7 Layer Dip

4.87 from 30 votes
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This 7 layer dip recipe is loaded with flavorful ingredients that create the perfect game day appetizer! Serve with crunchy tortilla chips or sliced vegetables, and watch it disappear.

scooping a tortilla chip into a 7 layer dip

Are you looking for an easy appetizer to feed a crowd but not sure what to make? How about combining seven different dips into one bowl? It’s like digging for buried treasure, as each layer delivers an exciting array of flavors and textures. This easy 7 layer bean dip recipe is a must when parked in front of the TV while watching the big game.

What goes into each section? I use a classic combination of savory, creamy, and fresh items that pair nicely together. Refried beans, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole are essentials, but that’s only the start. Other fresh ingredients add a variety of textures. I share the necessary elements to make this dish entirely homemade and convenient options when limited on time.

Beans are the base

Refried beans and a dollop of sour cream in a mixing bowl.
Layer 1: Beans

You can make a batch of refried beans from dried or canned whole pinto beans. Using homemade allows for better control of the seasonings and fat selection. For instance, most traditional recipes use lard, but I prefer butter or olive oil. 

Premade canned refried beans work well, but check the ingredient label, as many brands offer healthier versions. Combine the refried beans with a small amount of sour cream to lighten the heavy consistency, making it easier to spread in the dish. If you like a richer taste, use softened cream cheese instead.

Season the sour cream

Spreading sour cream seasoned with taco seasoning over refried beans.
Layer 2: Sour cream

Cool and tangy sour cream adds a nice creamy consistency. To make the flavor more interesting, I stir in homemade taco seasoning. The mixture combines dried spices and herbs like paprika (smoked recommended), cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, chili powder, garlic, and onion powder. 

The intense spices add a pop of Mexican-inspired flavors and provide dimension to the appetizer. I use 2 tablespoons of the mix or pre-packaged taco seasoning as a 1:1 substitute.

Chunky guacamole

I place a bright green layer of homemade guacamole on top of the layer of sour cream. It’s straightforward to prepare and adds a pleasant fresh taste to the dip. Just mash three ripe avocados, chopped jalapenos, onions, diced tomato, lime juice, and garlic. You can use store-bought, but you’ll need at least 2 ½ cups.

Spicy salsa

A layer of salsa spread evenly over the guacamole.
Layer 4: Salsa

For a kick of heat, place a thin coat of salsa on top of the guacamole. I use canned fire-roasted tomatoes in my homemade salsa because they are ripe and sweet with a smokey flavor. You can adjust the spiciness with more or less fresh jalapeno peppers. Of course, off-the-shelf salsa is a quick swap if you prefer a chunkier style or one that’s more mild or hot. If you prefer a fresher taste, make some pico de Gallo.

Make it cheesy

Grated Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses evenly spread over red salsa.
Layer 5: Cheese

A sprinkling of shredded cheese on top adds a salty, nutty flavor. I recommended using equal quantities of firm varieties like sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. They’re both easy to bite and provide a nice contrast in colors.

Other types of cheese, like mozzarella and pepper jack work well, or you can use cotija or queso fresco. This 7-layer dip is served cold so the cheese doesn’t melt.

Add fresh ingredients

A layer of diced tomatoes placed on top of the shredded cheeses.
Layer 6: Tomatoes

Juicy diced tomatoes add fresh sweet bites. You can use any type of tomato, but I prefer Roma tomatoes because they are juicy and firm, with a hint of sweetness. The tiny tomato chucks provide a nice contrast so that the dip doesn’t taste completely mushy. I also use sliced green onions and cilantro to give a pop of color and bright garden aromatics.

Add briny notes

Sliced olives spread over the layers of cheese and diced tomatoes.
Layer 7: Olives

Sliced black olives add a unique taste. These tiny fruits are cured in a salt and oil solution until they have a lovely brined flavor and soft texture. Pieces scattered on top enhance the dip’s texture and provide a burst of saltiness. You don’t need much, about ½ a cup.

What to serve this with

  • Crunchy tortilla chips, pita chips, or potato chips
  • Sliced vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, or celery
  • Use to top ground beef tacos, nachos, or quesadillas
A scoop removed from a dip showing each of the seven layers.

Keeping the guacamole green

Once you cut an avocado, the flesh turns brown and mushy due to oxidation from air exposure. To slow the rate of color change, add lime juice to the guacamole. The natural ascorbic acid (vitamin c) will interact with the oxygen first, instead of the enzymes in the fruit that causes the undesirable color change. To reduce the avocados’ exposure to air, I add it as a middle layer.

7 Layer Dip

Easy seven layer dip recipe that makes for the perfect appetizer. Serve with crunchy tortilla chips or sliced veggies and watch it disappear!
4.87 from 30 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 45 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 2 ¼ cups sour cream, divided
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 ½ cups guacamole
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup diced tomato, ¼" dice
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Beans – In a medium bowl, mix refried beans and ¼ cup sour cream until smooth. Evenly spread the bean mixture in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  • Season the Sour Cream – In a separate medium bowl, stir together 2 cups of sour cream and taco seasoning. Evenly spread on top of the beans.
  • Add the Spice – Evenly spread the guacamole on top of the sour cream mixture. Spread the salsa on top of the guacamole.
  • Add the Cheeses – Evenly sprinkle the cheddar and Monterey jack cheese on top.
  • Add Fresh Toppings – Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes, olives, green onions, and cilantro on top. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or tightly cover and refrigerate.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 11 ¼ cups
  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Make-Ahead: Can be made up to 3 days in advance. Tightly cover with plastic wrap, then foil, and refrigerate. Wait to add the green onions and cilantro for the freshest taste.
  • Layer Thickness: For thicker layers, use a 9 by 9-inch pan.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 45 servings
Calories 76kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 3g (1%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 6g (9%)Saturated Fat 3g (15%)Cholesterol 11mg (4%)Sodium 174mg (7%)Potassium 116mg (3%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 199IU (4%)Vitamin C 2mg (2%)Calcium 59mg (6%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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2 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I don’t, but you can easily add a layer of cooled turkey or beef. I would add it on top of the sour cream mixture. It would be yummy tossed with some taco seasoning! Let me know if you try it.