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7-Layer Mexican Bean Dip

My buddy Rick Bayless and I have a lot in common. We both have a goatee (technically called a Vandyke), we both cook fantastic Mexican food, and we’re both whiter than white corn tortillas. Now I call this dish “Mexican” but it’s really not. It’s more Tex-Mex than anything else. But it certainly has roots in Mexican cuisine. This is a great appetizer for a party or potluck. Everyone will give a hoot (or toot) when you serve this delectable dish. It is easy to make and highly addicting. Be sure to serve with Homemade Tortilla Chips. But be warned: once you make this for guests, they’ll expect and demand it at every gathering thereafter.


2 cups (16oz can) nonfat refried beans (preferably homemade)
1 packet taco seasoning (reduced sodium)
1 (8oz) package nonfat cream cheese
1 cup (8oz) nonfat sour cream
1 (16oz) jar salsa (Green Mountain Gringo is a personal favorite)
1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
2 cups (8oz package) lowfat shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup lettuce or cabbage, shredded
1 (2oz) can of sliced black olives
1/3 cup sweet corn (frozen is better than canned)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onions (optional)
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional
7 green onion stems, chopped (optional)
Tortilla Chips, celery sticks and carrots for dipping


1. In a bowl, stir the taco seasoning into the refried beans and spread along the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. In another bowl, whip the cream cheese and sour cream together until creamy and spread on top of the beans.

2. Spread salsa on top and sprinkle tomato, red onions and bell pepper (if using). Top with cheddar cheese, then the lettuce/cabbage, and finally with black olives, corn, cilantro and green onions, if using. Dollop with extra sour cream if desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving, or read below for heating instructions.

Additional Info:

– Layer just the refried bean and cheddar cheese layers to the dish and heat it in the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then remove it from oven and continue to add the remaining ingredients.

– Add some lean ground meat to the bean layer. Leftovers are great for making wraps the next day.

– Sometimes canned refried beans are very dry so I recommend Homemade Refried Beans. Two excellent brands of canned refried beans are Kuner’s (both varieties) and Sunnyside (spicy jalapeno). If the brand you buy is too thick and dry, just add water until the desired consistency is reached.