How to Set Up a Salsa Bar

Create a Rustic Backdrop

  • Salsas are colorful on their own, so a simple rustic background really shows them off at their vibrant best.
  • Start with a bare wood table or burlap table cover. Create a table backstop with a piece of old lumber (reclaimed barn board type – well scrubbed).
  • Use galvanized tin containers to hold spoons and napkins.
  • Fill a galvanized tub or galvanized ice bucket with tortilla chips - line with a burlap-type cloth. Our Main & Vine house-made tortilla chips are a great choice for super-fresh taste, plus you can add blue corn or vegetable chips for variety.
  • Make a centerpiece arrangement on a galvanized cake stand. Arrange whole tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, serrano and jalapeno chiles, garlic, limes and bunches of cilantro in an attractive cornucopia.

Mix Up the Salsas

  • To show off all those glorious colors, place each salsa in a big glass bowl on the lumber riser. Aim for five salsas.
  • Prepare several of your favorite vegetable salsas, such as tomato, black bean, corn or cucumber salsas. Then add some fun fruit versions, like pineapple mango, watermelon jalapeno or strawberry avocado salsa.
  • Vary the heat in your salsa selections, from mild to hot, and advise guests with fun little signs that name the salsa and indicate the heat level with one, two or three chili peppers.
  • Guacamole is always a welcome addition to a salsa bar.
  • Add to the fun with a tray of “salsa on a stick” kebabs…cherry tomato, chunk of onion, chunk of bell pepper, slice of jalapeno and a sprig of cilantro.
  • Besides the tortilla chips, provide more dipping options like cucumber chunks, sliced apples (great for fruit salsas) or jicama sticks.

Make Serving & Sampling Easy

  • Have a recyclable foil 6-cup muffin pan ready for each guest, and add a foil baking cup liner to three of the cups. (They’ll both match the galvanized accessories!)
  • Encourage guests to fill three of the lined muffin cups with salsas of their choice, and the other three cups with chips or dippers.
  • Guests can relax, sit down, talk and enjoy their sampling. When ready for more, they can discard the salsa cup liners in a handy wastebasket behind the table, place new liners and fill up again. Repeat as desired!

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