God bless the person who first said, “I’m dipping a chip into one thing at a time? This is ridiculous!” This pioneer of snacking slapped seven layers of dippables on top of each other and the 7 layer dip was born. There are countless versions out there, but it usually goes a little something like this: a layer of refried beans, a layer of sour cream, a layer of guac, a layer of salsa, a layer of shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of black olives (the seventh layer is a bit of a dealer’s-choice situation). No matter how you stack it, we here at Sporked think the best 7 layer dip starts with the best ingredients. Here are the best components Sporked has found in their taste tests to create the ultimate 7 layer dip.
- A Dozen Cousins Classic Refried Pinto Beans
The right refried beans make a solid base for 7 layer dip and these pre-spiced beans are going to get you started on the right foot. Cut out the seasoning step in the process so you can focus on the other six layers.
Read the full ranking of the best refried beans
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target
- Knudsen Hampshire Sour Cream
A 7 layer dip is all about structural integrity; you want to be able to see the layers as you scoop them out with a tortilla chip. The worst thing you can do for your dip is get a sour cream that is runny and thin. That’s why Knudsen Hampshire, the Sporked crew’s favorite thick sour cream, is the way to go. A layer of this sturdy sour cream resting atop the layer of refried beans is going to support all the other layers perfectly.
Read the full ranking of the best sour cream
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Safeway
- Trader Joe’s Chunky Homestyle Guacamole
Guacamole is a matter of taste. If you don’t have time to make your own, you may struggle to find the perfect store-bought guac. For my money, the best guacamole to use for a 7 layer dip is Trader Joe’s Chunky Homestyle. It’s cilantro forward, chock full of chunks, and even has a little bit of spice. Just imagine snagging a big chunk of avocado when you get down to this layer of the dip. Glorious.
Read the full ranking of the best guacamole
- Casa Sanchez Foods Hot Salsa Roja
Spice isn’t for everyone, but I always make the argument that a 7 layer dip needs a hot salsa, and this one is the best of the best. All the other ingredients in a 7 layer dip are pretty mild, so you need that heat to complement them all. It won’t be overwhelming when you have sour cream and guacamole right there to cut it. That’s the beauty of 7 layer dip; you’re getting so many flavors in one mouthful.
Read the full ranking of the best red salsa
Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon
- Kraft Mexican Style Four-Cheese Blend
I think some people might prefer a thick-cut shredded cheese on seven layer dip, but I always go with the finely shredded stuff. It feels like you get more on a chip that way. So if you’re looking for the finer shredded cheese, this is best of the best. And we like a Mexican blend rather than regular old cheddar because four cheeses are better than one cheese—that’s scientific fact.
Read the full ranking of the best shredded Mexican blend cheese
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- Lindsay Organic Sliced Black Olives
As we get into the final layers of the dip, the selections can be interchangeable. For me, black olives are a staple of the seven layer dip, and Lindsay makes the best sliced olives that Sporked tasted. They deliver in terms of both taste and texture, so you don’t have to be shy loading them on. Their saltiness will go great with the salsa and beans.
Read the full ranking of the best black olives
Credit: Liv Averett / Vons
- Tostito Scoops! Tortilla Chips
We’re civilized people; we aren’t going to dunk our fingers into this dip and lick it off. So we need the perfect tortilla chips to serve as a vessel for the dip. My personal favorite tortilla chip is the Late July Restaurant Style Jalapeño & Lime Tortilla Chips. I could eat a whole bag of them dry. However, the one downfall they have is they are not structurally sound enough for the weight of a 7 layer dip. We need a chip that’s made for heavy-duty dips and that chip is Tostito Scoops. Not only are they really tasty, they are literally made for scooping out layers of dip like a backhoe.
Read the full ranking of the best tortilla chips
Credit: Ryan Martin / Target
The Sour Cream
The Shredded Cheese
The Black Olives