Appetizer Buying Guide

The role your appetizers play in your party plan determines the amount you will need to prepare. The following is a general guideline for a wine and cheese party, cocktail party or impromptu gathering. This buying guide is not intended to provide a full meal, or for a gathering lasting longer than 2 to 3 hours. Please adjust your buying with these factors in mind.
Meat and Cheese Tray
Meat, 3 oz. per person
Cheese, 3 oz. per person
Crackers, 2 oz. per person
Seafood Appetizers
Cocktail Shrimp (large), 3-4 per person
Cocktail Sauce, 2 tablespoons per person
Caviar, 1/2 teaspoon per person
Seafood Dips, 3-4 tablespoons per person
Allow 3-4 seafood appetizer pieces per person
Vegetables and Dip
Dip, 3 tablespoons per person
Asparagus, 1 ½ ounces per person
Broccoli, 2 ½ ounces per person
Carrots, 1 ½ ounces per person
Cauliflower, 2 ½ ounces per person
Celery, 2 ½ ounces per person
Cherry Tomatoes, 1 ½ ounces per person
Cucumber, 2 ½ ounces per person
Jicama, 2 ounces per person
Mushrooms, 1 ½ ounces per person
Pea pods, 1 ounce per person
Zucchini, 2 ounces per person
Dip, 3 tablespoons per person
Prepared mixed fruit, 1 cup per person
Approximate Yield per pound of Fruit:
Blueberries, 1 pint = 2 cups
Cantaloupe, 3 pounds = 4 cups
Grapes, 1 pound = 2 cups
Honeydew, 3 pounds = 4 cups
Pineapple, 1 pound = 5 cups
Raspberries, 1 pint = 2 cups
Strawberries, 1 pound = 4 cups
Watermelon, 4 ¼ pounds = 4 cups
Cocktail and Finger Sandwiches
Cocktail buns, 3 per person
Meat, 3 ounces per person
Cheese, 1 ½ ounces per person
Cocktail Wieners, 3 - 4 per person
Meatballs, 3 - 4 per person
Miniature Quiche, 3 - 4 per person
FYI: A one pound bag of Cocktail Wieners, or Meatballs, contains approximately 25 pieces
Mixed Nuts, ½ ounce per person
Olives, 2 ounces per person (or 2-3 pieces per person)
Pickles, 2 ½ ounces per person (or 2-3 pieces per person)
Allow for 1 piece of dessert per person, 2-3 petits-fours per person
Chips 2 ounces per person
Dip 3 tablespoons per person
½ bottle of wine per person, per hour
1-2 beers per person, per hour
1-2 soft drinks or mineral water per person, per hour
A one pound can of coffee will provide approximately 50 (6 ounce) servings.
One gallon of fruit punch or soft drink will provide approximately 20 - 6 ounce servings.
Helpful Hints
For items not listed, 3-4 appetizer pieces per person is a safe guideline for a host to follow.
Fresh vegetables can be prepared the day before your party. Store in plastic storage bags or containers and add several ice cubes to keep vegetables crisp until serving.
Adjust beverage amounts according to the type of gathering and the drinking habits of your guests. Always remember to provide non alcoholic beverages.
Keep a bucket of ice water handy to chill wine if needed.
To prevent misplacing of beverages, provide your guests with wine charms and/or personalized beverage holders.
Be prepared, it's always better to have too much food.
Serve a variety of hot and cold appetizers if a sit down meal does not follow.
Prepare as much as you can the day before the gathering.
* 16 tbsp. = 1 Cup
* 16 oz. = 1 pound
* 32 oz = 1 quart
Conversion Deli Style
1 pint = 1 pound, Serves 2 - 3
1 quart = 2 pounds, Serves 4 - 6
1/2 gal. = 4 pounds, Serves 10 - 12
1 gallon = 8 pounds, Serves 20 - 25

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