TikTok’s Favorite Grandma Shares How Much To Cook Per Guest for Thanksgiving

published Nov 16, 2022
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Thanksgiving table with multiple dishes, one with cornbread stuffing, a platter with sliced turkey, a bowl of candied yams, bowl of green beans. Forks and glasses on table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Stephanie Yeh

Viral sensation Barbara “Babs” Costello (aka TikTok’s @brunchwithbabs) has won hearts all over the globe for her helpful advice on everything from how to properly load your dishwasher to her wise post-travel unpacking tips. Naturally, she’s a pro at holidays, and thankfully, she’s serving up some solid advice for ensuring you have the perfect amount of food for your specific guest count on Thanksgiving — in fact, her guidelines would work for just about any gathering you’re planning for the holidays and beyond.

Costello recently shared her “Gobble Gobble Guide” on TikTok, donning a festive turkey hat as she held up a sign asking, “How many guests are you having for Thanksgiving dinner?” The following sign read: “Do you know how much food to make?” Her simple guidelines followed the standard turkey and all the fixins, but could easily work as a guide for any dinner party or holiday gathering.

For a five-guest affair, Costello recommends a 6.5-pound turkey, doubling it to 13 pounds for 10 guests and 26 pounds for 20 guests. For five guests, she recommends serving one appetizer, doubling it to two for 10 guests and serving three apps when your party size is 20. She recommends one starchy side and one vegetable side for a five-guest party, two of each for 10 guests, and three of each for parties of 20. Same for desserts: one dessert per five people, two per 10, and three per 20.

When it comes to wine, she suggests three bottles for five guests, six bottles for 10 guests, and 12 bottles for 20 guests.

Of course, it’s a time-honored tradition to never be quite sure you have enough food, with one commenter joking: “Not me making 2 starchy sides, 3 vegetable sides, 2 pies and roasting a 10lb turkey for just 5 people 😳.” Another shared: “I may only have 10 people over, but I’m definitely cooking like I’m having 25! Got to have it allllll!” Yet another wrote: “I’m cooking for 20 but feeding 10. Leftovers are essential 😁.”

Costello is seemingly getting into the holiday spirit already, sharing her “squash hacks” for whipping up easy butternut squash soup, as well as a recipe for cranberry gouda pull-apart bread, which she calls “the perfect holiday appetizer.”