Best 7 Layer Mexican Dip!

This is the best Mexican layer dip recipe, with my three secrets to success. See how refried beans, salsa, sour cream, and fresh toppings come together in a unique way that brings even more flavor to this classic party dip.

Mexican 7-layer dip in round white dish with tortilla chips in bowl.

Add some Tex-Mex flavor to the menu with my cold Mexican dip that’s always a crowd favorite. It’s perfect to serve for Cinco de Mayo and Mexican themed parties, as well as a Super Bowl party with other football party food.

Serve this cold appetizer at home for a casual gathering, or take it to a potluck party.

What Makes This The Best

  1. Seasoned sour cream. The secret to the best tasting Mexican dip is the taco seasoning mixed into the sour cream. It takes this recipe to the next level!
  2. Beans & salsa. The next secret is to mix salsa into the refried beans instead of layering it separately. It’s adds so much flavor and makes the beans thinner and more scoopable.
  3. Shallow dish. I don’t know why so many people prepare this dip in a deep dish. It only creates a thick layer of beans, and it’s hard to scoop to the bottom and get every layer. My trick is to use a large, shallow platter with a low edge. That way you can spread out each layer about ¼-inch thick, and get a little bit of each in every bite. Trust me, you don’t want an overly thick layer of refried beans or it will overpower everything else.

I’ve been making this cold dip since my college days, and got the recipe while working a summer job. One of the ladies would make it for the office and we couldn’t get enough! There are 3 things that make this recipe stand out.

Mexican 7-layer dip in round white dish with tortilla chips in bowl, and drinks in background.

What are the 7 layers?

Of course the toppings are subject to personal taste, too. I think the more the better! Here’s what’s on 7 layer Mexican dip.

  1. Refried beans
  2. Guacamole or Diced avocado – Some recipes call for a guacamole layer, but I think it’s better without it. I add diced avocado to the top of the dip, instead.
  3. Sour cream
  4. Salsa or diced tomatoes
  5. Shredded cheese
  6. Onions
  7. Black olives
hand with tortilla chip scooping out Mexican layer dip.


  • Refried beans. Vegetarian, fat-free, or original will all work fine. You can even use your favorite bean dip if you like.
  • Salsa. Use your favorite brand of salsa, or try something with a twist, like chipotle salsa.
  • Sour Cream. You can use regular but I always use light sour cream for this. A good substitute is plain Greek yogurt.
  • Taco seasoning. Use the small seasoning packets or find it in a small can in the seasoning and spice section.
  • Cheddar cheese. I suggest you buy a block and shred it yourself. Packaged shredded cheese has a coating on it that I find less than desirable for this appetizer recipe.
  • Diced tomatoes. Vine ripened or Roma tomatoes are my favorites to use here. But you can use whichever is at your store and convenient.
  • Black olives. Grab a small can of diced black olives and make sure you drain the liquid. You won’t need the whole can so you can save the rest for another use.
  • Onions. You can use diced yellow onions or green onions here. I love onions so I use both!
  • Avocado. Cut one avocado into small cubes and sprinkle on top just before serving.

Don’t forget to stock up on tortilla chips, Frito’s scoops, and Mexican beer or margaritas to go along with it.

Quick Tip

Buy a package of fresh pico de gallo in the produce department. It has the chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro so you can use that instead of the individual toppings in order to save time on chopping.

More Toppings To Try 

Although this taco dip is pretty perfect as is, you can always add these toppings to take it up a notch.

  • Sprinkle on some chopped fresh cilantro to take this to the next level.
  • Add a light drizzle of taco sauce over the top of the dip for extra flavor. 
  • Add diced jalapeno or use a jar of pickled jalapeno.
  • You can try a layer of guacamole instead of diced avocado. Add it between the bean layer and sour cream layer.

How to Make It 

  1. Mix refried beans and salsa together, and spread as the base for the dip. Try to keep it to 1/4-inch thickness or less.
  2. Make the creamy layer by combining sour cream with the taco seasoning mix. You can make this mixture a few hours ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to layer everything.
  3. Add fresh toppings on top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with tortilla chips.

Expert Tips

  • This party dip is best made at least 2 hours ahead so the flavor has time to develop.
  • If your salsa has a lot of liquid, strain some of it out before mixing it with the beans.
  • Add diced avocado just before serving, and toss it with some lemon juice of vodka to help stave off browning.

More Tex-Mex Recipes

If you want to host a Mexican themed party, here are some more recipes to try.

Let me know what you think of this 7 layer Mexican dip with my special tips. I just know you’ll love it as much as we do.

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Best 7-Layer Mexican Dip

Best 7-Layer Mexican Dip

Yield: serve a party of 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Our favorite cold Mexican layer dip for a party includes refried beans, salsa, fresh toppings, and a taco seasoned sour cream layer you'll love! Prepare it in a shallow dish for easy scooping!


  • 1 (16-ounce) can re-fried beans
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1-ounce packet Taco seasoning mix
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ Onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Tortilla chips for dipping


  1. Mix together sour cream and taco seasoning packet until thoroughly combined, and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Combine re-fried beans and salsa together well, and spread a layer on a low profile serving platter.
  3. Spread a layer of sour cream mixture on top of beans.
  4. Top with cheese, tomatoes, onion, olives, and avocado.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.


Use a carton of fresh pico de gallo (tomato, onion, cilantro) from the produce section, to save time chopping the individual ingredients.

Make the sour cream mixture a few hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dip.

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  1. When I was younger, my roommate and I would make layer dip for dinner. And just eat it ALL. ah to be able to do that now and not regret it later. 😀

    1. Kristin, I don’t consider my self a junk food junkie, but I DO think I’m a CHIP & DIP junkie. LOL

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