A classic Mexican 5 layer bean dip with tasty topping options, this crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe is easy to make. Pile on Pickled Jalapeños, then share with tortilla chips on game day, as a snack or anytime you need an appetizer for a party or gathering. It’s a winning combination of flavor and texture! This 5 layer dip recipe is vegetarian and easily gluten free.
Table of Contents
Easy and Satisfying 5 Layer Dip
Versatile, delicious and easy to make, this classic Mexican layer bean dip recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. Mom always shared it at Christmas eve gatherings when I was a kid.
But it needn’t be the holidays to enjoy this popular dip. I lean on this recipe often because it’s simple to make, SO satisfying and it’s a dip everyone seems to agree on. Make it for game day, or anytime you want a casual appetizer. It’s also perfectly suited for snacking!
This Five Layer Mexican Dip Is:
- Make Ahead Ready
- Hearty and Satisfying
- A crowd pleasing Appetizer or Snack
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Refried Black Beans: I recommend homemade Black Refried Beans. They taste better than canned varieties and you control the ingredients, adjusting seasoning to preference. Take this recipe over the top and cook Black Beans From Scratch, to then make your black refried beans!
- Adobo Sauce: This ingredient is from a can of chipotle chili peppers. You’ll stir this into your refried black beans to give them a slightly smoky flavor with a hint of spice.
- Avocados: You’ll need three to whip up a batch of easy guacamole! For an extra flavorful and spicy guac, try my Charred Jalapeno Lime Guacamole.
- Spices/Seasonings: Garlic granules, onion powder, salt, and smoky paprika complement this Mexican Layered Dip.
- Sour Cream: Offers tangy flavor, creamy texture and cooling from the heat of the optional jalapeno peppers.
- Fresh Lime Juice: Just a squeeze in the guacamole and sour cream offers a hint of acid and authentic flavor.
- Shredded Cheese: Opt for medium cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese. Buy the block and grate it for best flavor and texture.
- The Fifth Layer: There are many options for your fifth layer. Enjoy with green onions, chopped cilantro, sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, homemade Chipotle Salsa and/or chopped Pickled Jalapeños. This five layer dip can quickly go to six, seven, eight or nine layers in a flash!
Quick Guide: How to Make 5 Layer Bean Dip
To make this recipe, you’ll need a round 9 inch deep dish pie plate, stone ware or corning ware style dish. The dish needs to be about 2 inches deep to accommodate the layers. Here’s how to make this savory Layered Mexican Dip (see recipe card for details):
- First, add adobo sauce to the refried beans and stir. Set aside.
- Second, make the guacamole by mashing the avocados with garlic and onion powder, salt and lime juice. Set aside.
- Third, stir the sour cream with the salt, smoky paprika, garlic powder and lime juice.
- Next, spread the bean mixture in the dish. Layer the guacamole on top, then spread the sour cream over the guacamole. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
- Last, for a five layer dip, layer with any one or more of your favorite toppings! I love a solid layer (a whole jar!!) of pickled jalapeños chopped, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and green onions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Eat This Dip Hot or Cold?
This Mexican layered dip is best enjoyed chilled, not heated.
Can You Make This Recipe the Night Before?
This dip is perfect for a make ahead appetizer. Layer the refried beans, guacamole and sour cream, then cover. Rest in the fridge overnight, then, when ready to serve, add the toppings. Adding the toppings before serving will preserve the freshness and appearance of the dip.
What Are the Best Tortilla Chips for Dipping?
The best tortilla chips for dipping will be ones that are sturdy, not labeled thin, preferably organic, and lightly salted. I like Garden of Eaten, Late July, or Que Pasa brand tortilla chips.
Variations on Mexican 5 Layer Dip
Refried Beans: This recipe calls for black refried beans, but pinto refried beans are a delicious alternative.
Toppings: The sky is the limit! Pickled jalapeños are a must – they add SO much flavor! Other ideas: sliced black olives, dollop thick salsa over the top, sprinkle thinly sliced green onion or chopped red onion, finely chopped cilantro and/or diced Roma tomatoes.
Cheese: Mix it up! Shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, jalapeño Jack or a combination are delicious in this dish. You can also try crumbled Cojita for a salty finish!
Make it Dairy Free / Vegan: There are some really good vegan sour creams and shredded cheeses on the market. I like Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Cheddar.
- Prepared or Homemade Refried Black Beans: I recommend homemade simply because they taste better and you control the ingredients. I have an easy Homemade Black Refried Beans recipe you can make in about 20 minutes. If buying prepared, look for seasoned beans. If not seasoned, you’ll need to season the beans to taste. To keep this Mexican layer dip vegetarian, look for refried beans that do not include lard in the ingredients.
- Make Ahead: Make this recipe up to one day in advance. Add the toppings before serving.
- To Share: This recipe can set at room temperature for up to two hours. Serve 5 Layer Dip with tortilla chips.
- To Store: Store in the fridge for up to three days.
More Mexican Style Appetizers to Love
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Black Bean Tostadas with Fajita Veggies – snack size
- Chili Lime Pepita Crema
- Mexican Chipotle Salsa
- Creamy Guacamole with Sour Cream
- Vegan Black Bean Dip
Mexican 5 Layer Dip Recipe
- 16 ounces (453 grams) Refried Black Beans about 2 cups, I use homemade
- 1 tablespoon Adobo Sauce from a can of chipotle peppers, adjust to taste*
- 3 large (750 grams) Avocados
- 1 Lime juiced, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoon Garlic Granules divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Smoky Paprika
- 8 ounces (227 grams) Sour Cream
- 1 1/2 cups (115 grams) Medium Cheddar Cheese shredded, loosely packed
5th (or more) Layer(s):
- 1 cup (120 grams) Pickled Jalapenos chopped
- More Options!: Diced Roma Tomato (1), Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Green Onions or Red Onions diced small, Mexican Salsa, Cojita Cheese, Sliced Black Olives
- In a small mixing bowl, add the refried beans and adobo sauce. Stir. Taste. If the beans seem a little stiff, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to make them more spreadable. For a little extra heat, add another teaspoon of adobo sauce. Adjust salt to taste. Set aside.
- Slice the avocados in half and scoop the flesh into a medium mixing bowl. Add 3 teaspoons of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt, garlic granules and onion powder. Use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocados and seasonings until creamy. Taste for salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the sour cream,1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon each of paprika, and salt. Set aside.
Layer the Ingredients:
- In a 9-10" round or oval dish (glass, porcelain, ceramic – a deep dish pie plate works great!), about 2 inches deep, spread in even layers, starting with the black refried beans, then the guacamole and last, the sour cream mixture on top.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the sour cream. Add layer number five or more: pickled jalapeños, diced tomato, cilantro, green or red onions, salsa, Cojita cheese, and/or black olives.
- Share with tortilla chips and extra jalapeños. Store covered in the fridge for up to three days.