Overhead view of layered taco dip with tortilla chips alongside.
Appetizers,  Easy,  Gluten Free,  Meatless (Vegetarian and Vegan),  Recipes,  Vegetarian

Layered Taco Dip with Refried Beans

This quick & easy make-ahead layered taco dip recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. Perfect for your next potluck, picnic, or game day gathering!

Overhead view of layered taco dip with tortilla chips alongside.

This recipe is based on my cousin Carey’s fabulous “avocado dip” appetizer. She included it in a book of family recipes for me back when I got engaged, and it’s been a game day staple here ever since.

Whenever we host (or attend!) football parties, this recipe, my deviled egg recipe without mayo, and my sweet and sour meatballs are always the top requests. You can check out my big game day recipe roundup post for more party favorites!

This layered party dip doesn’t contain any meat, is served chilled, and can be made in advance for easy entertaining.

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🧡 Why we love this recipe

  • The ingredients are easy to find and it’s a budget-friendly appetizer option.
  • It makes a colorful addition to any party appetizer spread.
  • This dip is packed with crowd-pleasing Mexican flavors.
  • It’s a great way to use overripe avocados!
  • The toppings are customizable to your preferences.
  • It makes for a great meatless party food option and is perfect for dipping chips and veggies into.

Overhead view of ingredients needed to make a layered taco dip with refried beans.

📝 Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this layered taco dip with refried beans (see recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full directions):

  • Refried beans – note that if you want to keep your dip vegetarian-friendly, make sure to look for vegetarian refried beans, as those don’t contain lard.
  • Ripe avocados – my cousin uses super ripe avocados when she makes this. They can be squishy and not the prettiest on the inside and that’s just fine! It’ll get mashed up and mixed with other ingredients.
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Taco seasoning (such as Old El Paso taco seasoning mix – you can also use homemade)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Shredded cheese – I like using cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend.
  • Sliced black olives
  • Tomatoes – grape or cherry work great here, but any tomatoes will do!
  • Green onions (also called scallions)
  • Tortilla chips or corn chips, for serving

3/4 vies of a layered taco dip with refried beans surrounded by tortilla chips.

🥑 Ingredient Spotlight: Avocado

This recipe uses ripe avocados which are a fruit that can be found in the produce department at your local grocery store.

Finding a perfectly ripe avocado can be tricky, but I have a few tips that can help you on your quest.

Ripe avocados tend to have a darker color than unripe avocados. They should feel slightly soft but not too squishy or mushy when pressed gently with your fingers.

If you have a Latin or Asian market in your area, they tend to have avocados that are perfectly ripe already out on the shelves.

If you are buying avocados a few days before you need to use them, buy firmer, less-ripe ones so they don’t get too soft before you plan to use them.

To help speed up the ripening process of an unripe avocado, you can place it in a paper bag with a banana or apple. Seal it and let it sit out on the counter for 2-3 days.

On a similar note, I tend to avoid storing bananas and avocados together in the same bowl in my kitchen. They can easily soften too quickly.

Avocado flesh oxidizes and turns brown fairly quickly once it’s been cut into and exposed to air. It’s best to use avocados soon after cutting into them. A squeeze of lime juice can help slow down this process.

If using half of an avocado for a recipe, save the half with the pit still in it for later use. This helps keep oxidation to a minimum. You can also rub the exposed flesh of the portion you’re storing with a little olive oil (or avocado oil!) to help add an extra barrier.

Store unused avocados that have been cut open in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like putting unused avocado halves in a snack size stasher bag.

Spreading refried beans into a serving dish for layered taco dip.
Smoothing a seasoned avocado mixture over refried beans in a serving dish for layered taco dip.
Sprinkling shredded cheese onto a layered taco dip.

✅ How to assemble this appetizer dip

Grab a 9×13-inch baking dish and get ready to do some layering! A spoon or offset spatula will work great for spreading the base layers of your dip.

  1. Spread the refried beans in an even layer on the bottom of your dish.
  2. Mash avocados in a bowl and mix with sour cream, mayonnaise, taco seasoning, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread that on top of the refried beans as your second layer.
  3. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese, black olives, tomatoes, and green onions.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy with tortilla chips, corn chips, and/or your favorite veggies for dipping.

See recipe card below for full instructions.

Sprinkling black olives on top of a layered taco dip.
Adding tomatoes to the top of a layered taco dip.
Scattering green onions on top of a layered taco dip.

🤔 FAQs about this recipe

Can this dip be made in advance?

You can make the base layer and prep the toppings in advance. I recommend storing the toppings separately in the refrigerator and sprinkling them on before serving if you plan to make it more than a day in advance.

My avocados are too ripe – can I still use them?

Overripe avocados are perfect in this recipe! It’s totally fine to use avocados that are spotted and/or a bit dark on the inside.

How should I store leftovers?

Pop a lid on your serving dish (or use aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or beeswax wrap) and store leftovers in the refrigerator. The dip will taste good for a few days, but there may be a bit of discoloration or extra liquid in the dish. If you added more delicate toppings (such as lettuce), they will be a little soggy after the first day or 2.

Dipping a tortilla chip into a layered taco dip.
Scooping layered taco dip onto a tortilla chip.

💡 What to serve with layered taco dip

There are lots of options when it comes to what dippers go with this recipe. Some options include:

  • Tortilla chips (my favorite!)
  • Corn chips (the scoop-shaped ones are great here)
  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Pretzel crisps
  • Pita chips
  • Flour tortillas
  • Sliced jicama
  • Plantain chips

Feel free to experiment here and use whatever you like!

Serving dish of layered taco dip surrounded by tortilla chips.

🍴 Variations

Looking for a little variety? Feel free to split this dip up between 2 separate, smaller serving dishes and change up the toppings you use on each!

You could even make individual layered cups for single-serving grab-and-go options.

Here are some additional topping ideas – feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content!

  • Black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Corn kernels
  • Cotija cheese
  • Hot sauce (my family likes Cholula hot sauce for all things taco-related)
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Radishes
  • Red onion
  • Salsa
  • Shredded lettuce

When I last made this dip, I left the olives off of part of the dip so that one of my olive-hating friends could easily avoid them.

You could do this with any of the toppings that not everyone in your group enjoys. Only put those specific items on top of part of your dish to make things easier!

Tray of layered taco dip with olives removed from one portion.
Feel free to omit certain toppings from part or all of your dip!

🔪 Equipment

This no-cook recipe doesn’t require much, equipment-wise, but there are a few things that will come in handy.

  • 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole-type container. You want something that’s deep enough to hold the layers. Go for glass if you want to see the layers from the outside of the dish.
  • Can opener (unless your canned items have pull tabs).
  • Flexible spatula, offset spatula, or spoon for spreading your layers.
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board for prepping the toppings.
  • Grape cutter (completely optional, but if you happen to have one of these and are using grape tomatoes, this tool will quarter them super quickly!
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons.

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Overhead view of layered taco dip with tortilla chips alongside.

Layered Taco Dip with Refried Beans

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 Servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This quick & easy make-ahead layered taco dip recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. Perfect for your next potluck, picnic, or game day gathering!


Units Scale
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (or a 1-ounce package)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 3 medium)
  • Tortilla or corn chips, for serving


  1. Spread refried beans In the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish (or other casserole container) in an even layer.
  2. Peel and pit avocados and place in a medium bowl. Mash avocados with a fork, then add sour cream, mayonnaise, taco seasoning, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix well to combine. Spread over the top of the refried beans.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top, followed by olives, tomatoes, and green onions.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Serve taco dip chilled with tortilla or corn chips for dipping.


You can make the base layer and prep the toppings in advance – store separately in the refrigerator and sprinkle toppings on before serving for an easy, make-ahead party appetizer.

See my full post above for more tips and alternate ideas for dippers.


  • Serving Size: 2 scoops
  • Calories: 276
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 565.3 mg
  • Fat: 20.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.6 g
  • Fiber: 6.4 g
  • Protein: 8.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 16.3 mg

Keywords: game day appetizers, make-ahead appetizers, taco dip

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Caridad DiMiceli

    This recipe was so simple to make & tasted delicious! It also had the right variety of ingredients that helped me feed my picky kids things that they wouldn’t normally eat. I have some leftover ingredients that I plan on prepping another one for a mid-day snack for the work week!

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