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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    5 stars
    Looking forward to serving these for Cinco de Mayo this year; perfectly sized, colorful and great for entertaining! Too good to pass up, indeed!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    5 stars
    This is genius. It looks super pretty and festive, perfect for a party.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    5 stars
    I love how colorful and vibrant these are! All the flavors are so lovely in this dip!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 21, 2022 at 4:47 pm

      I love the colors too Jamie, that’s the fun of it all.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    5 stars
    I made these today for an event at our office. They were well received, convenient and delicious. A colorful addition to a buffet table.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Kathy!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    What a genius idea, Sue! Some people are absolutely clueless about double-dipping and this solves that problem perfectly 🙂

  • Reply
    May 30, 2017 at 6:22 am

    5 stars
    Sue, I’m with you – no big ugly mangled mooshed-up community dips for me! Anything in the dip department gets individual dishes at my house. And these are so pretty!

    • Reply
      May 31, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Oh gosh, just thinking about dip bowl gives me the shivers…

  • Reply
    May 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    5 stars
    My family LOVES La Victoria salsa!! And these are too cute!!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    5 stars
    This is so party perfect! Love the layers (and as another person that doesn’t like to share, the individual portions are so smart!).

  • Reply
    May 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    These are so perfect for parties and keeping everyone from double dipping!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

    This is such a perfect party idea – for so many reasons! I love that you’re not stuck at the food table and that you don’t have to worry about double dippers 🙂 Fantastic recipe and gorgeous photos Sue!

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