How Many Pies Should I Make for Thanksgiving?

The turkey is accounted for, and you’ve got your favorite stuffing and mashed potato recipes on deck. Now to attend to a sweet dilemma: how many pies should you make for Thanksgiving? 

Gingerbread Cranberry Pie

From Pies & Tarts for Every Season with Gesine Bullock-Prado

It’s not always possible to know exactly how much pie will be just right for your Thanksgiving feast.

There are various factors that you’ll want to consider, including appetite, flavor preference and serving sizes. However, by going through this list of questions, you will be better able to decide on an amount that is just right for you.

Orange Nutmeg Cream Pie

Orange Nutmeg Cream Pie from Pies & Tarts for Every Season

How many guests are you expecting?

This one’s easy: how many people are you expecting at your Thanksgiving dinner? In general, you’ll want to have one pie per six guests. Depending on how large the slices are, you may have more servings per pie, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Particularly since some guests might want a second slice.

Will the guests bring guests?

Don’t just consider how many people you invited, but consider plus ones as well. If a guest might bring a date, or a couple might bring children, remember to count them too.

Account for unexpected drop-ins

Even if they’re not attending your dinner, you might have some unexpected drop-ins on Thanksgiving: neighbors, friends or family who might drop by to visit after the meal. Even if they have already eaten dinner, they might adore a slice of pie. 

Apple Pie With Slice Removed

Apple Pie from Startup Library: Baking & Pastry with Zoë François


Are there any dietary restrictions to consider? 

When confirming with your guests that they will be attending, be sure to inquire about any dietary restrictions. Do they adhere to a vegan diet, or do they avoid wheat? If so, you may want to consider making a pie or pies that can be enjoyed by the guests who have different dietary needs. Sometimes, you can create a pie that is appropriate for multiple dietary restrictions. For instance, if you have two guests who are gluten-free and one who is vegan, you can make a gluten-free, vegan pie and hope that it’s a flavor everyone loves. 

Put it in action

Let’s illustrate with a hypothetical scenario. Say I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner with my partner, and we are expecting five adults. One guest may or may not bring a date; one guest is bringing two children. One person is gluten-free and another is vegan. Including the hosts, this makes a potential of 10 people total. 

Personally, I would err on the side of caution here and make three pies: two classic pies, perhaps a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie, and one vegan apple pie in a gluten-free crust. This allows for everyone to have a slice, allows a little variety, accommodates the dietary restrictions, and might even leave a little left over.

Up your pie game!

If you’re looking to increase your pie prowess before the big day, make it a Bluprint triple threat with courses Pies & Tarts for Every SeasonPerfecting the Pie Crust and Classic Pies Made Easy. Between these two courses, you’ll be ins-PIE-red to create delicious and crowd-pleasing masterpieces for your Thanksgiving feast. 

What’s your favorite pie to enjoy on Thanksgiving day?

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