I read the funniest meme the other day. It said something like, “I try to eat healthy but then it’s Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, then it’s the weekend…” It does seem like there is always a reason to celebrate with food all year round. And this time of year we’ve got playoff games and the Super Bowl coming up. Game days are religious experiences in our house. And the less I care about who is playing, the more time I spend on the menu. This year I’m focused on healthy options that are still game day perfect. And so we have this Healthy Mexican Layer Dip.
Cause is it really a party without a Mexican layer dip? This one’s got all the flavors you love, with a few less calories. Win win. Let’s talk about it:
What’s in a traditional Mexican Layer Dip?
Well, it’s not really traditionally Mexican at all. In fact, a Mexican layer dip, also known as a 7-layer dip, is actually an American thing. The layers include lots of delicious Tex-Mex flavors like beans, guacamole, salsa, seasoned sour cream, cheese and sometimes ground beef.
Layered dips can be served warm or cold, but if you’re using sour cream, lettuce and fresh tomato, it’s better to serve it cold.
How did we make Mexican Layer Dip healthier?
Here are some easy changes you can make to the traditional layer dip to lower the fat and calories and increase nutrient content:
- Swap vegetarian refried beans in for traditional refried beans (which commonly contain lard)
- Swap romaine lettuce in for iceberg lettuce
- Use plant-based ground “beef” product instead of regular ground beef
- Add extra avocados in place of high-fat sour cream and cheese
There are some pretty amazing plant-based beef substitutes out there. How amazing? Well, my beef-loving husband gobbled this dip up like the famine was coming. That amazing.
Shop around for yourself and try different brands. My favorites are Impossible Foods and Abbot’s Butcher.
I love that this Healthy Mexican Layer Dip is seasonless – it’s as perfect for game day as it is for summer barbecues. And the fact that it’s light, plant-based and packed with protein and nutrients will make you feel good about double dipping.
If you make this dip and love it, I want to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Healthy Mexican Layer Dip
- 1 package plant-based ground "beef"
- 1 can vegetarian refried beans
- 1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup diced scallions
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- Defrost the ground “beef” according to package directions.
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized skillet. Cook the ground “beef” 3-4 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Continue to cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread the refried beans evenly onto a large serving plate. Top with shredded lettuce, followed by ground “beef”, tomatoes, avocados, scallions and cilantro.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
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