Somewhat Simple

Nacho Bar

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With delicious ingredients and a variety of toppings, making your own nacho bar is an easy meal that can feed (and please!) a crowd! Make it simple or go all out, either way, it will taste amazing!

Looking for more buffet-style meals and treats? Here are a few of our favorites – Build Your Own Pasta Bar, Burrito Bar Fiesta, Yogurt Breakfast Bar, Pudding Bar, Italian Soda Bar, and Hot Cocoa Bar.

a nacho bar set out on a counter

Nacho Bar Party

As a mom of 11 kids (and a million grandkids!) my grandma was the master of making meals that were not only delicious but ones that could also feed a small army! She had her go-to dishes for special holidays and occasions – cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, pancakes or egg casserole for breakfasts after a sleepover, and her special Taco Casserole that would make an appearance when our family was all together for dinner.

I was only 11 when my grandma passed away, but her love of food and family together time are far from forgotten. Her recipes are some of the meals my children request most-often, and when we get together with my siblings, aunts and aaaaallllll the cousins, we often talk about grandma Miriam while enjoying one of her timeless, classic meals.

We’ve taken all the flavors and ingredients of her delicious Taco Casserole and adapted it into a Nacho Bar to feed our ever-growing family… and it just might be the best tradition ever! Nacho Bars are kid-friendly, adult-friendly, allergy-friendly, and they are totally versatile! It’s a convenient, affordable way to serve a delicious meal that everyone will love!

I was in charge of hosting our Family Christmas Eve party, and this nacho bar was a HIT! I provided the chips, chicken, and cheese and then I asked my siblings to each bring a few toppings. None of us had to slave for hours in the kitchen, and everyone was fed and happy!

a nacho bar with several toppings

Nacho Bar Ideas

To set up your nacho bar, you’ll need three main components: chips, nacho cheese, and toppings! Grab a few coordinating serving dishes and lay them out in an order that makes sense – chips at the beginning, heavier proteins towards the front, sauces an garnishes at the end.

You can create some depth and dimension to your nacho bar by placing some of the bowls on cutting boards or cake stands. I brought in some greenery and added fresh peppers, tomatoes, and other veggies for a pop of color. The bright colors of the toppings made the buffet line look so fun and festive!

bowls with the toppings you need for nachos

Nacho Bar Toppings

The best meals start with the best ingredients! Here is a list of the toppings we pull out when we have a nacho bar –

  • chips
  • nacho cheese
  • chicken
  • beans (refried, black, pinto)
  • shredded cheese
  • lettuce, shredded
  • onions, chopped
  • tomatoes, diced
  • olives, sliced
  • green onions, sliced
  • pickled jalapenos, sliced
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • guacamole

a nacho bar printable sign

Nacho Bar Printable Sign

I added this fun printable Nacho Bar Sign to show everyone how to build their nacho plate. I think it was the perfect touch that made everything come together so nicely, and it looks like I spent a ton of time planning this meal when we all know how simple it is! To grab your copy, enter your name and email in the form below and a new window will open with the PDF for you to download for FREE! (BONUS! We’ve also included some cute food labels for you to use too!)

This nacho bar is an easy and fun way to entertain guests, or even just to make family dinner extra special. You can customize it to fit any budget or special dietary needs, and it’s great for picky eaters, too. With a variety of toppings, everyone can build their plate to their heart’s content and the result is a hearty meal that’s sure to leave a smile on everyone’s face!

Nacho Bar Checklist

To save our Nacho Bar idea to your recipe box, feel free to print the instructions below.  Did we miss any of your favorite nacho ingredients?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you love on top of your nachos!

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

a nacho bar set out on a counter
5 from 5 votes

Nacho Bar

With delicious ingredients and a variety of toppings, making your own nacho bar is an easy meal that can feed (and please!) a crowd! Make it simple or go all out, either way, it will taste amazing!

Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword 30 minutes or less, vegetables
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Calories 570 kcal


  • chips
  • nacho cheese
  • chicken
  • beans refried, black, pinto
  • shredded cheese
  • lettuce shredded
  • onions chopped
  • tomatoes diced
  • olives sliced
  • green onions sliced
  • pickled jalapenos sliced
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • guacamole


  1. Place a heaping handful of tortilla chips on a plate.

  2. Spoon over some nacho cheese.

  3. Add desired toppings.

Nutrition Facts
Nacho Bar
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 570
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a nacho bar with a lot of great ideas

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