With tasty layers of refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, and black olives, nothing beats the presentation and utility of this dip!

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Layered dip with refried beans, sour cream, cheese, and veggies.

About 7 Layer Dip

When you’re attending (or hosting!) a party with a lot of people, nothing is small. Between the venue to the entertainment to the food, everything has to be that much bigger in order to make everyone happy.

And even though it’s more work, this is also where you can have a bit of fun. To appease a large crowd, you can go about it two ways:

You can either make a lot of different things.

OR you can make a few things bigger and better.

When it comes to this 7 layer dip, it’s clearly on the “bigger and better” side of the fence. It can easily feed 12 (or more!) people and will last a very, very long time.

Top of 7 layer dip with tomatoes and black olives.

What’s in 7 layer dip?

Although you might see some variations, most of these layered dips will have the following:

  1. Refried beans
  2. Sour cream, sometimes flavored with taco seasoning
  3. Shredded lettuce
  4. Shredded cheddar cheese
  5. Guacamole
  6. Diced omatoes
  7. Sliced black olives

How long can you leave out a dip?

Whenever you serve a dip for your guests to enjoy, you should always keep track of how long it sits at room temperature.

For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this is usually at or just above room temperature. I recommend preparing this dip with chilled ingredients or serving it chilled, as this should give you more time (about one hour) before the dip reaches room temperature.

So, in total, this dip can be left out for “about” three hours, depending on the start temperature and the temperature of the room. However, be sure to still check the dip every now and then and make your best judgment call.

Once you pass the recommended time, you can cover the dip and place it back in the refrigerator. If your guests still want more dip, let it chill for at least 30 minutes before bringing it back out again.

Layers of cheese, guacamole, lettuce, sour cream, and refried beans.

Can you make this dip in advance?

One of the most common questions I get about party dips is whether or not you can make them in advance. I totally understand why someone would want to do this, as it’s easier to prepare treats for a party the night before than scrambling to get everything done the day of the event.

The good news is that the answer to this question is almost always yes, and that is the case for this dip.

However, I’d still only recommend making this a maximum 24 hours in advance. Many of the ingredients in this dip are wet by nature, and even if you do everything you can to drain away the excess, they’ll likely still bleed down into the dip. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it could mean the dip isn’t as pretty or as flavor-defined as it was when you first made it.

If you really need to make this dip ahead of time, I’d recommend completing layers one through five (refried beans, sour cream mixture, lettuce, cheese, and guacamole.) Hold off on adding the tomatoes and olives until just before serving.

What can you serve with a savory party dip?

This dip is typically served with tortilla chips, but you can also get creative. Any firm chip or cracker would go great with this, such as:

Dipping a tortilla chip into 7 layer dip.

Notes & tips for this seven layer dip recipe

  • When it comes to picking a serving bowl, you can either go long and flat or narrow and deep. I tend to like the presentation of this Large Footed Trifle Bowl, but this dip should also fit 9×13 baking dish.

More savory party dips

How do you make seven layer dip?

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

The magic of this dip is how the layers work together to not only keep this dip interesting but also provide a little something for everyone.

Layer 1 – Add the refried beans to the bottom of a deep trifle bowl. As you work, check the profile of the bowl to make sure the layer is even. If you need to clean up, use a damp paper towel to run it around the top edge of the dip.

Layer 2 – A mixture of sour cream and taco seasoning. As above, make sure the layer is even and clean up as needed.

Layer 3 – Add shredded lettuce.

Layer 4 – Add Mexican blend cheese.

Layer 5 – Add guacamole, homemade or storebought. As with layers one and two, make sure the layer is even and clean up as needed.

Layer 6 – Diced tomato.

Layer 7 – Sliced black olives.

And that’s it! Just serve and enjoy.

Recipe Details

Layered dip with refried beans, sour cream, cheese, and veggies.
4.50 from 8 votes

7 Layer Dip

20 minutes prep
375 kcal
Yields: 12 servings
With tasty layers of refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, and black olives, nothing beats the presentation and utility of this dip!



  • In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and taco seasoning mix. Set nearby.
    3 cups sour cream, 2 packages taco seasoning
  • In a serving dish of your choice (should be able to hold about 16 cups; I typically use a 9 inch trifle bowl), layer ingredients in this order: refried beans, sour cream mixture, lettuce, shredded cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, and olives.
    3 cups refried beans, 3 cups shredded lettuce, 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, 3 cups guacamole, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup black olives
  • Serve dip immediately with tortilla chips for dipping.
    tortilla chips


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1151mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1447IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy