I'm putting on a bagel & lunch brunch this weekend for 40 people.

I figure 2 bagels per person. How much lox should I need? How much cream cheese?

  • i'm planning to get about 7 pounds of Lox. I'll let you know how it goes. Nov 19, 2010 at 3:43
  • Don't forget to provide alternatives for those (like my sister) who can't stand lox.
    – Marti
    Nov 19, 2010 at 14:17
  • If you have leftovers, don't throw them out. Lox freezes pretty well, as do bagels. Defrost the bagel in the microwave, let a frozen slice of lox thaw on the counter (don't microwave!), then toast the bagel. Almost as good as new (depending on how long it's been in the freezer).
    – Zach
    Nov 19, 2010 at 17:29
  • How large are the people? I'd plan differently if I was serving a football team than if I was serving a bunch of skinny models.
    – Joe
    Nov 20, 2010 at 1:22
  • 2
    Aren't questions like this off topic on this site?
    – jason
    Nov 20, 2010 at 2:56

4 Answers 4


@bikeboy389 was the closest!

I ended up ordering way too much food. When all was said and done, for 40 people, here's what people ate:

  • About 1 bagel each

    Seems low, huh? Some people had already eaten, I guess.

  • About 2 ounces of lox each

    There is a metric ton of leftover lox in my fridge. And Taco even snatched a couple of ounces off of somebody's bagel.

    Picture of Taco:

    alt text

  • Three big tubs of cream cheese

  • Three tomatoes and one red onion, sliced

  • 4 lemons, sliced

  • 2 gallons orange juice

  • 1.5 gallons Apple Juice

  • 6 bottles San Pellegrino

  • About 30 small (6-oz) cups of coffee

  • About a pint of tuna salad

  • Negligible amount of peanut butter

  • Assorted fruit and cheese platter

  • Three pies (one blueberry, one cherry, one pumpkin).

  • 1
    Mmmm, pie... there's your error. Why would I have lox if there's pie? :)
    – Marti
    Nov 22, 2010 at 15:25
  • Lox freezes quite well, which would probably be the best option for dealing with the lots of leftovers. Freeze in amounts you'd eat in one meal -- and remember you can make some YUMMY scrambled eggs with lox and onions.
    – Martha F.
    Nov 23, 2010 at 13:40

Given that the lox and cream cheese make it a more filling meal, I would think 1 bagel (2 halves) per person would be about right.

I'd estimate maybe 3-4 tablespoons of cream cheese per person, and enough lox to cover each bagel half in a single generous layer (not sure about the weight, maybe 4oz per person?). EDIT -- Based on the comments, I think 2-3oz might be a much more appropriate amount of lox.

Or, do an experiment. Make one bagel with lox and cream cheese and see how much you use. Then triple it, just in case.

  • 1
    4 oz of lox per person would be quite a lot. That's a piece of lox about the size of a deck of cards. I'd expect people to want more like 2 oz or so. I might also put bagels at 3 halves per person. But I think you're well on with the cream cheese estimate per half-bagel.
    – bikeboy389
    Nov 19, 2010 at 3:47
  • 4 oz would be a quarter pound, so if you think of a quarter pound burger from your favorite burger joint, it would be a healthy portion of Lox. Guess it would depend on how thinly it's slices, how roughly it's placed on the bagel and how much people like their Lox.
    – FoodTasted
    Nov 19, 2010 at 23:05

You can reduce the amount of lox you're ordering by providing other options, such as tuna salad, whitefish salad, egg salad, cheese, butter, and even PB&J. Many people aren't huge fans of lox, so would rather have some other options.

And if you're worried about the cost of the lox (which is an issue, of course) you can make some homemade lox spread by mixing chunks of lox with whipped cream cheese.

Definitely put out sliced tomatoes and sweet onions, along with lettuce, cucumber, olives, and capers. Plus salt and pepper!

  • Where's your -16 votes for suggesting something else other than Lox?
    – TFD
    Nov 20, 2010 at 23:50
  • @TFD: there's a world of difference between "some people don't like lox, you should provide alternatives for them" and "OMG, lox and cream cheese are so bad for you, you should never serve such crap to your guests". But you probably know that.
    – Marti
    Nov 22, 2010 at 15:23
  • 1
    @Marti is was said in jest, I am never that seriously toned? At least I had workable quantities. Lox for lunch for a week sounds pretty bad!
    – TFD
    Nov 23, 2010 at 7:42

It is going to be how stingy or generous you want to be with your ingredients. Two Bagels per person seems a lot when you are piling on the cream cheese and Lox. But, per bagel this is what I would suggest:

1 Bagel (2 halves) 3-6 Tbsp Cream Cheese 2.5-4 oz Lox (Optional) Tomatoes Onions Capers

So for 40 people (giving 1 bagel per person) 40 Bagels 60-120 oz Cream Cheese 100-160 oz Lox

Of course if you want to go with 2 per person, double it. I probably wouldn't go more than 1.5 bagles per person.

  • 1
    you forgot freshly ground black pepper and Maldon's salt on your ingredients list :).
    – Sam Holder
    Nov 19, 2010 at 11:04

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