Mexican 7 Layer Dip Cups

7 Layer Dip Cups ~ portable appetizers layered up like everybody’s favorite Tex-Mex bean dip ~ perfect for Cinco de Mayo, picnics, and barbecues. Now we can mingle and chow down at the same time ~ genius!

*This post was sponsored by La Victoria

These colorful 7 Layer Dip Cups are portable little appetizer stations layered up just like everybody's favorite Tex-Mex bean dip ~ so you can mingle and chow down at the same time ~ genius!

7 layer dips cups are the perfect party appetizer

Everyone gets their own little layered dip to carry around with them ~ we can eat AND socialize

I’ve always been a believer in the individual appetizer. They’re cute, they’re fun, and they do away with the communal dip bowl that turns totally unappetizing after a few hungry guests have had their way with it. You’ve seen them before if you’re a fan of the blog, my green goddess veggie dip cups are a riff on this same idea. Ditto my individual salad cups.

These colorful 7 Layer Dip Cups are portable little appetizer stations layered up just like everybody's favorite Tex-Mex bean dip ~ these colorful appetizers will be the hit of your next party!

how to layer a 7 layer dip (everybody does it differently)

The whole idea sprang up in the 70s or 80s, and since then everybody, including your co-worker, your mother-in-law, and Costco, has their own version. A couple of things are certain ~  it’s layered, it’s Tex-Mex, and it’s delicious. It almost always contains refried beans, usually from a can, sour cream, guacamole, black olives, cheese, and salsa. The 7th ingredient can vary quite a bit, it might be ground beef, lettuce, green onions, jalapenos, or corn. And some people sneak in an 8th layer, but don’t acknowledge it (who, me??)  It’s the Wild West out there when it comes to 7 layer dips!

my secret 8th ingredient!

I came up with an 8th ingredient that I love ~ it’s a layer of finely diced pineapple dusted with chili powder, a treat that comes straight from Mexican street vendors. The sweetness of the juicy fruit and the kick of the spice is fabulous.

These colorful 7 Layer Dip Cups are portable little appetizer stations layered up just like everybody's favorite Tex-Mex bean dip ~ perfect for any party, picnic, or barbecue!

a 7 layer dip can be made with convenience foods

The fun is in combination of all the layers, and in the presentation ~ there’s no need to make anything from scratch, unless you want to. Choose a great bottled salsa and you’re off to a good start. La Victoria salsas are always made with real, simple ingredients, and all of their tomatoes are sourced from the California central valley.

TIP: Sometimes I’ll mix some minced fresh tomatoes and a squeeze of lime juice into my jarred salsas. If you like you can throw in some cilantro, too. It’s an easy way to boost their fresh flavor and texture.

These colorful 7 Layer Dip Cups are portable little appetizer stations so your guests can eat and mingle at the same time!

how I layer my individual dip cups

I always keep flavor and color in mind. Sometimes I used shredded red cabbage, and sometimes minced red onion. Other times I substituted a green olive tapenade for the guac. Mexican La Crema and crumbled cotija cheese can stand in for the sour cream and shredded cheese if you want to go for a more authentic combination.

  1. re-fried beans
  2. chili pineapple or corn
  3. guacamole
  4. sour cream
  5. olives
  6. red onion
  7. salsa
  8. cheese

TIP: You can layer in any order you like, but I recommend starting with the re-fried beans, they make a good base and will absorb any excess juices from the upper layers. After that the order of the layers is up to you.

Mexican 7 Layer Dip Cups ~ colorful individual appetizers that encourage everybody to mingle!

I like to use 9 ounce clear plastic cups for individual dip cups

They hold just the right amount and are easy to handle and fill, and you can find them in most grocery stores.

TIP: Look for cups with a wide mouth for easy dipping, and make sure to buy clear plastic, you want to see all those gorgeous layers!

Layering up Mexican 7 Layer Dip Cups with La Victoria salsa.

more recipes for a backyard fiesta

hand holding a 7 Layer Dip Cup with a red napkin
4.36 from 34 votes

7 Layer Dip Appetizer Cups

7 Layer Dip Cups ~ portable appetizers layered up like everybody's favorite Tex-Mex bean dip ~ perfect for Cinco de Mayo, picnics, barbecues!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American Tex-Mex
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 12 cups
Calories 232kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 16 ounce can refried beans
  • 1/4 pineapple finely minced (substitute fresh yellow corn)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or more to taste!
  • 10 ounces prepared guacamole
  • 10 ounces sour cream
  • 6 ounce can black olives drained and finely minced
  • 1 small red onion peeled and finely minced
  • 16 ounce jar salsa, any variety
  • 8 ounce bag of finely shredded Mexican blend cheese or any cheese you like


  • sliced olives
  • cilantro leaves


  • Put the refried beans in a bowl and stir well. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of the beans into the bottoms of 10 9-ounce clear plastic cups. Flatten the layers out.
  • Toss the minced pineapple with the chile powder and spoon a layer into each cup. Flatten out.
  • Follow in the same manner with the guacamole, sour cream, olives, red onion, and salsa.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of all the cups, and garnish with sliced olives and a cilantro leaf.
  • Serve with sturdy tortilla chips.

Cook’s notes

  • You can assemble these 7 layer dip cups ahead of time, if necessary, up to 24 hours in advance. I would spoon on the top layer and garnish just before serving, though, for best presentation. The guacamole is well insulated in the center of the layers, so it should stay nice and bright.
  • Sturdy tortilla chips work best for this appetizer, thin chips won’t be able to scoop through the layers without breaking.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    May 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I love this layered dip and so perfect for the upcoming holiday weekend. What a fun idea. Love this!!!

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    May 25, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I am a big fan of individual appetizers and meals, because I absolutely hate sharing delicious food. I mean, I just want it ALL to myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰ These individual cups are genius, Sue! I’m going to need at least 10 of these all to myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cheers, friend!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2017 at 3:36 am

    A PERFECT party appetizer!!! Who needs dinner when you have these gorgeous layered dip cups???

    • Reply
      May 25, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Great point, and you can make these with taco meat, too!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    May 25, 2017 at 2:37 am

    This is genius Sue! Super cute and love the vibrant colors ! What a great way to serve a fun popular appetizer at parties. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Just give me a spoon! Don’t even need chips for these beauties. Fantastic idea and so pretty too.

  • Reply
    Milena | Craft Beering
    May 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I am self-declared triple dipper. These are perfect for me, haha.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Oh no Milena, them’s fightin’ words!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 24, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I absolutely LOVE layered dips like this one Sue! But you’ve made it even better because now I don’t have to share! PERFECT!

  • Reply
    Carol Hyland
    May 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Great idea, Sue… I’m going to apply the “layered clear cup” concept to my English Triffle dessert next time. So pretty and another way to subtly have portion control… I never really know how many chips and dip I’ve actually consumed – but there’s no doubt that its usually more than I need.

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    May 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

    What a great idea! These are so cute and a great idea for Memorial Day!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

      I definitely had Memorial Day in mind when I made these Karen, I think they’re perfect for an outdoor evening…

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    May 24, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Layered dips like this are fun! Haven’t made one in ages, and they’re so good. Yours is top-of-the-class, though — that pineapple touch is genius!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Thanks John, no one else has mentioned that, and I was so proud of it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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