Hosting a party but aren’t sure what food to serve? A Taco Bar is the ideal party meal, can go so far, and is extremely affordable. Feed a crowd of 24 for under $150 and I promise every guest will leave happy!
We had a taco bar at our baby’s first birthday and I know it’s the start of an amazing tradition. Serve it up alongside some sangria and beer to make it a festive adult party. My favorite part about this taco bar party meal is that it is SO EASY to prep and have ready for the party day, with little effort.
Here’s how you can do it, too!
Shop for your taco bar party ingredients
The best part of a taco bar is getting to choose your very own toppings, so have some fun and make them easy! To see exactly what we used, shop my Walmart Grocery List, add everything to your cart, and get it delivered in just a few hours. Does it get much easier than that? (Nope – it doesn’t!)
Taco Bases: In foil pans, warmed up in the oven before the party
- Ground Beef
- Black beans with taco seasoning
- Spanish rice
Wondering how much taco meat you need per person? One pound of ground beef typically serves about 6 tacos. So I plan on getting a .5 pound of beef per person. Then I add black beans and rice accordingly, to offer vegetarian options. One can of black beans typically serves 4 tacos. So I plan on getting one can of black beans for every 4 people coming to the party.
Taco shells ideas
- Hard taco shells
- Soft tortillas
Note: Plan for 3 tacos for every party guest. Yup – even the youngest guests. I recommend doing half-hard shells and half-soft shells. Plus tortilla chips for a nacho option.
What to Serve with Tacos for a Party
Possible Taco Sides:
- Chips and salsa
- Refried beans
Possible Toppings for Tacos:
- Chopped lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Diced onions
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced limes
- Mild taco sauce
- Sour cream
- Sliced black olives
- Crushed pineapple
- Crema Mexicana
- Hot sauce
How to Prep Your Taco Bar for a Party Ahead of Time
A day or two before the party, brown your ground beef and add the taco seasoning. Place the cooked beef in a foil pan. Pour your black beans into a separate foil pan, add the taco seasoning and stir thoroughly. Pour your cooked rice into a pan (or if you use microwave rice as I did, pour it directly into the pan). Wash and dice your tomatoes, limes, lettuce, cilantro, and onions and store them in the refrigerator in glass containers. On the day of the party, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. An hour before you want to serve the food, place the beans, rice, and ground beef in the oven, covered. Heat up the refried beans. Pull out all of your taco bar ingredients and set them out in serving dishes. You can keep it easy with Tupperware containers or glass bowls with a spoon. My favorite part of hosting a taco bar is It can be extremely simple! And who doesn’t like tacos?
The recipe below feeds a party of 24. We had 14 adults and 10 children. This was the perfect amount of food for our guests, and everyone came hungry. We had just enough for a few leftovers the next day, but not much.
Don’t forget these for your taco bar party!
- Drinks for the kids (We had Berry Lemonade and Tropical Tango Honest Juice Pouches and Whole Milk and Chocolate Milk Boxes)
- Drinks for the adults (LOVE this sangria recipe shared in the image below and a simple keg of beer in a kegerator)
- Disposable plates and utensils for easy cleanup!
Ready to host your own taco bar party?
Use this recipe to help guide you and keep things simple.
- 4 lbs. ground beef
- 6 cans Black Beans
- 8 Packets Taco Seasoning
- 40 Medium Sized Tortillas
- 36 Crunchy Taco Shells
- Romaine Lettuce, Shredded
- 16 oz. Bag of Cheddar Shredded Cheese
- 20 oz. Pineapple Tidbits
- Sliced Black Olives
- 1 Bag of Limes
- 1 Red Onion, Diced
- 1 Jar of Hot Sauce
- Taco Sauce
- Spanish Rice
- 1 Can Diced Pineapple
- 16 oz. WHOLLY Avocado Diced
- 32 oz. Salsa
- 16 oz. Crema
- 1 lb. Guacamole
- 3 Bags of Tortilla Chips
- 10 oz. Diced Cherry Tomatoes
- 32 oz. Refried Beans
- 1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped
- A day or two before the party, brown your ground beef and add the taco seasoning. Place the cooked beef in a foil pan.
- Pour your black beans into a separate foil pan, add the taco seasoning and stir thoroughly.
- Pour your cooked rice into a pan (or if you use microwave rice as I did, pour it directly in the pan).
- Wash and dice your tomatoes, limes, lettuce, cilantro, and onions and store them in the refrigerator.
- On the day of the party, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. An hour before you want to serve the food, place the beans, rice, and ground beef in the oven, covered. Stir halfway through.
- Pull out all of the taco bar ingredients and set them out.
- Don't forget to place the sauces out as well!
- Enjoy tacos, nachos, and burritos!
Want to easily shop for your party? I have everything on THIS SHOPPING LIST. Just add them all to your cart and your ingredients can be picked up or delivered to your doorstep in hours.