How Much Stuffing You Need for a Large Group (A Handy Chart)


Stuffing is a staple in American cuisine, especially when it comes to the Super Bowl of eating, which is, of course, Thanksgiving. Created by an economist who wanted to make use of dried-up bread, the original brand of stuffing, Stove Top, was born in the 1970s. Since then, millions of families every year have purchased or homemade stuffing as a side to their perfectly cooked turkeys and mashed potatoes.

As a general rule, a serving of stuffing is about 1/2 of a cup per person. The average box of store-bought stuffing consists of about 6 servings. For every six family members or guests, be sure to buy one box of stuffing. Some guests might eat more, so prepare extra.

Savory, made of carbs, and the perfect side to stuff yourself silly with, stuffing is the perfect complement to the main course of white meat and vegetables. But just how much stuffing do your dinner guests want? To prepare for an upcoming meal or to cook dinner in a rush, keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know about making enough stuffing for a crowd.

How to Measure Stuffing for a Large Group

When serving stuffing at your Thanksgiving dinner, you can figure each person will eat 1/2 of a cup of stuffing.

Based on that estimate, follow the handy chart below to know just how many cups of stuffing you will need to prepare, and how many boxes you will need to purchase. The amount of boxes has been rounded up, so if you only need a certain amount, simply just measure out the cups and leave the remaining stuffing in the boxes for later.

# of PeopleCups of StuffingBoxes of Stuffing
421 Box
842 Box
1262 Boxes
20103 Boxes
25134 Boxes
35185 Boxes
45226 Boxes
50258 Boxes

If you’re serving more guests than the table above gives calculations for, it’s pretty simple to know how many boxes you need to pick up from the store and how many cups you need to cook in preparation.

Since a regular serving is around one-half of a cup of stuffing, and each box of regular Stove Top makes about 6 servings per box, just pick up one box for every six people you need to serve.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to cooking, though, especially with sides as delicious and affordable as stuffing, is to pick up some extra boxes and throw them in with your regular batch. That way you won’t run out of people’s favorite side. And even if you do end up with extra you will be able to make amazing leftover meals with them, such as Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash, Sausage Spinach Bake, and even Stuffin’ Muffins.

So in case anyone is staying in town and you need something to quickly and easily fix up to feed hungry family members or friends, you can offer up something cheap and delicious on the fly.

When to Make More Stuffing

In some cases, you might know that your family members or friends are a bit more hungry than the average family, or you might not know just how many people you need to feed. If you need more stuffing to satiate their appetite or to keep as a backup plan, simply just make a little extra.

The perfect host or hostess is always ready with a warm plate for anyone who walks in the door and never has to turn anyone down because of a food shortage.

In this case, you will simply just need to make double what you normally would make. This means that each person would be allowed 1 cup of stuffing. That way if someone only wants half that portion, it can be kept as a leftover. Follow the helpful graph below as a cheat sheet:

# of PeopleCups of StuffingBoxes of Stuffing
441 Box
882 Box
12122 Boxes
20204 Boxes
25255 Boxes
35356 Boxes
45458 Boxes
50509 Boxes

When to Make Less Stuffing

Something you may come across when planning your meal is the realization that you might be making too much for your gathering. This can include when you will mostly be having children or teenagers over, who prefer eating less dinner, and more dessert (which is a totally understandable opinion.)

Or it can simply be for when you just don’t want to worry about leftovers, or you know that a lot of people at your party have food allergies.

In this case, simply just cut the original measurements in half.

# of PeopleCups of StuffingBoxes of Stuffing
41/21 Box
821 Box
1231 Boxes
2052 Boxes
2572 Boxes
3592 Boxes
45122 Boxes
50133 Boxes

How to Make Stuffing Go Further

If you don’t have a lot of stuffing to go around, or you know that your guests want to try something different, there are plenty of ways to make stuffing more filling and delicious. Beyond the original, classic recipe that includes dried bread cubes, onion, celery, poultry seasoning, salt, butter, and chicken broth, there are a few different ways to make stuffing go further.

Meat – Chop up some cooked sausage (or chorizo sausage for a spicier version) and throw into the mix for a thick and meaty version of stuffing. If you want more, just add in some sautéed fennel or onions. Bacon is also a fan favorite addition to stuffing. Just cook the slices until crisp, drain, and chop. This is especially popular due to the homey and tantalizing smell of bacon and onion mixed together.

Nuts – Try out something crunchy and hearty by adding walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, or pecans into your stuffing. Chop them up into tiny portions and sauté lightly in some butter in order to soften them for about two or three minutes before adding them to your stuffing. You can even try combining two varieties like walnuts and chestnuts for a unique taste.

Mushrooms – Adding an earthy flavor, lightly sautéed mushrooms are perfect for anyone who enjoys a little something extra in their stuffing. Kind of like a breakfast omelet, adding a little extra chopped parsley also helps to bring out the taste.

Olives – Using either black olives or green olives is sure to be hit with your family or friends. Add them in before baking and they’ll become one of the best parts of the meal.

Fruit Stuffing – To add a little texture and sweetness, some people like to add fruit like chopped apples, sweetened cranberries (such as Craisins), dates, or raisins.

Spice It Up – A lot of people enjoy their stuffing with just a little extra kick. If you’re in the mood for something spicy, simply just add jalapenos or green chilis to your stuffing mix.

If you want to try out some new recipes, or have always wondered what homemade stuffing tastes like, be sure to check out the video below.

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