We have this reoccurring question, How Much Turkey Breast Per Person, every year as we do our Thanksgiving Day menu planning in November! There are some simple math calculations you can use to make sure you have plenty of turkey for a big crowd or a small crowd. We are here to make it as easy as possible for you!
Who Is Coming To Dinner
The first step is to think about all the people you have coming to Thanksgiving dinner. Adults will eat more food than most children will eat. Also, we all know people that have larger appetites and people that have small appetites so you will want to take that into consideration. We typically like to estimate on the higher end, because who doesn’t love leftovers!?
How Much Turkey Breast Per Person
Alright, let’s get in to the simple calculations. We suggest a half pound of turkey meat per person. That means that you will need to look at the number of guests that you have attending dinner and multiply that by 0.5 (make sure you include yourself in those numbers) to make sure you have the right size turkey. So if you have 16 people attending dinner you will need 8 pounds of turkey breast meat. Here are a few quick numbers to reference:
- 4 people = 2 pound turkey breast
- 8 people = 4 pound turkey breast
- 10 people = 5 pound turkey breast
- 16 people = 8 pound turkey breast
Now, if you love leftovers as much as we do you might want to estimate closer to 1 pound of turkey meat per person. Our leftover turkey recipes are full of great flavor so that you can enjoy your bird for several days after the holiday.
You will also want to determine if you will be making a bone-in turkey breast or a boneless turkey breast. Obviously bones are calculated in the weight of the turkey breast you are seeing on the tag at the grocery store, but you can’t eat them. Therefore, we are covering tips on that question next!
Bone-In Turkey Breast vs. Boneless Turkey Breast
- Bone-In: a bone-in turkey breast will have a weight on the tag that includes both the bones and the actual turkey meat. So, if you will be making a bone-in turkey breast you will want to double the number, meaning you will calculate 1 pound of turkey for every person. For example, if you have 16 guests (including yourself) coming to dinner you will now need a 16 pound turkey breast.
- Boneless: a boneless breast doesn’t have the added weight of bones so it is very straightforward. The calculation is still 0.5 pounds of boneless turkey breast. So if you have 16 guests (including you) coming to dinner, you will need an 8 pound turkey breast.
Other Factors To Consider
There are a few other factors that you can take into account when calculating how much turkey breast you should serve per person and whether they like white meat or dark meat, you will want to make sure you have enough food on your Thanksgiving menu. There are a few other factors that you can take into account when calculating how much turkey breast you should serve per person. Adults and children typically eat a different amount. So if you have several young children attending dinner you might want to calculate 0.25 pounds of turkey meat per child.
Also, some adults just have a larger appetite than others so for those guests it might make more sense to calculate 1 pound of turkey meat per person. We usually have an assortment of kids and adults with all different appetites so we find it easiest to just round to 0.5 pounds (1 pound for bone-in) of turkey meat per person and 1 pound per person (1.5 pounds for bone-in) if you LOVE leftovers! Yes, please!
Best Ways To Cook A Turkey Breast
Ok, now that you know how large of a turkey breast to buy, it is time to determine the cooking process and cooking time for your smaller birds. We have tested a variety of different cooking methods and want to share some easy options for the getting best results on your Thanksgiving turkey:
- Classic Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- Smoked Turkey Breast (we love using our Traeger 780 Pellet Grill!)
- Grilled Turkey Breast
Pro tip: if you are looking to bring a lot of great flavor to your turkey breast, consider brining your turkey or using a turkey marinade or turkey seasoning!
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