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Freshen Up Your Fiesta with a DIY Taco Bar!


I spent most of my childhood in Texas (shout out to the Rio Grande Valley!) immersed in it’s rich culture and amazing food. My dad was a terrific chef and we frequently had one of his specialties – fajitas – marinated in his secret blend of magic.  Our family also made a lot of tamales.  When I say a lot, I’m talking dozens and dozens at a time, usually at Christmastime. (This is a big project, so you don’t just make a few at a time.)  These days, living in Atlanta, it’s hard to find a yummy taco, and I cringe when I hear my Georgian friends say “torteelia.”

With festive, easy to make meals from Old El Paso and Cinco de Mayo approaching fast, what better way to celebrate than inviting over family, friends, or even the whole neighborhood for a one-of-a-kind DIY taco bar! Both kids and adults will have a blast making their own custom tacos and picking from all the delicious add-ins! Of courses with Avocados from Mexico always being in season there will be plenty of fresh guacamole to go around!

We’re having a Taco Bar with friends and I wanted to make it a little more special and fun.  To start, I had my friend’s kids make some simple, but adorable maracas to decorate our table.  Just a few supplies – plastic spoons, some dried beans or rice, tape and a few plastic eggs (you know you haven’t put them away from Easter, yet!)

maracas supplies

Fill each about halfway with the beans (we used dried chickpeas), nestle the egg between two spoons and secure with tape where the handles come together. Then decorate with more tape. I had some washi-style tape on hand, but you can use regular masking tape and decorate them with markers or crayons, or even duct tape or electrical tape.  I bet stickers would be cute, too!

maracas construction

maracas 1

Next, my husband and I make some fabulous individual 7-Layer Dip cups. And when I say “my husband and I”, that means I made them and he provided the quality control! I made my regular Guacamole recipe with these beautiful avocados from Mexico – lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little Worcestershire sauce. Many people add hot sauce, jalapenos and cilantro, but we like it pretty standard and not spicy.


7 layer

Beans and Chiles

So these cuties start with a layer of Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans on the bottom, then layers of sour cream, guacamole, a sprinkling of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, shredded cheese, Old El Paso Green Chiles (I use the mild ones), and some salsa on top. We added another little dollop of sour cream and garnished with a lime slice. They’re so pretty and perfect for parties – everyone gets their own!  (Tip:  Make this treat more figure-friendly by using Old El Paso Fat Free Refried Beans, fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt and low fat cheese.)

7 layer dip

So, the Taco Bar…

Did you know Old El Paso has these amazing nacho cheese taco shells now?  Say no more…I’m sold! I prepared my ground beef using this recipe from their website.

Bold Nacho Ten Minute Tacos

 Bold Nacho Ten Minute Tacos

These tacos will disappear from your table quickly; they have the perfect zip and cheesiness that everyone will devour at your next dinner.

Prep Time 10 min
Total Time 10 min
Servings 8


1 lb extra-lean (at least 93%) ground beef
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles
Make it FRESH toppings, if desired (see below)


Step 1 – In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and green chiles. Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until beef is thoroughly cooked and seasoning is well combined.

Step 2 – While beef is cooking, heat shells and assemble toppings. Divide beef mixture among shells; finish with desired fresh toppings.

Expert Tips

Ideas for toppings: sliced jalapenos, Sriracha sauce, shredded lettuce, *Avocado Cream, crumbled queso fresco cheese. *To make Avocado Cream, in food processor, place 1 peeled, pitted avocado, 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Cover; process until combined for a delicious topping.

Before I go any further, a couple of cool things about Old El Paso…

First, all of their products have Box Tops for Education.  Love!

Box Tops

Second, they go the extra mile to ensure that their taco shells stay fresh and make it to your table in one piece. So very important!  Shells are double-wrapped and have some cushion inside to keep them from breaking.


Time to set up the Taco Bar and eat!  We’ve put all the toppings and other goodies (and our adorable maracas!) out for guests to help themselves.

Taco Bar

Taco Bar 1

I’ve found that with Old El Paso, the taco shells are super crunchy (pop them in the oven for a minute to warm them up) but they’re also won’t crumble into pieces on your first bite.

No break shells

The Individual 7 Layer Dips were a big hit, too.  Have a look at the absolute perfect bite! A little bit of everything…

Dip and Chip


Add these to your Taco Bar Shopping List-

Dinner Kits: Try our value pack with two dinner kits. You’ll find crunchy corn tacos AND flour tortillas, plus taco seasoning mix and taco sauce. Just add meat and fresh toppings.

Refried Beans: Add Refried Beans for that extra touch of flavor and texture, or use our Beans to enhance any Mexican dish.

Chilies: Chopped up and ready-to-go Green Chiles are the ultimate convenience for Mexican cooking.
Taco Sauce: Try a little Mild Taco Sauce with your Mexican cooking. You may find it soon replaces ketchup!

Avocados From Mexico – Avocados are so popular at parties and festivities that people across the United States enjoy more than 1.3 billion pounds of avocados per year.

Thanks for visiting Nest Full of New!