Serve up an easy Taco Buffet without any cooking or involved prep work and have an easy family dinner on the table in minutes. This taco bar is one of my very favorite family meals and it’s so easy to customize!
We do tacos, quesadillas, or burritos every Tuesday, but this easy taco bar idea is my favorite because there’s no cooking! Okay, you have to warm up the beans and corn, but you don’t have to do anything more complicated than that. And everyone gets to be in charge of the ingredients that wind up on their plate, family-style, which is an easy way to keep stress low at meal times—kids love having power over what they get to eat!
TIP: Try not to micromanage the kids plates and let them enjoy their meal, no matter what they choose to eat. Read more about this approach called the Division of Responsibility here.
Ingredients in Taco Buffet
The sky is the limit with taco bars, but here are the ingredients I use most often.
- canned beans
- frozen corn (canned works too!)
- shredded cheese
- shredded lettuce or cabbage
- guacamole, salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce, optional)
TIP: You can add cooked beef, chicken, or shrimp if you like too.
How to Set Up a Taco Bar Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in getting this dinner onto the table.
- Rinse your beans.
- Warm the beans and corn in the microwave.
- Warm up the tortillas.
- Bring everything to the table and dig in!
TIP: I like to let everyone decide for themselves which foods to eat and how to eat their tacos, whether assembled or deconstructed.
How to Serve Tacos to Toddlers
It’s so easy to serve this meal to little kids who aren’t quite up to the logistical challenge of holding and eating a regular taco. Simply serve the elements side by side on a plate, cut up the tortilla into strips, and let them eat it all as finger food. Add a dip if they like guacamole or salsa and let them enjoy their meal! I usually add a fruit to the mix (white peach is shown above) to add in extra nutrients.
TIP: The meal is shown here on the EZPZ Mini Play Mat, which suctions to the table and is easy to clean.
Tips for the Best Taco Buffet
- I rinse the beans to help them taste fresh and also to remove any excess salt.
- You can use canned corn if you prefer.
- Increase the ingredients as needed for the appetites and preferences of your family.
- Add cooked beef, chicken, or shrimp if desired.
- Serve deconstructed to little kids for easy eating.
- Let everyone choose which ingredients to add to their plates and tacos.
- I like tortillas labeled “soft” to avoid tortillas that crumble and crack easily.
If you make this recipe at home, please leave a comment to share how it went. I love to hear how your families like (or don’t like, ha!) my recipes and I appreciate each comment.Print
I prefer to make these vegetarian since it’s easier, but you can of course add in cooked chicken, beef, or shrimp if you like! Add another can of beans or additional corn to feed a larger family or appetites.
- 1 14.5 ounce can black or pinto beans
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded lettuce or cabbage
- 6–8 flour or corn tortillas
- Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, optional
- Add the beans to a colander and rinse. Add to a heat-safe bowl and warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm.
- Add the corn to a heat-safe bowl and warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm.
- Wrap the stack of tortillas in damp paper towels and heat in the microwave for 1 minutes, turning over halfway through. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
- Add the cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and toppings to small bowls.
- Let everyone serve themselves to customize their own plates or tacos.
I rinse the beans to help them taste fresh and also to remove any excess salt.
You can use canned corn if you prefer.
Increase the ingredients as needed for the appetites and preferences of your family.
Add cooked beef, chicken, or shrimp if desired.
Serve deconstructed to little kids for easy eating.
Let everyone choose which ingredients to add to their plates and tacos.
I like tortillas labeled “soft” to avoid tortillas that crumble and crack easily.