How to Set Up a Baked Potato Bar for Your Next Party
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Looking for an easy and affordable meal idea for a large family or gathering?!
Loaded baked potatoes are always a hit! Let’s face it, coming up with meal ideas when hosting a party or feeding lots of people can get tricky when you’ve got different dietary restrictions to think about, picky eaters to accommodate, and figuring out an idea that doesn’t require a lot of prep or clean-up.
Well… if you enjoy warm baked potatoes as much as we do, you’re going to love this fun baked potato bar idea as an easy and YUMMY entertaining idea.
Potato bar to the rescue!
I recently had my dad and some close family over after a year of being apart due to COVID, and was looking for a simple idea that would appeal to everyone! I am so glad I decided to do a baked potato bar with a slow cooker full of chili, because everyone LOVED it, and I appreciated that it really didn’t take a ton of work.
I actually prepped my chili in the morning, worked a full day, and then put together a simple potato bar for my family that actually looked pretty impressive but was easy.
The big benefits of having a baked potato bar for a crowd:
- Most people like potatoes.
- Even if you’re dairy-free or vegetarian, you can still enjoy it.
- It feeds a large crowd for cheap!
- It’s a well-rounded and filling meal or snack when you add the right toppings. It’s a great source of:
Here are some easy tips & tricks for hosting your own baked potato bar!
1. Find the best-baked potato recipe to prep your potatoes.
For the perfect baked potato bar, serve the best baked potatoes! Baking a bunch of russet potatoes in the oven is super easy. Go HERE to read how to make the best oven-baked potatoes for this baked potato bar idea!
2. Make a pot of chili to really beef it up.
I actually rarely use a set recipe to make chili for my family, and usually combine cooked ground beef, beans, diced tomatoes etc. This copycat Wendy’s chili is pretty close to what I usually make. On this night, I made a big batch in the slow cooker, which is great for keeping it warm to serve.
3. Buy premade toppings to save on time and cleanup.
I honestly love this tip as it does make things so much easier. The green onion and sliced jalapenos are so worth it to buy presliced. For bacon, I love the Kirkland premade thick cut Bacon from Costco because you can throw a few pieces to cook in the microwave and then crumble in a bowl- easy peasy!
Hip Tip: If you want to chop up all your own ingredients, I highly recommend this food chopper! You can perfectly and quickly dice up so many different veggies in just minutes!
Here’s a list of our suggested toppings for a baked potato bar:
- Sour cream (squeezable recommended)
- Shredded cheese
- Velveeta cheese
- Gorgonzola cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Chili (Knockoff Wendy’s recipe)
- Bacon (cooked and chopped)
- Pulled pork or chicken
- Black beans
- Diced onions
- Diced tomatoes
- Steamed broccoli
- Buffalo sauce
Collin’s family LOVES a good baked potato bar too and she had this to say:
“Two summers ago, I was trying to come up with a fun idea for feeding a large group of hungry yet picky teenagers. After doing some browsing online for inspiration, I decided on a potato bar! I loved this idea because it didn’t seem too difficult or too expensive – just bake a bunch of potatoes and then decide on toppings. And I also thought it was great since the variety of toppings available would appeal to many different taste buds and dietary restrictions.
And guess what? It turned out to be a total success!
We celebrated my son, Nick’s, 18th birthday (yes 18!! 😢) a couple years ago, and all of the teens were so excited about the potato bar! It was nice to see everyone enjoying their meal, especially considering the size of the group.
Oh and if you need a dessert idea for a large group that’s super easy, we love Costco cake! It’s so good, so affordable, and so BIG! The only downside, I can’t resist Costco cake, and I am a total frosting addict. Those corner pieces end up on my plate every single time.”
With so many toppings to choose from, friends can load their potatoes up as little or as much as they want. And one thing is for sure, they’ll have a great time, no matter what!
Other food bar ideas to inspire your next party:
- taco bar
- hot dog bar
- hot cocoa bar
- mini pizza bar
- ice cream bar