How Much Turkey To Buy Per Person For Thanksgiving

The basic rule of thumb? One pound of turkey per person, unless you want lots of leftovers.
11/02/2016 06:01am ET | Updated November 14, 2018

There’s a lot to juggle come Thanksgiving. There are pies to bake, potatoes to mash, tables to set ― but none of it means anything if you mess up the turkey.

Unfortunately, there are many ways a turkey can go wrong on the big day. It’s not that they’re hard to cook, it’s that not many of us have much experience feeding a large crowd. So, first things first, you have to figure out how much turkey you’ll need to buy in order to feed everyone (with enough for the all-too-important leftovers, too).

Luckily, this is really easy to do ― and even easier with the First-Timer’s Guide To Roasting A Turkey by Column Five Media. Here’s the basic rule: one pound of turkey per person. If you want leftovers ― or have big eaters coming to your house this year ― plan 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per person. Stick with that, and your Thanksgiving is off on the right foot.

Read the infographic for more information on how to roast a turkey ― and then check out the recipes below.

column Five Media

Now that you know how to cook it, here are some recipe ideas to take it up a notch or two.

1
Maple Sage Rubbed Turkey
Cafe Johnsonia
Get the Maple Sage Rubbed Turkey recipe from Cafe Johnsonia
2
Applewood Smoked Turkey
How Sweet It Is
Get the Applewood Smoked Turkey recipe from How Sweet It Is
3
Herb And Butter Roasted Turkey
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey recipe from Half Baked Harvest
4
Buffalo Roasted Turkey
Foodie Crush
Get the Buffalo Roasted Turkey recipe from Foodie Crush
5
Classic Roast Turkey
The Woks of Life
Get the Classic Roast Turkey recipe from The Woks of Life
6
Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey
Foodie Crush
Get the Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey recipe from Foodie Crush
7
Cranberry And White Wine Brined Turkey
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Cranberry And White Wine Brined Turkey recipe from A Beautiful Mess
8
Lemon Rosemary Roast Turkey
Eclectic Recipes
Get the Lemon Rosemary Roast Turkey recipe from Eclectic Recipes
9
Roast Turkey With Herb Compound Butter
Annie's Eats
10
Roast Turkey With Pears And Sage
Adventures in Cooking
Get the Roast Turkey with Pears & Sage recipe from Adventures in Cooking
11
Easy Roast Turkey
Boulder Locavore
Get the Easy Roast Turkey recipe from Boulder Locavore
12
Juicy Roast Turkey Breast
Foodie Crush
Get the Juicy Roast Turkey Breast recipe from Foodie Crush
13
Smoked Turkey
Chaos in the Kitchen
Get the Smoked Turkey recipe from Chaos in the Kitchen
14
Deep-Fried Turkey
Food52.com
Get the Deep-Fried Turkey recipe from Food52
15
BBQ Turkey With Mustard Sauce
Simply Recipes
Get the BBQ Turkey With Mustard Sauce recipe from Simply Recipes