A Taco Bar is the perfect way to serve food to a large group. It’s inexpensive, easy to put together, and allows customization for guests.Jump to Recipe
Whenever we have friends over, I like to have a variety of options for food. Especially when it’s our Dinner Club because we have multiple dietary restrictions in our group. One is severely allergic to dairy, another is a vegetarian. And there are 4 kids ages 6 and under so that comes with its own challenges. Last month we decided to do a Taco Bar for dinner.
It’s a perfect option when you have a lot of people for a few reasons:
- The ingredients are pretty simple
- It’s an inexpensive meal to put together
- There isn’t a lot of cooking involved
- Everyone can put their taco together and have exactly what they want
- You can have options for almost every dietary restriction
To avoid dairy, we made sure the cheese was in its own bowl and the sour cream stayed in the container it came in. For fillings, we did both traditional ground beef and refried beans for our vegetarian friend (and I prefer beans, too). Also, if you need to avoid gluten, corn tortillas are usually a safe option. The kids had simple tacos with very few fillings while the adults loaded theirs up.
When we went to Missouri while I was pregnant with Tyler, Justin’s family threw us a surprise baby shower. His aunt wanted to do a Taco Bar for all of the reasons I listed, but his grandmother (who is one of the sweetest people I have ever met) disagreed. Her reasoning:
Does anyone really know how to eat a taco?Justin’s grandmother when his aunt suggested a taco bar for the baby shower they had for us when I was pregnant with Tyler
When we heard that story, we were all laughing. His dad said they had tacos all the time growing up. She must have meant she wasn’t sure about a taco bar and what that means and if people would want to have to put their own food together. But now, anytime we have tacos we have a laugh thinking about Grandma Lynch.
Step by Step
Prepare the taco meat. You can either use a packaged taco seasoning or make your own. I actually had extra of my fajita seasoning, so I used that in our taco meat. Brown the ground beef then drain. Add 2/3 cup of water and taco seasoning, stirring until the water has mostly evaporated.
Also, heat the refried beans on the stovetop so they are warm. Make sure to stir frequently so they don’t burn on the bottom. Chop all of the vegetables, shred the cheese, and prepare any other taco toppings.
Lay everything out in separate bowls or serving dishes. If you have one, use a chafing dish for the taco meat and beans to keep them warm.
Originally Published On: May 2, 2019
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp fajita seasoning (or 1 package)
- 1 can refried beans
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese (shredded)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 1 cup lettuce (shredded)
- 2 avocados (sliced)
- 1 can black beans (drained)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 10 flour tortilla shells
- In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until it is cooked through
- Drain the beef then place back in the pan, adding water and taco seasoning
- Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the water has mostly evaporated, stirring occasionally
- Meanwhile, cook the refried beans in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning
- Chop and prepare all taco toppings
- Place the toppings in individual dishes or serving platters
- Keep the meat and beans warm either on low on the stovetop or in chafing dishes
- Serve with corn tortillas, allowing everyone to prepare their own taco
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
42 thoughts on “How to Create an Allergy-Friendly Taco Bar”
I really love this idea, it is so easy and fun! I would do chicken too!
Chicken would be a great addition to the taco bar! I’ll have to try that next time.
We love tacos at my house. One of us has crazy allergies. I love your idea. Thank you!
We don’t have allergies in our house but have a few friends with very severe ones, so it’s a great way to keep everything separate while pleasing everyone.
This weekend, I have a few friends coming over, I was planning to make Chilis, after reading your post, I will make a taco bar. This the perfect recipe for my Saturday night in.
Sounds like a great idea! I hope your friends had fun with it, perfect for Cinco de Mayo weekend!
Wow… never heard or tried taco bar! Now I got something new to make this weekend for the family! 😀
I’ve seen similar ideas at buffet restaurants, so we wanted to bring the idea home!
I also love reading your blog and I also learn new recipe here. I would love to try this out in my free time. It looks delicious.
A taco bar is a perfect meal for when you are having a lot of people over since everyone can make their own.
A taco bar is an amazing addition to any party! I have allergies and so do several family members, so we did a taco bar for my daughters first birthday party. Everyone loved it.
That’s awesome! I’m glad it was able to work out so well for you.
I think every mom needs to have this recipe on hand! It can be so challenging hosting parties for the kids because of all the different allergies we encounter with their friends.
So true! My oldest son has been obsessed with tacos lately, I’m honestly surprised we aren’t having a taco party for his birthday. It would have been perfect since I don’t know if any of his friends have allergies.
I give this article to my friend’s friend who owns her own restaurant. She might want to to try this.
It’s a great idea for a buffet style at a restaurant. Everyone can build their own taco and have exactly what they want.
This is a fantastic idea for when having people over. I love your story about your Grandma. It’s totally something my Gramma would say.
It had us all laughing so much that day. Especially since my FIL remembers eating tacos as a kid! Oh well, it made for a funny story 🙂
So perfect for cinco de mayo! We love a good taco bar and I love the idea of making it allergy friendly so everyone can enjoy!
I know, my husband and I commented that we didn’t plan it well because we did this in April and should have waited for our get-together in May!
I love this! So glad you are talking about this too. I have a daughter with a life threatening food allergy, and we have become so conscious about what we serve now!
I wasn’t aware of just how careful you have to be when dealing with allergies. I have learned a lot about cooking dairy-free since having our friend over at least once per month. Even things such as greasing the pan with butter vs oil has been something I consider every time I cook for her.
Great idea for a housewarming party we’ll have next month! The recipe looks healthy and delicious, Wouldn’t have tacos any other way. And I especially like the fact that it is high in protein. Gotta lose some weight before the summer but can’t stop eating good food. Haha
This would be perfect for something like a housewarming party. Especially if you are doing a come-and-go party since it would always be warm and ready if you have a warming dish.
I have food allergies for seafood and preserved food. I like the taco ingredients so healthy and easy to make I would love to try this at home 🙂
There’s no preserved food in these tacos! Especially if you make your own homemade tortilla shells, too.
Ooooo phenomenal taco bar tips!!! So many people have food allergies these days, so it’s nice to know about options when hosting an event!!!
I agree. Since we’ve been hosting a group here once a month, I’ve been trying to find ways to make something that everyone can eat and enjoy. It isn’t always easy!
I live having taco bars when I invite guests over! This is such a great way to include everyone.
I know, I really wish I would have thought of it sooner. We have a few dietary restrictions in our circle of friends, and this was perfect for everyone.
I have so many friends that love tacos but I never thought about doing a taco bar myself! You’re right that it is super easy to do and super affordable!
It’s a fun and easy way to make a meal for a lot of people. They each get what they want and you aren’t cooking the whole time!
What a cool idea. We love tacos and have friends with food allergies. Next time they are over…I’ll have to do tacos this way!!
It was such a perfect way to work around the allergies for everyone.
I don’t have allergies at all but I would love to try this one to see if it would taste differently. Thanks a lot for the recipe.
Well the recipe itself isn’t any different, we just made sure to keep everything separate so those with allergies didn’t have to worry about any cross-contamination.
Such a great idea! Once we are able to see people again I would love to have friends over for a taco bar night!
My dinner group has already said we are having the biggest food party once everything is clear and we can get together again!
This is a great idea! I may have to set something up like this for my kids since we are stuck at home. They would love a taco bar!!
We had tacos the other day, but I didn’t set everything up. My kids are picky and only want the meat and cheese!
Wow, what a cool idea 😍 We love tacos but haven’t tried making taco bar ever! I will surely try your recipe ☺
It’s perfect when you are entertaining since everyone can make their own so you know they’ll all find something they like!