How many mashed potatoes per person do you need? Today, we’ll be looking at exactly what a single serving is and how many potatoes you actually need to buy and prepare.
These calculations will help you work out exactly what you need to buy, how long it will take to prepare, and even what the cost will be.
How Many Mashed Potatoes Per Person – Why Is It Important To Know?
To many people, this question may seem strange. But wait until you’re confronted with a scenario that requires a specific answer. And trust me, it happens more often than you may think! It’s one of the most asked questions on the internet!
The main reason so many people want to know how much a serving of mashed potatoes is, is to accurately work out the number of potatoes they need.
This could be for a big Christmas dinner, a wedding, birthday party – there are so many scenarios you could find yourself in.
This will affect how many potatoes you buy, how much prep you have to do, how much time it will take, and how much money it’s going to cost!
And, just winging the numbers could end in disaster. You can either end up making way too much mash or not nearly enough! But, today we will work out the best portion sizes and how many potatoes you need to avoid an angry hungry mob!
Serving Size Per Person
First, you need to figure out how much mash to serve per person. This will ultimately help you determine how many potatoes you need.
Now, obviously different people eat different amounts of food. But when working out catering quantities, it’s best to work on averages. If someone eats way less than their portion size, there is more for someone who eats more than the average portion size. It all balances out.
To start, the USDA considers an average serving of mashed potatoes to be 1 cup. That’s equal to 7.41 ounces (210 grams).
So, if you are catering an event for 10 people, you will have to make 10 cups of mash. That equals 4.63 pounds (2.1 kilograms).
If you are catering for 100 people, you need 100 cups of mash, which is 46.31 pounds (21 kilograms) of mash.
Do you see the math? It’s super easy to calculate how many mashed potatoes per person to serve. The more difficult calculation is how many potatoes per person for mash you need to use.
How Many Potatoes Per Person For Mashed Potatoes?
So remember, one cup of mashed potatoes is served per person. To make 1 cup of mashed potatoes, you need about 2 medium potatoes.
So, if you need to make 4 cups of mashed potatoes, you need 8 medium potatoes.
If you need to make 50 cups of mashed potatoes, you need 100 medium potatoes.
How Many Potatoes Do You Need In Weight?
This is actually a far better way to accurately make mashed potatoes for x-amount of people.
The average weight of a medium potato is between 5-10 ounces (140-280 grams). So as you can see, that’s quite a gap. You can mash two 5-ounce potatoes to get the same amount of mash as a single 10-ounce potato!
So, I always work using the following formula: 1 medium potato weighs 7,41 ounces (210 grams). Looks familiar?
That’s also the weight of 1 cup per serving of mashed potato!
But how does that work? The weight of one medium potato is 7.41 ounces. But you need 2 medium potatoes to make 7.41 ounces of mash.
Remember, when potatoes are cooked and mashed, they lose a ton of volume. A single medium potato will only fill 1/2 cup. So, to fill a whole cup, you need more potatoes.
If you are able to calculate the total weight of potatoes you need to make mash, you can use any shape and size of potato you can find! It’s an extremely accurate formula that comes in very handy for large catering jobs.
How Many Mashed Potatoes Per Person – Summary
You can serve 1 cup of mash per person. To make 1 cup of mashed potatoes, you need 2 medium potatoes, each weighing 7.41 ounces.
So, let’s go through some examples.
If you need to make mash for 4 people, you need 4 cups of mash. To make 4 cups of mash, you need 8 medium potatoes. That’s 3,71 pounds (1.68 kilograms) of potatoes.
Let’s say you are catering for a big wedding and need to make 200 cups of mash for 200 guests. That means you need 400 medium potatoes. That’s 185.25 pounds (84 kilograms) of potatoes.
How many mashed potatoes per person (for kids)?
In many households, mash is a staple for the kids. The exact amount of mash you serve depends on the age of your child. A 4-year-old is going to eat far less than a 13-year-old. On average, you can serve them between 1/4 to 3/4 cup mash if they are between the ages of 2 to 13.
Can you make mash ahead of time?
This is an important question because you cannot prepare everything on the day of the event. Mash can be made ahead of time, and it holds up pretty well too. However, you will need to adjust the consistency when you reheat and serve it. Mash can be made about a day or two in advance.
Should you boil or bake potatoes to make mash?
You can do both. However, boiling them helps them retain their moisture. But it also adds moisture. This can make the mash a little too soft. Baking potatoes for mash on the other hand can dry out the mash too much. And sometimes, it is very difficult to mash and puree the potatoes because of this.