As we enter the holiday season, many offices and families are hosting gatherings and need to feed a crowd. Here’s a twist on the taco bar set up — try a nacho bar set up instead. Yes, you can actually order all this food, but we’ve got great recipes today to ensure your nachos are better than anywhere else!
For this example, I’ve got the nacho bar set up on my stove. If that won’t work for your kitchen or office, consider crockpots. You can also serve directly from bowls if the food is hot and everyone is ready to eat at the same time. If you are setting up on a table or countertop that isn’t heat resistant, remember to use trivets to protect your surfaces!
Who wouldn’t want to eat these nachos?!
Make sure you have the following on hand for your set up:
- Plates (I like wooden plates as they don’t break, they’re light, and they are easy to clean. Here’s one similar to what I use.)
- A large bowl for tortilla chips with a scoop
- 3 large ramekins or shallow bowls for toppings
- 3 condiment bottles
- Beverages and glassware (I like these recycled wine bottle glasses as they can easily be used for soda, water, cocktails, beer or wine.)
You’ll need the following food (recipes to follow):
- Taco meat (ground beef + taco seasoning)
- Black or pinto beans
- Cheese dip/queso
- Mexican vegetables (or you can use taco seasoning with corn as a shortcut)
- Tortilla chips
- Pico de gallo
- Cheese (I use queso fresco, but shredded cheddar is a popular choice.)
- Sour cream
- Jalapeno ranch dressing
Use your stove, crockpot or warm food placed in a bowl as the center of your setup.
Cook ground beef with taco seasoning. I promise you that the best taco seasoning is homemade using this recipe. So good — you will never buy packets again! I make mine with Kroger house brand spices, which keeps the cost down and the flavor up!
These Mexican vegetables are the cat’s meow. SO GOOD! Just mix zucchini, onion, poblano peppers and corn with taco seasoning. As a shortcut, just cook corn, or corn and onions, with the taco seasoning. For full recipe, click here.
Always wondered how Mexican restaurants make their queso? Here’s the easy way that tastes the same — promise! Melt the “queso blanco” Velveeta on the stove with the juice from some pickled jalapeno peppers. As it melts, add some chopped pickled jalapenos, or fresh ones, and that is it. Delicious and addictive … just like at your favorite Mexican place!
For the black beans, use them from a can and add garlic powder, onion powder and cumin (amounts of spice can vary based on your own preferences).
I love having large pottery bowls as there is always a reason to use them: chips, salad, bread, cobbler … the list is endless. The one here holds tortilla chips and a scoop. The copper scoop is made by BEN & LAEL.
You’ll want fun toppings to make these the best nachos ever. Suggestions include: (in the condiment bottles) jalapeno ranch dressing (just like Chuy’s), crema (Mexican sour cream), guacamole blended in a food processor to squeeze (which means you can cover more nachos with it AND not spend as much money on avocados), several hot sauces, salsa, pico de gallo and shredded or crumbled cheese.
Voila! You have amazing nachos that everyone will love, as they’ve created their own favorite version on this well-loved dish.
Finish off the nacho spread with a full stock of Coronas for a seriously crowd-pleasing gathering. Happy hosting!
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