nacho bar how-to (or the Bar of Cheesy Tex Mex Goodness)

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We might’ve mentioned our affection for themed buffets/bars once or twice (haha!). Since Jord and her fam are still in Denver, and since our Farewell to Summer BBQ was a joint Kirstin-and-Jordan effort, it was the perfect chance to try something new! And, after throwing several ideas around, we settled* on The Bar of Cheesy Tex Mex Goodness- commonly known as a Nacho Bar! *I should give a little shout out to our sis-in-law Trish for suggesting this genius idea!

This Bar was simple (almost all of the ingredients are storebought) and DELICIOUS, so we thought we’d share a little DIY.

Things to Make:

Carnitas (we used the Pioneer Woman recipe… if you haven’t tried it, DO IT NOW. Oh. My. Goodness)


“Nachos” banner (print out N A C H O S, cut out each letter, attach to a line of flags… then sew or tie to a ribbon and hang!)

Things to Buy

LOTS of tortilla chips
Shredded Cheese
Black Beans (we used five cans)
Green Onions
Sour Cream
Bacon Bits
Grilled Chicken
Chorizo (mexican sausage)

Black Olives

Things to Cater

Qdoba Queso (you could always do it without this addition, but it’s not super expensive [$25-ish] and was the hit of the night!)

One of the best parts of The Nacho Bar is its versatility. Couldn’t you see it at a Superbowl party (heck, any type of sports viewing party!), a graduation party, a His and Her Shower? Such yummy goodness, and so easy to put together!

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  1. Love, love, love it. Such a great idea and so simple to throw together. Yours looked amazing. I definitely have to use this idea!

  2. oh ya…the queso is a MUST. MUST MUST! i love the nacho bar idea. i just ate a super rich dessert and drank coffee at bible study so i'm feeling very STUFFED right now. maybe i'll come back tomorrow and look again 😉

  3. this looks awesome! i’m trying to replicate it this weekend! for help on portions… how many people did your nacho bar serve?

    1. Hey Beca- I love it that you are doing a Nacho Bar! There were about 30 people at the party and it was plenty (we ran out of Qdoba queso, but just because it was really popular- haha!). 🙂

  4. Being an outdoors party, how did you end up melting the shredded cheese? Or did your guests enjoy it as-is?

    1. Hey Rhiannon! We didn’t melt the shredded cheese- we had already-melted queso from Qdoba (in a metal pan so it stayed melted for the whole party). The shredded cheese was just for extra. Does that make sense?

  5. This is a great idea and I’m going to use it for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend. We are going to end up having the same number of people. How big of a pork shoulder did you cook? And how much chicken and chorizo?

    1. Hey Julie- I think we ended up with a couple pounds of everything (and more for the pork). How fun that you’re doing a Nacho Bar! 🙂

  6. Every Sunday I get together with a group of friends to watch football. Each week we have a different “theme” for the food – this past week’s theme was Mexican Food. I came across your blog and thought this idea was genius!! We made it to include Tacos with the Nachos and everyone loved it!

    Everyone brought something different to add to the Taco/Nacho Bar so it was really easy and inexpensive. And it was great for people to “graze” on throughout the day. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Here’s how our day shaped up:

  7. I am having a Cinco de Mayo party and will be doing this… do you think putting the nachos in a crockpot would work to make the chips themselves hot? And then they’d already be warm for the cheesie and meaty goodness?
    Thank you for posting this!!!

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