Calculate what Christmas turkey size you need with our handy guide

Working which turkey size you need has never been easier

christmas turkey size
(Image credit: Getty)

We might face the same festive conundrum every year, but there's no denying calculating turkey size is tricky business. 

Working out which turkey size to buy, and and how many people your bird will need to feed can be stressful, particularly when you've already got plenty of things on your plate in the run up to Christmas. This year, it's even more difficult, with Covid restrictions putting a stop to traditional celebrations in some areas. 

When it comes to Christmas dinner, careful planning and tight timings are key. If you're not prepared, you might end up with under-cooked turkey, overdone veg and soggy Brussels sprouts. You might even end up eating very late in the day, and no one wants to be accused of ruining Christmas by a rabble of hangry (that's hungry AND angry) guests.

Worse still, if you bag with the wrong size turkey, you could end up with miniature portions, or more leftovers than you could possibly polish off by New Year's Eve. 

To avoid any unnecessary Christmas chaos, we've put together a guide to working out exactly how big a turkey you'll need to feed all your guests, plus have a little leftover for the next day. Because let's be honest, Boxing Day just isn't Boxing Day without a stack of sarnies or turkey curry.

How to work out how many people your turkey will feed

Turkey size varies wildly, with some as big as 9kg. Those larger birds will easily feed a group of 24, with plenty of leftovers for the next day.  

If you're celebrating Christmas day with smaller group, there's a turkey for you too - without the worry of having mountains of extra food. Turkey crowns make for a smaller, but no less tasty feast. 

There's a rough formula for calculating what bird size you need.

If you're feeding up to 9 people, then you want to allow about 1lb or about .4kgs of turkey per person.

If you're hosting 10 or more guests then you want to allow about .8 of a lb, or about .35kgs of turkey per person.

What turkey size will I need?

Don't worry panic, you don't have to do the turkey size maths! We've done the hard part for you. Listed below is the right turkey size to buy, depending on the number of people at your gathering:

  • Turkey size for 3-4 people: A 1.5-1.75kg / 3-4lb bird
  • Turkey size for 5-6 people: A 2-3kg / 5-6lb bird
  • Turkey size for 7-9 people: A 3-3.5kg / 7-8lb bird
  • Turkey size for 10-12 people: A 4-4.5kg / 9-10lb bird
  • Turkey size for 13-15 people: A 4.5-5kg / 10-11lb bird
  • Turkey size for 16-18 people: A 5.5-6.5kg / 12-14lb bird
  • Turkey size for 20-24 people: A 6.75-7.75kg / 15-17lb

Once you've worked out how many people your turkey will feed, why not try our Christmas turkey recipe. Trust us, it won't let you down. 

If you want to create the perfect festive feast, we've got all the Christmas recipes you could possibly need to accompany your bird, including starter recipes, side dishes and plenty of show-stopping desserts too.

There you have it - your easy guide to figuring out what size turkey you need to buy for Christmas this year!

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.