How much pasta should I cook to feed one hundred people (+recipe for 100 servings)

In this brief guide, we will provide you with the answer to the query “How much pasta should I cook to feed 100 people?”. We will also discuss the factors that determine if the portion size changes and give you one recipe of bolognese spaghetti for 100 servings.

How much pasta should I cook to feed 100 people? 

To feed 100 people you will need to cook 8,000 g of pasta (6). Considering that on average a person eat one cup of cooked pasta in a meal, which is equal to 140 g of cooked pasta and that 80 g of dried pasta is needed to yield 140 g of cooked pasta, this means that:

80 g uncooked pasta → 140 g cooked pasta X 100 portions = 14,000 g cooked pasta

80 g uncooked pasta X 100 portions =  8,000 g dry pasta

Can the portion size of pasta for a person vary?

Yes, the portion size can vary, depending on several factors. The type of pasta, its composition, the person’s hunger and the individual’s nutritional needs are some of the factors that could lead to higher or lower intakes of pasta in a meal, varying the size of the portion for a person (2,3,4,5).

What factor should you consider to determine the amount of pasta for 100 people?

The factors you should consider to determine the amount of pasta for 100 people are the following:

The nutritional needs

The nutritional needs of a person are usually calculated individually, because each person has a different metabolism and realizes different activities, leading to higher or lower energy intakes. Physical activity, exercise and a fast metabolism can result in a need for more energy. 

In addition, age, gender, and body size and weight can also influence a person’s dietary needs (2).

Pasta is a source of carbohydrates, which are required for the practice of physical activities. The lack of carbohydrates during sports and muscular activities can lead to the loss of muscles in the body. Therefore, athletes need carbohydrates (3).

On the other hand, sedentary individuals have lower needs for carbohydrates and their ingestion may lead to weight gain.

The type of pasta

Pasta is a satiating food. However, not all pasta is equally satiating, as it is suggested, by several studies, that the component that can improve satiation is fiber. Whole wheat pasta, due to the amount of fibers in its composition, is more satiating than regular pasta (4).

Food components that give a greater fullness and sensation of satiety are fibers, proteins and fats, which are in higher amounts in whole wheat pasta than in regular pasta.

The water uptake during cooking can increase the volume of the pasta, leading to a greater volume. Usually, people decide their portion size based on the volume rather than the weight of the food. In this case, pasta with a greater yield after cooking is favorable.

The food ingestion during the day

The individual ́s previous meals over the day is another factor that determines the portion size. If you already had pasta for lunch, you will not eat as much pasta at dinner, as if you have had only soup for lunch. 

Similarly, if you ate foods containing high amounts of fiber, it will result in a greater fullness sensation and a reduction of the portion size of the next meal.

The ingestion of high fiber food, especially containing beta-glucan, leads to a greater satiation. Beta-glucan is a viscous fermentable fiber whose consumption has been shown in animal studies to increase the synthesis and secretion of the satiety-related hormones, that give a feeling of satiety (4).

Also, according to studies, subjects reported significantly less hunger before lunch when they had previously eaten barley for breakfast.

The meal composition 

The meal composition also may influence the amount of pasta to prepare for 100 people. If the meal already contains a source of carbohydrate, such as sweet potatoes, you should prepare less pasta than if the meal contains only salad.

How to make bolognese Spaghetti for 100 servings?

To make bolognese spaghetti for 100 servings, you will need (6,7,8): 


  • Spray of canola or olive oil
  • 20 large onion, chopped
  • 40 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 10,000 g premium lean beef mince
  • 4,000 g button mushrooms, thickly sliced (optional)
  • Dried Italian herbs
  • 17,000 g can crushed tomatoes
  • 40 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 liters beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8,000 g spaghetti

How to prepare bolognese pasta?

  • In a pan, heat the oil and cook the onion at medium heat for 3 minutes or until soft and add the garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes
  • Add the beef mince and cook till it turns brown and dry
  • Add the mushrooms (optional), herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock
  • Cook till it boils, reduce the heat, close the pan with a lid and cook for 30 minutes, according to your personal preferences
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente
  • Drain and serve topped with the sauce

Other FAQs about Bolognese that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze spaghetti bolognese?

How long does bolognese last in the fridge?

Can you eat bolognese without pasta?


In this brief guide, we provided you with the answer to the query “How much pasta should I cook to feed 100 people?”. We will also discuss the factors that determine if the portion size changes and give you one recipe of bolognese spaghetti for 100 servings.


  1. Cleveland, Linda E., et al. Dietary intake of whole grains. J Am Coll Nutr, 2000, 19, 331S-338S. 
  2. Gaba, Ann, et al. Harris–Benedict equation estimations of energy needs as compared to measured 24-h energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry in people with early to mid-stage Huntington’s disease. Nutr Neurosci, 2008, 11, 213-218.  
  3. Lemon, Peter WR. Beyond the zone: protein needs of active individuals. J Am Coll Nutr, 2000, 19, 513S-521S.  
  4. Schroeder, Natalia, et al. Influence of whole grain barley, whole grain wheat, and refined rice-based foods on short-term satiety and energy intake. Appetite, 2009, 53, 363-369.. 
  5. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. US Food and Drug Administration
  6. Food Data Central. United States Department of Agriculture. Pasta, cooked.
  7. Food Data Central. United States Department of Agriculture. Sauce bolognese.
  8. Spaghetti bolognese. The Australian Sports Commission. Australian Government.

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