After a busy day at work, running a razor-sharp knife through a mountain of vegetables allows me to zone out for a few minutes.  Turn on Buena Vista Social Club for background music and open a beer to complete the prep space.  I am officially in kitchen-prep-meditation-mode. 

The fresher the vegetables…the better this recipe will taste.  So naturally, it will taste the best when tomatoes are in season.  Be sure to appropriately season the salsa with salt.  If you can obtain the perfect salt level, Nigel Tufnet would agree this salsa can go to 11.  

The salsa can be made a day or two before assembling the seven-layer dip and the juices released from the tomatoes can be strained off and used as a cocktail mixer. 

This recipe makes a large amount and is great to freeze.  I usually eat half and freeze half.  If you want to ensure that the guacamole and sour cream retain their original texture, then I would not recommend freezing the dip with these two layers.  I don’t mind the texture change brought about by freezing the guacamole and sour cream. 

But, I do make sure that the guacamole and sour cream layers are sandwiched in the middle when I am planning to freeze the dip.  They seem to unfreeze a best when sandwiched in the middle instead of sitting on the top or bottom.  When enjoying this dip after it has been frozen, I usually eat it warm with some tortilla chips.  Mangia y’all!

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Seven Layer Dip

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


This tortilla chip friendly dip is stacked with layers of refried beans, black beans, homemade salsa, spiced sour cream, homemade guacamole, meat, and cheeses.  I love to make this dip in large quantity and freeze the leftovers in individual servings which make for a quick work week lunch.


Units Scale


  • 2 cups red onion, diced (about 2 medium onions)
  • 2 1/2 cups red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced (about 2 1/2 bell peppers)
  • 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbs garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno, chopped finely (1 medium)
  • 1 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • Salt, to taste


  • 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, finely diced
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pasilla chili powder (if you can’t find this, substitute with 1 tsp of ancho chili powder)
  • 1 tsp guajillo chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste or 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 pounds ground beef (can substitute ground turkey or beyond beef)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Spiced Sour Cream 

  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 5 avocados, peeled and de-seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbs green onions
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Seven Layer Dip Assembly

  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 12ounce tub queso cheese
  • 1 12ounce bag Mexican cheese blend


  1. Make the salsa: Combine all ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Make the meat: Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the onion and bell peppers.  Cover and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and seasonings and stir to combine.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and ground beef and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook over medium heat while stirring frequently to help break up the meet.  Cook until meat is fully cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Make the spiced sour cream: Combine all ingredients for the sour cream in a bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Make the guacamole: In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mash (with a potato masher or fork) until well combined. Alternatively, you can combine all the ingredients in food processor and blend together by pulsing.
  5. In a lasagna pan or deep-dish serving platter, assemble your layers. You can either serve this warm or cold.
  6. Layer #1 – Refried beans. Spread out evenly before moving to layer #2.
  7. Layer #2 – Black beans. Spread out evenly before moving to layer #3.
  8. Layer #3 – Meat mixture. Spread out the meat evenly before moving to layer #4.
  9. Layer #4 – Cheese. Spread out both cheeses evenly before moving to layer #5.
  10. Layer #5 – Guacamole. Spread out evenly before moving to layer #6. I like to layer the guacamole beneath the salsa to prevent it from turning brown.  (See note below about if you are planning to freeze)
  11. Layer #6 – Salsa. Spread out evenly before moving to layer #7.
  12. Layer #7 – Spiced Sour Cream. Spread out evenly or drizzle on top before enjoying with chips or wrapped in a tortilla or spooned in a hard taco shell. (See note below about if you are planning to freeze)


If you are short on time, don’t worry you can still make this dip.  Substitute store bought pico de gallo for the salsa and store-bought guacamole.  Whole Foods is my go-to for store bought pico de gallo and guacamole.  Then you are only left to cook the meat mix and stir up the spiced sour cream. 

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: apps
  • Cuisine: tex-mex

Keywords: apps, healthy-ish, spicy

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