EASY ENTERTAINING: HOW TO SET UP A TACO BAR

One of my favorite ways to entertain is to set up a D-I-Y station or interactive bar and one of my favorites is a DIY Taco Bar. You can dress it down or make it more upscale- that all depends on your budget and your crowd. 

 A taco bar is one of the easiest ways to serve your party guests! (Photo by Arden Photography)

A taco bar is one of the easiest ways to serve your party guests! (Photo by Arden Photography)

THE MENU

The centerpiece of my DIY taco bar is always my Slow Roasted Chipotle Pork recipe and/or, based on my budget, my Tequila Lime Tuna. They are both so good- inside a taco or on their own. Add a couple of salsas... I always have one mild, one spicy, and one spicy-sweet like my Pineapple Tomato Salsa for the perfect fresh toppings.

When building a taco bar, it is important to consider the flavor of everything you offer;  the flavors need to work well together. Your guests will love this easy to make, easy to serve menu and you can have fun at your own party!

 My Slow-Roasted Chipotle Pork is always on my taco bar. Simply shred it using two forks and dress with a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of cilantro. Add a fresh salsa or slaw. (Photo by Arden Photography)

My Slow-Roasted Chipotle Pork is always on my taco bar. Simply shred it using two forks and dress with a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of cilantro. Add a fresh salsa or slaw. (Photo by Arden Photography)

 If you have the budget for it, my Tequila Lime Tuna makes incredible tacos! (Photo by Arden Photography)

If you have the budget for it, my Tequila Lime Tuna makes incredible tacos! (Photo by Arden Photography)

Other options for your tacos are hamburger, chicken, shrimp, or steak. Provide two or three options so guests have a choice. Keep the meat warm in a warmer, slow cooker, or on the stove.

host a taco party taco bar set up
how to set up a taco bar for a party

SET UP

Start with a big basket of chips. Use two kinds if you can find them; I used corn and blue corn. Add sliced limes, cilantro, salsas, a hot Queso dip, creamy guacamole, pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos, lettuce, and cheese for the condiments. I like to warm the tortillas in a damp kitchen towel in the microwave. Or put them into the oven; wrap in foil with a damp paper towel inside to steam them slightly. I prefer corn tortillas. If your store doesn't have them, inquire at your favorite Mexican restaurant. (I always pick up tortilla chips from my favorite Mexican restaurant. Serve them warm and hit them with a pinch of salt... soooo much better than store bought chips!)

For a big crowd, there is no shame in using paper plates and napkins for serving to make clean up easy.  I like the square, white Chinet plates you can find at the grocery store. They are made in the USA from recycled material and are biodegradable for home composting. I LOVE that. Caspari makes pretty plates and napkins in all sorts of patterns and themes. Find at higher end gift or specialty stores.. The folks at SustyParty.com (they were on Shark Tank) make hip and environmentally friendly paper products that you can now find at Target. You can find a million different options of inexpensive paper products at the party store.

Pineapple tomato jalapeno salsa recipe Martie Duncan

Get my Pineapple Tomato Salsa recipe... And thank you to my great and oh-so-talented friend, Tena Payne of Earthborn Pottery for the beautiful bowl and serving pieces.

DRINKS AND COCKTAILS

You can have a taco party without margaritas... but why would you?

Pre-mix drinks ahead and put them in a dispenser or pitcher so guests can help themselves. No bartending duties. Offer options for non-drinkers and designated drivers, too. I love pomegranate juice on ice topped with club soda for fizz. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Here are my two favorite margarita recipes: CLASSIC MARGARITA RECIPE and POMEGRANATE MARGARITA RECIPE.  

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