Seven super layers

11 Jul

I love cookouts, potlucks and other such parties because I get to cook or bake something for others to enjoy. They benefit because they get to partake in my awesome and delicious culinary experiments; I benefit because I get to participate in my favorite hobby and eat the fruits of my labor.

I try to make something fun, event-appropriate and healthy (sometimes), but I was shut down for the cookout over the Fourth of July.

This is how the conversation with Christopher went:

C: What do you want to bring (to the cookout)?

K: I don’t know. Did you have anything in mind?

C: No. Zach said not to bring anything healthy, though. He said he won’t eat it.

K: *silence* Oh. *genius strikes* I can make seven-layer dip. Does that sound good?

I did a little research to double-check the seven layers of a traditional seven-layer dip and wrote a simple recipe a few days in advance, got the supplies a couple days in advance and got to work the morning of the party.


Here’s the recipe:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 14-ounce cans pinto beans, drained

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and oregano

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

3 medium avocados, mashed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 to 1 1/2 cups salsa or diced tomatoes

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 small cans sliced black olives

1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives

In a large nonstick pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add salt and cook about 5-8 minutes, or until beans are warmed through. Let cool.

Spread beans evenly on bottom of large serving plate or platter.


In medium-sized bowl, combine Greek yogurt and spices and stir until well combined.

Spread “sour cream” evenly on top of beans.


In medium-sized bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mash until well combined.

Spread guacamole evenly on top of beans.


Spread salsa or tomatoes evenly on top of guacamole.


Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of salsa or tomatoes. Sprinkle olives evenly on top of cheese. Sprinkle green onions or chives evenly on top of olives.


I presented the large plate of dip to our host, and he promptly dropped his jaw. I saw lots of plates with dobs of dip and piles of tortilla chips. I took both as good indicators that my dip was a yummy addition to the spread.

What’s your favorite thing to bring to a potluck, party or cookout? Do you have a go-to recipe or dish?

2 Responses to “Seven super layers”

  1. Lisa July 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    That looks great (and healthy!)
    Lately I’ve been stumped on what to take to parties. I try to keep it a little healthy…most of the time. Or I just give in and take what I know people are going to love (and feel guilty about promoting junk food eating!).
    I have one recipe for Kitchen Sink Hummus that people seem to really love (unless they hate hummus to begin with). It has artichokes and sundried tomatoes in it.

    • kaylabee18 July 14, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      That hummus sounds interesting… 🙂

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