There's plenty that goes into planning a Thanksgiving menu, especially the turkey. You have to choose one of many turkey recipes, whether you're going to brine it, how to season it, and if it's going to be roasted, fried, air-fried, or even wrapped in bacon! But before any of those decisions are made, you'll need to know what size turkey to shop for in the first place. After all, figuring out how much turkey you need per person is the key to planning a successful feast. Luckily, the answer is simple. Just follow the formula below to easily figure out how much turkey you need based on your number of holiday guests.

The general rule of thumb is to plan for 1 1/4 pounds of turkey per guest, which takes into account the bones and other inedible parts of the turkey. This should be plenty especially with everyone's favorite Thanksgiving sides on the dinner table. But of course, if you have any staunch white or dark meat fans, or want to send everyone home with a doggy bag of leftovers, you could always aim for 1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds per person. That way, everyone is guaranteed to get their favorite cut and there's plenty to make leftover turkey pot pie the next day.

turkey and gravy
Ralph Smith
This content is imported from poll. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

How much turkey do you need per person this Thanksgiving?

You already know to plan for at least 1 1/4 pounds of turkey per person, but we've broken the formula down (or rather, bumped it up!) to make for easy shopping this holiday season. Find out what size turkey to shop for for your family feast:

6 people = 8 lb. turkey

8 people = 10 lb. turkey

10 people = 13 lb. turkey

12 people = 15 lb. turkey

15 people = 20 lb. turkey

20 people = 25 lb. turkey

What if I'm hosting a smaller crowd?

If you're hosting a Thanksgiving for two or four this year, skip the whole turkey and buy a turkey breast instead. The white meat breast is a lot of folks' favorite part of the turkey anyway! Breasts are much easier to work with. They take less time to thaw and cook. Heck, one can even be cooked in an air fryer! For a boneless breast, you should plan for 1/2 pound (8 ounces) per person.

The Pioneer Woman Sweet Rose Roaster with Rack

The Pioneer Woman Sweet Rose Roaster with Rack

The Pioneer Woman Sweet Rose Roaster with Rack

$40 at Walmart

How about a larger crowd?

There's no denying that a 25-pound turkey can be a little overwhelming. From finding a vessel large enough to brine it to making sure there's enough room in your oven to roast it, there's a lot to consider with a bird that big. Then you have to worry about how long it'll take the giant turkey to thaw, how to get so much meat seasoned properly, and the time it'll take to cook. The simpler solution? Cook two smaller turkeys instead. If you're feeding a crowd of 20, shoot for two 12- to 14-pound turkeys. You could even try different seasoning methods on each and let your guests decide which one they like better!