The Best 7-Layer Dip {New and Improved}

This easy 7-layer dip is the best of the best thanks to a few secret (and simple) mix-ins that take it to the next level. It’s a tried-and-true favorite!

scoop taken out of 7-layer dip to show all the layers

Why does 7-layer dip have to be so goooood? It’s one of my favorite appetizer snacky things of all time. 

And if it’s served at a potluck or BBQ, good luck trying to get me to actually talk to real, live humans in favor of standing by the food table near the 7LD at all times. 

I have an older 7-layer dip recipe on my site that’s been around for almost a decade. It’s tasty. But this new and improved recipe is easier and much better, if I’m allowed to say so.

scoop of 7-layer dip on multigrain tortilla chip

Overlook the looks

This easy 7-layer dip is so delicious, I can easily overlook that there is absolutely NO way to make this dip look amazing once it’s dished up. 

It’s a messy jumble of mashed up goodness. And that’s ok. 

While this recipe for 7-layer dip is incredibly easy, there are a few special mix-ins that take a few of those layers to the next level. 

beans, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese layered in white dish for 7-layer dip

The Seven Layers of 7-Layer Dip

1) refried beans (with your favorite salsa mixed in for flavor – yum!)2) guacamole (storebought or homemade)

3) sour cream (with a few simple seasonings stirred in to make things exciting)

4) shredded cheese (go with the finely shredded!)

5) chopped tomatoes

6) sliced olives

7) finely chopped green onions or chives

tomatoes, olives and green onions layered on 7-layer dip in white dish

Tip for Making 7-Layer Dip Ahead of Time

For the first three spreadable layers (beans, guac, sour cream), spread them as evenly as possible. Think beautifully flat plateaus.

When you get to the sour cream layer, cover the guacamole layer completely, spreading the sour cream all the way to the edges of the dish and sealing in that guac layer completely.

Why? This keeps the guacamole from turning brown AND it means you can make the 7-layer dip ahead of time with stellar results. 

big scoop of 7-layer dip on white plate with tortilla chips

This easy 7-layer dip is a summer staple for us. 

And I’m here to confess that sometimes we make it for dinner. Throw some chips out there (and maybe even some grilled chicken if you’re feeling ambitious) and you have a crazy delicious meal. 

I never, ever get tired of this dip. I hope you love this new and improved version! It makes the perfect potluck or BBQ offering for the months ahead (although there’s no shame if you decide to keep it all to yourself either). 

top down view of easy 7-layer dip in white casserole dish

One Year Ago: Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna 
Two Years Ago: Grilled Hawaiian Chicken 
Three Years Ago: No-Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake 
Four Years Ago: Dan Dan Noodles {30-Minute} 
Five Years Ago: Blueberry Custard Pie with Buttery Pecan Streusel 
Six Years Ago: Peach Frozen Yogurt {Quick, Easy, Healthy}
Seven Years Ago: Black Bean Hummus 
Eight Years Ago: Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin 

The Best 7-Layer Dip

Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
scoop taken out of 7-layer dip in white casserole dish

Ingredients

Bean Layer:

  • 30-ounce can (about 3 1/2 cups) refried beans (see note)
  • 1/2 cup green or red salsa

Guacamole (see note):

  • 3-4 medium ripe avocados
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sour Cream Layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Other Layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Mexican blend cheese (monterey jack + cheddar)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (see note)
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions or chives

Instructions

  1. For the bean layer, mix the refried beans and salsa together until creamy and smooth. Evenly spread in a 9X13-inch (or slightly smaller) dish.
  2. For the guacamole, mash the avocados, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper together until desired consistency (for this recipe, I like the guacamole mostly smooth with just a few small chunks). Spread the guacamole evenly over the refried beans.
  3. For the sour cream layer, stir together the sour cream and all the seasonings until smooth and evenly combined. Spread evenly over the guacamole, covering completely all the way to the edges so the guacamole doesn't turn brown.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sour cream followed by the tomatoes, olives, and green onions (or chives).
  5. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The dip can be made 8-12 hours in advance (and probably longer, although it might get a bit liquidy from the tomatoes if refrigerated longer than that).

Notes

Refried Beans: this is my favorite homemade refried beans recipe.

Salsa: use a brand of salsa you like the flavor of (and choose a heat you are comfortable with). This is my favorite homemade salsa. For storebought I like the Herdez or Trader Joe's brands.

Guacamole: if you want to use a premade/storebought guacamole, you'll need 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Tomatoes: I like to use roma or cherry tomatoes since they are less liquidy than other varieties of tomatoes.

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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