11/02/2016 06:01 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2017

How Much Turkey To Buy Per Person For Thanksgiving

The basic rule of thumb? One pound of turkey per person, unless you want lots of leftovers.

There’s a lot to juggle come Thanksgiving. There are pies to bake, potatoes to mash, tables to set ― but none of it means anything if you mess up the turkey. 

Unfortunately, there are many ways a turkey can go wrong on the big day. It’s not that they’re hard to cook, it’s that not many of us have much experience feeding a large crowd. So, first things first, you have to figure out how much turkey you’ll need to buy in order to feed everyone (with enough for the all-too-important leftovers, too). 

Luckily, this is really easy to do ― and even easier with the First-Timer’s Guide To Roasting A Turkey by Column Five Media. Here’s the basic rule: one pound of turkey per person. If you want leftovers ― or have big eaters coming to your house this year ― plan 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per person. Stick with that, and your Thanksgiving is off on the right foot. 

Read the infographic for more information on how to roast a turkey ― and then check out the recipes below.

column Five Media

Now that you know how to cook it, here are some recipe ideas to take it up a notch or two.