Build Your Own Taco Bar

Take the hassle out of after-dinner cleanup with a taco bar the family will love.

If you’re finding yourself facing the same meals every week, try a do-it-yourself taco night that not only involves your kids in the prep but also lets them design a custom taco to their exact specifications.

What kid doesn’t love making tacos?

Step 1: Pre-Prep
Clear off a counter or the end of your table to make space for a build-it-yourself taco bar. Have a variety of small- and medium-sized bowls at the ready for fillings and toppings.

Colorful paper plates, cups and napkins not only make the meal more festive, they make clean-up a breeze.

Step 2: Figure out Your Fillings
Beef, pork, chicken, fish — they all work great, so your options are wide-ranging from the start.

If you’re marinating, get that going before you start chopping your toppings. If you’re doing fried fish or shrimp tacos, get your skillet ready so you can sizzle that part of the meal at the last minute, as both cook quickly!

Step 3: Creative Additions
Taco night is a perfect opportunity to sneak some veggies onto your kids’ plates. Chopped lettuce and tomatoes are no-brainers, but you can also make a simple slaw by tossing shredded red cabbage with a dash of mayo, a squeeze of lime juice, sliced jalapeños and a pinch of salt. You can also substitute the cabbage with shredded broccoli stalks or Brussels sprouts — either one is delicious and super nutritious.

Step 4: Homemade Salsa and Guacamole
Jarred salsas are fine, but it’s easy and fun to make your own pico de gallo with the kids.

Toss together diced tomatoes with chopped Spanish onion and cilantro, season with salt and voila — instant salsa! Homemade guacamole is a cinch to make as well: Mash a ripe avocado, add lime juice and add kosher salt to taste. Add chopped white onions, diced plum tomatoes, minced jalapenos and cilantro for more taste and texture.

Step 5: Get Ready to Roll
Boxed taco shells are OK in a pinch, but for a more authentic, healthier taco, try serving fresh flour or corn tortillas. If you’re lucky enough to live near a special grocery, you might even find locally made tortillas.

Stick with a medium-sized tortilla (slightly bigger than a hamburger bun) and plan on about three tacos per person. Before serving, warm the tortillas in a pan, flipping once, then wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or aluminum foil until you’re ready to eat.

Finally, lay out the ingredients for your taco dinner in the order of building, from the base tortilla to the last condiment — then let your gang get creative. Then stand back — DIY taco night can get a little messy!

How do you mix up your dinner menus? Log in or register for P&G everyday today and let us know in the comments section below!



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