So yeah . . . Mexican Layer Dip. I know, it’s about as eighties as you can get. Or maybe it’s actually become timeless? I think I’ll go with the latter.
My mom started making Mexican Layer Dip when I was in middle school, and it quickly became a family favorite – and a cultural favorite, too, I’d say. TGI Friday’s even had it on their menu for a while. It’s perfect party food any time of year – everyone likes it. And it’s incredibly versatile. Gluten free by nature, it can also easily become vegetarian, vegan, or dairy free. If you’re a vegetarian, omit the ground meat. If you’re dairy free, omit the sour cream and use soy cheese shreds. If you’re a vegan, do both – and consider adding a layer of guacamole to hype up the flavor. The variations are pretty much endless.
My own version has morphed a little over the years, with the addition of fresh pico de gallo with its hit of cilantro and lime, but fundamentally it’s the same good ol’ layer dip.
I made this for a holiday pot luck today, and as always, it was a hit. We ate the leftovers for dinner.
Mexican Layer Dip
1 pound ground beef, venison, or turkey
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
14 ounces refried beans
16 ounces sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 recipe pico de gallo
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat until fully cooked. Drain off any fat, and add the taco seasoning along with 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool.
Make the pico de gallo. Set aside.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread the refried beans in an even layer.
Top with the sour cream.
Sprinkle on the cooled meat.
Add the cheese and olives.
Finish off with a layer of pico de gallo.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Here’s the printable recipe. Enjoy!