Dressings Dips and Sauces

December 29, 2020

Healthy Mexican 7 Layer Dip

Made with black refried beans, taco seasoned Greek yogurt, guacamole, cotija cheese, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and fresh chopped cilantro, this Healthy Mexican 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for any party or celebration!

Christmas might be over, but the celebrations are not! I seriously love the six weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years because there's so much food and happiness to be had in every home.

What more could a food blogger wish for?

I really do love the holidays for more than just a job, though. They're a time of family, feasting, and festivities; a time when we're focused more on who we love most rather than the trivial things from online shopping and long wish-lists.

At the end of the day, the feasting and feastivities help us create memories with our loved ones.

That's honestly why I love being a food blogger so much. I love that I can provide "products" that people use to bring joy into their homes, services that bring smiles to their faces, and goods that put the finishing touch on whatever occasion they're celebrating.

So without further ado, today's dish is the perfect party food, easy appetizer, game day snack, and potluck recipe: Healthy Mexican 7 Layer Dip!

A pan of 7 layer dip

What is seven layer dip?

Originally published as "Tex-Mex Dip" in the 1980s, 7 Layer Dip is an American appetizer made with iconic American-Mexican flavors like refried beans, guacamole, and taco seasoning. It is also known as "bean dip." Today, it is a crowd-favorite dish served with tortilla chips and made with seven main layers:

  • Refried beans
  • Sour cream and mayonnaise
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa or chopped tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, or queso fresco)
  • Toppings like jalapenos, diced onions, or cilantro

A pan of 7 layer dip with a spoon in it

Ingredients you'll need

What makes this 7 Layer Dip fresh and healthy is the unique ingredient swaps for some of the layers.

These substitutions not only add a boost of nutritional value to this party favorite, but an incredible amount of flavor as well!

For this easy 7 Layer Dip recipe, you'll need:

  • Black refried beans: more robust and hearty in flavor and texture than traditional refried beans (with pinto beans). They're also a true vegetarian product, whereas regular refried beans usually have animal products mixed in.
  • Plain Greek yogurt: a healthier alternative to sour cream and mayo, greek yogurt has a good source of protein and healthy cultures for the gut. We're seasoning it with classic taco spices like chili powder, oregano, and cumin.
  • Spicy guacamole: totally optional on the spicy, but highly recommended. It packs a punch and really boosts the Mexican flavors. All you'll need is avocados, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Cotija cheese: a traditional Mexican cheese, cotija cheese is salty and crumbly. It's so much better than shredded cheddar cheese, I promise! If you can't find it, queso fresco is a good alternative.
  • Rich black olives: creamy and full of heart-healthy fats, olives are (in my opinion) one of the best parts of this Mexican 7 Layer Dip.
  • Bright cherry tomatoes: vibrant and crisp, cherry tomatoes are preferred over diced roma tomatoes here at Ka Pai Cooking. They're perfect for this easy 7 Layer dip!
  • Fresh cilantro: for an extra boost of flavor and a colorful topping. Don't skip this step!

A pan of 7 layer dip

How to make seven layer dip

Step 1: prepare the beans

I like to soften my beans on the stove prior to assembling the bean dip, but they're cooked and ready to serve right out of the can. This step is total personal preference! You can even add a can of diced green chilis if you really love spicy food!

Step 2: season the greek yogurt

In a medium bowl, whisk together the plain Greek yogurt, cumin, chili powder, and oregano until smooth.

Step 3: prepare the guacamole

Mash the avocados until few clumps remain. Add the lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, green chilis, and salt, mixing until well combined. Feel free to add more seasonings according to taste!

Step 4: assemble the bean dip

Using an offset or rubber spatula, layer the easy 7 Layer Dip in the following order: beans, yogurt, guacamole, cotija cheese, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and chopped cilantro.

A pan of 7 layer dip

Frequently asked questions

Can I make 7 layer dip ahead of time?

Of course! I do not recommend making it more than 24 hours in advance, as it is best the day of.

How do I store 7 layer dip?

Since we're making it in a 9x13 dish, it's easiest to just keep this 7 Layer Dip in the baking dish. Simply cover with foil and store for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also invest in these incredible Pyrex baking dishes that come with tupperware lids!

Is 7 layer dip gluten free?

Yes! Just make sure to serve it with your favorite gluten-free tortilla chips.

Can I make this Mexican dip vegan?

I think so! Just swap the Greek yogurt for your favorite dairy-free yogurt and the cotija cheese for your preferred vegan cheese. I've never tried it though, so make sure to leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!

What can I use instead of plain Greek yogurt?

Traditionally, the recipe calls for either sour cream or a mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise. If you can't or don't want to use Greek yogurt, I recommend only using light sour cream. Honestly, if you're put off about the taste of Greek yogurt vs. sour cream, I promise you cannot tell the difference!

More healthy party foods

The BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Pigs in a Blanket Blossom

Instant Pot Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

Healthy Funeral Potatoes (no cornflakes!)

A man scooping 7 layer dip with a tortilla chip

Ok go! It's time to dive headfirst into this incredible bean dip, Mexican 7 Layer Dip, easy 7 Layer Dip, whatever you want to call it! I promise there won't be leftovers. So if you're worried, make sure to double the recipe!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review so other viewers know how you liked it, then tag me on Instagram @kapaicooking so I can see how it turned out! I love seeing you make my recipes and I do my best to respond to each one!

Healthy Mexican 7 Layer Dip

Made with black refried beans, taco seasoned Greek yogurt, guacamole, cotija cheese, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and fresh chopped cilantro, this Healthy Mexican 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for any party or celebration!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

30

min

cook:

0

min

total:

30

min

servings:

8

Ingredients

  • 2 cans refried black beans
  • 1 C nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • ½ Tbsp oregano
  • 1½ tsp chili powder, divided
  • 2 avocados, ripe
  • 4 oz diced green chilis (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ C cotija cheese crumbles
  • 6 oz diced black olives
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. Set out a 9x13 baking dish. Open the cans of black beans and measure out 3 cups. Spread the black beans in an even layer with a rubber spatula and press down until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the plain Greek yogurt, cumin, oregano, and 1 tsp of the chili powder until smooth. Spread over the black beans in an even layer.
  3. In another medium bowl, mash the ripe avocados until few clumps remain. Add in the diced green chilis, lime juice, remaining chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Stir until well combined. Spread in an even later over the yogurt.
  4. Sprinkle the cotija cheese crumbles over the guacamole, then add the olives, tomatoes, and cilantro in order until all ingredients are finished. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/8 of the pan and do not include any tortilla chips.

Nutrition

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