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The World’s Best 7-Layer Dip

I must be exaggerating, right? The world’s BEST 7-layer dip? I know I say this about once a week and you probably don’t even pay attention to me anymore, but this is my new favorite meal. If you only try one of my recipes, make it this one. The cashew cream we’re creating is better than any sour cream you’ve ever had. And the spiced refried beans and guacamole and the nutritional yeast and, oh! It’s so good.

The fact that this is a healthy, vegan, unprocessed, and nutritionally-balanced meal makes it even more exciting. And did I mention that you can whip it up in less than 2 minutes per layer with no special skills? Potlucks and football Sundays will never be the same again…

7 Layer Dip


  • 1 can (15 oz) refried beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped romaine
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives (optional)

7 Layer Dip Ingredients

Layer 1. Refried Beans

In a bowl, mix the can of refried beans with the spices (cumin, cayenne, and coriander). You could use the beans by themselves, but this blend adds a lot of flavor with almost no extra effort. Also, there’s no need to heat these beans since the dip will ultimately be served chilled. Spoon this layer into the bottom of your serving dish (glass works best so all the layers can be seen).

Layer 2. Guacamole

In a bowl, mash the avocado, lime juice, and salt together with a fork and spread a generous layer over the beans. We’re already 28.57143% done!

Layer 3. Cashew Cream

This cashew sour cream is by far the highlight of this dip. It’s super creamy with just a hint of tanginess from the apple cider vinegar — seriously, this sour cream is better than the real stuff. To make, combine the cashews, apple cider vinegar, and water (start with 1/3 cup) and blend until smooth. If you have a vitamix, this will be easy. With a less powerful blender, you may want to soak your cashews for a few hours first to soften them. Continue adding just enough water until it resembles sour cream but slightly thicker. Spread this over the guacamole for layer #3.

Layer 4. Lettuce

This one is super complicated… are you ready? Chop the lettuce and add it on top of the cashew cream. Phew. Glad that one’s over.

Layer 5. Nutritional Yeast

Nooch! If you’ve been vegetarian for any length of time, nutritional yeast is surely one of your primary food groups. It’s a deactivated yeast that provides a very distinct and cheesy flavor. In this dip, mixed in with the lettuce just above the cashew cream, it’s pure heaven.

Layer 6. Tomatoes

Grab about 3 roma tomatoes, remove the seeds and dice them into fairly small pieces. Spread them evenly over the lettuce and nooch for layer #6.

Layer 7. “Toppers”

Technically, this is multiple layers combined into one. My reasoning here is that these additional ingredients help compliment the flavors but they aren’t a full layer on their own. You can add anything to this catch-all layer you like, but I chose cilantro and green onion. Olives (if you like them) make another great topping.

You can serve at room temperature as is, but I like to cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to chill. Tortilla chips are the classical way to serve this, but a healthier and more “one ingredient” option would be to spoon it onto corn tortillas.

7 Layer Dip

7 Layer Dip Layers


Leave a Reply
  1. I was going to say “Darn you!” For tempting me to eat tortilla chips but you redeemed yourself with the idea of corn tortillas. Much better option.

    Also, my mouth is watering just looking at this and it’s only 8am!

  2. Are you just using fat free refried beans for this recipe or do you have a secret, ninja way to make refried beans with pinto beans as well?

    • Hi Aaron, I typically use canned refried beans and try to find varieties that are fat free and low sodium (and obviously free of lard). I have no problem with those. But you can definitely make refried beans by simply heating and mashing pinto beans (optionally with onions and garlic). In my sopes recipe ( I did that with black beans.

  3. One word….YUM! Just made it for lunch. The cashew cream is the simplest recipe I’ve seen for ‘sour cream’ and is the star if the show! This is so good.

  4. This layered dish looks so exciting!! Can’t wait to try it, but being a Brit (from UK!) I have no idea what cilantro is? Would we have something like it, do you know? In the meantime, I will google it! Happy cooking Andrew!!!

  5. Hi Andrew,
    This sounds great!! I was wondering, can you bake the corn tortillas to make chips or do you just keep them as tortillas? I’ve made pita chips before but never considered corn tortillas…

    • Hi Stacy! I actually did just use them as tortillas like soft tacos, but you could definitely make chips by cutting into triangles, brushing them with a very small amount of oil, and baking until crispy.

  6. This was wonderful today and enjoyed by all! Very tasty! I served it with cooked + baked potato parts. Thanks for sharing! Ps: I think next time I will use *two* avocados to get a more distinct green layer.


  7. Andrew, thank you for this tasty recipe! I look forward to enjoying it :0)!! I’m embarrassed to say I am confused about the Nutritional Yeast(though, I’ve enjoyed this ingredient before – I’ve never actually worked with it myself) part, & I clearly seem to be the only one – dope! (Not calling myself a dope – this is a rare moment in which I’m quoting Homer Simpson, which will probably never happen again :0). ) Do we mix it with water/veggie broth, etc., & if so, how much do you recommend for the desired thickness? OR it says mix with the lettuce which is already added at this point – do we A-sprinkle it on top of the lettuce or B-stir them together before adding either, after all – & with either of those options the liquid from the lettuce is enough for the powder to become saucy? I reread it a few times & everything else in this recipe is beautifully clear to me – I’m just missing something with this one. Thank you for any clarity you can give me! I hope to devour this, soon :0D.

    • Ah, this is way more simple than you’re making it sound! 🙂 Nutritional yeast definitely shouldn’t be mixed into a sauce. Think of it like salt, you just sprinkle it on top. So, add the lettuce, then sprinkle on 1/4 cup of the nutritional yeast and you’re good to go! Here it kind of takes the place of shredded cheese. 🙂

      • Ah, I do tend to overthink things :0). Thank you for the help! I’m used to it as a flavoring for lentil chips & crackers or “cheesey” sauces, but I didn’t realize it could just simply be sprinkled on foods as versatilely as cheese can! That’s awesome!

        • Thanks for asking this question, Abbi – I was reading through all the comments hoping someone else would have asked to save me sounding dumb! (oh dear, that didn’t come out right – I don’t mean to imply that you are dumb!!) Will definitely have to try this one!

          • I’m glad my dumbness was helpful ;0)! No worries, Christine, I know just what you mean! I’ve often waited for someone else to ask a question. I feel dumb to ask but don’t think they’re dumb for asking. Andrew, I’m so glad today’s recipe had a photo of this recipe at the bottom, as I’d “lost” this recipe which I’d meant to bookmark & now have a 2nd chance to make it – woo!

  8. Made this and it was delicious!! My husband said the only thing wrong with it was that it was TOO good and he wanted to eat it all ;D Thanks for the recipe!

  9. This looks fabulous! My mom always made the “best” 7 layer dip growing up, but of course it wasn’t vegan, so I’lll need to try your “best vegan 7 layer dip” now, haha! I agree with you on vegan sour cream being better. I’ve tried Oh She Glows which is just like yours, but with a little lime juice too. I bet it tastes so fabulous in this dip. I’ll try it for our next gathering. 🙂

  10. Oh wow this looks and sounds amazing!!! Perfect to accompany Saturday afternoon rugby-braais! I’ll just replace the tortilla chips with crudites for a healthier option. Thank you for sharing Andrew, looking forward to making it 🙂

    • Hey Leozette! Absolutely! Except for me it’s more like Saturday afternoon soccer matches (go Chelsea!) 🙂

  11. My husband has a nut allergy. I have used sunflower seeds or hemp in place of nuts in some recipes, do you think that this would work for the cashew cream?

    • Hmm, I don’t have as much experience with hemp seeds, but I imagine you could definitely make a sour cream out of either help or sunflower using the same process. Give it a shot! 🙂

    • Hi Marcie, this is one of the rare cases where I didn’t give servings because it can vary too much. It could be a complete meal or a small side/snack, which would dramatically change the number of servings. I’d say this would make a complete meal for 3+ people, or a side dish for 6 or more.

      • Thanks, Andrew! Having a party Sunday for our little 5 year old guy, and we’re all recently dairy-free. I’m doubling the recipe and am looking forward to tasting it!

  12. OH. MY. GOSH. I am eating this RIGHT NOW and had to comment because this is SO VERY VERY VERY good!!!! I am a recent plant-based diet convert, after being vegetarian for about a year and a half. This is so fabulous…thank you for sharing the recipe!!!

    • it was a hit. By the time I got to it there were only remnants of the bean layer left, and those scaped up with a chip were good. So I will make it again for a non vegan event. My picky 10 year old even liked it.

  13. I made this at half time at ended up just mixing it all up into a bigger bowl so it became a bean dip of sorts, but it was great.
    My cashew cream was a little lumpy, and I ate it with carrots and celery, but still a second half crowd pleaser.

    Another win for Andrew

    • Awesome, Joseph! I’m so glad you liked it. Typically with cashew cream, it comes out smoother with a super-powerful blender like a Vitamix. Otherwise, you can soak for a longer period of time (like 6 hours) and/or let it blend for several full minutes to reduce the lumps.

  14. Hey 🙂 do you think this would be okay to make the day before or definitely better to make it just before eating?

    • I don’t think it would do well if made the day before, unfortunately. You could do all the prep though, making each component and storing separately, then just adding the layers the next day.

  15. I’ve made this 3 times for get-togethers, and it’s always a hit. I am bringing it to the office in place of birthday cake, and I think it will be happily accepted. I would say 80% of our office is now eating WFPB, so they will all love this. I agree the cashew sour cream is phenomenal!

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