The Freshest 9-Layer Dip


This is one of Gordon and my absolute favorite things in the world. EVER. It’s not much of a meal, but I recall making this for dinner several times in our 3+ year marriage. Actually, this was the first thing I ‘cooked’ once we were all moved into our first teeny tiny 1-bedroom apartment {see photo below}. Oh the memories!

Typically, for this kind of stuff, you don’t need a recipe because everyone knows what goes into 7-layer dip. Well, through the years, we’ve developed our own version that is similar to the original, but different enough to make a noticeable chance. We load ours up with lots of fresh stuff and go easy on the other stuff. For instance, I use black beans that I mash up a little bit. It’s easier to dip your chip into without breaking, it leaves a better texture and black beans means no fat {unlike refried beans!} I also use low fat sour cream and a southwest salsa. When you eat 9-layer dip in the quantities that we do, you notice things like chip breakage and bean texture. We also top ours with lots of tomatoes, avocados, green bell peppers, cilantro and green onions.

We’ve made this dip every way known to man and I’m telling you this is the ONLY way to eat this. I made this Wednesday afternoon, snapped a few photos and left for the gym. I came back 2 hours later and it was GONE. Completely finished. My daughter, husband and mother-in-law finished it off.

Can I blame them?

Not really………because I know how darn delicious and addicting it is.

I think what I love most about this recipe is (1) it’s so simple to make, you’re kids could do it (2) it’s the kind of appetizer you could bring to a party and know everyone will love it (3) it’s full of vegetables and beans so you don’t need to feel the least bit of guilt for eating the entire thing (4)  you don’t have to turn the stove on.

That pretty much sums it up.


And now, because it’s Friday and the weekend is here and because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want, I’m going to leave you with a picture of my daughter being a ham. See that little chip in her hand? That’s from her eating this dip! Have a great weekend!

The Freshest 9-Layer Dip
yield: 6 servings
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1-15 oz. can black beans
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup good quality jarred salsa {I use southwest}
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 large Haas Avocado, diced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, chopped {green & white parts}
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1. Open can of black beans, rinse and drain well. Pour beans onto serving platter and mash coarsely with fork. Spread beans evenly over entire platter.
2. Spread sour cream over top beans.
3. Spoon salsa by the tablespoon over top sour cream layer and then spread gently to coat but not mix into the sour cream.
4. Sprinkle grated cheese over top salsa layer.
5. Top with diced tomatoes.
6. Cut avocado in half, open and remove pit. Scoop out flesh with large spoon. Dice into small pieces and squeeze lime juice over avocado. Stir lightly to coat all sides with lime juice. Sprinkle pieces over top tomatoes.
7. Sprinkle green onions over top entire dish.
8. Sprinkle green peppers over top entire dish.
9. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over top entire dish.

Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


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  1. this is a favorite at our house too! And I have to agree, I much prefer home-mashed beans over “refried from a can”…fresh and lovely!
    cathy b.

  2. We do this at our house every now and then and cal it dinner too! Why not? If you threw it into a taco shell you’d call it dinner, right?

  3. OMGosh, that picture of your little girl is the most adorable thing ever!

    The dip looks great. I will have to make this for my oldest daughter next time she visits, as she is a 7-layer dip fanatic.

  4. This dip looks so amazing..and I love how healthy it is. Ive been so bad but I have good intentions of eating better : ) lol I’m making this soon!

  5. I have to try this dip! Layered bean dip is my favorite snack at family get togethers & this one sounds so much healthier. Yum 🙂

  6. I’ve never made my own 7 layer (or 9) dip before, but maybe I should because I rarely eat it since i’m not a fan of avacados. I like your healthier spin on it too, i’ll have to give this a try sometime!

  7. Lauren – my daughter made this last night, and between 3 of us, we almost finished it. It was soooo yummy! We all loved the black beans instead of refried!

    • So glad you liked it, Shari!

  8. Yummy-licious! Took this to a potluck and not a morsel was left .. darn it. The addition of the lime adds that extra specialness … love it!

  9. How embarrassing….I’m the mil

  10. I do not like cilantro. Can I use parsley or just omit cilantro



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