12 people
30 min

Seven-layer dip is the ultimate party food! With delicious layers of refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, olives, and cheese. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a crowd-pleasing appetizer every time!

I tried seven-layer dip for the first time at my mother-in-law’s some 20 years ago. She served it as an appetizer while we waited for the turkey to finish cooking on Thanksgiving. I was a newlywed and very much in the stage of building my recipe collection. I had to have this one! And my mother-in-law was happy to share! I can’t tell you how many times I have made this recipe. Almost every party we have had since I have made this seven-layer dip.

This seven-layer dip recipe has evolved over the years. In the original recipe, three of the seven layers had mayonnaise…a lot of mayonnaise! I have a feeling the original recipe came from an era when mayo was a staple and could be found in just about everything. I did a little internet digging, and there was literally a whole generation obsessed with mayo! If you had a Betty Crocker cookbook from the ’60s and ’70’s you would quickly discover that the mayo obsession was a real thing. For a funny (or gross) read on the subject, check out Groovy History. Anyways, I digress…All that to say, I’ve updated this recipe by completely removing the mayo from this recipe, and I don’t regret it one bit. Not only are the flavors now more bold, the recipe as a whole is also healthier with less fat and calories. I’ve gotten rave reviews on this updated version, and most importantly, my family loves it.

How to Make Seven Layer Dip:

Layer 1: Drain the can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, then mix it together with a can of refried beans. Spread evenly into the bottom of a 7-inch x 11-inch serving dish or something of equivalent size.

Layer 2: Mix together 8 ounces of softened cream, 8 ounces of sour cream, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning. Combine well, then spread evenly on top of the refried bean layer.

Layer 3: Mash up four avocados, leave a slightly chunky texture. Stir in the juice of one lime and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread in an even layer on top of the sour cream layer. The easiest way I have found to do this is to place the avocado evenly around the dish in 12 to 14 spoonfuls, then, with a fork, gently spread the avocado around in an even layer. Do not attempt to spread the avocado layer because you will disrupt the soft cream cheese/sour cream layer.

Layer 4: I buy a 16-ounce jar of the thickest, chunkiest salsa I can find. Of course, you can use any salsa you like, mild or hot, but I recommend that it be thick and chunky. If it’s too runny, it won’t stay put in your seven-layer dip. I like to drain my salsa in a colander to drain off some of the liquid. Then spoon it over the avocado layer.

Layer 5: For the shredded cheese layer, any mixture of cheese will work. And you can use more to suit your preference. I like to use a Mexican mix, which is a combination of 4 kinds of cheese; Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, and Asadero Cheese. Just sprinkle it evenly over the salsa.

Layer 6: For this layer, chop up the tomatoes, discarding the seeds and juice. Drain a small can of sliced olives and layer the olives with the tomatoes on top of the cheese layer.

Layer 7: Dice 2 – 4 stalks of green onion and rough chop a bunch of cilantro (or desired amount). Sprinkle both over the tomatoes and olives.

Cover the entire dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, use your favorite tortilla chips, dig in and enjoy!

Recipe details
  • 12  people
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans,
  • 1 10-ounce can Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 4 large avocadoes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 16-ounce jar chunky salsa (any brand), drained
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese, any combination of cheese you like
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small can sliced olives
  • 2-4 stalks green onion, (depending on size)
  • cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1 bag tortilla chips

Drain the Rotel tomatoes and chilies. Mix with the refried beans and spread into an even layer on the bottom of your serving dish.

Mix together the sour cream, the softened cream cheese, and the taco seasoning. Combine well and spread on top of the refried beans.

Mash up the avocado and add the juice of one lime and salt. Combine well and add on top of the sour cream layer. **The easiest way to do this is to use a spoon to add 12 or so spoonfuls of avocado on top of the sour cream layer and gently even it out with a fork. Don't try to spread it because you disturb the other layers.

Drain the salsa in a colander so it's not so watery. Then using a spoon, gently add the salsa on top of the avocado layer. Carefully distribute the salsa evenly.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salsa.

Chop up the tomatoes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and sliced olives evenly over the cheese.

Chop the green onions and the cilantro, and sprinkle over the top of the dip.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips.
  • If you eat some of the dip and return it to the refrigerator, (covered of course), you may notice that the avocado that was exposed to air has turned darker. There is no harm in eating it. If it bothers you, just scrape away the exposed portion, and the rest should still be bright green.
The Joy-Filled Kitchen
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  • This is a hit no matter how it is assembled. Really like your version of this fun and easy dish. A super quick version is refried beans mixed with taco seasoning, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, green onions, sliced olives and topped with rough chopped cilantro. I have never had any leftovers. My crew eats anything I put in front of them. Thanks for sharing!