What's in your seven-layer Mexican dip?

I’m doing a 7-layer Mexican dip for our family NYE party tonight. My wife and I got into a bit of a discussion over what goes into one. I won, since she’s never actually made one before, and I’m the one actually putting it together. Anyway, I argued that it should be served cold, so no ground beef.

And actually, my dip is half 8 layers and half 6 layers, due to a fussy 9-year-old, but I figure that averages out to 7 layers, so what’s the difference?

Happy’s 2018/19 NYE 7-layer Mexican Dip:

  1. Refried beans
  2. Guac
  3. Diced tomatoes (from a can)
  4. Sauteed onion
  5. Sour cream
  6. Black olives
  7. Shredded cheddar
    (8. Lettuce)

From the boy’s half, I held back on the onions and olives.

What are your ideal seven layers?

I thought it was fairly standard:

Beans, guac, tomatoes or salsa, green onions, sour cream, olives, cheddar.

So I actually don’t deviate (except for the one time I had to make it vegan, wherein I skipped the cheddar, and made a creamy layer from tofu, which wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. I may have done a seventh layer with something else, but I can’t remember.)

Sure, but people do do substitutions and variations. Hence, the thread!

I’m boring, but, sure, bring on the variations. (Or, honestly, any other many-layered dips. The Mexican 7-layer one is the only one I’ve ever made, but I’m not too much of a dip person.) Come to think of it, I may have once had a version with bacon in it.

How do you build it so as to differentiate the no-onion-and-olive-having half from the good half? Or do you let the boys just take their chances?

Easy. You don’t tell them about the olives and the onions.

I used to make a dish called ‘supper nachos’, which was most of the above ingredients plus seasoned ground beef, served hot with tostitos for scooping.

Now that’s a dip I can get behind. Sounds good.

“Supper nachos” for me is just a layer of tortilla chips spread with refried beans and topped with torn grilled chicken and a mix of shredded cheddar and pepper jack, baked for seven minutes at 450, and served with sliced pickled jalapeños and beer.

Sometimes we mix taco seasoning in with the sour cream.

Ground Beef
Refried Beans
Sour Cream seasoned with taco seasoning

I called it 7 layer dip in the hopes that it would help me remember it. Seems to have worked because I haven’t made it in years.

The olives were showing under the lettuce. He knew.

My mom’s “taco spread” recipe.

  1. Mix of refried beans + taco sauce
  2. Shredded cheddar cheese
  3. Mix of cream cheese + sour cream + mayo
  4. Taco sauce
  5. More shredded cheddar cheese
  6. Chopped green onions + chopped tomato + sliced black olive

So that’s only six layers, but then again guacamole is conspicuously absent so I think I would add a layer of guac between 3 and 4.

Here’s one version similar to mine. I used chili spices, though, rather than seasoned salt. My kids loved this stuff and still make it 30 years later for their own families.

Mine’s pretty much the same, but I use green onions, no lettuce, and a layer of roasted green chilis.

Critiquing mine from tonight:

Apparently I added lettuce while neither my wife nor I had ever had particular ingredient on the 7-layer dip before. It was a bit of an oopsie on my part, but both of us liked it. Made it feel “fresher” she said, even if it was just finely chopped iceberg. The sauteed onions did nothing for it and largely got lost in the shuffle; I’d prefer the green onions next time. And the green chilis are something I’d definitely add, perhaps adding it into the bean layer.

7 Mexicans.
Now the secret is they need to not be related.
That’s how you get the variety.