Taco Salad Dip
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 I used Cabot's Vermont Extra Sharp 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:
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Cant wait to make this soon for me for the beef can i use mushrooms and vegetable broth and salad can i use coconut cream / vegan cream cheese and cheese and skip lettuce as am not a big fan of lettuce i never had taco salad dip before perfect with snacks and sides love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
Yes – I think the mushrooms could work here if you don’t eat beef. Just make sure to sauté them a little longer so they don’t have any extra moisture left. No one wants a soggy dip! And the other vegan substitutions should be just fine, too. Enjoy!
This could be my lunch!!! My husband, unfortunately, would have to skip a few layers. Weirdo.
Haha – well that just means a couple extra layers for you, right, Mimi? 🙂
Wow, there’s something for just about everybody in this dip! As for me, I think I’d try a little of each layer. It all sounds super tasty.
Oh this dip was so tasty, Frank! And the way it was layered meant that each bite got different combinations of layers. I think I could eat this as a meal! 🙂
Definitely gonna make this for Super bowl! My kids will skip the lettuce and olives, but that just means more for me! Yum!
I like the way you think, Michelle! This is definitely good game day food…and if the kids don’t eat some of the layers? Extra for you! 🙂
Believe it or not – but I’ve never had a taco dip / layered dip. Nonsense, right? I’ve got to fix this!
But I agree with you that this dish feels more like a salad than a dip. Regardless the category (who cares as long as it’s delicious!), this offers so many delicious textures and flavours and also colours which is a huge bonus for short and dark winter days!
Whaat!? Ben. You’ve never had taco dip!? Ok, you need to fix this problem…and soon. This dip is absolutely delicious! We used thicker tortilla chips for dipping right into this. I highly (!!) recommend making a batch this weekend!
This is one of my favorite dips at parties. I love all the ingredients you put in it and your presentation. Perfect for a party
I couldn’t agree more, Judee! This is always a hit when we make it for a party. And layering the ingredients is a fun way to present it as folks can see what’s hiding at the bottom! 🙂
Perfect for the Super Bowl! Taco salad is one of my favorites and making it into a dip is brilliant!
Oh this dip is absolutely fantastic, Kathy – it’s always a hit whenever we make it! 🙂
Loving the presentation of this plus its easy to prep, good for a game night
That’s for sure! I hope you enjoy this recipe, Raymund!
I love this idea, David! I’ve only seen this style of dip layered in a dish instead of side by side. Genius to give guests options to just dip into the ‘layers’ they want!
I love layering the dip like this, Marissa – that way folks can see all of the different layers!
This is the perfect way to serve tacos in the form of a dip, and I love that you have made your own taco seasoning. This is such a great idea David for a healthy and easy version of Mexican.
I do use store-bought seasoning blends on occasion, but I find it pretty easy to just make your own instead. That way you can highlight the flavors you like the most! This dip turned out really well, Pauline. Thanks so much!
this looks very similar to what we call Mexican layered dip here. I think it’s usually a 7 layer thing here 🙂 Looks so delish!
What’s better than a 7-layer dip? A 10-layer dip! 🙂 Thanks, Sherry!
The “seven” in “seven layer salad” doesn’t refer to the number of layers. Seven is the biblical representation of fullness, or completeness. So, a seven layer salad is a layered salad that seems complete, and will fill you up. Therefore, any salad that is a true “seven” can have any number of layers. Even ten. You’re welcome. 😉
Interesting. You are a wealth of biblical knowledge, my good man! I love it! That’s gonna win me a trivia battle some day…I just know it.