7 Layer Taco Dip
The older I become, the less love resembles red roses and white doves and the more it resembles (and this is going to be specific) space heaters and 7 Layer Taco Dip.
I’ve been having a difficult time living in Milwaukee lately. We’ve been here a little more than a year, and while there are aspects of the city that I adore—the seemingly unending number of excellent local restaurants and breweries; the laid-back culture; summer afternoons on the lake—when I’m honest with myself, I still struggle to call it home.
We have the obvious reasons: close friendships are the products of years, not months; working from home is inherently isolating; I miss being near my family; and while Google Maps is excellent for getting me from Point A to Point B, without it I probably couldn’t navigate my way out of a paper bag.
Then, we have the really obvious reason: it is unbearably cold here. When I woke up this morning, the actual air temperature, without wind chill, was -7. With wind chill factored in, it was -31.
I realize that it isn’t Ben’s fault that for part of the year, Wisconsin registers a temperature that would keep the Abdominal Snowman indoors, that he didn’t choose to be from Wisconsin, and that I grew up elsewhere. It’s also not his fault that I’m freezing in anything below 69 degrees, including our house.
Never mind that I love living near his family, that Ben has a great job, and that I live in a safe, beautiful home with a big kitchen. When I examine the situation logically, it is both good and reasonable for us to live in Milwaukee…which is not quite what I signaled to Ben when I stormed around our house Saturday cursing the cold and, implicitly, him for being the reason we’re in it. I felt like he “owed me” for us being here, or he at least owed my toes an apology for their going numb every time I leave the house.
We went to bed without saying anything. Then, at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Ben’s favorite day to sleep in, he disappeared for an hour to “run errands” and came home with a space heater.
At first look, it’s a silly story that ends in the stereotypical woman expresses a problem because she wants emotional support, man tries to “solve” it because he wants to fix it for her, but the truth is…I am much, much warmer now.
A space heater isn’t going to land me a tight-knit community or keep my car windows from icing up on the inside when I’m out and about (yes, that happens here), but it does remind me that my husband cares about my happiness and that there is more I can do to promote it than curse the air temperature.
Real-life love is not glamorous. I’m still enough of a romantic to believe in date nights and dancing, and I certainly wouldn’t object to a grand gesture, but more often than not, the moments I feel the most loved resemble a full tank of gas or unloaded dishwasher more than they do a surprise getaway weekend or box of chocolates.
They also resemble 7 Layer Taco Dip.
This 7 Layer Taco Dip recipe is the sort of thing I make especially for Ben because I know he loves it, and as I discovered on Saturday night, it’s also something that every single person at a Packers playoff party will fall in love with too.
7 Layer Taco Dip is one of those special, trustworthy recipes that, no matter where you bring them, guarantee you’ll return home with an empty dish and recipe requests. Filled with the best-loved Mexican ingredients like salsa, guacamole, beans, and cheese, it’s crowd pleasing and impossibly addictive.
Classic 7 Layer Taco Dip recipes are often loaded with processed ingredients, fat, and salt, but I slimmed down this version by using real ingredients and making a few simple swaps to keep it a) healthy and b) ultra easy to make!
The keep the 7 Layer Taco Dip quick and easy, I relied on two store-bought standbys, Sabra Classic Guacamole and Sabra Homestyle Salsa, both of which taste incredibly fresh. I dropped the canned refried beans (which can have excess fat and preservatives) in favor of mashing regular canned pinto beans with the salsa and spices, which makes the taco dip healthier and better tasting too. Finally, instead of sour cream, I used protein-packed Greek yogurt. No one at the party guessed, and I returned home with a spotless dish.
My pro tip for this 7 Layer Taco Dip: bring the big, sturdy tortilla chips—you’re going to want to dig deep through every one of these tasty layers.
Although both of my teams (the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs) lost in the playoffs this weekend, I’m happy to have a few more football weekends as excuses to continue making 7 Layer Taco Dip. Whether you watch the Big Game for the strategy, the commercials, or the cute quarterback, with a plate of 7 Layer Taco Dip, you’re winning.
This is love.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
7 Layer Taco Dip
Classic 7 Layer Taco Dip made better with fresh ingredients. Colorful, healthy, and delicious, this Mexican layer dip recipe is always a hit at any party!
Yield: about 12 1/2 cups (16 servings)
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 2 cans low-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa (I used Sabra Homestyle Medium)
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional to add a little heat)
- 2 cups prepared guacamole (I used Sabra Classic Guacamole)
- 2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup drained sliced black olives
- 1/3 cup finely sliced green onions
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Begin with the bean layer: In a medium bowl, mash the beans together with the salsa, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne. Spread evenly into the bottom of a 9x13-inch or similarly sized serving dish.
- Layer the guacamole evenly over the beans, then the Greek yogurt. Top with the cheese, then the tomatoes, green onions, and olives. Serve with tortilla chips.
Dip can be made up to 6 hours in advance. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serving size: 1 (of 16; about 3/4 cup) | Calories: 150 | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 428mg | Carbohydrates: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 9g
I grew up eating many versions of this 7 Layer Taco Dip. Although it's certainly not an original concept, this is my healthy twist.
// All images and text © /Well Plated.
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