Mexican Layer Dip

We typically call this dish the “I-don’t-care-how-many-layers-it-is-just-give-me-the-bowl” Mexican Layer Dip.  It’s something we’ve been making for years and we love it because you can add or eliminate some of the layers, depending on what ingredients you have on hand.  And did we mention that it’s super easy to make and completely customizable based on your family’s preferences?  It’s a win-win dish!


  • 1 can refried beans (we used the Vegetarian version for this recipe, but any style will do!)
  • 1 can black olives (large, pitted), drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chiles, with some of the liquid drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or more, depending on your family’s preference)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole:  2 ripe avocados, 2 minced garlic gloves, splash of lemon juice
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 big bag of tortilla chips
  • Plus, extra sour cream or salsa for dipping (as desired)
  • Other layers that could be added as well include: chopped lettuce, scallions/green onions, sliced jalapenos, or ground meat (beef, turkey, or veggie protein)

Ingredients you’ll need (except for the big bag of tortilla chips).

To begin, spread the refried beans along the bottom of your dish (for today’s dip, we used an oval ceramic dish, probably about 10″ long and 5″ wide, but we’ve also used rectangular Pyrex dishes or deeper round bowls).  Then spread a layer of thinly sliced olives across the beans.

Next, add the green chiles.  As you scoop the chiles out of the can, press the spoon against the edge to remove some of the excess liquid before adding to the dish.  

Now it’s time for the sour cream.  Our family has always been split on this ingredient.  Half of us just can’t get enough of the deliciously creamy component, while the other half could do without it entirely.  Remember what I said about customization, though?  That’s right, you can create this dish so it meets the exact tastes of your family.  That’s why we’ve spread the sour cream over exactly half of the dish:

Then comes a layer of grated cheddar cheese.

Finally, make the guacamole in a separate bowl before spreading it across the dip dish.  Combine the 2 ripe avocados with 2 cloves of minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice and mash together with a fork.

Spread the guacamole across the dip and then top with freshly diced tomatoes.  Grab a tortilla chip from the bag and take a big scoop of dip to taste (you wouldn’t want to serve something that hasn’t been taste tested, now would you?).


“I-don’t-care-how-many-layers-it-is-just-give-me-the-bowl” Mexican Layer Dip


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David Hecht Kitchens