Christmas Dinner: How Much Do I Need?

We’ve given thanks for our Thanksgiving meal, now it’s time to shift the focus to Christmas dinner. Don’t be left with people asking for a second helping of prime rib only to be looking at an empty serving plate. We’ve put together guidelines that will make sure there’s enough food for Christmas dinner and allow for ample leftovers.

Need help menu planning? Click on the recipe names below for inspiration.

Main Course

Whether you serve ham, prime rib or turkey, the protein is the star of the holiday dinner. To run short on meat would be a shame. For ham (boneless), estimate 1/4-1/3 pound per person. For prime rib, 1 pound per person is more than enough. For a turkey, 1 1/2 pounds per person will suffice. With these amounts, there will definitely be enough for sandwiches the next day.

Prime Rib Roast Au Jus Perfect Every Time

Tasty Baked Ham

Herb Roasted Turkey (Cooked in Oven Cooking Bag)


3-4 ounces of per person will guarantee everyone will have vegetables on their plate. Whether they’re roasted or included in a casserole, these vegetable recipes will be a big hit on your holiday table.

Rosemary Bacon Brussels Sprouts New Potatoes

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Walnut Green Beans a la Joyce

Family Fav Crock Pot Corn Casserole


Whether serving them roasted or mashed, potatoes are always a popular side dish at a holiday meal. If serving roasted potatoes, estimate 1/2 pound per person. For mashed potatoes, 1 medium potato per person will suffice. If nervous about making mashed potatoes for the first time, watch this step-by-step video.

Oven Roasted Potatoes With Olive Oil & Rosemary

Light and Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Dinner Rolls

Store-bought dinner rolls are great. But homemade dinner rolls are magnificent. Don’t be intimidated by making rolls at home. It’s much easier than you’d think. Our one tip, make sure to have extra yeast on hand just in case it doesn’t bloom. Estimate 1 1/2 dinner rolls per person.

Old Fashioned Soft and Buttery Yeast Rolls


If serving turkey or prime rib, gravy will be on the menu. 1/3 cup per person is perfect. The Test Kitchen put together an easy recipe that’s simple to follow.

Easy Gravy


A holiday meal isn’t complete without a piece of pie. One 3-inch slice per person is best. Served alongside coffee or an after-dinner drink, one of these below pie recipes will be the perfect way to end the holiday.

Easy Pumpkin Pie With Brown Sugar Topping

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

Magic Crust Custard Pie


It’s time to get the holiday started! While you’re finishing dinner prep or wrapping last-minute gifts, it’s always great to put munchies out for guests. Estimate 4-6 pieces per person to hold everyone over until dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

Sausage Cream Cheese Crescents

Brandy’s Party Meatballs

Caramelized Pecan & Cranberry Encrusted Brie

Want all of this information in one place? We’ve put all this information in a handy infographic (find it here) that’ll help you prepare for a successful holiday dinner.