How to toss a salad for 100 guests (2024)

Q. I’m providing the salad for a picnic with about 100 guests. How much should I prepare?

A. When making salad for a large group, the rule of thumb is about 3 ounces per person. Some greens weigh more than others, however, so you’ll need to tailor this figure to the specific recipe.

For example, to prepare Caesar salad for a crowd of 100, start with about 20 pounds of romaine lettuce, which translates into 15 heads. A bunch of spinach (a rugged green that’s good for summer salads) weighs about as much as a head of romaine. If the recipe calls for mixed field greens, you’ll need 12-14 pounds of loose mesclun (which weighs less because there are no cores).

All greens wilt when dressed, so it’s best to divide them into several large serving bowls and add the dressing only as more salad is needed, or serve the dressing on the side.

Q. The only thing that separates my living and dining rooms is an arch, so they feel almost like a single space. Should I paint them the same color?

A. I think you’ll be much happier if you paint the rooms a single shade. The ceilings can contrast slightly with the walls, but a monochromatic color scheme will keep the spaces from feeling too busy.

You can then use furniture and accessories to bring in additional tones. Fabric is very useful for this, and it’s a nice way to enhance the harmony between the rooms. For example, you might repeat the pattern from the dining room chairs in the living room curtains or pillows.

Q. Sometimes soil is very sandy. What can be done about it?

A. Soil has formed over many millennia through the weathering of rock and the decomposition of plant life, so changing its makeup isn’t easy.

Before you tackle the problem, consider why the soil is sandy in the first place. The issue isn’t limited to coastal communities. Sandy soil is found inland, too, where glaciers deposited large washes of sand long ago.

If the soil is inherently sandy, your best option is not to fight the fact but to work with it. Many plants thrive in sandy, free-draining soil.

If you are determined to grow plants that won’t tolerate these conditions, such as many vegetables, delphiniums and peonies, you will need to do so in raised beds filled with purchased topsoil. Although the beds require an initial investment of time and resources, they’re long-lasting and suited to many plants.

In some locations, erosion has caused soil to become sandy. Because sand particles are among the heaviest soil components, lighter-weight particles, such as organic matter and silt, are gradually washed or blown away, leaving only sand. If wind is to blame, you could plant a windbreak of trees to protect your property. Treating water-caused erosion is trickier, as it could be from flooding, irrigation or channeled rainfall from a nearby mountain or cliff.

In each case, you should consult your municipality to see what you can do legally to protect your property. A common strategy is to plant trees, shrubs and grasses with quick-growing root systems that will stabilize the soil.

As for amending sandy soil, one technique is to mix copious amounts of organic matter into at least the top 4 inches. This will increase the water and nutrient-retaining capabilities of the soil, eventually giving it the loose, crumbly consistency of loam. The one thing you should never add to sandy soil is clay. In fact, sand and clay are two of the main ingredients in concrete, and that’s pretty much what you’ll end up with.

Contact the writer: Write to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 11 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036 or

How to toss a salad for 100 guests (2024)


How much salad do I need to feed 100 people? ›

When preparing a tossed salad for a large group of people, the rule is 3 ounces per person, according to the Seattle Times, so 300 ounces of salad would be needed to serve 100 people.

How many pounds of salad for 150 people? ›

6 (2 lb. bags) = 150 servings (you will go through every bit of it).
Iceberg lettuce1 1/2 lb head12 cups
Leaf lettuce3/4 lb bunch8 cups
Romaine lettuce1 1/2 lb bunch12 cups
Spinach3/4 lb bunch8 cups
1 more row

How do you estimate a salad for a party? ›

How Much Salad Do You Really Need Per Person for Dinner?
  1. For the salad greens, you can figure that each person will eat about 2.5 ounces (1 cup). ...
  2. 4 people – 10 ounces (4 cups) ...
  3. Related: How Much Fish Should I Buy For Dinner?
  4. For the chopped vegetables, figure each person will eat 4 ounces (1/2 cup).
Jun 3, 2020

How many heads of romaine lettuce for 70 people? ›

You can also work out how much lettuce for one person .

18 lettuces for 70 people. 1870 will be enough for 1 person.

How much food do you need for a party of 100 people? ›

Rules to Plan By

Each adult will consume 1 pound of food total; children, about 1/2 pound. The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet. Guests will always eat — and drink — more at night than during the day.

How many green beans to serve 100 people? ›

Information in the table below indicates 17 1/2 pounds of frozen green beans can be used for 100 1/2-cup servings in this recipe.

Does Costco sell bags of salad? ›

Yes! Visit your nearest Costco location to find several crowd-pleasing Taylor Farms salad kits. Note that the selection may vary depending on the season. Be sure to check back often for new offerings.

How many people does a box of suddenly salad feed? ›

How many servings are found in Suddenly Pasta Salads? Every Suddenly Salad box contains 4 to 4.5 servings per package.

How do you transport salad to a party? ›

Salads need extra head room!

So for maximum enjoyment of your leafy greens, we recommend packing salad separately from your toppings and dressing. Keep in mind that greens need a lot of space. Size up your container. Lettuce doesn't like to be squished!

How many hearts of romaine for 40 people? ›

Ten servings needs 3 medium or 2 large heads of romaine. Multiply by 4. To get 40 servings you need 8 to 12 heads.

When should you add dressing to a salad? ›

Our Complete Salad Cookbook has a wealth of information when it comes to constructing the very best salad—as either a side or a main dish in its own right—and among these helpful tips is one you might not expect: your salad dressing should be the first thing you add to the bowl.

How soon before service should you toss a salad? ›

Arrange for serving.

Rather than toss your salad before guest arrive and risk a soggy salad, artfully arrange the ingredients on top of salad and toss it with the dressing just as the guests arrive.

How much lettuce for 100 sandwiches? ›

Shopping List for the Menu
Serving = 1 sandwich each25100
OR Rolls (1 each)30105
Mayonnaise (1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) serving)12.5 fl. ounces50 fl. ounces
Mustard (1/2 tablespoon (.25 ounce) serving)6.25 fl. ounces25 fl. ounces
Lettuce (1/15 of a head of lettuce each)2 heads7 heads
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How many servings of salad per person? ›

If you apply the metric of one serving to a big salad, you can actually meet your five serves in the one meal. "A side salad may contain between 1-2 cups, but if you're having a salad as a main it may contain 4-5 in one meal," McGuckin said. "The important thing is that salads are mixed, not just full of green leaves.

How many heads of lettuce for salad for 40 guests? ›

Ten servings needs 3 medium or 2 large heads of romaine. Multiply by 4. To get 40 servings you need 8 to 12 heads.

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