The classic seven layer dip is always a crowd favorite. Layers of all the best Mexican flavors are a perfect addition to any party – the big game, backyard barbecues, Cinco de Mayo fiestas, Taco Tuesday, you name it!
I’ve always been a little foggy on what counts as a layer, but regardless of how many actual ingredients you use, it’s always called a seven layer dip. I mean, how would you feel if you went to a party and they were passing around a five layer dip? You’d say thanks, of course, because you’re polite, but inside you’d be a little bitter because you didn’t get the full seven layer treatment.
My interpretation of the seven layers are as follows:
- the bean layer
- the avocado/guacamole layer
- the sour cream layer
- the lettuce layer (sketchy, I know)
- the cheese layer
- the onion layer (really)
- the “etc” layer
The most important thing to remember when making seven layer dip is to make each layer as flavorful as possible. I know this will be difficult with the lettuce layer, but we will just go with it. The first layer is your base, so we start with the beans, delicious refried beans of your choice, I used a spicy pinto variety. Then you add smokey chipotle salsa to the beans (or whatever salsa you like). This not only adds the key salsa flavors, but also makes the beans much easier to spread out in your serving dish.
Next up is the avocado layer. I don’t use a full on guacamole recipe here because you want the avocados to spread out easily. All it takes is mashing two ripe avocados with fresh lime juice, chili garlic sauce and salt. This green goodness is dolloped over the beans and carefully spread out to cover them.
For the third layer, some people would use plain sour cream, but we aren’t just some people, so we will use taco seasoning to flavor our sour cream. I used a packet of chipotle taco seasoning to complement the flavors of the salsa I used in the bean layer. Again, dollop your seasoned sour cream over the avocado layer and spread it out carefully – we are going for layers here!
Now comes the tricky part, the lettuce layer….. This is clearly not a difficult layer, but I do think it’s important to use shredded iceberg lettuce. You don’t want to have to maneuver around big chunks of lettuce. Sprinkle your lettuce evenly over the sour cream. The fifth layer is the cheese. Again, not rocket science, but I like to finely shred the cheese (like the lettuce layer) so it’s easier to dip your chips into. For the classic seven layer dip appearance I like to stick with a yellow cheese, cheddar, colby, something along those lines. I used a cojack cheese this time.
Layer six is the onion layer (I know, that is pushing it, but I need a sixth layer!). Scallions, or green onions, work best for this dip because they have a nice, mild onion flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients the way red onion might. As a bonus, they are also pretty. Finally we have our seventh, or “etcetera”, layer. You can freestyle this layer to suit your tastes, I like to use diced tomato and sliced black olives.
Serve this dip with tortilla chips (and margaritas!). Your friends and family will thank you over and over again for caring enough to give them all seven layers.
- 1 can of refried beans
- ½ cup of salsa
- 2 avocados, pitted, sliced and diced
- ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce
- ½ of a lime
- 8 oz container of sour cream
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (depending on the size of your serving dish)
- 1½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like, just finely shredded)
- 6 green onions, white and light green parts, sliced
- 1 Roma tomato, small diced
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- Mix the refried beans and salsa in a small bowl until well combined. Spread the beans out in an even layer in your serving dish.
- Add the avocado, chili garlic sauce, salt into a clean bowl and squeeze the lime over it. Mash and combine. Dollop over the beans and spread out to mostly cover them.
- Mix the sour cream and taco seasoning in a clean bowl. Dollop over the avocado layer and carefully spread out to cover.
- Sprinkle the shredded lettuce over the sour cream layer.
- Sprinkle the finely shredded cheese over the lettuce.
- Sprinkle the sliced green onions over the cheese.
- And finally, sprinkle the tomatoes and black olives on top!