A baked potato bar is an easy way to feed your family, a few people for a casual party or even a large crowd at any event. A potato bar meal offers variety and healthy foods while individual tastes and special diets can be accommodated. This buffet style meal idea is perfect for a mixed group of children and adults, for meat eaters and vegetarians, and for those on a gluten free diet, for example. Kids especially love this idea, finding it fun to choose the toppings they enjoy.
Preparing for a Baked Potato Bar Party
To prepare for the meal or party buffet, pre-cook large baking potatoes and keep them warm until serving time. Provide roughly 2 large baking potatoes per adult, depending on the group. Children may prefer smaller spuds or a half of one large potato.
Arrange topping (listed below) in individual bowls on a table or counter top. When it is time to eat, each guest receives his or her own potato to split open and top as desired. It is a lot of fun to see how all the individual delicious “creations” turn out.
Offer, at minimum, the following ingredients (adjusting for family favorites and diets):
- Butter or margarine
- Sour cream
- Chopped chives or green onions
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Bacon bits (fresh or bottled)
More Baked Potato Toppings Ideas
Your potato bar can be simple and frugal or as large and gourmet as you like. Some ideas of items to offer guests include:
- Parmesan cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Various gourmet cheeses, melted or shredded
- Chili (meat and/or vegetarian)
- Sliced olives (black or a gourmet assortment)
- Chopped green peppers
- Chopped tomato chunks
- Pineapple chunks
- Cooked mixed vegetables
- Jalapeño chilies
- Mild green chilies
- Chopped chicken cubes
- Cheese sauce
- Alfredo sauce
- Bar-be-cue sauces
Giving Your Potato Bar Party a Theme
A potato bar can be as down-to-earth as a western BBQ or as elegant as you like. Changing the serving dishes, the banquet table décor, and the ingredients available will change the mood of the meal and the event.
For a western party, for instance, the potato toppings might focus more on BBQ sauces, cheese and chili. Steak strips might be added. The table theme could be red and white checked fabrics or paper goods with denim accents. Yee-haw!
For a fancier party, try shopping the local gourmet deli for fine and luscious ingredients. Most delis allow shoppers to taste various items and can make recommendations as to what cheeses and wines go best together, for instance. Set a pretty table with fresh flowers, nice dishes and lovely cloth linens.
A potato bar is a good lunch idea for a teen or child’s birthday party, as most kids like potatoes and enjoy choosing what they like to eat. A party for children could offer fewer, simpler ingredients, if desired.
Consider a potato bar for St. Patrick’s Day! How many green toppings can you find?
A Party Potato Bar is Easy to Plan
Perhaps the most unique aspect of having a baked potato bar as the main party meal is its flexibility. With a little brainstorming and creative grocery shopping, this simple idea can be made to accommodate practically any kind of party.
Prepare in advance so you can relax during the meal or event. Whatever kind of party and party food is offered, guests are sure to have a good time when the host has fun.