I've been a fan of Mexican cuisine for years and have tried countless recipes. Yet, my 7-layer meat dip has always been a standout favorite.
I love this delicious and easy appetizer because the layers create a harmonious blend that bursts with great flavor in only one dish.
Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to make this great dish.
7-Layered Taco Dip Recipe
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Servings: 8-10
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 can (16 oz) refried black beans
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup guacamole (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup canned diced green chiles
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Mix the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and half of the taco seasoning mix in a medium bowl until well combined. This will be the cream cheese mixture.
- Over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef in a large skillet until fully browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat. Add the remaining taco seasoning and mix well to season the meat.
- Heat the refried beans in a separate bowl over medium heat until they are easy to spread.
- Layer the ingredients in a 9x13-inch baking dish in the following order:
- Layer 1: Spread the warm refried beans in one layer at the bottom of the baking dish.
- Layer 2: Spread the seasoned ground beef over the beans.
- Layer 3: Spread evenly the cream cheese mixture over the taco meat layer.
- Layer 4: Pour the chunky salsa evenly over the third layer.
- Layer 5: Spread the shredded cheese over the salsa layer. Note that the next layers are optional.
- Layer 6: Spread guacamole over the cheddar cheese layer.
- Layer 7: Place the additional toppings over the sour cream layer: diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, black olives, sliced green onions, canned diced chiles, Mexican blend shredded cheese, and queso fresco.
- Cover the 7-layer taco dip with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve the layered taco dip chilled in the serving dish with a big bowl of tortilla chips on the side.
Here are some actionable tips to make this recipe work like magic:
- The ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, the safe temperature to ensure it is cooked through . Or you can use previously cooked leftover taco meat to make this seven-layer dip.
- Feel free to customize the layers with your favorite taco toppings to suit your taste. For example, this 7-layer dip recipe can use white instead of green onion, romaine instead of iceberg lettuce, or green olives instead of black sliced olives.
- For a healthier option, you can use ground turkey instead of ground beef and choose reduced-fat or fat-free versions of cream cheese, sour cream, and cheese.
- Although usually served cold, this delicious dip may also be heated in the microwave once assembled.
- You can also make this dip in a crock pot by layering the first five ingredients and heating on low for 2-3 hours until the cheese melts and the seven-layer taco dip is heated through. Then, add guacamole and the top layer.
- If you prefer a vegetarian option, skip the ground meat and add extra layers of your favorite veggies.
- You can freeze a seven-layer dip. For best results, transfer the cold dip to an airtight container, leaving some space for expansion during freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving. You should leave this frozen for no more than 2-3 months for best quality .
- You can use a slow cooker to heat and combine the softened cream cheese and sour cream for a creamier texture.
- The last two layers are optional and can be substituted with your favorite toppings. For example, not everyone cares for the slightly tangy taste of the queso fresco, so this ingredient may be left out without compromising the dish.
- You can substitute homemade or vegetarian refried beans for the canned refried beans if so desired. Similarly, you can use store-purchased guacamole or a homemade one.
- Calories: 310
- Total Carbs: 17g
- Protein: 17g
- Fat: 18g
- Fiber: 6g
- Net Carbs: 11g
"The genius of a 7-layer dip recipe lies in its versatility; it's the perfect canvas to showcase the vibrant colors and bold flavors of Mexican ingredients in every bite."
- Anthony Bourdain, American Chef
What to Serve With a 7-Layer Dip With Meat?
Here's a list of dishes and sides that would pair well with the 7-layer dip:
- Tortilla Chips: The classic and obvious choice for dipping into the 7-layer dip. The crunchy texture and salty flavor of tortilla chips complement the sour cream, refried beans, and ground beef layers of the taco dip.
- Mexican Rice: A side of fluffy and flavorful Mexican rice goes well with the refried beans in the dip. The rice provides a neutral base that balances out the richness of the dip and adds some extra substance to the meal.
- Corn and Black Bean Salad: This refreshing and colorful salad brings a burst of freshness to the meal. The corn's sweetness and the earthiness of the black beans complement the savory dip and add some nutritious elements to the plate.
- Grilled Chicken: Adding grilled chicken provides another source of protein to the ground beef and makes the meal more substantial. The flavors of the meat will complement the sour cream dip and offer a satisfying combination.
- Pico de Gallo: A fresh tomato-based salsa with onions, cilantro, and lime juice is an excellent accompaniment to the taco seasoning and ground beef. The tangy and zesty flavors of the pico provide a bright contrast to the creamy layers of the beef taco dip.
- Guacamole Stuffed Mini Peppers: Serve some bite-sized sweet mini peppers stuffed with guacamole. The cool and creamy guacamole pairs perfectly with the rich dip, and the sweet pepper provides a refreshing and crunchy bite.
- Cornbread: The slightly sweet and crumbly texture of cornbread pairs well with the savory flavors of the sour cream and refried beans. It adds a touch of comfort to the meal.
Also Read: Best French Dip Sandwich Recipe
How Long Can 7-Layer Dip Be Left Out?
7-layer dip can be left out at room temperature for no more than two hours. Perishable items like refried beans, sour cream, and ground beef in the dip can spoil and lead to foodborne illnesses if left unrefrigerated for too long.
How Do You Soften Cream Cheese Quickly?
To soften cream cheese quickly, you can remove it from its packaging, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it in short 10 to 15-second bursts until it reaches the desired softness. Be cautious not to melt the cream cheese entirely.
Your Next Party Favorite: 7-Layer Meat Dip
This delicious recipe can be used for Taco Tuesday, the Super Bowl, or a Cinco de Mayo party. It creates a yummy dip that combines seven layers of flavors and textures to create a truly satisfying dish.
Don't forget to pair it with some crispy tortilla chips for the ultimate snacking experience.