Really Homemade Seven Layer Dip Recipe

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This easy seven layer dip recipe is homemade – meaning less processed and more deliciousness! It’s the perfect appetizer for the holidays.
seven layer dip surrounded by tortilla chips

Thanksgiving is coming! A peek at the grocery fliers tells me it’s true. I love Thanksgiving. It just might be my favorite holiday.

Remember, I’m just here for the food.

Last year I caused quite a stir with some of you when I suggested omitting the turkey from our Thanksgiving celebration. Well, I’ve been musing that thought again this morning. And I think I’m gonna do it.

[Gasps heard round the world.]

Don’t get me wrong. I may still stock up on sale birds since it’s such a great deal on poultry. But honestly? Dealing with a huge turkey on Thanksgiving Day just makes me grumpy. Last year hubs and I discussed doing tri-tip instead, but today I’m leaning toward chicken. It’s affordable and still goes with all the trimmings that we love: stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce.

Alternatively, I might just cook a turkey in advance and freeze it. I dunno. The jury’s still out. Anywho….

This month on URS we’ll be waltzing through the Thanksgiving meal, swapping ideas for the other courses. You’re free to debate the turkey v. no turkey question in the comments section.

This week, let’s start with starters. I love to have a variety of hors d’oeurves available on Thanksgiving so that if my meal is late, as it’s apt to be, my people aren’t starving. Or whining.

Ingredients for this really homemade seven layer dip recipe

This layer, of course, has 7 layers to it. To make it homemade, we made our own pinto beans and taco seasoning mix. You can always add in your own favorite toppings. If you like it a little spicy, add a little jalapeno!

I think you’ll be surprised at how yummy the healthy version is. Feel free to use all Greek yogurt or all sour cream if you prefer. You’ll need to mix up a batch of my taco seasoning mix and do a little mashing and stirring. But, you had to do that with the traditional recipe, too.

  • Pinto Beans – You can use canned bean or try making your own homemade pinto beans!
  • Taco Seasoning Mix – To make this truly homemade try making your own homemade taco seasoning mix. It’s really easy! 
  • Dairy – You want to add greek yogurt, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.
  • Veggies – For a classic dip, we added diced tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, and olives.

How to make this 7 layer dip

  1. Start with combining the beans and taco seasoning. In a small bowl, mash the beans until only a few chunks remain. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning mix.
  2. Combine the dairy (minus the cheese!) In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, greek yogurt, and remaining tablespoon taco seasoning.
  3. Assemble the layers – On a small plate, spread the beans almost to the edge. Spread the sour cream mixture over the beans. Sprinkle the cheese over the sour cream. Continue sprinkling the remaining layers, peppers, olives, and cilantro.
  4. Don’t forget the chips!

top down view of table with appetizers

Other appetizers to serve during the holiday season

This typically includes a relish tray, a veggie assortment, nuts, and maybe some cheese and crackers. If we have a crowd, I might add my Healthier Spinach Dip.

One dish that my mom often included in her Thanksgiving spread was Traveling Taco. I have no idea why she called it this; you might have heard it called Seven Layer Dip. I loved this dip growing up.

Usually we made it with processed bean dip, packaged taco seasoning, canned salsa…. you get the picture. It was a highly processed, if not convenient appetizer to make and to share at a pot luck.

I decided to give Ye Olde Seven Layer Dip a make-over by making it as unprocessed as I could, but still make it easy. You gotta have easy if you’re a mom and it’s Thanksgiving.

It’s the law.

Homemade Seven layer dip

How long does seven layer dip recipe last in the fridge?

This dip will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. You may find that the longer it sits, the watery it gets. Just simply drain off the extra liquid and dig in!

How to make this cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on cheese, I buy several packages. Same goes for greek yogurt. It’s a great way to save money on your groceries
  • Do a price comparison. I know that ALDI is the best place to buy ingredients like greek yogurt and cream cheese when there isn’t a great sale elsewhere. I keep track of prices so that I know who has the best deal where.
  • Buy spices in bulk. Buying spices is cheapest in bulk at your local health food store. You aren’t committed to buying a large container. You can actually buy just what you need.

Tools I use to make this recipe easy:

This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.

If you prepare this recipe, be sure to take a picture and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!

0 from 0 votes
Really Homemade Seven Layer Dip
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: 7 layer dip
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 114 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans or one 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon homemade taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper and chopped jalapeno pepper adjust proportions to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  1. In a small bowl, mash the beans until only a few chunks remain. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning mix.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, greek yogurt, and remaining tablespoon taco seasoning.
  3. On a small plate, spread the beans almost to the edge.
  4. Spread the sour cream mixture over the beans.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the sour cream. Continue sprinkling the remaining layers, peppers, olives, and cilantro.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.
Nutrition Facts
Really Homemade Seven Layer Dip
Amount Per Serving
Calories 114 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 110mg5%
Potassium 256mg7%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 321IU6%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Tina says

    We have not had a whole turkey on thanksgiving for a few years. I ususally do a turkey breast and sometimes I add a drumstick or two. I do a whole turkey at some other time to make stock and freeze meat. It is just TOO MUCH WORK on thanksgiving. I spend the entire day in the kitchen and dont enjoy myself at all. :o)

    • When I am cooking the main courses I often do a turkey and ham. One year I got a small enough whole turkey that it fit into my 6 qt oval crockpot. I have also done my sweet potato casserole in a crockpot. Crockpots make a great time saver especially for holiday & party get togethers. =)

      • I’ve also done my bone in spiral cut ham in the crockpot.

        • One year I was determined to not spend the day in the kitchen and I did an all cold Thanksgiving dinner: deli turkey breast (the good all natural stuff), a raw sweet potato salad, potato salad….not very traditional and haven’t done it again. Wish I could find the recipe for the sweet potato salad. All I rremember was Catalina dressing and shredded, raw sweet potatoes. Haven’t been able to find the recipe even in a Google search. =(

  2. Paula Wells says

    I just picked up my (4) Turkey Breast today and we will put 1 in the rotisserie, 2 on the BBQ pit and 1 in the roaster. Those are the easiest methods for me to put them to cook and forget about them. We eat a lot of turkey all year long (like 1 breast a week) but they stay .99 lb. at Target so it is very economical for my family.

  3. Alyson says

    The roasted turkey is my least favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner. I could definitely do without it. In fact, there have been a few years when it was just my immediate family that we had turkey and noodle soup with mashed potatoes (a family favorite!) instead.

    • Diana says

      I always have my Mother In Law make the turkey- she always makes a beautiful bird! And I do all the rest, she has one of her sons carry it over (we live next door) and we eat here since all the rest of the food is here and our house is babyproof and hers is not. It has worked well for us!

  4. Laura C says

    Ever since I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving (about 6 years now) we’ve done chicken. That was the husband’s family tradition since some didnt like turkey and my side didnt care. Fine with me, its easier! I do have a turkey in the freezer I got for $0.59/lb so I will make that at some point.

  5. I am fairly sure the Earth will in fact STOP TURNING if you forgo Thanksgiving turkey. I’ve used this recipe the last 4 years: I use William Sonoma brine bags because they are worth the extra cost. The bird cooks FAST and then I cover it in tinfoil while I make the other stuff…2 hours later it’s still HOT for carving.

  6. karen says

    My family doesn’t like turkey very much. They like the idea of having a turkey but not the actuality of it. So, I always used to make a small turkey and a ham. Then last year I decided to make cornish game hen. They are small enough for everyone to have their own and it is quite novel for the (5) kids. Not something that necessarily saves any money but as you mentioned, it goes with all the fixings!

  7. jan says

    I’m the one you see in the store grabbing all the 11 pound birds … we fry about 6 each year … one for us, one for our friend, one for Hubby’s office (he takes to work on Friday) one for leftovers (freezer) and another for a friend. As much hassle as it is to fry ONE bird, we figured it’s just as easy to fry 6 or so 🙂 I don’t like turkey any other way so if we decided NOT to fry, I’d probably just say lets do something unconventional, like grill some super burgers or something 🙂 Not a ‘big’ Thanksgiving foodie fan.

  8. Jeanine says

    I understand your pain at not wanting to cook a turkey, but as we live far away from relatives, last year was the first year that I cooked my own turkey. I am going to do it again this year, but I am going to need your post on how to cook a turkey, which saved me last year. Can you repost? Or would it be easier for me to just search for it? (or do you have it in a certain spot?) Thanks!

    I wish I’d pinned it! (I sure will this time!)

  9. deseray yeo-jones says

    My husbands fries our turkey every year. We think it tastes great, and it frees me up to take care of the sides. Plus, I make some things ahead of time. I’ve made mashed potatoes, sweet potatoe casserole and pies the day before.

  10. Becky says

    Two things:
    1. I think the turkey is the easy part of the T-giving meal but here in PA Dutch country, we go food wild at the holidays 😀 so if you don’t love roasting it T-giving day, I have several friends who roast it ahead of time and stick the meat in the crockpot with the broth. They say it’s very moist and yummy.
    2. Your dip is missing one key ingredient for layered dips- Guacamole!

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