Nacho Bar for 100 People

We are planning to sell nachos at work as a fundraiser and estimate we’ll be feeding 100 people. The Ellen’s Kitchen site, especially the Tex Mex page, was extremely helpful in estimating quantities. I took a number of her suggestions and consolidated them into this list.

Recipes to try: The Tex Mex page on Ellen’s site has several great ideas: a “Walking Taco Salad” for 25 people, a recipe for making taco seasoning mix in bulk, and a Universal Salsa recipe that makes 1 quart. had a Texas Queso Dip recipe to feed 8 to 10 people.

See also Build Your Own Nacho Bar.

Nacho Bar for 100: Shopping List

Ellen recommends the following items at a minimum to make nachos for 100 people. I created the shopping list below, assuming the shopping is done at a warehouse store, but regular grocery store sizes are also provided. A #10 can has 96 oz (3 quarts). If you can only find 15-oz cans of nacho cheese sauce, you’ll need about 18 to 26 cans (too many!). I say buy bigger cans or make a large batch of cheese sauce with Velveeta (serves 24) at that point.

8 lbs (128 oz) tortilla chips:

  • Warehouse: 4 x 2-lb bags or 8 x 26-oz bag
  • Grocery: 16 x 13-oz bag

2 to 3 gallons (256 to 384 oz) nacho cheese sauce

Heat several quarts at a time in a slow cooker on Low for about 30 minutes to an hour.

  • 2 x 1-gallon cans or
  • 3 x #10 size cans (288 oz total)

1 gallon (128 oz) salsa. That’s 4 quarts. Get a variety of flavors and heat ranges (mild to hot).

  • Warehouse: 3 x 48 oz jars
  • Grocery: 8 x 16 oz jar

1 gallon (128 oz) sliced jalapenos. That’s also 4 quarts.

  • 1 gallon jar or
  • 1 x #10 can (96 oz; 3 quarts)
  • 4 x 32 oz jar

Nacho Bar for 100: Deluxe Add-ons

Ellen recommends adding the following items to make your nacho bar special. You probably don’t need the full amount of shredded cheddar, if you have lots of melted cheese sauce. Picante sauce is also low priority (and a little redundant) if you already have salsa.

12 lbs ground beef or turkey (could use up to 20 lbs meat total)

  • Add 2 tablespoons/1 envelope taco seasoning mix per 1 pound of meat as it cooks

1 gallon (128 oz) sour cream

12 cans (15 oz each) ranch or chili beans (or 2 x #10-cans)

12 cans (4+ oz each) sliced olives (48 oz minimum)

12 cups (3 lbs) shredded cheddar cheese — there are 4 cups of shredded cheese in 1 lb.

12 cups chopped tomato or 10 pints (160 oz / 5 quarts) chunky picante sauce

8 cups chopped onion or scallion (8 to 10 sweet white onions)

4 cups (1 quart) guacamole

4 cans (4.5 oz each) mild green chiles (16 oz minimum)