DIY Taco Buffet
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DIY: Taco Buffet



I like choice. Always have and always will. Choice with everything in my life, but especially with food. Aren't we all that way? I'm the first to admit that it's not always easy to make meals that everyone is going to love all of the time.

DIY Taco Buffet from

After all, I've got 3 carnivores (me and the girls), 1 vegetarian (Kenya) and a hubby who swings from eating only vegan before 6 to the past months avoiding sugar and wheat (it's close to a reason for divorce as I can think!) This is the reason I'm a big fan of do it yourself meals. This DIY: Taco Buffet may be one of my family's all time faves!

DIY Taco Buffet from

Everyone in our house has enormous affection for tacos, so when I came up with this taco buffet concept, my kids' taco love escalated to taco fanaticism. Getting to make their tacos "their way" gave them a great sense of pride. I like to set out all the components in colorful bowls with spoons and let everyone go to town personalizing their meal.

DIY Taco Buffet from

Beware: I've seen three fist fulls of grated cheese get shoved into their tacos so help kids when needed! You want everyone to be able to pick them up. Chloe has a habit of stuffing her taco so full she can barely pick it up! Sometimes I even take a clean rubber band and fit it around the tortilla a few times so the kids can hold their taco without everything falling out.

DIY Taco Buffet from

The best part of this simple meal is that you can prepare the toppings earlier in the day. You can also pre-cook the meat, so all you need to do is reheat it come dinner time. This is one of those dishes I double, or even triple, to ensure we have leftovers for school lunch or even dinner the next couple of nights. Can you say twofer!?

When each person in your family gets to build their meal the way they want it's amazing how much better they eat! If you're looking for more DIY meals you have to check out DIY: Oatmeal , Salad and Pizza Buffets. They're life changing ways to get your family to eat what you make, their way!

DIY Taco Buffet  (4 servings)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins,
  • Cook Time: 10 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
I like choice. Always have and always will. Choice with everything in my life, but especially with food. Aren't we all that way? I'm the first to admit that it's not always easy to make meals that everyone is going to love all of the time. After...


  • 1 pound lean ground beef, turkey or meat substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • whole wheat tortillas or crispy taco shells


  1. 1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beef, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, and salt. Sauté, using your spoon to break apart the meat and mix in the spices, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat.
  2. 2. Place the cooked beef in a large serving bowl. Place each of the remaining ingredients in small serving bowls and allow everyone to assemble their own taco.

Accompaniments: grated mexican cheese (cheddar, Colby and Monterrey jack), salsa, sliced avocados, guacamole, sour cream, black or pinto beans and/or chopped lettuce.

DIY Taco Buffet

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  1. Gourmet Creations

    May 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm


  2. Melissa C

    May 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    This was dinner last night. Worked out great.

  3. Kate

    May 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    This is my favorite part of Mexican cooking—the options are endless, sliced radishes, lime wedges, you name it. Love this idea.

  4. Krissy

    May 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    We do taco buffets often. Ours include chopped tomato, black olives, rice (that I mix some taco seasoning into) and corn (blanched and straight off the cob) along with the regulars of cheese and lettuce. My daughter has also taken a fancy to putting a few drops of salad dressing on her tacos as well (literally less than a teaspoon, and we use french dressing) for a little kick. In the past I’ve included chopped red onions or chives as well.
    Tacos are the best tho…and so much fun! My daughter loves them soo much she usually has a snack of “Taco Bites” the next afternoon. For those, we use a mini muffin tin, press in some soft shells (Cut into little circles) and top with beef, cheese, tomato, olives and bake a few minutes till the shell is slightly crispy (no oil neccessary)…then top with lettuce.

    • Katherine

      September 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      OMG, taco bites?! That is genius!

  5. Lisa | With Style and Grace

    May 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

    we do this at least once a months in our home! love a good taco bar.

  6. Alexine

    May 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I love tacos but buritos r my favorite

  7. Alexine

    May 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Hi im a cook and i am 11 i love ur recipes but do u think u could do a special recipe with m&ms

  8. Heather Christo

    May 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    What a CUTE idea! I love this! I am going to track down a video of you on the chew right now- I bet you were amazing!

  9. Liz Stark

    May 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Love this taco buffet idea!

    Just saw you on The Chew! Excellent segment and macaroni recipe.

  10. tracy

    May 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Taco night was ALWAYS my favorite night as a kid. I loved I could make a taco ANYWAY I wanted to. Having that control as a kid is paramount!!! YAY~

  11. Bonnie

    May 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    My daughter loves soft tacos (she asks for them almost every night!) We use guacamole or sour cream “glue” to hold it together. Plus I make sure to use whole wheat tortillas and spinach instead of lettuce to up the nutrition.

  12. Tracy

    May 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Rubber bands is a great idea. Holding the taco/burrito can definitely be an issue for our toddler. Thanks for the recipe!