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Appetizers and Hors d'Oeuvres

All-From-Scratch 7-Layer Dip

All-From-Scratch 7-Layer Dip

This dip, adapted from NYC chef Joaquin Baca's recipe in New York magazine, is undeniably delicious. But, boy, is it labor-intensive. After having made it straight through over the course of a Saturday afternoon (as part of a husband-wife 7-Layer Dip Duel*), I would advise you to prepare it in stages a few days ahead of time.

Here's my hypothetical timeline, assuming you're making it for a game day party on Sunday.

Friday: Make the salsa and the refried beans; refrigerate.

Saturday: Cook the ground beef and the rice; refrigerate.

Sunday: Shred the cheese, if using block cheddar. Make the guacamole. Layer dip, and set out.

* Want to see the recipe my wife prepared? Here: Classic From-a-Can 7-Layer-Dip »

All-From-Scratch 7-Layer Dip

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About This Recipe

Yield:20 to 25 people
Active time:2 hours or more
Special equipment:9-by-13-inch baking dish
This recipe appears in: 7-Layer Dip Showdown


  • For the refried black beans: 1/4 cup olive oil or lard
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans, liquid reserved
  • For the rice: 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium canned or homemade chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the ground beef: 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the cheese: 3/4 pounds grated cheddar
  • For the guacamole: 2 ripe avocados, halved and peeled
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the sour cream:1 3/4 cups
  • For the salsa:
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime


  1. 1

    Refry the beans: Heat oil or lard in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beans gradually and mash until smooth; if beans are too dry, add reserved liquid as needed.

  2. 2

    Cook the rice: Heat oil in large saucepot over medium heat until shimmering. Add rice and onion, stirring constantly until rice is toasted, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and remaining ingredients; bring to boil, cover pot, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Cook the ground beef: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and seasonings; cook, crumbling beef with spatula, until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes

  4. 4

    Make the guacamole: Mash avocados in bowl with fork and combine with remaining ingredients.

  5. 5

    Make the salsa: Combine all ingredients.

  6. 6

    Assemble the dip: In 9-by-13-inch glass dish or large bowl layer ingredients in this order:
    Refried beans
    Ground beef
    Sour cream

    Serve with tortilla chips.

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