What better recipe to show off your Instant Pot Refried Beans than the famous 7 Layer Bean Dip. This recipe was created by my mom and has been proclaimed, “BEST LAYERED BEAN DIP EVER!” for the past 30 years. That's serious street cred right there.
“Mama knows best”.
There is a reason that statement has been spoken for thousands of years. Now that I'm a mom arguing with my son about whether or not a filled bathtub is a great place to sleep at night . . . I know for a fact, mama knows best. And now so does my son after his tub water turned cold.
You guys, my mom has been making this 7 Layer Bean Dip since I was a kid and after seeing people rave about it time and time again, I can assure you that my mom did indeed know best here, 'cause she created a layered dip to trump any dip you've ever had.
This here dip is your answer for parties, showers, healthy side dishes, gifts, you name it, this bean dip has your back.
WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED 7 LAYER DIP?
For anyone living under a rock for the past 50 years or toddlers just learning to talk, the very popular 7 Layer Bean Dip is basically layers of Tex-Mex type ingredients that are served with tortilla or corn chips. Most common layers are refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, and olives.
The number 7 is flexible since you can decide what ingredients you might want to add or subtract. In fact, my brother insists on a 5 layer dip minus the guacamole and jalapenos – crazy boy.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS 7 LAYER MEXICAN DIP
- It starts off with the most amazing homemade Instant Pot Refried Beans – You've already achieved ultimate bean dip status right there.
- All of the best Mexican food condiments in one place. Who came up with this amazing idea anyways!?
- Easy to assemble, crowd pleaser, mostly healthy, looks pretty, make ahead, etc etc etc
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MEXICAN LAYER DIP
- Spread about 2 cups of refried beans in an 11×7 or 9×9 pan
- Layer with chopped Roma tomatoes
- Dollop guacamole over tomatoes and gently spread to cover
- Mix taco seasoning into sour cream and spread it over the guacamole
- Sprinkle sour cream with cheddar cheese
- Top with olives and pickled jalapenos
Grab a bag of my favorite whole grain scoop chips and go to town! Seriously, I can't emphasize it enough. This is the best bean dip ever. How could something so basic be so magical?! Oh, right, remember “mama knows best.”
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST MEXICAN BEAN DIP
HOMEMADE REFRIED BEANS
- It's so easy in the pressure cooker and they are so much better than storebought. You want them spreadable so add a little water or broth if needed. However, in a pinch, I do love the canned Taco Bell Fat Free Refried Beans.
DRAIN THE TOMATOES
- Excess moisture in the tomatoes will ruin a good bean dip. Chop them, place them in a strainer, sprinkle them with a little salt and let them sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Whether you buy fresh guac from your store's deli section or you make it at home, quality guacamole is a must. For a 3 minute homemade guacamole, use Litehouse Guacamole Blend. I use this stuff almost weekly, it was my favorite product find of 2018.
FLAVOR THE SOUR CREAM
- Plain ol' sour cream falls flat in bean dip. Give it a solid sprinkle of your favorite taco seasoning so it can add to the flavor of the dip instead of diluting it. My mom uses storebought, but I'll include my favorite Homemade Taco Seasoning in the recipe
- This addition to my mom's bean dip came from my husband's suggestion when we were first married, and I'll be dipped if he didn't dope my mom's dip even more. Go for pickled “tamed” jalapenos so everyone is happy.
CAN LAYERED BEAN DIP BE MADE AHEAD?
I'm predicting that this will be the question on many of your minds and according to extensive testing done by my mom over the years – yes, this can be made a day ahead, as long as the tomatoes are properly drained and guacamole has lime juice in it to keep it from turning brown.
I will confirm that my mom's leftovers that I sneak are indeed even better the next day.
HOW TO STORE 7 LAYER BEAN DIP
Simply cover the bean dip with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. If it's for an event I also suggest you place it in the very back of the fridge with a sign on it that says “eat and die” just in case.
Day 2 it's still perfect, day 3 the tomatoes get a little watery, by day 4 of snacking on leftovers it's looking a bit sad, but I can't say it has stopped me from busting out more chips.
VARIATIONS OF LAYERED BEAN DIP
Well . . . I'm inclined to say that there are simply no variations to this recipe, but if you must, here are some thoughts:
- Swap the sour cream for greek yogurt
- Use black refried beans instead of pinto (this is actually amazing, make your own by cooking these beans an extra 10 minutes in this Black Beans recipe and then mash them)
- Drizzle it with Healthy Nacho Cheese Sauce (this just came to me, I'm gonna test it and report back!)
- Add Ground Taco Meat
- Top with shredded lettuce for texture
- Swap cheddar for pepper jack, Monterey jack, or Chihuahua
But please, oh please, before you make any variations, try my wonderful mom's famous bean dip recipe as is, then report back and tell her how she has changed your life for the better down in the comments.
My mom doesn't love cooking, never has, but her few signature dishes (apple strudel!) have indeed stood the test of time for good reason. You're gonna rock some boats with this recipe and now it's online and ready for you to share! I couldn't be more proud.
WHAT MAKES GUACAMOLE TURN BROWN
Word of the day: Oxidation: When fruits and vegetables come in contact with air and start a process called enzymic browning. I'm going to save you the essay and refer you to this article for more information.
The important thing to know is that this browning doesn't always mean that the food has gone “bad”, but it can affect the flavor and texture and set it up for going bad more quickly.
HOW TO KEEP GUACAMOLE GREEN
So now that we know oxygen is what causes our guacamole to go brown, here are some tips and tricks on how to keep it bright green.
ADD LIME JUICE
- It's great for flavor as well as keeping your guac green for longer.
- The reason the guacamole in this bean dip stays green is because it's covered on all sides, preventing the air from making contact.
WATER AND PLASTIC WRAP
- This trick doesn't apply to the bean dip here, but if you have leftover guacamole, press it down in the bowl and add just a little water to cover the top. Cover with plastic wrap. I learned that trick from The Kitchn smarties and it works like a charm.
- I really hate wasting food, so I've been known to put my leftover guacamole in a Foodsaver bag and seal it up. It works!
- If you have my cookbook, Master the Electric Pressure Cooker, check out page 235 for the scoop on a little trick I discovered amidst some intense avocado testing.
Do you have any secrets? Let us know in the comments below.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE 7 LAYER BEAN DIP WITH INSTANT POT REFRIED BEANSPrint
7 Layer Bean Dip
This easy, nutritious, crowd-pleasing 7 Layer Bean Dip is your new go to for an incredible side dish for party's and beyond.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 8 - 10 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 3 – 4 roma tomatoes, chopped small
- 1 1/2 cups homemade refried beans or 14 ounce can
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh guacamole (store bought or homemade)
- 1 cup sour cream (lite or regular)
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (store bought or see homemade version below)
- Grated cheddar cheese
- sliced olives
- diced tamed pickled jalapenos from a jar
- To serve: tortilla or corn chips
For Homemade Taco Seasoning (Can be doubled or tripled)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- Place chopped tomatoes in a strainer, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow them to drain for 15 – 20 minutes. Press on them lightly with a paper towel. They don't need to be dry by any means, we just want excess liquid drained off.
- Spread refried beans on the bottom of an 11×7 or 9×9 dish.
- Scatter drained tomatoes over top.
- Scoop dollops of guacamole over the tomatoes, then carefully spread over the top.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning into the sour cream. Taste and add extra taco seasoning or salt if desired. Spread evenly over the guacamole.
- Top with the desired amount of cheddar cheese, sliced olives, and diced jalapeños.
- Serve or refrigerate for a few hours for the best flavor.
- Can be made up to one day in advance. After day 3 it gets a little watery, but it still tastes wonderful.
- You want the refried beans to be spreadable, not stiff. Add a little warm water or broth if needed.
- Use Roma tomatoes. They have less liquid than other tomatoes.
- The secret to the best layered dip is that each layer has FLAVOR! Taste along the way making sure that each layer is seasoned nicely.
Keywords: 7 layer bean dip, instant pot refried beans, mexican bean dip