Build Your Own Nacho Bar

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Summer is an ideal time to throw a party or other festive gathering. And a build your own nacho bar is an easy appetizer or main dish to serve your guests.

Build Your Own Nacho Bar | Life as Mom

I love a good party. And I love good eats. When the two come together — with as little work and mess as possible — I am beyond happy. A build-your-own-nacho bar is ideal party food.

Build Your Own Nacho Bar

A step up from chips and salsa, a nacho bar allows folks some yummy snacks while they wait for the main event. It’s very make ahead and great for cooking in bulk. Add a few more toppings and some beef or chicken and you can make your nacho bar serve as dinner.

Build Your Own Nacho Bar | Life as Mom

Make this ahead of time.

Before your party, assemble small bowls full of toppings like sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro, chopped onion, beans, avocado or guacamole, sliced olives, and sliced jalapenos. Shred an abundance of cheese.

Assemble your baking dishes. You can make individual plates of chips and cheese using pie plates or other small baking dishes. Or you can use a half sheet pan to feed many people at once.

Right before servings, place your toppings on a tray along with serving utensils. Lay out a stack of plates. Cover your baking dishes with a layer of chips and then a layer of shredded cheese. You can broil the chips until the cheese is melted for a quick dish or bake the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes at 350, or until the cheese is melted.

For easier cleanup, you can line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Serve the hot chips and cheese, allowing diners to add their favorite toppings. Here are some of our favorite toppings:

Build Your Own Nacho Bar | Life as Mom

Build-your-own nachos are a great way to serve the masses without a lot of work. They are fairly inexpensive and sure to please any crowd.


What is your favorite recipe for a party?

Build Your Own Nacho Bar | Life as Mom

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Lisa says

    Thanks for hosting yet another great link party! The nacho bar is a great idea! I love to have appetizers available while I’m finishing up the main course. I linked up with Bacon-Wrapped Sausage Appetizers…so simple, and so good.

  2. Denise says

    I love this idea, and plan on using it soon!
    I have a question about your beautiful plates. what are they, where did you get them–they are eye catching, and I’d love to more about them. Thanks

    • Jessica Fisher says

      They are the Francesca design from Nancy Calhoun. I’m not sure they make them anymore, but I’ve purchased replacement pieces on ebay.

  3. Thank you for hosting today. I love appetizers but don’t often have parties. Instead I do an appetizer night every few months. For dinner I just make a bunch of different finger foods and we all sit on the floor, eat, and relax.

    I shared my Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents this week.

  4. I LOVE summer because it’s a great excuse to party 🙂 I’m linking up a recipe for a rhubarb cosmo – super delicious, and I’m definitely taking it to my next party.

  5. Great idea for party, Jessica. I usually build our own and call it nachos grande, but I like the idea of having a party with the baked chips and cheese. I’ll throw in some sneaky meat (I’ve added shredded veges to cooked taco meat, which I’ve frozen and reheated) and we’re good to go.

  6. Your Nacho Bar looks great – love foods like this!

  7. Your nacho bar looks terrific! We often have build your own tacos or burritos for dinner. Both my kids love coming up with their own creations and it’s a good way to ensure they eat a healthy (and easy to prepare) dinner!

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