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If you love tacos, you’ll love everything about this easy taco dip recipe! My 7 layer taco dip with meat has SO many layers of goodness just begging to be scooped up. We’ve got taco meat. We’ve got a creamy taco sour cream and cream cheese layer. And then we’ve got ALL the toppings. The hardest part? Deciding what to dip into it!
Just like my 7 layer salad, this dip may look like a showstopper, but it’s surprisingly easy to whip up. My family swears it’s the best taco dip recipe. I often make it for parties, as you can easily make it ahead of time (just like cold crab dip or creamy French onion dip). It never fails to impress! It has meaty layers like my taco casserole, but gets dished up cold as an easy and healthy appetizer.
Why You’ll Love This Taco Dip Recipe
- Packed with Mexican flavors
- Fresh, light, and flavorful toppings
- Easy to make ahead
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- Naturally healthy, low carb, and gluten-free
- Perfect for parties or game day!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for taco dip, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
The base layer for taco dip is simply taco meat, the same kind I use for taco salad:
- Ground Meat – I used ground beef, but you could also use pressure cooker shredded chicken, ground pork, ground turkey, or Mexican chorizo for this recipe.
- Taco Seasoning – I like to make my own homemade taco seasoning. It takes just 5 minutes and is made with simple pantry staples: chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. But a store-bought packet of taco seasoning works as well.
Cream Cheese Layer:
I make this taco dip with cream cheese, sour cream, and a dash of taco seasoning for spice:
- Plain Cream Cheese – Be sure your cream cheese is soft, at room temperature. Otherwise, it won’t mix smoothly with the sour cream.
- Sour Cream – Instead of sour cream, you can also use mayo (with a small splash of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for tang), or plain Greek yogurt.
- Taco Seasoning
You can customize the toppings to your liking, but here are the most classic options, along with alternatives:
- Iceberg Lettuce – You can also try swapping out traditional shredded lettuce for a leafy alternative like shredded kale, cabbage (or even taco slaw!), or spinach.
- Cheddar Cheese – You could use Monterey Jack cheese, pepper jack, mozzarella, Mexican cheese blend, or any shredded cheese you prefer. Use pre-shredded to save time.
- Bell Pepper – Use green, red, orange, or even roasted red peppers if you have some on hand.
- Roma Tomato – You could also dice up cherry or grape tomatoes instead.
- Onion – I used a red onion, but you could use white onions, yellow onions, or shallots.
- Black Olives – Try green olives for a bit more tang.
- Cilantro – If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can omit it, or try parsley, chives, or green onions.
How To Make Taco Dip
This section shows how to make 7 layer taco dip with meat, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Cook the taco meat. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned. Add the water and taco seasoning. Stir fry until the extra water evaporates and taco meat forms. Set aside.
- Combine sour cream and cream cheese. Beat sour cream and cream cheese in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat in taco seasoning.
- Layer the taco dip. Spread beef in a single layer in an 8×8 square glass casserole dish. Drop dollops of sour cream mixture over the beef and gently spread with a spatula. Top with lettuce, shredded cheese, bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and black olives, in that order.
Taco Dip Variations
This 7 layer taco dip is totally customizable, so feel free to add your favorite condiments or toppings! Here are some ideas:
- Add condiments – Try fresh homemade salsa or creamy guacamole.
- Make a bean layer – Need a dip with beans? Add one 16-ounce can (drained) of refried beans, black beans, or pinto beans, or mix them in with your ground beef layer.
- Go meatless – Alternatively, you could make this taco layer dip vegetarian friendly by using a mixture of beans and corn as the base layer and omitting the meat altogether.
- Store: Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- Meal prep: Make the taco meat, mix together the cream cheese and sour cream layer, and assemble together. But, wait to add the veggie toppings until you are ready to serve it.
- Freeze: Freezing taco dip is not recommended, as the consistency of the ingredients will change.
What To Serve With Taco Dip Recipes
I personally love to add some more veggies in when I can, so I love to scoop up this layer dip with bell pepper strips. But really, there’s no wrong way to eat it. Here are some ideas:
- Chips – Potato chips or corn chips are the traditional choice for dipping. This dip also works well with air fried zucchini chips or crispy cheese crisps.
- Crackers – Crackers might be slightly unconventional when it comes to taco dip, but they work! Try flax crackers for a lighter option.
- Veggies – Serve with celery sticks, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers (shown in pictures), or cucumber slices.
- Main Dish – This easy appetizer can easily be served up before a hearty and comforting Mexican pozole, pork chile verde or even some cilantro lime chicken with elote.
More Easy Dip Recipes
These cheesy and creamy dips will become the star at any party — and they come together so fast!
- Large Skillet – Deep walls and a multi-functional shape make it perfect for frying, baking, sautéing, searing and more.
- Hand Mixer – Not only does this mixer make mixing the cream cheese sour cream layer easy, but it takes up very little storage space in my kitchen. Major win.
- Casserole Dish – I suggest using a clear dish for this layered taco dip recipe so that you can see each and every layer. This one is the perfect size.
Taco Dip Recipe
Taco Dip Recipe (7 Layers, So Easy!)
Make this easy 7 layer taco dip recipe with meat, a creamy layer & fresh toppings. It takes just 25 minutes and will be a hit at your party!
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Cream cheese & sour cream layer:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Add the water and taco seasoning. Stir fry for 2-5 minutes, until the extra water evaporates and taco meat forms. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the sour cream and cream cheese. Beat in the taco seasoning. (You can add more seasoning to taste if you like.)
Spread the beef in a single layer in an 8×8 square glass casserole dish.
Drop dollops of the sour cream mixture over the beef and gently spread with a spatula.
Top with lettuce, shredded cheese, bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and black olives, in that order.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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