This 7-layer dip recipe is perfect for your next party. Made with beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese, it’s got tons of yummy Mexican flavor!

7-Layer dip in a square glass dish, with a green napkin.

Original publish date: August 22, 2019

Over the last year or so, I’ve posted some of the best appetizer recipes around! Spinach artichoke dip, sweet & sour meatballs, and buffalo chicken dip never fail to make an appearance at every get-together.

And today’s recipe is one of my absolute favorites: 7-Layer Dip!

This seven-layer dip recipe has, you guessed it—seven delicious layers of goodness!

It’s an easy recipe that basically just involves spreading lots of delicious Mexican flavors into a dish and digging in.

So grab a bag of tortilla chips, and let’s get going!

Taking a scoop of 7-layer bean dip on a tortilla chip, with a text overlay above reading "7-Layer Dip."

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What is 7-layer dip?

A seven-layer dip is a popular Mexican-inspired appetizer served in a deep dish or a large glass bowl.

It consists of seven layers: refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, black olives, and green onions.

However, you can customize this dip based on your preferences, or even add a few additional layers.

Why this is the best 7-layer dip recipe

  1. Easy and customizable: It’s easy to assemble and doesn’t require any cooking. You can adjust the layers to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions.
  2. Flavorful: With layers of different ingredients, each bite offers a variety of flavors and textures.
  3. Make-ahead: You can prepare it in advance and refrigerate it until it is ready to serve. So convenient!
  4. Crowd-pleaser: This classic appetizer is beloved by so many, making it a great choice for entertaining.


Salsa: Use mild or spicy salsa depending on your preference. The salsa is strained so that the excess water is removed.

Refried beans: Use whatever kind of canned refried beans you like. The salsa and the beans are combined to create a more spreadable, dippable, and flavorful layer.

Cream cheese and sour cream: Whipped together to create a thick creamy layer.

Spices: Chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder are used to season the creamy sour cream layer.

Guacamole: Use a pre-made guacamole or make your own homemade guacamole.

Shredded cheese: I use sharp cheddar cheese shreds.

Black olives and scallions: The olives add a bit of saltiness to the dip, and the scallions provide a nice fresh finish.

Variations and substitutions

This is a really customizable recipe, so if you don’t like any bit of it, you can easily swap it out for something you love! Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use seasoned ground beef in place of the refried beans.
  • Swap the guacamole for finely shredded iceberg lettuce.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, or fresh cilantro on top

How to make 7-layer dip

Step 1: Strain the salsa

Start by straining the salsa to get some of the excess liquid out.

Pouring salsa through a fine mesh strainer.

Step 2: Refried beans

The first layer of this dip is refried beans.

Pouring salsa liquid into refried beans.

A lot of times, refried beans can be a little too thick, so stir a little of the salsa liquid into the beans to loosen them up and help them to be a little more spreadable.

Then transfer the beans into an 8-inch square dish, spreading them into an even layer.

Step 3: Creamy layer

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder together to create a creamy, taco-spiced layer.

Mixing seasoned sour cream with an electric mixer.

Spread this creamy layer over the beans.

Layering seasoned cream cheese over refried beans.

Step 4: Guacamole

Next comes the guacamole! Spread it evenly over the sour cream layer.

Spreading guacamole over seasoned cream cheese.

Step 5: Salsa

Now spread your strained salsa over the guacamole layer.

Layering salsa over guacamole for 7-layer dip.

Step 6: Cheese

Sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the top.

Sprinkling shredded cheese over salsa.

My favorite is shredded sharp cheddar, but a Mexican cheese blend would also work well.

Step 7: Garnish

The last step is sprinkling on a few sliced olives and green onions.

Sprinkling olives and green onions over 7-layer Mexican dip.

Serve with tortilla chips for dipping!

Expert tips

  • Opt for fresh ingredients, such as ripe avocados for guacamole and fresh pico for the best results.
  • Follow the layers according to the directions. You want to start with the denser layers (like the refried beans) at the bottom, and lighter layers (like cheese) on top to prevent the layers from mixing too much when serving.
  • Feel free to add or remove layers based on your preferences. You can also adjust the thickness of each layer to suit your taste.
  • For ingredients like salsa or tomatoes, make sure to drain excess moisture to prevent the dip from becoming too watery.

How to serve

Garnish before serving: Add the green onions and sliced olives just before serving to add freshness and color.

Traditional style: Serve in a deep dish or glass bowl so guests can see the layers. Provide a spoon for easy serving.

Individual cups: Prepare portions in small cups or jars for a convenient and mess-free serving option.

Taco bar: Set up a taco bar with tortilla chips, tacos, or taco shells, and include the 7-layer dip as a topping.

Overhead image of 7-layer dip recipe, with a basket of corn chips and a green kitchen towel.


Make it ahead: This recipe is perfect if you’re hosting and want to get a jump start on all the prep!

Refrigerate: Cover the casserole dish or bowl with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. The guacamole layer will turn brown over time if exposed to air.

Avoid freezing: While some components of the dip (like the beans or guacamole) can be frozen individually, the assembled 7-layer dip does not freeze well due to the textures of the different layers.


Is 7-layer dip healthy?

Yes, a 7-layer dip is relatively healthy compared to other dips.

This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and relatively low in carbs.

Substitute ground turkey for the refried beans to make it a little lower in fat, calories, and carbs.

You can also try using low-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and cheese.

Can you make this 7-layer dip recipe in advance of serving?

Yes, you can prepare the dip a few hours before serving it and refrigerate it to allow the flavors to meld together.

This also makes it easier to serve when guests arrive.

You can even make it the night before, but be aware that it may become watery. If this happens, simply drain the excess liquid.

What is the serving size?

This appetizer recipe can really serve a crowd! Especially if there are lots of other nibbles around.

The nutritional info below is for 1/20th of the whole batch. It does not include tortilla chips or any other kind of dipper

Scooping 7-layer taco dip with a corn chip.

A few more of my best Mexican-inspired recipes

7-Layer dip in a square glass dish, with a green napkin.
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7-Layer Dip Recipe

Servings: 20
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
This 7-layer dip recipe is perfect for your next party. Made with beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese, it's got tons of yummy Mexican flavor!


  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) salsa, (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 15.4 ounces (436.58 g) refried beans
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese, (1 brick)
  • 3/4 cup (172.5 g) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) guacamole
  • 1 1/2 cups (168 g) finely shredded cheese, (preferably sharp cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • 1/4 cup (33.75 g) sliced black olives, (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced green onions


  • Pour the salsa into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl, to drain away the excess liquid.
  • Place the refried beans in a bowl, and stir in a tablespoon or two of the salsa liquid, to thin them out and make them more spreadable.
  • Spread the bean mixture in an even layer at the bottom of an 8-inch square dish.
  • Place the cream cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • Layer the cream cheese mixture over the refried beans.
  • Layer the guacamole over the cream cheese mixture.
  • Layer the strained salsa over the guacamole.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top, and garnish with sliced olives and green onions.


Serve with tortilla chips.
Calories: 150kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 411mg, Potassium: 215mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 496IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 100mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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