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How to Make Tacos for a Taco Bar Party

Julie DeNeen is a mother of three who is fascinated by parenting, psychology, marriage, food, and the animal kingdom.

A taco with all the fixin's.

A taco with all the fixin's.

Give It a Try!

Are you tired of regular potluck picnics, hotdogs, hamburgers, and the usual American fare? Why not host a party with a Mexican theme?

Mexican food is one of the easiest world cuisines to serve at a party. For your next gathering, whip up an authentic Mexican taco bar and spend less time fretting in the kitchen. This article will give you recipes, ideas, and tricks to make the most out of your Mexican celebration!

What Meat Will You Serve?

You have several choices; traditionally tacos can be served with fish, pork, chicken, or ground beef. If you are feeling adventurous, you can offer two different selections. However if you are looking for the easiest and most cost effective way to serve tacos? Pulled pork is delicious, succulent, and a snap to prepare. For this recipe, use boneless country ribs. Other recipes use a pork shoulder and do a slow roast. This is delicious too, but I find pork on the stove easier to prepare and juicier.

Preparing Ahead

You can easily prepare this recipe the day before and refrigerate. Just make sure to reserve some of the juice. On the day of the party, simply put it into a crock pot with juice and keep it on warm.

I used pork in this recipe, but you can substitute any meat you like.

I used pork in this recipe, but you can substitute any meat you like.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

4 hours

4 hours 5 min

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless country ribs
  • 48 ounces beef stock
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with beef stock (you need enough just to cover the meat).
  2. Crush the garlic cloves, and add it to the pot.
  3. Add the meat and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium low, and cook for three to four hours covered.
  4. Take the meat out and shred with a fork. Add salt and pepper before serving.
It's never wise to skimp on taco toppings!

It's never wise to skimp on taco toppings!

The Toppings

Here's where the sky is your limit. With the meat all prepared, you can assemble toppings in pretty bowls and refrigerate until it's time to eat. Here are some common and not so common toppings to consider.

  • Shredded cheese: The pre-packaged kind is easiest, but if you want more flavor, buy a block and shred yourself. Try the spicy pepper jack cheese made by Cabot. If you want authentic Mexican, grab some queso fresco in the specialty cheese section.
  • Lettuce: Chop up romaine lettuce. It's more flavorful than iceberg and is a sturdy leaf that will keep for longer than others.
  • Tomatoes: Seed and chop tomatoes. Plum and Roma tomatoes are best because they aren't as juicy as the beefsteak tomatoes.
  • Salsa: Jarred salsa works fine but consider making a fresh and easy salsa verde or salsa fresca. See the recipes below!
  • Beans: Traditionally, refried beans are used to smear along the bottom of a taco, but you can use black beans as well.
  • Rice: Use a pre-packaged yellow rice mix or try the rice and bean recipe below!
  • Sour cream: This is more an American topping, but go ahead and add a bowl to the bar.
  • Olives: You can chop up some black olives for a greek twist.
  • Guacamole: There is nothing better than creamy homemade guacamole. See this article for the recipe!
Rice and beans can be both a main dish or extra toppings for tacos.

Rice and beans can be both a main dish or extra toppings for tacos.

Versatile Rice and Beans

You can add peas, corn, tomatoes, or other veggies into your rice and beans. You can even serve the rice as a main dish with some shredded cheese!

Rice and Beans Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned green beans, chopped
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed

Rice and Beans Instructions

  • In a large skillet, cook first four ingredients in hot oil for three minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice.
  • Brown slightly and then add chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add green beans and black beans and cook for 10 more minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Serves 6

Drinks

Who doesn't like a fruity frothy Mexican cocktail? There are many recipes for delicious margarita's and other similar drinks- but when throwing a party, you need to be able to make something in a large pitcher. Don't bother with blenders and ice. Why not make up a batch of mojitos?

If you're feeling crazy, make your own flour tortillas!

If you're feeling crazy, make your own flour tortillas!

Tortillas and Chips

For a taco bar, buy a combination of taco size soft flour tortillas and hard shell corn tacos. Guests can choose the way they want to build their meal. Another fun alternative that's less common is the tostada. This is a flat hard corn shell similar in size to soft tacos. You can pile a bunch of fixings on each shell and serve them on a platter. Guests won't even have to build their own!

For the Low-Carb Crowd

Prepare an easy green salad so people can add the topics to the greens without having to load up on carbs. Mix half red jarred salsa and half sour cream to make a yummy dressing.

Just Have Fun

The nice thing about a taco bar is the ease of preparation and serving. No fuss, hardly any mess, and use disposable plates and bowls to serve the toppings. You should have plenty of leftovers the next day and you'll be amazed at how flexible Mexican food is. It can be mixed and matched in various combinations!

Comments

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 27, 2012:

This looks so awesome! I love these ideas - I will have to shake up my Taco night around here:) lol

europewalker on September 27, 2012:

Looks wonderful. Great idea for this weekend. Thanks for sharing:)

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on September 27, 2012:

YEAH! Other than the rice ... I have to say I made a pretty thorough list... although I will probably keep away from the olives cause I am not an olive fan! We are gonna do ground hamburger for traditional American style tacos! LOL Great idea! Love the thorough hub!

Blurter of Indiscretions (author) from Clinton CT on July 29, 2012:

@sunshine- who said wine! LOL

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 29, 2012:

When's the taco bar party? I'm so there! Awesome photos and recipe. I'll bring the wine!:)

Life Under Construction from Neverland on June 20, 2012:

Mmmmm...yummy!!! can i go to your party?

catgypsy from the South on June 19, 2012:

I love tacos...all I can say is Mmmmmm!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 19, 2012:

Nicely done! I wrote a similar hub about this topic a while back. You can't go wrong with a taco bar. It's a favorite food for so many people, and there are lots of great customization options.

Vigilant Chef on June 19, 2012:

Okay - now I'm really hungry. Great recipes and photos. Nicely done!

Blurter of Indiscretions (author) from Clinton CT on June 18, 2012:

@penlady- parties with a theme are so much fun! :)

@breakfastpop- your welcome!

breakfastpop on June 18, 2012:

What a wonderful idea. Thanks so much for the recipes. My mouth is watering.

penlady from Sacramento, CA on June 18, 2012:

Tacos are a delicious treat. And you're right: it'd be something good and different for a party.

That would make a party even better! Voted up and awesome.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2012:

I'd be over every night for handouts! LOL

Blurter of Indiscretions (author) from Clinton CT on June 18, 2012:

Billy- I think we'd be fast friends if we were neighbors. You like every recipe I post!! LOL :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2012:

Sign me up for that party. Just lock me in a closet with those tacos and I would be a happy camper.