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Easy Taco Bar Menu Recipe Ideas - Kids Cook Monday

Updated on December 29, 2014
Victoria Lynn profile image

Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily. Kids Cook Monday offers simple recipes kids can help with.

Taco Salad option
Taco Salad option | Source
Tortilla Wrap option
Tortilla Wrap option | Source

Easy Taco Bar

I remember as a kid lots of relatives coming to our house to enjoy a taco dinner. My mom often hosted family dinners with extended relatives. We didn't have a big house, but it was packed with aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents, too. Taco shells were available, along with anything we would want to pile on to make a taco--or we could break up the hard shells to make a taco salad. I have wonderful memories of a houseful of people gathered around our dining room table, with the younger kids (those older than I, actually) ready when the prayer was over (as our group would often say grace) to press down their hard tacos with a loud "CRUNCH!" Ornery cousins! But this always got a laugh from the whole room. A very fun family time indeed!

A taco bar with all the fixins' is always an easy, tasty meal to make. With a build-your-own taco or tortilla layout, this taco bar offers food options to cater to individual tastes.

This taco bar is definitely kid-friendly in terms of helping in the kitchen to put everything together. The final result--a beautiful, tantalizing taco bar--is both kid and adult-friendly when it comes to eating it!

You can build your taco or tortilla wrap by first starting with your choice of a flour tortilla to put everything in or chips as a base for a taco salad. Lay out the meat and beans next, followed by cheese to add to the warm ingredients.

Then you will have your lettuce and tomatoes, followed by other additions of onions, black olives, and whatever sauces you want to offer on top.

I love this meal. It's hard to stop at just one serving!

Cook the meat and beans!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Warmed-up beans and cooked ground beefHeat up refried beans.Brown ground beef.
Warmed-up beans and cooked ground beef
Warmed-up beans and cooked ground beef | Source
Heat up refried beans.
Heat up refried beans. | Source
Brown ground beef.
Brown ground beef. | Source

Put the fillings into serving dishes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chopped tomatoes and lettuceSides of chopped olives and onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream
Chopped tomatoes and lettuce
Chopped tomatoes and lettuce | Source
Sides of chopped olives and onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream
Sides of chopped olives and onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream | Source

Ingredients for Tortilla Taco Bar

  • 1 lb. ground beef or chuck
  • 1 15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 package flour tortillas, taco size
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 8 oz can black olives, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 head lettuce, chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sour cream
  • taco sauce
  • tortilla chips, optional
  • 1 packet taco seasoning


  1. Cook one pound of ground beef or chuck on the stove until browned. In this recipe, I added some leftover green bell peppers (chopped) for some added vegetable benefits.
  2. Drain meat and return it to pan. Add taco seasoning packet, adding water as instructed on package. (I usually add about half as much water as the package calls for.)
  3. Open can of refried beans and put in pan on stove on medium heat. Add about 1/4 cup or less of water to help mix up beans to desired consistency.
  4. Cut or tear up about half a head of lettuce.
  5. Chop up several tomatoes and put in serving dish. Do the same with the small onion and the black olives, putting each in its individual serving dish.
  6. Grate about half an 8 oz. block of cheddar cheese. You may need more depending on your family's tastes. Put cheese in serving container.
  7. Don't forget the sour cream! Put out a tub or spoon some out into a nice serving bowl.

What do you think of this recipe?

5 stars from 1 rating of Taco Tortilla Bar Menu

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 6-8 people depending on amounts of filling used
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sauces and sides for taco barCorn and flour tortillas for taco bar
Sauces and sides for taco bar
Sauces and sides for taco bar | Source
Corn and flour tortillas for taco bar
Corn and flour tortillas for taco bar | Source

Optional Ingredients

Oh, of course you can add extra ingredients to your taco bar. I recently made some homemade guacamole and pico de gallo to finish off my tortilla wrap-ups. Be creative if you want.

When I set out this taco bar, I do set out many options for toppings or dips. (I like to dip my tortilla wrap in some kind of sauce that I pour on my plate.) Here are some options:

  • taco sauce
  • hot sauce
  • salsa
  • salsa verde (green salsa)
  • sliced jalapenos
  • banana rings, or
  • pepperoncinis

Note: Nutrition Values are approximate

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 tortilla with filling
Calories 291
Calories from Fat126
% Daily Value *
Fat 14 g22%
Saturated fat 7 g35%
Carbohydrates 27 g9%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 30 g60%
Cholesterol 83 mg28%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

This recipe could use several little helpers!

Get the children involved in preparing the taco bar. The younger children can tear lettuce and even chop black olives with a butter knife.

The older ones can grate cheese and chop onions, or watch and stir the meat and beans. There is something for everyone to do.

Kids can help by getting appropriate serving bowls and helping to spread and arrange the taco bar. Lay it out on the counter in the order that is needed to build a taco or tortilla.

Add optional toppings or fillings at the end.

Load tortilla with fillings.
Load tortilla with fillings. | Source
Wrap tortillas. Dip in salsa as desired.
Wrap tortillas. Dip in salsa as desired. | Source

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