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How to Make a Budget-Friendly DIY Taco Bar

Updated February 14, 2020
A do-it-yourself taco bar is a borderline genius and budget-friendly way to feed a crowd at your next party.

If there’s a better way to feed a crowd than a do-it-yourself taco bar, we don’t know about it! For one, we have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love tacos. And two, all of the ingredients can be chopped, diced, sliced and prepped ahead of time so it’s ready the moment your guests walk in the door.

What You’ll Need

Instant Pot™ Korean Beef Tacos

Taco Shells and Tortillas

Of course, taco shells and tortillas are a must have. Set out a variety of vessels for your guests to choose from. Flour tortillas, corn tortillas and hard shells are solid options, but if you want to offer something beyond the typical options, these crispy flour tortilla shells will remind you of your favorite Mexican fast food place. Another idea—and perhaps our favorite idea—is to use tortilla bowls. They hold all of the fillings in and are mess-free so you can load ‘em up to your heart’s content.

Slow-Cooker Barbacoa

Crowd-Ready Meat

Next, you’ll need to decide what type of meat you’d like to put out on your buffet. Taco-seasoned chicken and beef are no-brainers, but figuring out how to serve them and keep them warm can be challenging. Enter: the slow cooker. This slow-cooker barbacoa recipe solves the problem. Simply follow the recipe, set your slow cooker on the buffet, plug it in and set it to the “warm” function. You can do the same thing if you want to serve chicken with our slow-cooker beer chicken. .

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

All the Fixin’s

When it comes to all of the fixings, the sky’s the limit – so don’t hold back! Here are a few must-haves:

You could also include a few sides for good measure:

How to Prepare

Slow-Cooker Carnitas

To prep for the party ahead of time, chop all of your veggies and put them into separate bowls. Cover each in an air-tight container and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.

Just before serving, heat your tortillas, bowls or shells according to the package directions.

Throw a festive tablecloth on your buffet table and set out all of your ingredients. Start with plates, napkins and utensils. Then set out your taco tortillas and shells. The slow cooker should come next and then all of the fixings and toppings. That’s all there is to it—let the party begin!

Be ready for big gatherings with more party-perfect recipes.