Graphic of how much turkey for your table
Photo via Taste of Home

When it comes to picking out the right turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, we know that size matters. But how much turkey does each guest at your table actually need?

Thankfully, the perfect-sized bird doesn’t take a math equation to figure out! We’re keeping it simple and recommend you allow at least 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person. This general rule of thumb works perfectly for a mid-sized group (8-12 people). For a larger group that requires more than 15 pounds of turkey, you may want to consider using two smaller birds to help with even cooking.

Does your guest list fall somewhere in between? Try serving a bone-in or boneless breast to accompany your whole bird nicely while providing additional white meat portions for your guests. Turkey cuts also make for a great alternative if you’re paring down your holiday celebrations. You can try out a traditional holiday recipe or shoot for some variety should you choose to get creative.

For the guest who’s always reaching for seconds (or if you want to count on tasty leftovers), opting for 1.25-1.5 pounds per person is a safe bet. By purchasing a larger turkey than needed for the holiday feast, you can transform holiday leftovers into time-saving meals. Freeze the extra cooked turkey and you’ll have your own “ready-to-prepare” healthy food for quick and easy post-holiday dishes.

Take the stress out of the selection process this year with our step-by-step Thanksgiving 101 guide. And if all else fails, just know that you can never have too much turkey!