This 7-Layer Dip Will Get You To Eat Your Vegetables

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

If you’ve got a pot-luck dinner coming, or just want a satisfying and crowd-pleasing munchie to serve at your next BBQ, then go no further than this 7-layer dip.  It’s easy to make, a meal in itself, really, and is a perfect companion for tortilla chips.  Are you trying to get your kids to eat more veggies (and yourself!)? You’ll be able to do it with this dip at your side.

Ingredients matter, even in this recipe, so some things to keep in mind according to The Kitchn’s Patty Catalano:

1. Beans: Choose the best-tasting can of refried beans at the grocery store and spread it on the bottom of the dish. It’s the foundation, the start of it all, and will support the guacamole which goes on top. The best ones tend to be on the bottom shelf, so make sure you move your eyes downward next time you are at the grocery store.

2. Guacamole: You can use store-bought, of course, but consider stepping up your game by making your own. As Catalano says: The key is making a garlic paste, which gives the guac a gentler garlic flavor and incorporates more seamlessly than minced garlic. Mash the guac to a smoother consistency than you would if serving it straight up, making it easier to scoop.

3. Taco-seasoned sour cream: Take cream cheese out of the refrigerator and soften it for a few hours. Mix it with sour cream and a package of reduced-sodium taco seasoning. Cream cheese is rich and gives the sour cream body. To prevent the guacamole from browning make sure to cover it completely with the sour cream to seal it in.  If you are making the dip for a party you can assemble everything up to this point and cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it before finishing the next steps and serving.

4. Salsa: Choose any variety you like and spread it over the sour cream.  I like spicy, so I use a medium or hot spice level.


  • (16-ounce) can refried beans
  • large cloves garlic
  • teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the tomatoes
  • 4 medium avocados, softened
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 small red onion), divided
  • tablespoons finely chopped unseeded jalapeño (from 1 small jalapeño, optional)
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • ounces cream cheese, very soft
  • (1-ounce) package 25% less-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • cups salsa
  • cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese (8 ounces)
  • 2 plum or Roma tomatoes, diced
  • tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • Tortilla chips or cut veggies, for serving


  1. Spread the bean mixture into an even layer in a 9×13-inch or 7×11-inch baking dish.

  2. Make garlic paste by first mincing the garlic, then sprinkling it with the salt. Then hold the blunt side of the knife with both hands, and scrape the sharp end of the knife against the pile of garlic at an angle to flatten the garlic. Work the garlic back into a tidy pile and repeat, pressing and scraping the knife through the pile for 2 to 3 minutes until you have a smooth paste. Transfer the garlic paste to a large bowl.

  3. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove and discard the pits. Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl of garlic. Add the lime juice and half of the red onion, then use a fork or potato masher to mash to desired consistency. Stir in the jalapeño, if using. Spread the guacamole into an even layer on top of the refried beans.

  4. Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning together in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Then spread the sour cream mixture over the guacamole into an even layer, covering the guacamole completely.

  5. Spread the salsa over the sour cream layer, spreading into an even layer, and top with the cheese.

  6. Stir the tomato, cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons red onion, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl. Scatter evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle the olives on top.


Make ahead: The dip can be made 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Storage: Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

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