooked
Weight Quantity
Main Course 4 oz. 1 Cup 2 Cups
Side Dish or 1st Course 2.5 oz. 5/8 Cup 1 1/4 Cups

Type

Uncooked

Quantity Cooked
Weight Quantity
Small to Medium
Dry Pasta Shapes
(Elbow macaroni, shells, fusilli, penne, etc.)
2 oz. 1/2 Cup 1 Cup
Small to Medium
Dry Pasta Shapes
4 oz. 1 Cup 2 Cup
Small to Medium
Dry Pasta Shapes
8 oz. 2 Cups 4 Cups
Long Dry Pasta
(Spaghetti, vermicelli, fettuccine, etc.)
4 oz. 3/4 Inch Diameter Bunch 2 Cups
Long Dry Pasta 8 oz. 1 1/2 Inch Diameter Bunch 4 Cups
Fresh Egg Noodles 8 oz. 2 1/2 Cups

For more information on shopping for pasta, see Pasta Shopping Guide.

Rice Buying Guide

Serving Sizes
Serving sizes are approximate - size will vary according
to what is being served with the rice.
Part of Main Course 1 to 1 1/4 cups
Side Dish 1/2 to 3/4 cups

Type

Uncooked
Quantity

Cooked
Quantity
Regular - Long Grain Rice 1 Cup 3 Cups
Regular - Medium or
Short Grain Rice
1 Cup 2 2/3 Cups
Brown Rice 1 Cup 3 1/2 to 4 Cups
Parboiled Rice 1 Cup 3 to 3 1/2 Cups
Instant Rice 1 Cup 2 Cups
Wild Rice 1 Cup 3 1/2 to 4 Cups

For more information on shopping for rice, see Grain Shopping Guide - Selecting Rice.

Egg Buying Guide

Weight in Ounces
The net weight in ounces per dozen is the standard
that is used to classify egg sizes.

1 dozen medium eggs 21 ounces
1 dozen large eggs 24 ounces
1 dozen extra large eggs 27 ounces

Many recipes requiring eggs specify the use of large eggs, so if the eggs you have available are smaller or larger, it is beneficial to know the size equivalents. If a recipe does not specify the size of the egg, it is understood that large eggs should be used or their equivalents. Use the following guidelines to achieve a quantity that should work well for most recipes.

Quantity of Large Eggs

Equivalents

Medium Extra Large
4 large eggs
5 medium eggs 4 extra large eggs
5 large eggs 6 medium eggs 4 extra large eggs
6 large eggs 7 medium eggs 5 extra large eggs
Measurement Equivalents
1 medium egg 3 tablespoons
1 large egg 3¼ tablespoons
12 large eggs
(equals 39 tablespoons)
13 medium eggs
(equals 39 tablespoons)

For more information on buying eggs, see Egg Shopping Guide.

Meat Buying Guides

Beef | Chicken | Ham | Lamb | Pork | Turkey

It is sometimes difficult to know just how much meat to buy to have the proper amount for a particular recipe or to serve to a specific number of people. Some of the information that will determine the quantity needed are the number of people being served, what other food will be served with it, whether or not it will be served in controlled portions, or if the meat will be served on a "help yourself" basis.

The following are some points to consider when purchasing cuts of meat:

  • Lean boneless cuts will yield more per pound.
  • Meat cuts with bone and fat will yield less per pound because of the waste.
  • Bony cuts, such as ribs, will yield substantially less per pound.
  • When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough. Always be prepared for people with larger appetites. If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

Beef Buying Guide

A 3-ounce serving is the serving size recommended for a healthy diet.

Type of Beef Cuts

3 oz. Servings
Per lb.

Type of Beef Cuts 3 oz. Servings
Per lb.

Steaks:

Pot Roasts:

Tenderloin 4.0 Chuck Arm (boneless) 3.0
Porterhouse 2.5 Chuck Top Blade (boneless) 3.0
T-bone 2.5 Cross Rib (bone-in) 2.0
Rib-eye 3.0 Bottom Round 3.0
Rib 2.5 Brisket 4.0
Top Loin Strip (boneless) 4.0 Rump (bone-in) 2.0
Top Sirloin (boneless) 4.0 Rump (boneless) 3.0
Chuck Top Blade 3.0
Top Round 4.0 Ribs:
Flank 4.0 Short Ribs (bone-in) 1.5
Skirt 4.0 Short Ribs (boneless) 2.5
Oven Roasts: Miscellaneous:
Tenderloin 4.0 Stew Meat 3.0
Standing Rib 2.5 Cross Cut Shanks 2.0
Rib-Eye 3.0 Ground Beef 4.0
Tri-Tip 4.0 Organ Meats 4.0

For more information on buying beef, see Beef Shopping Guide.

Chicken Buying Guide

Bone-in with skins: One pound of raw chicken will serve approximately two or three people.
Boneless and skinless:

One pound of raw chicken will serve approximately four people.

Cornish hens: A 1 to 2 pound hen is generally served as a single serving but can feed up to two people.
Broiler/Fryer: A 2 ½ to 4 pound whole chicken will serve approximately three to four people.
Roasting Chicken: A 4 to 7 pound chicken will serve approximately five to seven people.
Capons: A 5 to 9 pound chicken will serve approximately six to nine people.
Chicken Wings: One pound of raw chicken wings will serve approximately 1 ½ people.
Drumsticks: One pound of raw chicken drumsticks will serve approximately 2 ½ people.
Cooked - Boneless: One pound of raw boneless, skinless chicken produces approximately 3 cups of diced cooked chicken.
Cooked - Bone-in: One pound of raw bone-in chicken produces approximately 1 cup of diced cooked chicken.
Cooked - Whole: Raw whole chicken with bones-in produces approximately 1 cup cooked chicken per pound.

For more information on buying chicken, see Chicken Shopping Guide.

Ham Buying Guide

Approximate Pounds per Serving
Type of Ham Pounds per Dinner Serving

Bone-in Ham

1/2 to 3/4 lbs. per serving

Partially Boned Ham 1/3 to 1/2 lbs. per serving
Boneless Ham 1/4 to 1/3 lbs. per serving

For more information on buying ham, see Ham Shopping Guide.

Lamb Buying Guide

Approximate Pounds per Serving
Type of Lamb Cuts Serving Size

Lamb Rib Crown Roast

3 to 4 ribs per serving

Rack of Lamb 3 to 4 ribs per serving
Double Ribbed Lamb Chops 1 chop per person
Center-Cut Loin Roast 1/2 lb. per serving
Shoulder Roast 1/2 lb. per serving
Leg of Lamb 3/4 lb. to 1 lb. per serving
Boneless Leg of Lamb 1/2 lb. per serving
Shank, Spare Ribs, Brisket 1 lb. per serving
Ground Lamb, Stew Meat 1/4 lb. per serving

For more information on buying lamb, see Lamb Shopping Guide.

Pork Buying Guide

Approximate Servings Per Pound
Type of Cuts Per lb. Type of Cuts Per lb.

Roasts:
Blade Boston, Bone-in
Blade Boston, Boneless
Picnic (Smoked or Fresh), Bone-in
Smoked Shoulder Roll
Blade Loin, Bone-in
Top Loin, Boneless
Center Loin, Bone-in
Sirloin, Bone-in
Fresh Ham Roast, Bone-in
Fresh Ham Roast, Boneless
Ham - Bone-in
Ham - Boneless

Chops and Steaks:
Blade Chops or Steaks
Arm Steaks
Rib End Chops
Center Cut Loin Chops
Sirloin Chops
Boneless Chops
Center Slice Ham


2
3
3
3
2
3.5
3
2.5
3
4
3.5
4.5


3
3
3
3
3
4
3.5

Ribs:
Back Ribs
Country Style Ribs
Button Ribs
Spareribs

Misc. Cuts:
Shanks (Fresh or Smoked)
Ground Pork
Pork Sausage (Ground)
Tenderloin
Canadian Style Bacon
Bacon

Pork - Boneless:
One pound of raw pork equals approximately 12 ounces (or 3/4 of a pound) of cooked pork.


1.5
2
1.5
1.5


1.5
4
4
4
5
6

For more information on buying pork, see Pork Shopping Guide.

Turkey Buying Guide

If you are unsure of the quantity of turkey to purchase according to the number of guests you will be serving, it is always a good idea to allow for 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person when purchasing a whole turkey. This is a fairly accurate quantity per person, allowing for smaller appetites as well as extra helpings for larger appetites. It is also important to keep in mind that a larger bird is a better value. Larger turkeys have more meat in relation to the amount of bone and cartilage.

Approximate Pounds per Serving
Type of Turkey Pounds per Serving

Whole Turkey - Under 12 lbs.

1 lb. per serving

Whole Turkey - Over 12 lbs. 3/4 lb. per serving
Prestuffed Turkey 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. per serving
Bone-In Turkey Breast - 4 to 8 lbs. 1/2 lb. per serving

For more information on buying turkey, see Turkey Shopping Guide.

How Much to Buy Reviews

how much to buy

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Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Ratings (3)
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greatma User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Very helpful information, especially when planning a meal for special occasions. It helps to make sure you have enough for everyone but also so you don't end up with a ton leftover."
FancyFeeder User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Great information. It has helped me out a couple of different times when I was preparing meals for a group of people."
GabriELLA User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"I have used this information several times and found it very useful. I have used it several times to check how much uncooked pasta makes when it is cooked. I have also checked on the number of servings I can get from ham and turkey. It at least gives me an idea of how much I will need to buy."
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