Food Quantities

How Much Shrimp For a Crowd?

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Serving meals to a large crowd can be a daunting task, especially when catering for events. Determining the right amount of food per guest is crucial to avoid wastage and ensure everyone is satisfied. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the specifics of serving shrimp at events, covering quantities, presentation, and additional tips to make your catering experience a success.

How Much Shrimp Do You Need Per Person?

Determining the right amount of shrimp per person is essential for catering success. As a general rule, plan for about four ounces of shrimp per person. However, if shrimp is the main entree, consider six ounces per person. Do not exceed eight ounces to prevent unnecessary waste. Use the following table as a reference:

  • 10 people: 40 oz. (2.5 lbs.)
  • 25 people: 100 oz. (6.25 lbs.)
  • 50 people: 200 oz. (12.5 lbs.)
  • 100 people: 400 oz. (25 lbs.)
  • 200 people: 800 oz. (50 lbs.)
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Factors Influencing Shrimp Quantity:

The amount of shrimp needed may vary based on whether the shrimp is bought raw or unpeeled. Handling and peeling shrimp results in a weight loss of about 26%, and cooking further reduces it by approximately 46%. Adjust your quantities accordingly to avoid underestimating.

Should You Purchase More Shrimp Than Needed?

To ensure you have enough shrimp, consider purchasing more than the estimated quantity. For uncooked and unpeeled shrimp, multiply the expected amount by at least 2.5. For pre-peeled but uncooked shrimp, multiply by 1.5. If shrimp is fully prepared, assume guests might consume more than four ounces and purchase 15-20% extra.

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How to Serve the Right Amount of Shrimp:

When serving medium shrimp (aiming for at least four ounces per person), provide eight pieces per guest. For large shrimp, offer at least six pieces to meet the four-ounce target.

Presentation Matters:

Shrimp Platters Opting for shrimp platters adds an upscale touch to your event. Platters minimize wastage as guests can take only what they’ll eat. Sizes range from 12 to 18 inches, accommodating 8-30 servings. Shrimp platter costs vary, with quality options in the $20-60 range.

Alternative Shrimp Serving Styles:

While individual plates are an option, consider practical alternatives for non-course meal events. Shrimp cocktails, served in a glass, offer a luxurious touch. Presenting shrimp on platters adds sophistication, minimizing food wastage.

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Pairing Shrimp with Sides and Desserts:

Enhance your shrimp offering with complementary sides and desserts. Popular sides include noodles, salads (kale, spinach), and desserts featuring fruit flavors like strawberry or lemon cheesecake, cherry pie, and more.

Shrimp as the Main Dish:

Shrimp is a popular main dish at various events, including weddings, banquets, birthdays, and celebrations. Its popularity stems from year-round availability and affordability. Shrimp is considered a delicacy, offering health benefits like selenium and vitamin B12.


Serving shrimp at events can be a hit if you follow key considerations. Whether deciding on pre-peeled or pre-cooked shrimp, purchasing a surplus, or presenting on elegant platters, these tips ensure a successful catering experience. Shrimp’s popularity, versatility, and health benefits make it a favorite among guests, making your event memorable and enjoyable.

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