Appetizer / Beef / Dairy Free / Diet Specific / Gluten Free / Make It WHole30 / Paleo / Recipes

DIY Taco Bar

05.03.16

Look at this spread! the ultimate DIY taco bar - easily whole30 adaptable and SUPER delish. yessss! P.S. how cute is my taco truck!? | thepikeplacekitchen.com

HI HI HI.  LOOK AT THAT SPREAD ^^^ LET’S TACO BOUT IT! ???

some days i just can’t deal.  like days when i make really cheesy food puns.  or days when i make the most delicious taco bar that can be easily adapted to make whole30 tacos!

can we talk flllllllavvvvor?? because i swear to you, even though i already posted about my homemade taco seasoning a while back, i’m NOT a taco snob.  i’ll pretty much eat any taco.  especially out of a truck at 3 am in a fremont parking lot (well… i guess only if it’s taco flair – aka the only mexican i crave that comes from a food truck).

THE BEST taco meat... perfect for a lovely cinco de mayo taco bar | thepikeplacekitchen.com

i grew up on old el paso tacos.  you know the kind that is LOADED with sodium but tastes like freaking ground beef coated in gold?  yeah.  that’s the stuff.

and no matter what i do, i can’t replicate that darn seasoning.  but honestly, after making my taco meat this way i’m not even mad about my old el paso struggles.

but, like, for realz.  this freaking taco meat is in it’s own league.

a couple weeks ago, frankie had a craving for tacos and i was like okay cool and decided to throw everything i had + the kitchen sink in with the taco meat.

THE BEST taco meat... perfect for a lovely cinco de mayo taco bar | thepikeplacekitchen.com

i was afraid i might have over seasoned it (my boyfriend is a huge baby).  but we took our first bites and it was like… taco heaven.  seriously.

there was just the right amount of flavor vs. kick vs. veggies.

(i love putting peppers and onions in my taco meat when its cooking to bulk it up… its also a great way to slip some extra veggies into the diet of a loved one! *cough* frankie *cough*)

THE BEST taco meat... perfect for a lovely cinco de mayo taco bar | thepikeplacekitchen.com

so here’s what you’re gonna do on thursday.

make this taco meat.  prep the veggies, toppings, sauces.  put them in pretty bowls.  set them up on an easily accessible surface.  AND EAT THE TACOS WITH FRIENDS WHILE DRINKING MARGSSSSSS.

yes.

now i’m craving a margadoodle from chili’s.  with that flakey sugar they put on the rim.  i can’t deal.

Look at this spread! the ultimate DIY taco bar - easily whole30 adaptable and SUPER delish. yessss! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

wanna know the best part of this taco night? besides the chips, guac, salsa, taco meat, and margs???

this cool cucumber sauce.  i really have no clue why i did it.  or what made me throw a cucumber in there, but i promise you it’s worth it and SO good.  and um. ahem.  so easy.  way easier than my copy cat version of the chop’t mexican goddess dressing (which you should also make btw.  but if you’re in a pinch and can’t make both i’d go with the cool cucumber because it’s SUPER fast.)

Cool Cucumber Cilantro Sauce for a taco bar! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

also.  i totally cheated and got a taco kit for my shells.  BUT you could adapt this to make it whole30 by turning it into a TACO SALAD BAR.  leave out the cheese, leave out the shells, and BAM.  make sure you have a ton of lettuce, use the chopt mexican dressing or the cool cucumber sauce as a dressing for the salad and your friends will be ALL about it.  i promise.

also also.  i have a weird request.  can you also bake a few potatoes, dice them up, and put them in your taco salad?  i tried this a few times last week and was like weirdly obsessed and i want to know i’m not crazy.

so now you need to take one for the team.  xoxo

Taco shells for a pretty taco bar! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

for those of you NOT on a whole30, can you answer the age old question: hard or soft tacos?

WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?? how do you choose??? HALPPPPP.

it’s too much.  i’ll just have 18.167 of both. thankssss

Look at this spread! the ultimate DIY taco bar - easily whole30 adaptable and SUPER delish. yessss! P.S. how cute is my taco truck!? | thepikeplacekitchen.com

OH. p.s. do you see that ^^^

ITS A TACO TRUCK.  i can’t even.  my friend laura got it for me for christmas this year and i get a giggle out of them every freaking time i use them.  these ones look like the same ones.  you should get them because… do i really need to explain it?  you guys are my people… i think you just get me.

a homemade DIY taco bar! Let everyone make their taco how they want it! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

the ONLY issue i have with a hardshell taco is that it ALWAYS breaks.  i question the structural integrity of these bad boys all day.

my mom is a genius.  she always let’s stuff fall from her tacos and then when she’s done with her one or two and moving onto her last one… she TURNS THE FALLEN PIECES INTO TACO SALAD.  is that a common thing?  did i just miss the ball or something?

whatever, i can’t get over the genius of it all.  such a smart lady.  props to you momma!

a homemade DIY taco bar! Let everyone make their taco how they want it! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

DIY Taco Bar
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 people
Ingredients
for the taco meat:
  • 1½ pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup water
for the cool cucumber sauce:
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ⅓ cup cilantro
for the taco bar:
Instructions
for the taco meat
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Crumble the ground beef into the pan and cook until browned. Reduce the heat to low and remove the skillet. Drain the grease out of the pan and return the beef to the burner.
  2. Add the taco seasoning, salsa, bell pepper, onion, and salt & pepper to the beef. Pour the water into the pan and stir until well mixed. Simmer on low until the water evaporates and the peppers & onions are cooked down, about 7-10 minutes.
for the cool cucumber sauce
  1. In a blender, combine the mayo, lime juice, cucumber, and cilantro. Blend until smooth. If the sauce isn't at a consistency you like, either add more lime juice to thin it out or add more mayo + cilantro to thicken it up!
for the taco bar
  1. While the taco meat is cooking, prepare the ingredients for the taco bar (i.e. heat the taco shells, dice the veggies, and make the sauces. Put each ingredient in its own bowl, or on it's own plate, and place the ingredients on the table or surface you're using for the bar! When the meat finishes simmering, place it in a bowl and put it on the table.
  2. Let everyone make their own tacos & enjoy with margaritas/sombreros!
Notes

this is an easy recipe to make whole30! just make sure you're using homemade or raw ingredients (as a guide: the taco seasoning, salsa, guac, mayo, pico, and dressings NEED to be whole30 if you want to use them!). If you've got the taco meat made and whole30 compliant, i'd just throw some on a bed of lettuce with the other veggies/spices/herbs and call it a taco salad (omit the cheese and tortillas). I'd use either the cool cucumber sauce or my chop't mexican goddess dressing as the dressing for the salad. Sometimes i feel like it needs a little bit extra, so i've been known to throw in diced baked potato to the salad too!

graphic with border

Look at this spread! the ultimate DIY taco bar - easily whole30 adaptable and SUPER delish. yessss! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

help a gurl out.  don’t let me feel like the only one bingeing on tacos in two days….

Make it? Lemme see it! Hashtag it: #thepikeplacekitchen

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