Seven Layer Dip

Seven layer dip is a Mexican-inspired party staple made with beans, cilantro, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and jalapeño. It’s crazy easy to make as well as quite healthy. And it requires no cooking whatsoever. And this is the best darn rendition of it we’ve ever had.

Seven Layer Dip

We have something to confess. This ridiculously good riff on seven layer dip had been meticulously reworked by the folks at Cooking Light magazine to contain as few fat grams as possible thanks to low-fat cheese and reduced-fat sour cream. Which, to us, is sad. Because the thing is, what really matters when it comes to satiety is satisfaction. And we derive a heck of a lot of that from real food. You know, food that hasn’t been tampered with in any way. So we ditched the low-fat dairy but kept the recipe, which is seriously the best seven layer dip we’ve ever had. Provided you use real cheese and sour cream. One taste and we think you’ll agree that it was the right thing to do. Originally published June 27, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

Seven Layer Dip

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8 to 12
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Amazing Recipe Makeovers cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt
  • One (16-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and drained
  • 2 ripe peeled avocados, halved
  • 2 cups fresh or canned corn kernels
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/3 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/3 cup), preferably with jalapeño peppers
  • 1 1/3 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (3 ounces)


  • 1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the water, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the beans and cook, stirring and mashing the beans frequently with a wooden spoon, until warmed through and almost smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Spread the bean mixture in a 2-quart (2.3-liter) baking dish and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • 2. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup cilantro, red onion, 2 tablespoons lime juice, oil, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the tomatoes and sprinkle over the cooled bean mixture.
  • 3. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork until it achieves the desired consistency. Spread the avocado mixture over the tomato mixture.
  • 4. Sprinkle the corn over the avocado mixture. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, chili powder, and cumin and spread it over the corn. Sprinkle with the cheeses, jalapeño chiles, and green onions. Serve immediately or cover and stash it in the fridge for up to several hours.


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers Reviews

Wow, wow, wow! Seven layer dip is one of those things people throw together using cans and packages of things. You see it at a potluck or family picnic and think it should be a good thing, but because of all the packaged foods used, it's only so-so. But this seven layer dip is something else all together. Because everything is homemade using beans and veggies, it actually feels like a healthy(ish) thing to eat for lunch. And that's exactly what we did—we sat down with a half recipe of dip and a bag of tortilla chips for the two of us. I made half a recipe and it's a good thing I did or we might have eaten the entire batch. I reduced all my ingredients by half except I used the entire amount of beans. So perhaps the recipe could use double the beans if people want more.

It brings me great joy to see a traditional dip like this seven layer dip, and find that someone has elevated the recipe. While this dip recipe does require some time and effort to put together, it was worth it. It was fresh tasting, light, satisfying, and the perfect appetizer for our summer barbecue. I layered my dip in a 9-inch glass pie dish. The dip filled the pie dish but it did not overflow it or make a mess. The glass dish also made for a visually appealing presentation. I served my dip with tortilla chips. I had some dip leftover and when I pulled it out of the refrigerator the next day, there was a little liquid in the dish but the flavor was still very good.


  1. DELIGHTED to see a recipe converted into mesurable quantities!!!! what you mean by cups / sticks is not clear to the rest of the world. … pity as there are many potentially delicious recipes out there that we’d love to try!

    1. Ingrid, thank you for noticing! We’ve been working quite hard to include more proper measures on all our recipes—the new recipes we add to the site each week as well as the old recipes already on the site. If you want a shortcut way to find those recipes, you can click on the following link for all the recipes that are completely in METRIC. We’re adding recipes to the list each week, so check back!

  2. With a little white rice and some sunflower seeds layered in for crunch, I see this as a side/main dish. It’s so pretty too!

  3. Fantastic! My 4th of July crew really loved this. A few notes: First, it’s HUGE, use a very large platter. Here it served maybe 12 adults, even though it was the only appetizer. “Good tomatoes” are important. I wouldn’t make it again with grocery-store tomatoes, even plum tomatoes.

  4. Sounds yummy!! I will substitute green onions for the red ones in the tomato layer, as the milder flavor is more to my liking. I often add a can of diced green green chilis to the bean layer, and I’ll seed the jalapenos to reduce the fire a bit. I like the little extras added to this recipe instead of plain layers of beans, tomatoes and lettuce.

  5. Made this for Memorial Day. Looked pretty but was very wet, maybe my tomatoes but after a scoop, a puddle appeared so I drained it off several times but was not a hit.

    1. I’m really sorry to hear that, Kathy. Yes, watery tomatoes can certainly do this. Also, if the beans and corn aren’t drained completely, sogginess can ensue. I hope you’ll give it another try, as every one of our testers who tried it (we test each recipe over and over and tweak them when needed before deeming them spectacular enough to share on the site) thought it was an improvement over other seven layer dips they’ve tried…

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.