7 Layer Dip

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Made with garlicky fork-mashed black beans, sour cream, shredded Cheddar, chunky guacamole, crisp sweet corn, and salsa fresca, this 7 layer dip is filled with flavor and freshness.

I love 7 layer dip in theory, but this Tex-Mex party appetizer often looks a whole lot better than it tastes. The classic recipe consists of canned refried beans, jarred salsa, store-bought guacamole, sour cream, pre-shredded cheese, and canned black olives layered in a glass dish. I prefer to make my 7 layer dip entirely from scratch so that each element is as delicious on its own as it is together scooped up in a tortilla chip. This layer dip is made with garlicky fork-mashed black beans, cool sour cream, shredded sharp Cheddar, chunky homemade guacamole, crisp sweet corn, and salsa fresca. It’s a bit more time consuming to make than the semi-homemade version, but the payoff in freshness and flavor is 100% worth it.

If you’re short on time, good quality pre-shredded Cheddar cheese, such as Cabot, can be used, as well as canned corn. The dish can be made a day ahead of time, but be sure to allow 1 hour for it to sit out at room temperature prior to serving, or it will be too cold to scoop. Either way, you may want to lay out a spoon with the dip for ease of serving.

What You’ll Need To Make 7 Layer Dip

7 layer dip ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prep

Before getting started with the recipe, I suggest prepping the scallions, garlic, jalapeño pepper, and lime juice. These ingredients are divided up between the layers, and you’ll be glad to have them handy and ready to use.

scallions, garlic, jalapeno, and lime prep for 7 layer dip

Step 2: Make the Salsa Fresca

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, half of the dark green scallions, half of the minced jalapeño, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the sugar.
salsa ingredients in mixing bowl

Mix well and set aside.

salsa

Step 3: Make the Black Beans

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, and add all of the light scallions.

adding scallions to oil

Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Measure out ¼ teaspoon of the minced garlic and set aside in a medium bowl (you’ll use this for the guacamole). Add the remaining garlic to the skillet and continue cooking for 30 seconds more. Do not brown.

adding garlic to softened scallions

Add the black beans, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of the cumin, and water and continue cooking for about one minute.

adding beans, water and seasoning to skillet

Off the heat, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher until they have a chunky puréed texture. Set aside. (The bean mixture may taste salty; that’s okay.)
mashed black bean mixture in skillet

Step 4: Make the Guacamole

To the medium bowl with the reserved garlic, add the avocados, the remaining dark green scallions, the remaining jalapeño, ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice.

guacamole ingredients in mixing bowl

Mash with a fork until blended but still a bit chunky.
guacamole

Step 5: Assemble the Dip

Spread the black bean purée into an even layer in an 8-inch glass baking dish.

black bean layer

Spread the sour cream evenly over the black bean layer.

sour cream layer

Sprinkle half of the cheese over the sour cream.

first cheese layer

Spread the guacamole over the cheese.

guacamile layer

Add the remaining cheese evenly over the guacamole.

second cheese layer

Sprinkle the corn over the cheese.

corn layer

Transfer the salsa to a fine sieve and drain. This is an important step that prevents the 7 layer dip from becoming watery.

draining tomato salsa

Top the corn layer with the salsa. salsa layer

Serve the dip immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. If chilled, allow 1 hour for it to sit out at room temperature prior to serving.

Leftover dip keep well in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap, for a day or two, but you may notice that the dip releases a little moisture after resting in the fridge. This is easily fixed by blotting the liquid with a paper towel. Because the guacamole is covered with cheese, corn, and salsa, it should stay green.

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7 Layer Dip

Made with garlicky fork-mashed black beans, sour cream, shredded Cheddar, chunky guacamole, crisp sweet corn, and salsa fresca, this 7 layer dip is filled with flavor and freshness.

Servings: 8 to 12
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cored, seeded, and finely chopped tomatoes, from 2 to 3 large tomatoes or 4 to 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, light and dark green parts separated (divided)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (divided)
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice, from 2 limes (divided)
  • Salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 medium avocados, halved, pitted and diced
  • 1 (8-oz) block sharp Cheddar, shredded (see note)
  • 1 (8 oz) container sour cream (1 cup)
  • 1¼ cups fresh cooked or canned (and drained) corn kernels
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the salsa fresca: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, half of the dark green scallions, half of the minced jalapeño, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the sugar. (If your tomatoes are sweet, you can reduce or omit the sugar.) Set aside.
  2. Make the bean layer: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add all of the light scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Measure out ¼ teaspoon of the minced garlic and set aside in a medium bowl (you'll use this for the guacamole). Add the remaining garlic to the skillet and continue cooking for 30 seconds more. Do not brown. Add the black beans, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of the cumin, and water and continue cooking for about one minute. Off the heat, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher until they have a chunky puréed texture. Scrape the beans into an 8-inch glass baking dish and spread into an even layer. Set aside. (The bean mixture may taste salty; that's okay.)
  3. Make the guacamole layer: To the medium bowl with the reserved garlic, add the avocados, the remaining dark green scallions, the remaining jalapeño, ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice. Mash with a fork until blended but still a bit chunky.
  4. Assemble the dip: Spread the sour cream evenly over the black bean layer. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the sour cream, followed by all of the guacamole, and then the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the corn over the cheese.
  5. Transfer the salsa to a fine sieve and drain. Top the corn layer with the salsa. Serve the dip with a spoon and tortilla chips.
  6. Make-Ahead Instructions: The dip can made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated, covered tightly in plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Leftover dip will keep for a day or two in the fridge. It may release liquid after sitting while refrigerated; simply blot the liquid with a paper towel before serving.
  7. Note: If you're short on time, pre-shredded Cheddar can be used as long as it's a good brand, like Cabot. You'll need two packed cups.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (Nutritional data does not include tortilla chips – 12 servings)
  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 430 mg
  • Cholesterol: 29 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Would this recipe go good as a side served with your Chicken Tortilla Soup?

    • — Heather on July 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Personally, I’d err on the side of either guac or black bean dip, but this will work. Just keep in mind that it’s meant to be eaten straight from the dish instead of divided up onto plates. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2022
      • Reply
      • That does help! I think I will stick to the guacamole and bean dip to go with that soup. Thank you ☺️

        • — Heather on July 29, 2022
        • Reply
  • Made this for friends over the weekend and it was an absolute hit!!!

    I just made a few changes:
    – added 2 tbsp chopped cilantro in the salsa, and used both dark & light parts of the scallion (about 20g net) for it
    – added a couple of tablespoons of minced red onion (previously soaked in cold water for 20min., and drained) to the guacamole
    – used 75g net (half cup) finely chopped white onion for the sauté of the beans (instead of scallion), and added 1/4 tsp oregano – which is commonly used to flavor beans in Mexico – along with the cumin.

    • — Helen on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • This turned out great and everyone loved it! The guacamole stayed fresh and green. Don’t forget to drain the salsa! Thanks for another tasty recipe, Jen.

    • — Lynn on May 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I love your recipes and I am planning to try this one soon. What if I make the beans per your instructions with the exception of mashing them? Do you think the dip would turn out fine if I leave the black beans whole?

    • — Joyce on May 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joyce, I do think it’d work well. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Did you use an 8 x8 glass dish?

    • — Jana on May 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep 👍

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Another great recipe. This was so good, love the freshness. Made your chicken fajitas to go along with. Great recipes, thank you.

    • — Janet Corrigan on May 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this yesterday evening so that hubby and I have today’s lunch ready. And as a bonus, I had everything on hand at home 🙂
    My “usual” 7-layer dip is a little different, but I wanted to try yours and followed the recipe. I even didn’t use cilantro in the salsa 😀
    We both enjoyed it and I did not miss the cilatro a bit 😉 😀
    The guac kept a great bright green color.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — PJ on May 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your neck of the woods? If so, I would humbly suggest their frozen roasted corn as a substitute for canned corn. The flavor of the corn is amazing and I’m sure would be very good in this recipe. As always, thank you for a great idea with this recipe. I will be making it. Best Regards & thank you for a great website.

    • — Mary on May 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this recipe! My family always requests that I make 7 layer dip for our get togethers. This recipe sounds WONDERFUL! Question. I’ve always put the guacamole after the beans so it can be “sealed” by the sour cream…..so that the avocado doesn’t turn dark. What are your thoughts?

    • — Cindy on May 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, You can layer in any order, but the cheese, corn, and tomatoes in this recipe do keep the guac from turning color. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2022
      • Reply

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