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DIY Nacho Bar for Easy Entertaining

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We love to entertain, and with three kids we try to keep things easy and low-stress. One of our go-to menus for a casual, family-friendly party is a nacho bar. Our guests always love it! In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to create a delicious DIY nacho bar for a crowd that will leave plenty of time and energy to actually enjoy the party!

DIY Nacho Bar is a crowd-pleaser

Everyone goes nuts over our DIY nacho bar, even kids! When I entertain, I really try to avoid making multiple meals. Making a separate meal for kids, vegetarians, adults, and so on is a lot of work!

When you set out delicious components of a meal and let guests build their own plates, they get exactly what they want. You don’t have to make anyone’s plate, or worry that anyone is going home hungry!

Pinterest pin describing my go to diy nacho bar menu for guests

DIY Nacho Bar is Easily Customizable

One of the best parts of a DIY Nacho bar is that you can customize your spread to include exactly what you and your guests like. You can serve chicken or beef for meat-eaters, shrimp for vegetarians, and so on.

You can include hot salsa for those that like spicy food and amp up the vegetable toppings for those that are health-conscious. If someone doesn’t like corn chips, no problem. Pick up some tortillas and they can have tacos or brown rice for taco bowls! In my experience, there is something for everyone!

DIY Nacho Bar Components

For my DIY Nacho Bar, I put all these ingredients in separate bowls with utensils to serve.

  1. Corn chips
  2. Protein(s), like shredded chicken, shrimp, ground beef
  3. Shredded cheese or queso dip
  4. Black or pinto beans
  5. Corn
  6. Diced tomatoes
  7. Diced onions
  8. Salsa
  9. Jalapeños
  10. Guacamole
Pictures displaying components of the DIY nacho bar.
Some components of our DIY Nacho Bar. From top left, shredded chicken in our Instant Pot, queso in a mini Crock Pot, salsa in the blender, and our spread of toppings in fancy paper bowls.

How to Prepare the DIY Nacho Bar Components

Corn chips: Buy enough for your crowd and put them in a big bowl! Easy!

Proteins: There are all kinds of recipes for Mexican shredded chicken and ground beef. Use what your family loves. We love this recipe for shredded chicken in the instant pot. If we’re having vegetarians, I will pick up pre-cooked shrimp and heat them up right before serving.

Shredded cheese or queso: Shredded cheese is easy to put in a bowl with some tongs. Queso can also be bought prepared or you can make your own. I love this recipe.

Black or pinto beans: So many options here. I usually rinse and heat up canned beans and season them with salt and a bit of chili powder and garlic.

Homemade fire roasted salsa, part of our DIY Nacho Bar.
Homemade fire-roasted salsa ready to serve!

Corn: My kids love corn, so I always serve some. I just heat canned or frozen corn and serve.

Chopped tomatoes: Chop tomatoes into about 1/2 inch pieces and you’re good to go. If tomatoes are not in season, I usually have the best luck with cherry tomatoes.

Diced onions: Just as it sounds.

Salsa: Lots of choices here. Use what you like. I usually go with a mild and a hot version. I like to make this recipe if I have time for homemade.

Jalapeños: I typically get a jar of pickled jalapeños, drain and serve.

Guacamole: I usually buy store bought to keep it easy. Homemade would also be delish.

Margaritas make a great addition to a DIY Nacho Bar!

We love margaritas, and they pair perfectly with a DIY nacho bar. Our go-to recipe is this one from Ina Garten. Also, you might want to double or triple it to make sure you have enough for guests!

Margaritas in the making. They start with lots of fresh lime juice.
Our favorite margaritas start with lots of fresh lime juice.

Prep Your DIY Nacho Bar Ahead of Time

The best part of a DIY nacho bar, aside from it being delicious, is that you can prepare most of the components ahead of time. Make sure to follow the directions for the recipes you’re using.

I’ll often make a few components each day in the days leading up to the party, so on party day, I just have to heat and serve.

What’s your go-to party food?

I’d love to hear your ideas on what to serve at a party! Please leave a comment below.

Pin this post for later!

Pinterest pin displaying the components of our DIY Nacho bar ready to serve.

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Disclaimer: The information published in this blog is for information and entertainment purposes only. I am not an expert and you should look elsewhere for advice. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information on this blog. All activities for children should be done with adult supervision. For further information, see the Disclaimer page.

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