Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

Seven Layer Dip Recipe

This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Gluten-Free20 min
This Seven Layer Taco Dip is a crowd-pleaser! It is delicious, simple to make, and great for parties.
Two individual servings of seven layer dip stand on a kitchen linen in front of a party size bowl of dip.

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When it’s time for the big game, it’s hard to beat this classic seven-layer dip! This appetizer is super easy to make (no cooking required!), looks beautiful, and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Make a big batch of your 7 layer taco dip in a classic clear serving dish or divvy it up into individual Ball® Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars for a cute single-serving option for game day. Let’s make some dip!

Party-sized seven layer dip on a kitchen linen with chips and fresh garnishes around.

Why is it called seven-layer dip?

No surprise here, it’s called 7 layer dip because it traditionally has seven layers! We cheat a bit here and add a few more layers because we think it improves the presentation and flavor, but the spirit of 7 layer taco dip remains the same.

What are the layers in 7 layer dip?

If you can spoon food into a dish, you can make seven-layer taco dip. Here are the layers:

  • Refried beans
  • Guacamole
  • Chunky salsa—this is a great place to use the canned salsa you made over the summer
  • Sour cream mixed with taco seasoning and lime juice
  • Shredded cheese—we like a combo of cheddar cheese and monterey jack cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced cherry or Roma tomatoes
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced green onions—optional, but awesome
  • Minced cilantro—optional, leave it out if you don’t know the cilantro preference of your party guests

Wholefully Protip

If your salsa is liquidy, strain it in a fine-mesh strainer before spooning it into the dish. This is especially important if you plan on making the dip in advance.

How do you make 7 layer bean dip?

This is a great dish for kids or beginning cooks to make because it’s just so darn simple, and the results are beautiful! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Layer refried beans into the bottom of a straight-sided, clear glass bowl (you can also use a 13×9 casserole dish, but it doesn’t look quite as pretty).
  2. Top with guacamole and salsa.
  3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine sour cream, taco seasoning, and lime juice. Spoon the sour cream mixture over the salsa in an even layer.
  4. Top with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives.
  5. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro, if using.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite dippers.

Wholefully Protip

If you want more of a spicy kick, feel free to swap in hot salsa and add additional chili powder, cayenne pepper, or black pepper to the sour cream mixture.

Hand grabbing an individual serving of 7 layer dip.

Do you serve 7 layer dip hot or cold?

We found the best flavor and dippability come from serving it at room temperature. While chilling the dip is totally fine, the texture of certain elements starts to degrade in the fridge (we’re looking at you, tomatoes).

How do you make individual 7 layer dips?

If you want to make grab-and-go dipping easier, we highly recommend dividing your seven-layer dip into individual servings by using Ball® Canning Jars! We used the Ball® Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars, which are the perfect size to divide this dip recipe into four portions. These portions are big enough for one person to make it into a meal or for two people to share.

Top view of dips and chips in jars and bowls.

How do I make vegan 7 layer dip?

It is so incredibly easy to make this dip plant-based with just two swaps! Swap the sour cream for either store-bought plant-based sour cream or homemade cashew sour cream (using a scant 2 cups) and use Mexican-style or cheddar-style vegan cheese shreds instead of dairy cheese. Vegan deliciousness DONE!

What dippers go well with seven-layer dip?

Our favorite dippers for this dip are scoop-style corn chips—they are sturdy enough to last through the deep dive and get goodness from all 7 layers. Thick tortilla chips also do the trick.

Hand holding a grab and go seven layer dip in a Ball Elite Wide Mouth Pint jar.

How far in advance can you prepare this dip?

You can make this dip up to two days in advance with two modifications:

  • Make sure you strain your salsa through a fine-mesh sieve before putting it in the dip.
  • Add the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, and cilantro for topping right before serving.

Wholefully Protip

Worried about browning guacamole? Don’t be! By nestling the guacamole between the layers of beans and salsa, you are creating an environment free of air, which keeps the avocado from browning.

How long does seven-layer taco dip last in the fridge?

We recommend enjoying the taco dip within 2-3 days of making it. Make sure to wrap it up tightly with plastic wrap (or pop the lids on the Ball® Jars if you went the individual serving route) before stashing in the fridge.

Close view of all seven layers in the taco dip viewed through the tall glass sides of its serving bowl.

How long can you leave out a dip?

In a room temperature area, you can get by leaving this dip out for about two hours before it needs to head back into the fridge. You can extend its life on the pitch-in table by placing it on a bowl of ice that you regularly swap out.

 
Two individual servings of seven layer dip stand on a kitchen linen in front of a party size bowl of dip.

Seven Layer Dip Recipe

Yield: 4-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Seven Layer Taco Dip is a crowd-pleaser! It is delicious, simple to make, and great for parties.

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans
  • 2 cups prepared guacamole
  • 1 16-ounce jar chunky salsa
  • 1 16-ounce container sour cream
  • 1 packet (2 tablespoons) taco seasoning
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Mexican style shredded cheese (or a combo of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro (optional)
  • Corn chips or tortillas chips, for serving

Instructions

For individual dips:

  1. In four Ball® Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars, spread an even layer of the refried beans and then the guacamole.
  2. If your salsa is liquidy, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, then spoon on top of the guacamole.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir the sour cream, taco seasoning, and lime juice until well combined. Gently spread over the salsa layer.
  4. Add the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, green onions, and cilantro (if using).
  5. Serve with a second jar full of chips for dipping.

For a big serving dish:

  1. In a straight-sided clear bowl or a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread an even layer of the refried beans and then the guacamole.
  2. If your salsa is liquidy, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer, then spoon the strained salsa on top of the guacamole.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, taco seasoning, and lime juice. Stir until well combined, then spread evenly over the salsa layer. Be gentle with adding the sour cream so you don’t disturb the salsa.
  4. Top the sour cream with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Add cilantro, if using.
  5. Serve with corn chips (preferred) or thick tortilla chips for serving.

Notes

  • To ensure that the dip is gluten-free, make sure that the taco seasoning is labeled as gluten-free.
  • Vegan/dairy-free seven-layer dip option: swap the sour cream for either store-bought plant-based sour cream or homemade cashew sour cream (using a scant 2 cups) and use Mexican style or Cheddar style vegan cheese shreds. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 a jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 1164mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.
Want to be a sponsor? Let’s work together!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

2 Responses
  1. Phyllis

    I have always loved 7 layer dip, but I’ve had to cut so many foods from my diet due to autoimmune disease. If any other readers are dealing with those issues, here’s what I’m doing. I can’t eat avocado’s so I’m using an almond-based humus dip for the fiber, and that creamy cashew sour cream substitute. The idea of making this dip in individual servings is just genius. I will make this today and have it for lunch the rest of the week. Thanks for reminding me of this favorite.

    1. Danielle @Wholefully

      You’re very welcome, Phyllis! Thank you for sharing your swaps with us—that’s super helpful! Enjoy your delicious lunches this week =)

Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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