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.

Learn how to make Classic 7-Layer Taco Dip with this simple recipe. Made with fresh ingredients, this is the BEST Mexican layer dip and is perfect for any party! www.wellplated.com

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.

This 7 Layer Taco Dip recipe is made with fresh, simple ingredients and is a hit at any party!

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.

Bring this classic 7 Layer Taco Dip to your next party! Made with fresh ingredients, it's healthy but still tastes indulgent. Great for football, game watches or a potluck!

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 best Mexican 7 Layer Taco Dip Recipe! Easy to make with fresh ingredients and a few shortcuts too.

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.

Skinny 7 Layer Taco Dip made with fresh ingredients. All of the flavor, none of the guilt, and a winning appetizer for any party!

This is love.

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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

Ingredients:

Bean Layer:



  • 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)


Remaining Layers:



  • 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


Directions:


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

More dynamite dip recipes:

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Skinny Greek Layer Dip

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Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Easy, addictive Mexican corn dip

Skinny Mexican Corn Dip

I am sharing this post in partnership with Sabra. For a special deal on game-day essentials (ahem, chips and dip), check out Sabra’s Buy, Snap, Score promotion before 2/15/16. As always, all opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to provide quality content to you!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

31 comments

  1. I loved this post. I live in Madison and have been following you since I saw you featured on morning news a few years (??) ago.  This cold is no joke. I’ve been a Wisconsin resident for 2/3 of my life and this still feels wrong. But that dip…so SO right! Can’t wait to make it. Thank you!!

  2. I feel your pain Erin! I live in Ontario which I think might be level with Milwaukee. It is -15 here today and I do not want to venture outside! Love your recipes!

  3. Oh Erin – I totally felt the same way when my husband (then my dragging-his-heels-to-propose-boyfriend) convinced me to move to Minneapolis with him.  It took a couple of years to build that community and make it feel like home but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  I’ve even been known to cross-country ski on a day with a “real feel” of -25.  Who am I?!  

    I love 7 layer dip and love that yours has guac AND Greek yogurt!  It’s perfect football watching food!

  4. Yikes, the windows frost on the inside!?  I definitely would not be able to handle the cold there, either, but what a sweet gesture for Ben to bring you home a space heater :)
    Taco dip is my favorite dip, I love this easy version and can’t wait to make it! 

  5. Hang in there! And invest in a good pair of Sorel boots (a Wisconsin girls best friend). I promise they’ll keep your toes warm!

  6. I can totally relate to you, Erin. My husband and I called Minneapolis home for 2 1/2 years before moving to Des Moines two months ago, and it wasn’t until nearly a year-and-a-half into our move from Indiana to Minnesota that I began to feel like we really had roots there. Now we are starting the process all over again in Des Moines and I have no idea how long we will be here. It can be quite lonely — especially in the winter. Luckily we have this amazing food blogging community that we can call home. Hang in there! 

    P.S. Your dip is delightful! I’ll take the whole bowl, please. ;)

  7. Thank you for writing this post! It’s so honest and so true. I can relate to much of it – the numb toes, the ice on the inside of the windshield, that it’s the small gestures that are so telling…and, of course, that this dip will make people fall in love with it! I can’t wait to make some and dig in. 

  8. Yesterday I spotted a Facebook post that announced there are only 9 more Mondays until Spring. Hang in there, Erin! While I don’t have to deal with extreme cold here on the West Coast of Canada, I do have to deal with fog and rain and they seem to cause the January blahs, too! Cosy up to that heater today and dream of Spring :)

  9. looooove this post. i can’t imagine moving to a very cold place for my sig other – you are beyond a trooper. and i highly recommend finding a friend in a warmer place with a second bedroom and treating yourself to an adventure for a few weeks :) LA is calling my name. See you there? 

  10. Hey girl-  loved your post! Of course you need to be thanking God that you do have heat  and a nice house! You are so blessed girl! but I’m the same way sometimes complaining about this and that! crazy we are huh? That dip looks awesome!   

  11. Thank you, Erin, for a new spin on one of my faves! I love all your dips! We’re suffering here in Minneapolis, too, with similar temps. Hibernating with 7-Layer Taco Dip sounds like just the right prescription!

  12. Things I miss about Madison – you and the rest of our friends, endless cheese, being walking/bus distance from everyone and everything that I needed. Things I do not miss – that Wisconsin winter weather. I definitely feel for you, Erin! This looks like a great lightened up version of a favorite dish, and it will definitely be making an appearance at next weekend’s game watch! :)

  13. I really enjoyed the honesty of this post. Thanks for writing it. Hope your feet are warmer soon.

  14. Dang, girl. That husband of yours… hold on tight to him. True love for us nowadays looks follows the same trend — when he buys me a Starbucks latte out of the blue or I take the trash out for him. I think he’d fall in love with me all over again if I surprised him with this dip, too.

    Hang in there, lovely — living in a new place (in the winter! in these ungodly temperatures!) is hard on anyone. And I’m always a phone call away. ;) xo

  15. This dip looks so fresh and healthy- love those deliciously ripe tomatoes :)

  16. This dip looks fab! Moving is hard. It is important to find comfort in small things like space heaters. I’ve lived in Canada for most of my life and it gets COLD here. I’ll never get used to it! My heart is in Arizona haha. 

  17. I made this dip today. Real ingredients and satisfying layers! The bean layer was especially splendid.

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