This 7 layer dip recipe has layers of meat, cheese, and chilies baked in the oven and topped with guacamole, and sour cream for creamy, melty, crave worthy dip.
There is something about 7-layer dip or even the promise of 7 layer dip that has me drooling. That magical dish of creamy layers comes out of the oven, and it’s pretty hard to get me more than a few feet away until I’ve eaten an entire day’s worth of calories.
If you have yet to experience the beauty that is a layered taco dip, AKA seven layer dip, you must. Immediately. This version is cheesy and gooey comfort food perfect for a party, or fun filled family dinner. My kids call it a family party when we have dipping foods for dinner.
While it might seem like 7 layer dip should be saved for special occasions, it is actually loaded with healthy fats and veggies (even fruit thanks to avocado!) and can be mostly or totally no-carb! Fear layer dip no more.
WHAT IS IN A 7 LAYER DIP?
What is in a 7 layer dip, you ask? Well there are about as many different types of 7 layer dip as there are people making them. Whether we agree or not on what “should” be in baked 7 layer dip is isn’t really important, but all 7 layer dip recipes are made up of layers of dippable, scoopable, ingredients.
Most dips include seasoned meat, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and some sort of veggie options.
Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, green onions, and even green peppers are great options for adding veggies after baking.
I always include black olives in my dip as well, and like a sprinkling of green onions for color.
You could also add a layer of salsa before baking, or top with fresh pico de gallo spread over the sour cream.
The entire thing is totally customizable to your family’s favorites, and you can always switch up your ingredients to keep things fresh and new. Even if you say, eat it once a week. No judgment here!
HOW TO MAKE 7 LAYER DIP
If you’re ready to get down to business, here’s how to make 7 layer dip.
- Lightly grease a shallow 3-quart baking dish.
- Brown and crumble the beef in a skillet. When the beef is cooked through, add the onion and garlic.
- Cook until the onion is slightly translucent, and the garlic is fragrant.
- Season with 1 package of taco seasoning, or 2 TBS of homemade taco seasoning. Add 2 cups of water and stir to combine.
- Simmer until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Set aside.
- To assemble, spread refried beans into the bottom of the dish. (You can also use fat-free refried beans or whole black beans)
- Top the beans with green chilies.
- Spread the ground beef mixture over the chilies.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar over the beef, covering completely.
- Drizzle the top with taco sauce.
- Refrigerate now if you’re making the dip in advance. When ready, bake the 7 layer dip at 400 for 20 minutes. The dip should be warmed through with the cheese melted and bubbling.
- Allow to cool slightly before topping with the mashed avocado.
- Spread sour cream over the avocado and garnish with green onions and olives to taste.
- Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear.
TIPS FOR MAKING SEVEN LAYER DIP
You can make your Mexican layer dip all kinds of different ways. But no matter what your style, armed with some key tips, your dish will be even more successful.
- First, the baking dish. I love to make this in a clear glass dish – it’s easy to clean, and of course, I want to see all those layers! An 8×8, 9×9, or 11×13 dish works great and, if you have one with those cool covers, it’s easy to refrigerate leftover dip without messing up all your lovely layers.
- If you want to experiment with the recipe or the ingredients, just make sure all heated ingredients are layered on the bottom with the lighter ingredients and veggies left for the top after baking. If you want to add green peppers, they can be in the baked layers to be slightly softened. Or on top to add some crunch.
- Lastly, there are a ton of ways to serve the dip. While chips and dip style is pretty common, sometimes we spread the dip into soft taco shells or tortillas for Taco Tuesday. Some nights we use carrot and jicama sticks to scoop it up. Or, you know, just eat it with a fork. With or without a plate.
TACO SEASONING MIX
When it comes to seasoning the meat, I love to use taco seasoning. It’s easy, the family loves it, and I always have it on hand.
After a couple of times using the packets, I realized, this stuff is pretty pricey for what you get. Taco seasoning is more economical in the larger shaker containers they offer now.
But it’s even more affordable when you make it yourself at home! Like most prepared seasonings, it’s so simple to throw together you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before. Trust me, packaged taco seasoning is not magic – you can do it at home!
Get our GLUTEN FREE TACO SEASONING recipe!
What are you waiting for? Get out your grocery list and your menu and get yourself hooked on baked 7-layer dip this week. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
PIN TO SAVE FOR LATER
Not ready to make your baked 7 layer dip yet? Pin it so you don’t lose it!
MORE CREATIVE DIP RECIPES
Love this baked 7 layer dip and want more creative dip ideas? Here’s a few of our favorites!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can refried beans, 14 ounces
- 2 cans green chilies, drained and chopped, 4 ounces each
- 3/4 pound cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- 3/4 cup taco sauce, mild or spicy
- 1 large avocado
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup black olives, sliced
- tortilla chips
- Lighty grease a shallow 3-quart oven-proof dish. I like a glass dish so you can see the layers.
- In a frypan, brown the ground beef with onion and garlic, seasoning with salt, and crumbling into fine pieces as you cook it. Drain the meat and set aside.
- Spread the refried beans into the bottom of the dish.
- Spoon the green chilies over the beans.
- Spread the cooked beef over chilies.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Drizzle taco sauce over everything.
- OPTIONAL, you may cover and refrigerate to bake later.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Mash the avocado with the 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Spread the mashed avocado over baked layers.
- Top with sour cream.
- Sprinkle on chopped green onions and olives.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Nutrition Facts are an estimate only and do not include the tortilla chips, so make sure to factor those in!
Serving Size:15 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Saturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1022mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g