Never-Fail Seven Layer Dip

I lived in Dallas right after college, and it was a time of culinary exploration. I was learning basic recipes, how to memorize them and make them even better, and how to sustain myself out of my kitchen rather than relying on take out every night. Entry level right-out-of-college jobs mean budgeting, and sometimes you just have to break up that ramen routine. 

Kelsey, one of my roommates in Dallas, often had great recipes from her mom that we would try out. One of them was this beautiful Seven Layer Dip. It is so incredibly easy to put together that even a cooking novice can do it but tastes oh-so impressive, not to mention how stunning it looks on a table!

I made this Seven Layer dip for Easter lunch with Lee’s family, and it was a home run. People were spooning it onto their plates and eating it straight with a fork. The recipe calls for ground beef, but we ended up using mule deer (similar to venison) from Lee’s deep freezer in our garage, which still tasted great. It is a hearty dip which calls for a very sturdy chip, we used tortilla chips but I think Fritos would be the best for the job.

Although we love fresh avocados, pre-made guacamole doesn’t brown as easily and works best in this recipe. This dip is pretty massive and needs to be able to stay out for a while without turning brown. The other great thing about this appetizer is that it comes together so quickly. So whip this dish together and set it out for people to snack on – your guests certainly won’t be disappointed!


2 16.5-ounce cans of refried beans
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning
24 ounces pre-made guacamole
8 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces Mexican shredded cheese
3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4-1/8 cup chopped green onions


  1. Spread refried beans evenly on the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish.
  2. Combine ground beef and half of the taco seasoning in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the ground beef cool slightly, then pour evenly top of refried beans.
  4. Spread guacamole evenly on top of beef.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream and the other half of the taco seasoning together. Spread mixture on top of the guacamole.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top, then tomatoes, and then top with the green onions.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Serve with a sturdy chip, such as Fritos.

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