Build Your Own Nacho Party

If you are having a party (especially if there are teenagers as part of the mix) and want a surefire hit, you will be hard pressed to find something more crowd pleasing than a build-your-own-nachos bar.  My sister-in-law did this for one her her son’s graduation parties, and I knew then and there it was going to become part of my repertoire.

How to Make a Nacho Bar / Mia / Katie Workman /

Most recently I put this out for a super bowl party, and it reminded me of watching a zookeeper feed the lions.  Throw in the food, snatch back your hand as quickly as possible, and don’t get between the beasts (in this case about half a dozen teenage boys) and the food.

Also, yes, there are Instagram versions where this is all pulled together on your table, but honestly who wants to clean that all up!?

Nacho Topping Ideas

The list of possible ways to personalize nachos abound, and while a number are listed below in the nacho bar topping list, you can get very creative—or stick with the basics.  Then stand back and let everyone make their own version of loaded bar nachos.  

How to Make a Nacho Bar / Mia / Katie Workman /

Chili is one of the suggested toppings and you can make any kind of chili, from chicken to turkey to beef to vegetarian.  Here are some to try:

How to Make a Nacho Bar / Mia / Katie Workman /

Or, instead of chili, you can also serve up cooked taco meat, or shredded slow cooked pork, beef, or chicken.

Nacho Bar Party

The very first time I did a test run of these was when my younger son, Charlie, had a bunch of friends over for a movie night. (I will pause to mention that two of the attending friends were named Linus and Lucy. Yes, it’s freaking adorable. No they didn’t watch Peanuts.)

One of the best possible ways to kick off a party.

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How to Make a Nacho Bar / Mia / Katie Workman /

Linus, amazingly, had NEVER had nachos! Isn’t that crazy? He kept repeating this fact with wonder and anticipation as the nachos baked. He lives a rich and full life otherwise, with much exposure to all of the wonders of the world, so this oversight is an anomaly. I was so happy to show him the light – how often do you get to provide a person with their first nacho night experience?

Nacho Bar Toppings

What to Serve with a Nacho Bar:

All you would need to make a Nacho Bar party complete would be some Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders, a crudite basket, and some One-Pot Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies.  Now that’s a party.

How to Make a Nacho Bar / Mia / Katie Workman /

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How to Make a Nacho Bar

One of the best possible ways to kick off a party.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 13-ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese

Nacho Bar Toppings


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread half the tortilla chips on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle over half of the cheese, and then layer on the rest of the chips, and cover with the rest of the cheese.
  • Place any and all of the desired toppings in individual bowls and place on the table, with small plates. Heat up the chili.
  • When ready to serve, bake the nachos for about 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. Transfer the nachos to a serving platter, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Calcium: 449mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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