Featuring 10 layers of deliciousness, this Taco Salad Dip is a classic appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser!
Whether you call it Tex-Mex Dip, 7-Layer Dip, Taco Salad Dip or just Best Dip Ever, this classic recipe is always a crowd pleaser! When I was sitting down to write this post, I was originally going to call this 7-Layer Dip.
However, I started counting, and I realized this version has more than 7 layers. I counted 10 layers. 10-Layer Dip? Eh, maybe. Combine some of the layers together and play a game of fuzzy math in order to get it back to 7 layers? That could work, but it just didn’t feel right. That’s when I realized this dip is basically taco salad…just in dip form!
Taco Salad Dip
One of Laura’s favorite appetizers is just a simple combination of cream cheese, sour cream and taco sauce. She makes a big batch of it every year for the Super Bowl, and we never have to worry about leftovers. Well, Laura, I see your appetizer…and I raise it seasoned ground beef, refried beans, cheese, tomatoes, etc. Sure, this version takes a little longer to make, but it’s time well spent!
Even though this dip has 10 different layers, it’s actually quite easy to prepare. While the ground beef is cooking, you can prep all of the other layers. Then it just comes down to assembling it all together…and eating it!
Layers in Taco Salad Dip
- Refried beans
- Seasoned ground beef – you could use a packet of taco seasoning and a pound of ground beef, but I highly recommend the version below. It’s how we make taco meat for, well, tacos.
- Sour cream + cream cheese + taco sauce
- Shredded cheese – I used Cabot’s Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Some of that shredded cheese didn’t make it’s way into the dip…just sayin’.
- Shredded lettuce – I recommend iceberg lettuce for the extra crunch
- Diced tomatoes
- Red onions – soak ’em first! (Otherwise the onions will overtake the dip, and you’ll be tasting onions for the next 2 days…)
- Black olives – not an olive fan? Leave ’em out!
- Green onions
- Avocado – I just diced up the avocado, but you could certainly turn this into a layer of guacamole!
This Taco Salad Dip is a variation on the classic Tex-Mex dip. That dip is often served with Fritos. While Fritos would be delicious here, I think a good thick-cut tortilla chip is better. Fritos just aren’t big enough – even the Fritos Scoops. I picked up some classic corn tortilla chips like the kind you might find at a baseball game with queso. They worked perfectly for this dip!
One final note about this dip – it’s amazing!! Ok, one more note. You can prepare this one in advance and serve cold, however I recommend heating the first 3 layers (refried beans, ground beef, taco sauce mixture) and then topping with the remaining cold ingredients. The combination of warm and cold here is fantastic!
Note: If you do serve this dip entirely cold, then I recommend waiting on adding the lettuce right before you serve it. Otherwise, the chopped lettuce could get soft in the fridge.
If you’re looking for a classic Super Bowl appetizer that is sure to be a crowd favorite, then put this Taco Salad Dip on the list! You can present it like I did in these pictures to highlight each individual layer, or you can just layer it normally and let folks be surprised when they dig in. Enjoy!
Did you make a batch of this Taco Salad Dip at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Taco Salad Dip
For the Ground Beef
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup diced red onions
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 16 oz. lean ground beef
- 2½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth
For the Taco Salad
- 1 cup finely diced red onions
- 1 16-oz. can refried beans
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 6 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 8-oz. jar taco sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups shredded lettuce
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 6-oz. can black olives, drained
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 1 avocado diced
- tortilla chips for serving
For the Ground Beef
- Using a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onions and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir and continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder and black pepper; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 more minutes, or until beef is mostly cooked through.
- Add tomato sauce and broth; stir until well combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened noticeably.
For the Taco Salad
- Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and add diced red onions; let soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Using a microwavable bowl, heat the refried beans for 30 seconds. Spread the refried beans evenly into the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
- Spread cooked ground beef evenly on top of refried beans.
- Using a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, softened cream cheese and taco sauce until well combined. Spread this mixture evenly on top of ground beef. (Note: You can either continue adding layers and serve this dip with these first 3 layers heated or you can refrigerate this dip at this step and serve dip entirely cold.)
- Next, spread shredded cheese evenly on cream cheese layer.
- Layer shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes on top of cheese.
- Drain red onions and spread evenly on top of tomatoes.
- Finally, top with black olives, green onions and avocado.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Looking for more tasty dip recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: