Build Your Own Nacho Bar (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Party Food)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Today I served a flavor of Tostitos that is new to us. Tostitos sent us the “latest addition to the Tostitos® family – Tostitos® Thins tortilla chips! Available for a limited time only, these lighter, thinner tortilla chips are dusted with special salts making them the perfect snack to pair with your favorite margaritas, Mexican beers, and, of course, lots of friends and good food.”

There are two Tostitos Thins flavors –Lime & Salt and TexMex – that are available exclusively at Target stores nationwide through mid-July. I really like the TexMex flavor. The cumin adds enough flavor to give these chips a kick.

This week one Life as MOM reader will win a Fiesta Pack, including:

–          Tostitos® Fiesta 411

–          Four bags of new Tostitos® Thins tortilla chips (2 bags of each flavor)

–          $50 Target gift card to pick up your fiesta essentials

–          Reusable Tostitos® tote

To enter, simply fill out this form: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATS TO THE WINNER: laharriman@

Please note this information is being gathered solely for administrative purposes to send the winners their ebooks. This information will not be given out, sold, or otherwise shared with any other sources.

This promotion is open until Sunday, June 3, at 8 pm PST and is limited to US residents, 18 years or older. Friends and family of Jessica Fisher and Life as Mom are ineligible for entry. The winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize. This post will be updated with the beginning of the winner’s email addresses. The prize for this promotion is provided by and shipped by Frito-Lay and/or its representatives. Jessica Fisher and Life as MOM will not be held responsible for unclaimed or undelivered prizes.

Disclosure: I received a Fiesta pack courtesy of Tostitos. I am not obligated to post about this product. All opinions are my own.

Ultimate Recipe Swap

URS Guidelines

Remember: Each week at Ultimate Recipe Swap, there is a posted theme. You are welcome to share any recipe that fits the theme and contains a link back to Life as MOM. If you’re curious about the upcoming themes, I have a calendar here. This week’s theme is Party Food.

If you have a recipe that fits the theme, please link it. However, things like Beef Strogonaff will be deleted from Chicken week because it doesn’t contain chicken. Please keep this meme as helpful to others as we can.

And don’t make me the bad guy! ;)

What is your favorite recipe for a party?

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  1. 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. 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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