The Exact Amount Of Gravy To Prepare For Thanksgiving Guests

The first Thanksgiving dinner was attended by pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe in Plymouth Colony in 1621, and it was simply a celebration of the season's harvest, according to Smithsonian Magazine. While the menu at a Thanksgiving dinner today commonly includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, and pumpkin pie, the first Thanksgiving had a way different menu. The colonists and American Indians may have had wild turkey, but it's more likely that they had duck, goose, swan, passenger pigeon, or deer. Whichever wildfowl they had, it was possibly stuffed with herbs and onion instead of bread stuffing.

Corn, beans, squash, pumpkin, chestnuts, walnuts, shellfish, and eels may have also made an appearance at the feast. That first Thanksgiving was celebrated over three days, and it's possible that the leftover meat was boiled to make a broth, per Smithsonian. Grain would have been added to the liquid to thicken it, seemingly making a gravy of sorts. 

Most of us have gravy with our Thanksgiving feasts, but it may be difficult to know just how much to make for everyone. Whether you have a small gathering or a large group, here's the exact amount of gravy you should prepare for Thanksgiving.

Prepare to make around a half to a third of a cup of gravy per guest

According to Food Network, the minimum amount of gravy you should prepare is about a third of a cup for each person, but the last thing anyone wants on Thanksgiving is to run out of gravy and not have enough for seconds or leftovers. So, the safer bet is to make around a half cup of gravy for each guest, per Parade. It's also recommended that you make one extra cup of gravy for every sixth guest.

So, for example, if you have four guests, then two cups of gravy should suffice. For six guests, make four cups of gravy — keeping in mind the "one extra cup" rule. A party of 12 guests will need eight cups of gravy, while a group of 20 Thanksgiving guests should need around 13 cups of gravy. 

Interestingly, around 52% of people say that gravy is the second most likely dish to be made from scratch, according to YouGovAmerica. If you decide to take the homemade gravy route, here's an unexpected ingredient you should add. However, if you'd rather take some pressure off and buy premade gravy, here are some gravy shortcuts.