This is always a favorite at parties. The colorful layers make it visually appealing, while the combination of creamy, cheesy, and spicy ingredients ensure a satisfying taste experience. This dip is not only a crowd-pleaser but also incredibly easy to prepare. Whether you’re hosting a game night, Super Bowl party, or a potluck, this 7 layer dip is sure to be the star of the table.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Can be prepared in advance, no cooking required.
  • Easily customizable with various toppings to suit your taste.
  • Ideal for parties, potlucks, and family gatherings.
7 layer dip in a glass serving dish with a serving removed.

7 Layer Dip Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Refried Beans: They form a hearty base. Can use store-bought or homemade, vegetarian, low-fat, or even refried black beans for a different flavor.
  • Guacamole: Adds a creamy, rich layer. Homemade or store-bought both work.
  • Sour Cream: Offers a cool, tangy contrast. A plant-based substitute or Greek yogurt can be a healthier alternative.
  • Salsa: Brings juiciness and spice. Choose mild or hot based on preference.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Gives a sharp, cheesy flavor. Try a Mexican cheese blend for variety, or a plant-based shredded cheese substitute if desired.
  • Green Onions: Add a fresh crunch.
  • Olives: Offer a salty, briny taste. Capers are a good alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the layers in 7 layer dip?

The classic 7 layer dip consists of these layers:

First Layer: Refried beans.
Second Layer: Guacamole.
Third Layer: Sour cream.
Fourth Layer: Salsa.
Fifth Layer: Shredded cheddar cheese.
Sixth Layer: Sliced green onions.
Seventh Layer: Sliced olives. Additional toppings like chopped cilantro, green chiles, or jalapeños can be added for extra flavor.

Can I make 7 layer dip ahead of time?

Yes, it can be prepared a day in advance.

Can I make this recipe mild?

Certainly. You can completely customize the heat by either omitting the cayenne pepper for no heat, keeping the cayenne at the amount called for to make a slightly spicy dip, or add even more for a good kick! You can even add jalapeños for an extra kick!

Can I use a taco seasoning packet instead of individual spices?

Yes! Rather than using the spices called for, you can save some time and simply use 1 taco seasoning packet.

What kind of guacamole should I use?

Your favorite! Really, you can use any type of guacamole that you like, including homemade or store-bought.

Are you supposed to heat up 7 layer dip?

No, 7 layer dip is traditionally served cold. Heating it may cause the layers to mix and the dip to become soggy. It’s best enjoyed at room temperature or chilled.

What can I do with leftover 7 layer dip?

Leftover 7 layer dip can be repurposed in a few ways:

As a Filling: Use it as a filling for burritos or tacos.
With Eggs: Mix it into scrambled eggs for a flavorful breakfast.
As a Salad Topping: Use it as a hearty topping for a Mexican-style salad.
As a Baked Potato Topping: Spoon it over baked potatoes for a quick and tasty meal.

Best Dippers for 7 Layer Dip

Serve your 7 Layer Dip with a variety of dipping options, such as:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Pita chips
  • Crackers
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery
  • Bell pepper strips


  • Layer Separation: If layers mix, chill the dip between adding each layer.
  • Watery Salsa: Drain excess liquid from salsa to prevent sogginess.
  • Browning Guacamole: Ensure sour cream completely covers the guacamole layer.

Tips From the Chef

  • Chill before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Use a clear serving dish for a visually appealing presentation.
  • Serve with a variety of tortilla chips, crackers, or sliced veggies.
A chip dipped into 7 layer dip.

Storage Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Please keep in mind that the guacamole will brown over time due to oxidation.

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.