How to Make Taco Dip

Learn how to make taco dip from scratch with simple, flavorful ingredients! The easy party appetizer always disappears fast.

Once you learn how to make taco dip, you’ll always be the star of the party! A classic taco dip starts with a sour cream or cream cheese base that’s seasoned with Mexican spices and piled high with your favorite taco toppings—like lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, green onions and olives. Everybody needs a go-to taco dip recipe. Here’s mine.

How to Make Taco Dip from Scratch

My mother-in-law serves a similar easy taco dip that her sons and grandsons always devour. Nobody can resist the perfect combination of creamy, zesty sour cream, cream cheese, salsa and refried beans layered with crisp, fresh veggies. Serve the colorful dip with crunchy, salty chips and it’s truly a match made in heaven. This is one classic party appetizer that always disappears fast!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup salsa or taco sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 2 cups shredded crisp lettuce (such as Romaine or Iceberg)
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, drained on paper towels to absorb juices
  • ¼ cup green onions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced olives, drained (about ¼ cup)
  • For serving: tortilla chips

Directions

Step 1: Prepare cream cheese mixture

Prepare cream cheese mixture how to make taco dipBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add salsa (or taco sauce), chili powder, cumin, minced onion, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Mix just until combined. Set aside.

Step 2: Layer ingredients

Spread the refried beans in the bottom of a deep-dish pie plate how to make taco dipBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Spread the refried beans in the bottom of a deep-dish pie plate, an 11×7-inch dish or a 13×9-inch dish.

Top with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions and olives. how to make taco dipBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the beans. Top with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions and olives.

Step 3: Chill

Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Step 4: Serve

Serve the taco dip with tortilla chips and enjoy! how to make taco dipBlair Lonergan for Taste of Home

Serve the taco dip with tortilla chips and enjoy!

How to Store Taco Dip

While the easy taco dip will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, it’s best when served on the same day that it’s prepared. As it sits, the layers may become watery and run together. I do not recommend freezing leftover dip.

Tips for Making Taco Dip

  • Add Meat: For a heartier taco dip, add a layer of taco-seasoned ground beef.
  • Make-Ahead: For best results, assemble this dip on the same day that you plan to serve it. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving in order to allow the cream cheese mixture time to set up and the flavors to come together.
  • Variations: Feel free to add your favorite taco toppings, such as a layer of homemade guacamole on top of the refried beans, sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños, a can of chopped green chiles, quick pickled red onions or a garnish of fresh cilantro.
  • Serving Dish: I always prepare the dip in a deep-dish pie plate (as shown here), but you can also use a rectangular 11×7- or 13×9-inch dish. Just keep in mind that the larger your dish, the thinner the layers will be.

More Easy Dip Recipes to Try

If you love appetizers and dips as much as we do, then you’re sure to enjoy this 7-Layer Bean Dip, this 5-Ingredient Spinach Dip and this 10-Minute Crab Dip. Looking for lower-calorie options? Check out these light party dips like Three-Pepper Guacamole, Classic Hummus and Roasted Vegetable Dip. Happy snacking, friends!

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Blair Lonergan
Blair Lonergan lives with her husband and three young boys in a 100-year-old farmhouse at the base of Central Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. A freelance writer and food photographer, Blair shares easy, quick-prep recipes for busy families on her blog, The Seasoned Mom. Her work has been featured in magazines and online at Today, SELF magazine, Buzzfeed, Parade, and Redbook magazine.