The Delightfully Easy Taco Bar

The Delightfully Easy Taco Bar

Who does not love tacos? In honor of Cinco de Mayo let’s talk about how to host a delightfully easy taco bar party. The holiday celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. Anytime I am hosting a party of any size the meal planning is the toughest part. Creating a menu that every guest will enjoy is a difficult task whether it is a party of 4 or a party of 40.  I had heard of taco bar parties in the past but until earlier in the year I had not hosted one myself. Now that I realize just how easy it is to throw this together, I am considering a standing Taco Tuesday at my house every week!

Something for Everyone

The key to pleasing even your most finicky friends is to offer a variety of options so they are creating a meal that works for their needs. Be sure to know your guests’ diet restrictions and offer a solution for them. It’s always a good idea to include a non-meat filler option if you do not know your guests’ preferences. 
I will walk you through what is needed to host the ultimate taco bar that will keep your friends coming back for every Taco Tuesday you host. 

The Starters

Every good party starts with friends and family gathered in the kitchen snacking on an appetizer, right? Maybe that is just how we do it in the south. Chips with queso or salsa is the perfect start to a delicious taco night. Pre-covid days we would have all shared the bowl of salsa and promised not to double dip. We now play it safe and have little salsa bowls on hand for every guest.

The Taco Essentials

  • Tortilla chips
  • Tostadas
  • Soft & hard taco shells- warm in the oven but keep close watch. It does not take long. 
  • Corn & flour tortillas- warm them in a skillet and wrap in our Sticky Toffee Kitchen Towel to keep them warm while serving. 
Taco Fillers
  • Fajita chicken
  • Fajita steak
  • Seasoned ground beef
  • Black Beans
Consider your guests' likes and pick 3 fillers to offer - 2 meat options and black beans. The beauty is you can cook these proteins in advance if time will be tight the day of your event. McCormick offers several spice mixes to make this step fast and easy! For the event, a crockpot is great for keeping the filler options warm.
You can never have too many taco topping options!  
  • Diced tomatoes
  • White and/or purple onions
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeños 
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Black olives
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole 
  • Lime wedges
Side Dishes
  • Refried Beans
  • Mexican Rice 
  • Queso 
  • Salsa- I recommend picking up a couple orders of salsa from your favorite Mexican restaurant. This will save you time and you know you cannot go wrong. 
Divide each ingredient into its own serving dish for easy access and pass ability. Using miss-matched serving dishes will make the food spread look more festive and fun. Be sure to include spoons or tongs in each bowl.

Once all the food is cooked, sliced, and diced set it up buffet style on your countertop. Be sure to start the line with plates, napkins and silverware and place the food options in the best possible taco building sequence. Tacos shells, fillers, toppings ending with the shredded cheese, and side dishes. 

Serve up with a delicious pitcher of margarita and you have put together the ultimate taco bar. Enjoy!