“Woohoo! Party time!”
That’s usually everyone’s first thought when they decide to throw a party. It’s quickly followed by, “What on earth am I going to feed all these people?”
Even the most seasoned event planners struggle with determining a menu that will satisfy a crowd. Lucky for you, we have the answer: a burrito bar. Just follow this simple guide and you’ll be ready to party!
Everything You Need for a Burrito Bar
This build-your-own burrito setup is the perfect solution for your next shindig—big or small. What’s great about this style of menu is that it allows guests to customize their meal to suit their individual preferences, dietary restrictions and appetite. Your job as the host is to simply create a delicious spread of tantalizing ingredients, such as:
- Proteins, like meat and beans
- Mexican cheeses
- Sour cream
- Side dishes and snacks
How to Select Ingredients
When selecting burrito bar ingredients, just close your eyes and envision you’re standing at your favorite fast-casual burrito joint. You’ll want to set up your spread in a similar fashion to make the experience quick and easy for your guests. Be sure to label each item and note its spice level, when applicable.
Start with a couple tortilla options, such as flour and whole wheat. If you have guests who follow a gluten-free diet, then supply a few gluten-free tortillas, too. You could even offer bowls to hold burrito fillings since some guests may be watching their carbs and prefer to go without a tortilla.
What type of rice is used in burritos? Crowd-pleasing favorites like copycat Chipotle cilantro-lime rice and traditional Spanish rice are great options. You could also consider offering steamed brown rice or quinoa for your health-conscious guests.
Love them or hate them, beans are another burrito bar staple. Keep it classic with warm pinto beans, black beans or both.
Don’t settle for basic ground beef! There’s a wide variety of protein options for burritos. Choose two or three different meat options and make them in advance. When it’s party time, warm ’em up in slow cookers. Our favorite options? Shredded beef, like this green chili beef, shredded chicken, carne asada steak or pork al pastor. If you have vegan or vegetarian guests, you could also serve up some seasoned tofu, tempeh or other meat alternatives.
Veggie options for your burrito bar are only limited by your imagination (and budget). If you want to keep things simple, stick to traditional burrito fillings like lettuce, chopped tomato, diced onions, sliced jalapenos and cilantro. If you want to jazz things up, you can include ingredients like fresh corn kernels, pickled radishes, sauteed bell peppers or a crunchy, southwest cabbage slaw.
Is it even a burrito if there isn’t a healthy sprinkling of cheese inside? Shredded Monterey jack, cheddar or pepper jack will please most guests. You can include a few authentic Mexican cheeses, like shredded asadero, grated cotija or crumbled queso fresco.
Sour Cream, Guac and Salsa
No burrito bar is complete without homemade guacamole, sour cream and assorted salsas to top everything off. Your bar should include, at minimum, a mild pico de gallo and a spicy salsa option to appease both sides of the heat spectrum. You could also offer something unique (like this strawberry corn salsa) for your adventurous guests.
Sides and Dessert
Extra rice and beans make great, easy side dish options. Serve them alongside extra bowls of salsa and guacamole with a few large bags of tortilla chips. Don’t forget about dessert! Have a batch of these tasty homemade churros ready for your guests with decadent chocolate sauce for dipping.
How to Set up the Bar
If you’re looking for some fun finishing touches, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our favorite serving pieces and fiesta-inspired decor items that will help ensure your burrito bar goes off without a hitch.