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updated 12-0722 add tidbyts

From Cooking is Elemental - Terris edition: Seven-or-so Layer Bean Dip


What’s in a number, anyway?

Seven is such a randomly chosen number. This bean dip could have one layer (possibly the refried beans), or it could have one hundred layers – if you have a large enough container. Mix and match, or compare and contrast layers to your heart’s content. Extra points awarded for creating vertical layers.

For stimulating cocktail hour conversation, substitute the Shredded cheese with String theory cheese.

And don’t forget to save the cocktail napkins you write your epiphanies on. They’ll be needed later when you finesse your calculations for inter-dimensional time travel.

—DJ Piper

This amount of ingredients makes a ‘big’ batch in a 9x13-inch pan. The ingredients may be halved for a ‘small’ batch in an 8x8-inch pan.


  • 30 ounces can refried beans
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 24-ounce jar Pace's Medium Chunky Salsa (drained)
  • 2 cups Mexican Style (4-cheese blend) shredded cheese
  • 4 ounce can diced jalapeños (drained)
  • 2.25 ounce can chopped black olives
  • 2 diced avocados


  1. Layer ingredients (except avocados) in the dish in the order listed: beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, jalapeños, olives.
  2. Refrigerate. (No cooking.)
  3. Add the chopped avocados on top just before serving so they don’t turn brown.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips or soft taco-size tortillas (for small bean burritos).


The bean dip is best if it’s made the day before, or at least chilled for several hours before serving.

This is a great party appetizer but can also be a vegetarian main dish if vegetarian (no lard) beans are used.

Use a glass baking dish or clear plastic container to show off the layers.

Adjust the spiciness level to your preference by choosing milder or hotter ingredients. Add, subtract, or substitute ingredients as you wish.