David Burtka's Seven-Layer Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips

This festive dip is assembled on a platter rather than a trifle dish so you can scoop more of every layer in each bite. If you don’t feel like making homemade guacamole, you can just mash together two or three avocados with a pinch of salt and lime juice and use that as your guacamole layer.
Publish date:
David Burtka's seven-layer dip recipe from his cookbook Life Is a Party

Recipe by David Burtka

  • 8-12 for dip, 6-8 for chipsServings


Seven-Layer Dip

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil

  • 2 (4 oz.) cans chopped mild or hot Hatch green chiles, drained

  • 2 (16-oz.) cans refried beans

  • 1 sprig epazote (optional)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • Grated zest of 1 large lime (about 1 tsp)

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

  • 2 cups guacamole 

  • 8-oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups, or use preshredded cheese)

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 1 (2.25-oz.) can sliced black olives, drained

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 

  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced 

  • Hot sauce

Homemade Tortilla Chips

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 5 long strips

  • Kosher salt


1. For the dip, in a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the green chiles, refried beans, epazote (if using), and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir until smooth and well combined. Cook until the beans are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the epazote (if you used it), and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest, cumin, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. Spread the refried beans over the bottom of a large, flat serving platter. Layer with the sour cream mixture, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, black olives, scallions, and radishes. Sprinkle with as much or as little hot sauce as you like and serve with the homemade tortilla chips alongside.

4. Meanwhile, for the tortilla chips, fill a large Dutch oven halfway with canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and set it nearby.

5. Working in batches, add the cut tortillas to the hot oil and fry, stirring occasionally with a metal spider, until crisp and lightly browned, about 1 minute. If you want the tortillas to curl a bit, use the back of the spider to gently hold the tortillas down in the hot oil.

6. Transfer the fried tortillas to the rack and season liberally with salt while they’re hot. Serve still slightly warm or at room temperature. Store any leftover tortilla chips in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

Excerpted from LIFE IS A PARTY: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration. Copyright © 2019 by David Burtka, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.