This easy bean dip is one of our most frequently made recipes in the summer. It's perfect for making ahead of time because it lasts 2-3 days in the refrigerator. With cheese, taco-seasoned sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and refried beans, this easy appetizer is equally loved by kids and grown-ups alike. I usually make two when I bring it to parties so the adults don’t have to share their favorite appetizer with the kiddos.
Great for making on vacation because you can find the ingredients in the most basic grocery stores. We are constantly bringing it to the beach because when it is packed in an airtight container, it is super travel friendly. One summer, my son loved it so much that when it came time to go back to daycare, I would pack it for lunch- yes, his teachers judged me for it, but it was so easy, and at least it had beans in it.
Ingredients/ Shortcuts and Alterations
- Guacamole- to save time, use store-bought guacamole. If you have fresh avocados ready for use, don’t worry about making an involved guac recipe. You get a lot of flavor and seasoning with taco seasoning and salsa. For “lazy guacamole,” just smash the avocado and add lime juice to add some acid and help keep the green color.
- Taco Seasoning- I love my homemade taco seasoning, but when we are traveling or don’t have any seasoning already mixed up, I just pick up a store-bought packet of taco seasoning. My homemade toco recipe includes ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Note: Spicy level of the taco seasoning you pick- I love it on the spicy side, but I know that not everyone's jam.
- Salsa- I have done this with all kinds of salsa: chunky salsa, jarred, fresh store-bought, and homemade. Salsa WARNING: if you have a water salsa, try to drain off the excess liquid before layering it over the guacamole. In the height of tomato season, some chopped tomatoes are lightly salted as a tasty alternative to salsa.
- **Choose your spicy level*** Guacamole, salsa, and taco seasoning are all opportunities to dial up the spicy level. You can also add a drizzle of hot sauce and sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper over the cheese layer if you like spicy things. Or if you just want to scare the kids away.
- Sourcream- is my go-to, but you could also mix the taco seasoning into Greek yogurt. Cream cheese is another option, but if you go that route, you will want to make that your first (bottom) layer because it is too stiff to schmear over the softer guacamole and salsa.
- Shredded Cheese- a Mexican blend of shredded cheese is my favorite. It is a blend of Monterey Jack, cheddar, Asadero, and Queso Quesadilla cheeses. When I have been sourcing, integrating at a convenience store selection can be limited, so I’ll use straight cheddar cheese. It is delicious and easy to find.
Set out an 8 x 8-inch square or a 9x 1-inch pie plate.
Mix the sour cream and taco season in a medium bowl until the filling is combined.
For the first layer, in the bottom of the pan, spread the bean mixture in an even layer. The bean layer comes first because it is the most stuff making it difficult to spread over the softer layers of the guacamole and salsa.
Next, add the guacamole and spread it into a smooth, even layer.
Drain off any excess liquid from the salsa before adding an even thin layer over the guacamole.
Sour cream is the next layer. Use a spoon to add dollops of sour cream all over the top of the salsa and then gently spread it out. This is the easiest way to get the sour cream in an even layer without messing up the other layers.
Finally, sprinkle cheese over the layer of sour cream.
When it comes to customizing your 5-Layer Bean Dip, there are several delicious alterations you can make. For olive lovers, consider adding a layer of sliced black olives on top of the existing layers. Their rich and briny flavor will complement the other ingredients perfectly. You can include seasoned ground beef as an additional layer if you want to enhance the protein content and add a hearty element. Brown the ground beef with your favorite taco seasoning, then spread it over the bean mixture for an extra savory twist. Try sprinkling finely chopped green onions over the top of the cheese.
For those seeking a vegetarian option or simply wanting to explore different flavor profiles, you can incorporate black beans into your 5-Layer Bean Dip. Instead of relying solely on refried beans, spread a layer of seasoned black beans alongside them. The black beans provide a satisfying texture and contribute a distinct earthy taste that pairs well with the other ingredients.
Looking for more appetizers for big game days:
- Taco Bites
- Mushroom Tart
- Jalapeno poppers
- And all the hummus: spicy, dill pickle, cilantro jalapeno, harissa, black bean,
If you’ve tried this 5-Layer Bean Dip Recipe recipe or any other recipe on BalancingBowls, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see more tasty meals and anything else I’m up to.
5-Layer Bean Dip Recipe
- 1 can of refried beans
- 1 cup of guacamole
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheese
- Set out an 8 x 8-inch square or a 9x 1-inch pie plate.
- Mix the sour cream and taco season in a medium bowl until the filling is combined.
- For the first layer, in the bottom of the pan, spread the bean mixture in an even layer. The bean layer comes first because it is the most stuff making it difficult to spread over the softer layers of the guacamole and salsa.
- Next, add the guacamole and spread it into a smooth, even layer.
- Drain off any excess liquid from the salsa before adding an even thin layer over the guacamole.
- Sour cream is the next layer. Use a spoon to add dollops of sour cream all over the top of the salsa and then gently spread it out. This is the easiest way to get the sour cream in an even layer without messing up the other layers.
- Finally, sprinkle cheese over the layer of sour cream.