7 Layer Dip, aka Cold Nacho Plate

Summer means less cooking and more sandwiches, salads, and finger foods. Once a month I might do a session of batch cooking which I then partition into meal-size containers. I'll usually do 12-15 meals like this, freeze them and then take them out whenever I'm too tired to cook. It's saved me numerous times.

Yesterday (despite our power outage) we had 7 Layer Dip. (We like to call it 'cold nacho plate'.)  My college friend, Debbie gave me this recipe many years ago. (Thanks, Debbie!) It's so easy I try to keep the ingredients on hand so I can make this any time.

It's great for parties, but we love it as a meal. After the initial feasting, I save the leftovers for the next day. The flavors only improve overnight. We can have it again with chips and veggies, or you can melt it in the microwave, then scoop a little into a warm corn tortilla. Heaven!

Here's the recipe. It's almost entirely from cans or packages.

16 ounce can of refried beans

9 ounce can of hot bean dip

8 ounce container of guacamole dip

8 ounce package of cream cheese

6 ounce can of black olives  (I recommend low sodium olives so they won't overpower the rest of the flavors.)

8 ounce block of pepper jack cheese, grated

16 ounces of Cheddar, finely grated

A few green onions

• Take the refried beans and the bean dip and combine thoroughly. I sometimes add a little more salsa or mild chilis to spice it up even more. We ain't afraid of no heat at my house!

• Layer the bean mixture smoothly over a large plate.

• Take the cream cheese and leave it out to soften it. Debbie told me she adds a little mayonnaise to make it spread more smoothly, but I beat mine into submission by hand or with a mixer. Debbie is obviously much nicer than I am, but I'm sure you already knew that.

• Smooth the cream cheese over the bean layer.

• Smooth the guacamole dip over the cream cheese. I've been asked if fresh guacamole is just as good and I honestly don't know. Since I sometimes reheat this mixture I'm not sure I'd like to have fresh guacamole nuked, plus you run the risk of it darkening if it's exposed to oxygen.

• Layer a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese over the guacamole layer. Don't be stingy. Presentation is everything.

• Layer a thin layer of pepper Jack cheese over the cheddar.

• Decorate with olive halves over the entire plate.

• Sprinkle with green onions rings to finish the dip.

I put mine back in the fridge and let the flavors marry for a couple of hours. It scoops better when it's nice and chilled.

Serve with corn chips, pita chips, crackers, or any other sturdy chips. I also use mini carrots or celery sticks as dippers too.

You can freeze this. I wouldn't freeze the green onions and olives but everything else seems to freeze well. It's not as pretty as when it's fresh but it's great as a hot dip or taco filling.

I sometimes bring this to parties and I've yet to return home with anything but an empty plate.

Have you ever tried 7 Layer Dip? Do you do anything differently?


Michael Keyton said…
I merely read the ingredients to this and felt the pounds creeping from waist to thigh. If I actually ate it, delicious though it sounds, I imagine I'd be all of a wobble
betty said…
Yum on the recipe! It does look good. I think I'll plan it for next weekend!

Glad the auto dealer is doing the repairs without a hassle, but sorry about being stranded!

Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Well you could use low fat cheese but it might not be the same.

This is enough for a crowd. A serving size the size of my palm is more than enough to make a meal. The rest can be frozen or eaten later.
Maria Zannini said…
Betty: Makes me wonder if they didn't put the same defective part back into the car in the first place. Maybe that's why they didn't complain that it had to be repaired again.
JackieBCentralTexas said…
Photo made me hungry, all except the black olives. We would have to do half no olives on one side for me and keep them on the other side for my husband who loves them.

Maria being stranded for any reason is the pits, however you may have hit the nail on the head when thinking original defective part reinserted being why dealer did not balk at fixing vehicle on their dime. It happens, people get distracted or in a hurry or both and that is why going to places like Jiffy Lube for oil change is not a good idea either as those folks are both and too easy to leave oil leaking out when done changing it.

Raised beds are awesome for drainage but not something my sweetheart gardener does except for his okra when he planted their seeds. Those little boogers are the most fragile plants from seed we have ever seen and without raised bed out here they would drown for sure as we have found our dirt holds water like crazy.

On the flip side it also grows anything really well.
Stacy McKitrick said…
About the only thing I like in that dip is the refried beans and black olives. Then again, I'm not a fan of 7 layer anything. :)

Hope this time around your car actually gets fixed. What a PITA when you can't depend on your vehicle.
Susan Gourley said…
My husband and kids love this dip. Our recipe is almost the same. I'm a strange eater who doesn't care to mix too many foods together so I don't indulge. They would eat it every day. I used to make meals ahead when all the kids were home and we ate at all different times.
Maria Zannini said…
re: okra
Okra is funny. It's fragile when it's young, but boy, you can't kill it when it matures. I only planted a few this year from seed I saved last year.

Got my car back today. They even washed and waxed it!
Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: It seems every other day I keep reading about this recall or that one. This one had a recall on an oil leak that leaked onto the alternator. We got it fixed two years ago, but here it goes happening again.

They replaced the same part. I hope they used a new and improved part this time.
Maria Zannini said…
Susan: I'm a little finicky too with food, but Greg has kind of lured me into more adventurous eating. I don't like mixing my seasonings too much. It takes a skilled cook to marry them properly.
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