On nights when I have a number of chances and endings in the fridge – chopped cilantro, sliced chillies, a container of boiled black beans – I warm up a stack of Tortillas and set up a taco bar for dinner. This is of course a far cry from traditional Mexican food, but Jack and I always have fun filling our Tacos with what sounds best.
I love this kind of DIY dinner on weekdays. On the one hand, it is much easier to make taco toppings than to prepare a compound main course, especially if you start with toppings that you already have on hand. Secondly, it allows everyone to participate in cooking. Whether you have children or have a slightly different taste than your partner (for example, Jack does not like Avocado…), this is a win-win situation.
Find 14 of my go-to taco toppings below. They are all simple and tasteful, and many will hold well if you make them in advance. Choose two, three, four or more and create a fresh and fun taco bar every night of the week!
Taco Bar Essentials
Before we get to Taco Toppings, let’s talk about Taco Bar Basics. To begin with, You need Tortillas. A side of beans and rice never hurts either.
Whether store bought or homemade, Tortillas are a must in any taco bar. I suggest choosing small corn tortillas or soft tortillas from a mixture of corn and wheat flour. This way you can enjoy the rich flavor of corn tortillas and the sweetness of flour tortillas in one!
Seasoned with cumin, oregano and lime, they make an excellent filling or Taco side. Cooked pinto beans or fried beans would also be a great choice for taco bars.
No Taco night is complete without some kind of side dish, and coriander lime rice is one of my favorites. Lime, green onion and coriander package it with a fresh, spicy taste.
Hearty Taco Fillings
Who says you need meat to create a delicious taco bar? These hearty taco toppings-though not traditional at all-are spicy, satisfying, and totally vegan.
This spicy jackfruit recipe is taken from Nisha Vora’s Instant Pot vegan cookbook. I love it because it packs 1) a huge blow taste and 2) is perfect for making cakes. Cook it up to two days before your Taco Bar party and reheat it on the stove or in a slow cooker just before eating.
Very Veggie Taco Bar Ideas
Tip: Vegetables make every taco bar better. For a crispy topping, make a quick Slaw by tossing red cabbage with lime juice, salt and pepper, or make bowls of crushed salad, sliced radishes and/or onion cubes. Aside from that, vegetables can also make the” meat ” of a Taco! These plant-based taco toppings are all hearty and spicy. Best of all, they are super easy to make!
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Never tried Sweet potato Tacos? You miss it! Roasted sweet potatoes, added to chili powder or a little taco seasoning, are an irresistible sweet and spicy taco topping.
Cauliflower Air Fryer
I’ve been eating this crispy cauliflower as a snack for months, but only recently have I thought about trying it in Tacos. What took so long?! Crispy on the outside, tender in the middle and seasoned with Cayenne and smoked Paprika, This is a taco to try.
Shovel a little into your Tacos and serve the rest with tortilla Chips for dipping.
Pico De Gallo
If homemade Salsa sounds intimidating, Salsa Fresca is a great place to start. Cut tomatoes, onions, coriander and chilli, mix and Add a large lime and a pinch of salt. It’s so simple and refreshing!
Now that I think about it, it might even be easier to make this Salsa recipe than Pico De Gallo. Add the ingredients to a food processor, mix the pulse, and season to taste (and taste and taste…). You will never get the store bought kind!
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
If you like bright and spicy taco toppings, this Salsa Verde recipe is for you. For a fun creamy variation, toss an avocado in the food processor before mixing the Salsa together.
If you’re adding rich, spicy taco toppings to your taco bar, like this creamy Chipotle sauce or Jerk seasoned Taco meat, you should also make this mango salsa. It will offer a soft and refreshing contrast with the bold flavors.