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Healthier Seven Layer Dip Recipe


I LOVE seven layer dip.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m so obsessed with seven layer dip that I’ve had dreams of swimming in a pool filled to the brim with seven layer dip, complete with a tortilla strip diving board!  Yep, it’s that bad.  Unfortunately, it’s not the healthiest of foods, so I typically only make it once a year; for a Super Bowl party.  This year, I decided to try and renovate the basic seven layer dip to something a little bit healthier.  Super Bowl snacks don’t have to be bad for you!  This dip is made with fresh whole ingredients and just as satisfying as the high fat, high sodium version.The first layer of the dip is beans.  In traditional seven layer dip recipes, this layer is a spread of refried beans, high in fat and calories.  This layer alone makes a HUGE difference in calories and fat.  We’re talking 200-300 calories less, in one layer of seven layer dip!  I have used black beans before, which is delicious, but kidney beans are even lower in calories and fat.  They’re also full of flavor, and one cup has over 100% your daily value of vitamin C!

The next dip layer is the meat.  This is typically ground beef and you have two choices for this layer.  Either use 93% lean ground beef, or lean ground turkey.  Either one is about the same calories so whatever you prefer is fine, just make sure to go for the lean version!


Now, my favorite layer, the guacamole.  In Hawaii I had an avocado tree in my front yard and had an avocado almost everyday.  As delicious and healthy as they are, they’re still high in calories and fat.  They’re also expensive when you don’t have your own tree!  To lower the fat content and stretch the budget, I mix Greek yogurt in with the mashed avocado.  Once again, this layer is 300 calories less, but it’s also 50 grams of fat less!

Next is the sour cream layer.  I think you can guess how I changed this layer.  That’s right, Greek yogurt again!  I’ve tried using low fat or fat free sour cream, but they just didn’t taste right to me.  I found that Greek yogurt had a better texture and flavor than any of the “diet” sour cream options.  The difference here?  About 350 calories.

For the salsa layer, I chose to use chopped fresh tomatoes tossed with some tapatio hot sauce.  You get a great salsa flavor, but it’s cheaper and lower in both calories and sodium.


The one layer I can’t skimp calories on is the cheese layer.  I’m a cheesaholic and the low fat cheddar just tastes like cardboard to me.  If you don’t care as much about cheese, give it a try, or you can just use the cup of cheddar I use instead the two cups many recipes call for.

The last layer is green onions.  They add a lot of flavor to the dip and their lovely bright green really makes the dip especially attractive.  You could use a chopped red or yellow onion, but they have a much stronger flavor than green onions so you’d want to use a lot less.

When it comes to putting the dish together, you don’t have to stick to the order in the recipe.  You can also choose to spread everything out in a casserole dish (the easiest option for taking your dip somewhere), or pile it high in a bowl with a big rim (a fancier presentation that’s better for serving in your own home).

I put the number of servings at ten, which is about right if it’s part of a few other snack foods.  So what’s the final tally?  This recipe is only 191 calories and 11 grams of fat per serving, compared to the typical 400-500calories and 30 grams of fat per serving of the traditional seven layer dip.  Wow, with those numbers I may start bringing this to every potluck I attend!

I’m always on the lookout for healthy dips, do you have a favorite to share?


Yield: 10 servings


healthier seven layer dip
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 TBS taco seasoning
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp tapatio sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • to taste salt and pepper


  1. Cook the turkey in a skillet until it just starts to brown. Mix the taco seasoning with 1/4 cup of water and stir into the turkey. Let simmer for about five minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Pour kidney beans into a large bowl or casserole dish and mash slightly with a fork. Top with seasoned turkey.
  3. Mash avocado and mix with 1/2 cup of the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and onion powders. Spread on top of the turkey.
  4. Toss the chopped tomato with the tapatio sauce then spread tomatoes over the guacamole.
  5. Sprinkle grated cheddar and green onions on top. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve chilled with tortilla chips.


Approximate cost/serving: The whole batch of dip costs me about $6 to make. I get ground turkey in bulk which is part of what makes it so cheap. That’s just 60 cents a serving.

Vegetarian/gluten free: You can skip the turkey to make this meatless. It’s gluten free as long as you make sure to use gluten free taco seasoning.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

8 thoughts on “Healthier Seven Layer Dip Recipe”

  1. i like the concept of an adaptation, but at least mash the beans if you’re not using refried! whole beans are a tricky thing to scoop up, which is what a dip is for! go with kidney beans, sure, but mash em, maybe with some broth or chili powder.

    • Yep, it’s definitely easier if they’re mashed. That’s why in the recipe I said to mash them with a fork. If you really want them more like refried beans you can whirl them in a food processor, but we prefer the chunky texture.


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