Cooking for many: recipes for many diners

If sometimes it is difficult to calculate the portions properly when we cook for two or three people, things get much more complicated when we prepare food for a good number of diners.


2 March 2019


The utensils, recipes and proportions are generally designed for a maximum of 4 people and it is not always easy to adapt when it comes to 'feeding' a large group.

The same as when we cook at home, when we cook for big groups the repetition of the recipe or the act itself of preparing the food enriches the final result, but we do not always have experience, or a good guide, to follow so it is good to have a good modus operandi.

Chef's Decalogue

1.Keep the food budget in mind.

2. Opt for a 'strong' main course and simplify the starters and dessert.

3. Choose dishes that are easy to eat to simplify the use of dishes: snacks that can be picked up by hand, main dishes that only require a fork or spoon...

4. Calculate the quantities taking into account the sum of the ingredients.

5. Choose a menu or main course of general taste. Use ‘staples’ such as rice, tortilla, or empanada...

6. Take into account the duration of the celebration. It's especially important for drinks.

Work as a team.

8. Get ahead and do as much as possible the days before and/or start preparations early.

9. Taste the dish several times during preparation.

10. Remain calm.


A standard that is usually used as a basis for calculating portions is the half kilo rule, which consists of considering that each person will take half a kilo of food (without counting dessert and drink).

Taking into account this premise we can follow some general guidelines of quantities per food, without losing sight of the fact that the quantities are complementary, that is to say to calculate the half a kilo per person would have to 'add' the ingredients of each dish and each person can be satisfied with a different amount.

 Rice: 75 grams if it is a rice soup and 100 if it is dry.

 Pulses: between 75 and 100 grams (weighed dry before soaking).

 Pasta (macaroni, spaghetti,..): between 60 and 75 grams.

Vegetables 150 grams.

Cooked leafy vegetables 200-250 and 50 grams if raw in salad.

• Meat 150-200 grams.

Fish 200-250 grams.

Drink 3 or 4 glasses.