Though Mexican in spirit, this classic layered party dip is 100 percent gringo-inspired. Seven layers of beans, cheese, pickled jalapeños, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and a green onion–cilantro topping form the perfect Tex-Mex amalgamation (sorry, canned black olives, you didn’t make the cut). Already difficult to improve upon, this version raises the bar by heating the beans just enough to melt the cheese but not warm up the other layers.
Game plan: This dip is only as good as its components, so if possible, use either homemade or high-quality store-bought ingredients. You can prepare the layers in advance, but don’t assemble until you’re ready to serve.
This recipe was featured as part of our No-Fail Mexican Favorites for Cinco de Mayo.
- 1Place the refried beans in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add the water and stir until evenly incorporated. Add the chili powder and cumin, stir to combine, and continue to cook until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- 2Transfer the bean mixture to an 8-by-8-inch serving dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the cheeses and jalapeños. Using a rubber spatula, drop the guacamole in large dollops over the cheese and jalapeños and spread into an even layer. Spread the pico de gallo in an even layer over the guacamole. Using a clean rubber spatula, drop the crema or sour cream in large dollops over the pico de gallo and spread into an even layer, being careful not to disturb the pico de gallo. Sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro.
- 3Serve immediately with tortilla chips and hot sauce (if using).