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How to Make a DIY Taco Bar

Our do-it-yourself taco bar is a borderline-genius and budget-friendly way to feed a crowd at your next party. MORE+ LESS-

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.

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, Old El Paso™ recently came out with crispy flour tortilla shells that will remind you of your favorite Mexican fast food place. Another idea—and perhaps our favorite idea—is to use taco boats; they hold all of the filling in and are mess-free so you can load ‘em up to your heart’s content.

Beef Elote Taco Boats

Next, you’ll need to decide what type of meat you’d like to put out on your buffet. Taco-seasoned chicken and ground beef are no-brainers, but figuring out how to serve them and keep them warm can be challenging. Enter: the slow cooker. This recipe for Slow-Cooker Taco Ground Beef 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 Creamy Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortillas recipe. 

Slow-Cooker Taco Ground Beef

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

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Diced onions
  • Black olives
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Avocado and guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro

You should also include a few sides:

  • Refried beans
  • Tortilla chips
  • Mexican rice

Mini Beef Ten-Minute Taco Boats

To prep for the party ahead of time, chop all of your veggies and put them into separate bowls. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.

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

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

Prepare for the party with more party-perfect recipes.