I’ve got another great DIY style buffet dinner recipe for you! DIY Taco Buffet is an easy way to serve tacos and taco bowls and everyone gets to build their own!

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Everyone in our house has enormous affection for tacos, so when I came up with this taco bar 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.


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.

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!


DIY Taco Buffet

DIY Taco Buffet is the easiest way to serve tacos and everyone can make their tacos they way they want!
1.50 from 2 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes



  • 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.
  • 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 or taco bowls.


  • Nutrition is for beef filling only.


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg
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About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. Love this taco buffet idea!

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

  7. 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~

  8. 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.

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

Comments are closed.

1.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)