Roasting a Thanksgiving turkey is never without a little stress. How Many Pounds of Turkey Do I Need Per Person? A modest amount of turkey that serves two to four people (or six people who really don’t like turkey all that much). Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Beatrice Chastka, Food Styling by Anna StockwellAim for 1¼ to 1½ pounds of turkey per person. In the refrigerator, it will take about 24 hours per every 5 pounds of turkey to thaw completely.