Gearing up for the big game calls for party food and this Tex Mex layered bean dip is a must! It takes just about 15 minutes and can be made ahead which is reason enough to add it to your menu. Better yet, it is a crowd favorite so grab the ingredients and layer it on.
Sometimes called 7 layer dip which refers to the different layers of goodness that combine into a dish that is as pretty to look at as it is to enjoy. While it may seem like a no brainer to open cans and smear the layers one on top of another. A few tips of the culinary trade will take is dish from the ordinary to a dish that everyone will be raving about. (No one has to know how simple it is, I certainly won’t tell.)
Tips for Tex Mex Layered Bean Dip
The base layer is refried beans. A 16-ounce can is fine or you can try this recipe made in the pressure cooker. So here is the first tip, plain cold refried beans do not an attractive or delicious layer make. Take the time to heat them up and add some diced green chilies, ground cumin salt and pepper, and a splash of milk to thin them out and make it easier to scoop up on a chip. Make the refried beans and spread a 1/2” layer on the bottom of your serving dish letting the beans cool while you mix and chop the remaining ingredients.
Sour cream mixed with taco seasoning. Sounds like a no brainer, but there is a trick to this layer as well. I like 1 cup of sour cream (do not opt for the low-fat version) and 1-1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning. But I suggest you kick it up with 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro and 1 teaspoon of lime zest to add some freshness and zip to the layer.
Choosing a good avocado is a skill. You want a nice firm fruit that yields slightly to pressure. Really soft avocados are overripe and will have discolored flesh and a stringy texture. Plan ahead at the grocery store since the fruit will continue to ripen on the counter and choose your avocados according to when you want to use them.
A great tip is to buy fruit with the stem nib attached. When you remove the stem the flesh underneath should be bright green. That test and the fruit yielding slightly will give you a good indication of the perfect avocado. Remember that the fruit varies in size. A jumbo avocado can weigh almost a pound, while it takes 3 medium avocados to equal the same weight. The rule of thumb is 1 pound of avocado equals 2-1/2 cups sliced or diced and 2 cups mashed fruit.
While you could stop at the deli counter for pre-made guacamole, it is so easy to make the avocado layer on your own and you will taste the freshness in the dip.
Salsa and this is one layer where what you get from the bottle is a terrific option. Choose your favorite brand and level of heat and make it easy on yourself.
The cheese layer is also personal choice. The shredded mexican blend is a fine option, but I really like a sharp cheddar instead.
The remaining layers are left to your imagination. You want the traditional Tex Mex flavors and bold colors from tomatoes, red onions or green onions, black olives, bell peppers, mushrooms. Whatever you like on your tacos are a green light for a layer. Sprinkle each ingredient so it is evenly spread over the previous layers and remember there is a weight limit to what a tortilla chip will hold.Print
Tex Mex Layered bean dip is a crowd favorite. Refried beans, seasoned sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, red onions, olives, and tomatoes are like a Tex Mex snack on a tortilla chip.
- 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans, or 2 cups of this recipe
- 1/2 can (4 ounces) mild diced green chilies (1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream (8 ounces)
- 1–1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 avocados, peeled, seed removed, and mashed (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup bottled salsa
- 2 cups shredded cheese, your choice
- 1 large Roma tomato, diced (3/4 cup)
- 4 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup) or 1/2 red onions finely diced
- 1/3 can of black olives sliced (1/2 cup)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the refried beans and stir until bubbling. Add the green chiles, garlic, and ground cumin and stir to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and remove pan from heat. Stir in milk and spread the bean mixture evenly to a thickness of 1/2” on a serving platter or shallow clear glass rectangle pyrex baking dish. Let cool while you prepare the remaining layers.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream, taco seasoning, lime zest and minced cilantro and stir well to combine, set aside.
- In a separate bowl add the peeled, deseeded avocado flesh and mash with a fork. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. The consistency should be spreadable but still slightly chunky.
- When the bean layer has cooled, carefully spread a thin layer of the sour cream mixture evenly over the bean layer being careful not to mix the layers. (It is okay to not be perfectly smooth.
- Repeat with the avocado layer and the salsa layers.
- Sprinkle a thick layer of cheese over the salsa layer and top with the tomatoes, onions, olives, etc.
- Loosely wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.
The dip can be made a day ahead (the lime juice helps keep the avocado layer from turning brown, but it will darken after several hours).
Since several layers require lime zest, I zest a whole lime and set the zest aside, and then juice the lime. I also mince the cilantro all a once and divide it. You will need about 1/4 of a bunch for this dish.
I also stir the remaining half of the diced green chiles into the bottled salsa before pouring that layer on the dip.