This 7 layer dip is loaded with flavorful ingredients that create the perfect game day appetizer! Serve with crunchy tortilla chips or sliced vegetables and watch it disappear.
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Are you looking for an 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 recipe is a must when parked in front of the TV for awhile 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
You can make a batch of refried beans from either 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. I recommend combining the beans with a small amount of sour cream to lighten the heavy consistency, making it easier to spread in the dish.
Season the sour cream
Cool and tangy sour cream adds a nice creamy consistency. To make the flavor more interesting, I stir in a homemade taco seasoning. The mixture is a combination of 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 you can use pre-packaged taco seasoning as a 1:1 substitute.
I place a bright green layer of homemade guacamole in the middle. 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.
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 chunkier style or one that’s more mild or hot.
Make it cheesy
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 seven layer dip is served cold, so the cheese doesn’t melt.
Add fresh ingredients
Juicy diced tomatoes add fresh sweet bites. You can use any type of tomato, but I prefer Roma since I use a thinner consistency of salsa. The small 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 black olives add a unique taste. These small 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
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, that’s why I add it as a middle layer.
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7 Layer Dip
- 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.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together 2 cups sour cream and taco seasoning. Evenly spread on top of the beans.
- Evenly spread the guacamole on top of the sour cream mixture.
- Spread the salsa on top of the guacamole.
- Evenly sprinkle the cheddar and Monterey jack cheese on top.
- Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes, olives, green onions, and cilantro on top. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or tightly cover and refrigerate.
- 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.
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