Monday, September 18, 2017

7 Layer Black Bean Dip

7 layer dip is an easy appetizer recipe featuring layers of simple Tex-Mex ingredients like refried black beans, seasoned sour cream, chunky avocado, cheddar and cotija cheese, pico de gallo, and black olives. It's quick to make, inexpensive, feeds a crowd, and is always the first thing to disappear at get-togethers. Serve this at your next game day party or family gathering to keep everyone full & happy without breaking the bank. {gluten-free, grain-free & vegetarian)

7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe
I was recently asked by Save-A-Lot to create a healthy recipe for the Tailgating season since they're one of my local grocery stores. In return for my time and creative effort, I'm being compensated financially for this post. Thanks for supporting my partnerships with awesome brands, since it allows me to keep creating quality free content for The Rising Spoon. As always, the opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

I'm excited to share one of my favorite cheap & easy appetizers with y'all today: 7 layer black bean dip. It's awesome for game days, holidays, family get-togethers, reunions, name it. 

This time of year lots of folks are looking for tailgating recipes. To be honest, I'm not a huge football fan. I've experienced the magnetic energy of Friday Night Lights in person (my grandma lives within walking distance of a high school football stadium here in Northern Texas). But watching it on TV with a bunch of commercials every few minutes? Not my thing. 

Yes, I grew up with a family who loved football. They rooted for the Chiefs, Cowboys, Jayhawks, and Sooners. But I was always the one hiding in my room reading a book. However, game days and tailgating are also about really good food & drink. That's something I can get behind 100%.

Queso dip, mango salsa, beef & chorizo chili, burgers, boiled brats, sandwiches, stew, soup, pretty much any comforting & addicting snack food (hello hot caprese cheese dip)...yes, please!

7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe Ingredients

If you're going to make it through hours of pre-game shenanigans and then the actual game itself, you need some good grub. Something super tasty but still kinda healthy so you don't fall into a food coma and pass out. (My little sister is famous for taking post-meal naps at family gatherings...ahem.) 

Hence today's recipe. I grew up eating 7 layer dip at all kinds of gatherings. It's a classic American appetizer recipe and is always the first thing to disappear at parties. 

I originally posted a version of this dip back in September 2012 (it was one of my first blog posts) but it's now in draft mode so y'all can't see it. Why? The picture was super dark and grainy, which didn't do the recipe justice. Hey, we all start somewhere.

Why 7 Layer Bean Dip is One of My Favorite Appetizer Recipes 

There are so many reasons why I love 7 layer bean dip. Let me count the ways:

  • It's packed with tasty protein from re-fried black beans. This is a healthy and inexpensive ingredient that's perfect for feeding a crowd (especially when you're on a budget).
  • The ingredients are a blend of simple pantry staples + fresh produce & dairy products. And it's easy to add or remove layers based on what you have on hand. This is a very flexible recipe!
  • You can prep the dip ahead of time or make it right before serving. And you can serve it hot, cold, or at room temp. So many options! (I've done all three many times.)

Pico De Gallo For 7 Layer Bean Dip Appetizer Recipe
  • Did I mention this dip is actually filling? Party foods tend to be indulgent, high-calorie snacks that taste ahhhhhh-mazing (hello salt & sugar) but don't quite fill you up. When you're trying to feed a crowd without spending a fortune, options like bean dip are smart because they contain more protein from the beans & cheese and healthy fats from avocado & olives.
  • No grill involved! Some of my fondest memories include chatting over a charcoal grill with my uncle or aunt at birthday parties & grill outs. But as an adult, I realize it can suck to have to babysit a grill (or even an oven) while everyone else mills about enjoying themselves. Can you relate?
  • Not feeding a bunch of people and don't mind eating leftovers? You'll love this recipe. Make a batch on Sunday and snack on it all.week.long. Seriously, I've made it several times when there are only two of us eating it. It's great for snacks and even dinner when you're busy/tired and don't feel like cooking.

Easy 7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe (Perfect For Game Day & Tailgating)

My Updated Version of 7 Layer Dip (An American Game Day Favorite)

I've been making the same ol' 7 layer dip for years, so this time around I decided to switch things up with more fresh & healthy ingredients.

For starters, instead of using a layer of plain diced tomatoes, I fixed homemade pico de gallo to bump up the flavor with cilantro, onion, jalapeno & fresh lime juice. You could definitely use store-bought pico but it's cheaper to make your own and soooo fast & easy that you might never go back to the grocery store stuff. 

I grabbed my recipe off the side of a tortilla chips bag and tweaked the amounts + added more onion & swapped out grape tomatoes instead of roma. If you prefer a less chunky texture, you could make salsa fresca instead with similar ingredients or even make a version with extra veggies like this cucumber pico de gallo

Then I mixed a jar of salsa verde (any tomatillo/green salsa will work) into the refried beans to give them a softer consistency. (Canned refried beans can be pretty thick if they're not served hot).

Instead of pre-made or homemade guacamole, I diced up whole avocados. This saved me time/money (store-bought guac isn't cheap) and I love the contrasting texture of chunky avocado to creamy beans & sour cream.

I also added some pickled jalapenos for heat & tang (I love them on pizza, sandwiches, tacos & nachos). They're totally optional! Quick pickled carrots would be another great topping for a bit of crunch and tanginess! 

Finally, I reduced the amount of sharp cheddar and subbed in crumbled cotija cheese for extra saltiness (it's often referred to as the Parmesan of Mexico). 

Grab some cotija for this recipe and use the leftovers for carnitas tacos, oven-baked nachos, tostadas, or even scrambled eggs! 

Easy 7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe

How to Save Time & Money On Tailgating Recipes

Want to know one my secrets to saving money on food when I'm buying ingredients to feed lots of people? 

I make a big list of everything I need for the recipes and then when I'm ready to shop, make sure the FIRST place I stop is the store with the best (most affordable) prices.

That way I can grab as many things as possible in one fell swoop for the best price (super convenient). I'll move onto the next store if there's anything left on my list but I'm usually able to get a huge chunk all in one place. This one habit/tip saves me SO much money!

One of my favorite local grocery stores for affordable food is Save-A-Lot. I stopped at my local East Dallas store to grab the ingredients for this 7 layer black bean dip and was happy at how much money I saved. They have excellent prices on cheeses and sour cream, fresh produce like avocados, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno & limes + Mexican staples like refried beans, pickled jalapeno & salsas. 

My store didn't have black olives or cilantro (they could have been out of stock) but I was able to grab almost everything I needed for the recipe all at once, which is a time saver. (I did have a few things at home already because I tend to keep a well-stocked pantry.)

Easy & Healthy Appetizer Recipe: 7 Layer Bean Dip

Giveaway: Plan Your Next Tailgating Shindig with Save-A-Lot

Want to grab these recipe ingredients (and more) at your local Save-A-Lot to save some cash & precious time?

First, View Your Weekly Ad to check out the current sales for your local store (this is super helpful for meal planning), 
then enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Save-A-Lot. I will choose one winner using on September 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. I'm also doing an exclusive giveaway for my Instagram followers for another $25 Save-A-Lot gift card, so make sure to hop over there, follow me, and enter in the comments to increase your chances of winning one or both of these prizes! :)

7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe - Quick & Easy Game Day Food

Yield: Serves 8-12
Easy 7 Layer Black Bean Dip Recipe

7 Layer Black Bean Dip

prep time: 20 MINScook time: total time: 20 mins


  • For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 1 dry pint (10 oz) of grape tomatoes, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds & stems removed, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice (from 1-2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • For the 7 Layer Dip:
  • 1 1/2 cups of full-fat sour cream (about 1 whole 16 oz container)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning OR 3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of refried black beans
  • 1 cup of salsa verde (or tomatillo salsa)
  • 4-5 small avocados, peel & pits removed, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of prepared pico de gallo, divided (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled cotija cheese
  • 7 oz of black olives (about 1/2 a 15 oz can), drained & sliced
  • 1/4 cup of pickled jalapeno slices (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onion
  • corn tortilla chips OR cassava flour tortilla chips, for serving
Recommended Equipment
  • 8 in x 11 in (2 quart) baking dish (I prefer a shallow glass container so the layers are visible)
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • cheese grater (if using block cheese)


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the pico de gallo in a mixing bowl, stir well, and set aside. In a second bowl, mix the sour cream and taco seasoning together, then set aside. In a third mixing bowl, combine the refried black beans and salsa verde.
  2. Spread the refried beans in an even layer across the bottom of an 8-inch by 11-inch baking dish. Top the beans with an even layer of the seasoned sour cream (use a spoon or spatula to smooth it). Next, evenly layer the chopped avocado over the sour cream. Spoon 1/2 of the pico de gallo in an even layer over the top of the avocado layer. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the pico de gallo layer, followed by the crumbled cotija cheese. Spoon the other half of the pico de gallo in an even layer over the cotija cheese, followed by the sliced black olives, then pickled jalapenos (optional) and finally the sliced green onion.
  3. Serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips or store in the fridge until ready to use. This dip can be served room temperature, warm, or cold and will last several days in the fridge (although the pico & sour cream layers will get a bit juicy - it doesn't affect the taste).
Created using The Recipes Generator

Did You Make This Recipe?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it went! Please leave a comment here on the blog, on Pinterest via the "tried it" feature, or use the hashtag #therisingspoon & tag @therisingspoon when you share pics to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. It helps me to get feedback on my creations and it totally makes my day. :)

Click Here To Save This To Your Appetizer Recipes Board on Pinterest!

Easy 7 Layer Black Bean Dip! Make this quick & yummy dip recipe with simple Tex-Mex ingredients that are healthy & budget-friendly. This is perfect for feeding a crowd at parties and holiday gatherings like Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Labor Day or Christmas. It's great make-ahead dip for tailgating & game day, too! (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & Grain-Free)
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Save-A-Lot. The opinions and text are all mine.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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