Having a party and looking for a fabulous make-ahead appetizer? This Mexican Fiesta 7 Layer Dip is literally layer upon layer of bold flavors! Refried beans, seasoned cream cheese/sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, green onions and pico de gallo… does it get any better? Oh yes, because this dip is actually BEST when made ahead of time!
EASY 7 LAYER DIP
Football season is officially upon us, and you know what that means…
it’s GAME DAY FOOD SEASON!
I’m always in the mood for a fabulous appetizer or two, and this 7 layer dip is always the first thing gone at parties.
In fact, I made it recently and my husband and I were bickering over which one of us got to finish the dip!
This is certainly not a unique creation; 7 layer dips are tried and true and have been around for ages, most consisting of the same basic ingredients.
I put my spin on it, and added a few helpful tips and tricks for you!
HOW TO MAKE 7 LAYER DIP
A 7 layer dip is sometimes referred to as simply Mexican dip, or bean dip, but no matter the name, it consists of seven layers.
It’s served chilled and is great to bring to a party!
- Drain salsa.
- Mix together beans and chicken broth (or salsa liquid).
- Spread into dish.
- Mix creamy layer ingredients and spread onto beans.
- Top with guacamole.
- Top with drained salsa.
- Top with cheese.
- Top with pico de gallo.
- Top with green onions.
- Cover and chill.
Looks like a lot of steps, but I promise you, it’s SO easy!
COOKING TIPS FOR 7 LAYER DIP
- Drain the salsa – this ensures the dip doesn’t get too watery and wet.
- Mix the beans with liquid – ever take a chip and try to scoop a chilled bean dip and the beans are so hard that your chip shatters everywhere? That’s why I mix the beans with a liquid… they stay nice and velvety! Use the salsa liquid for extra flavor.
- Use a hand mixer for the cream cheese mixture – this ensures the cream cheese is fully combined with the other ingredients and incorporates air into the mixture, making it softer.
- Chill for maximum flavor – You can eat this dip right away, but chilling it for a bit lets all the flavors really meld together and get that much better!
VARIATIONS OF 7 LAYER DIP
- More layers – just because it’s called a 7 layer dip, you don’t have to limit it to just 7. Go for whatever you love!
- Add corn and/or black beans – on top of the salsa layer, these would be a great addition!
- Meat – brown some beef or turkey with some taco seasoning and add in between either the beans and cream cheese, or cream cheese and guacamole layer. Shredded chicken tossed with some taco seasoning would be delicious as well!
MAKING 7 LAYER DIP AHEAD OF TIME
The great thing about this dip is that it actually tastes BETTER when it’s made a little bit ahead of time.
Make the dip, cover tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes, up to 1 day.
This chilling time lets all the flavors combine and become even more delicious!
STORING MEXICAN DIP
Keep any leftover dip covered tightly in the refrigerator.
7 layer dip will keep for 3-4 days, but the longer it’s kept, the more the layers will “bleed” together and it can start to get a bit watery.
If it gets watery, just drain it off, or use a paper towel to absorb the liquid. It will still taste amazing, just may not look picture perfect on days 2-4.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Hand Mixer – this model is a true workhorse in my kitchen!
HOMEMADE LAYERS FOR 7 LAYER DIP
If you prefer a more homemade dip, there are a couple of layers that are great to make homemade:
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- 16 oz jar of restaurant salsa (or homemade)
- 16 oz can refried beans
- 2 - 3 Tbsp chicken broth (or vegetable) (or use liquid from drained salsa)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- zest of 1/2 a lime
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups guacamole
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 2/3 cup pico de gallo
- 3 green onions, sliced
- minced cilantro, optional garnish
- 1/2 lime, juiced, optional garnish
- Drain salsa in fine mesh sieve. This keeps your dip from getting too wet.
- Add beans to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, or use 2-3 Tbsp of the drained salsa liquid for extra flavor!
- Spread bean mixture evenly into an 8x8, 7x9, or other 2 quart baking dish.
- Use a hand-mixer to combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, lime zest, and taco seasoning. Spread evenly on top of bean mixture.
- Spread guacamole evenly over cream cheese layer, then top with drained salsa.
- Top with shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and then green onions.
- Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, to 1 day. Before serving, if desired, squeeze some lime juice over the top and sprinkle with cilantro. This is optional, but delicious.
- Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.
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- If desired, you can make this an 8 layer dip and add a layer of browned taco meat (using beef or turkey). Just make sure to drain it very well.
- Layers can be reordered, but this is the order my family prefers.
- Adjust spice level by adjusting the heat level of the salsa and pico de gallo used.