Vegan Five Layer Dip is always a huge hit at parties. Sometimes called 5 layer taco dip or 5 layer Mexican dip, it's super easy to make using just 5 ingredients: refried beans, dairy-free sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and non-dairy cheese. Make a batch and watch it disappear! This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Vegan Five Layer Dip
Although I've been eating it for years now, I was a little late to the 5 layer dip party. I first discovered it Trader Joe's. Made with refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese, I really wanted to try it, but sadly, it wasn't vegan. So, I bought vegan versions of all of the components and made my own. It was so amazing that Dennis and I ate it for dinner that night.
I soon started looking for excuses to make it, and it was a mainstay for any type of social gathering. My friends started to expect it, and I knew if I didn't make it for a potluck or party, I would have a riot on my hands. I volunteered to take a batch to a birthday party and was asked to make a double batch of it, because it always disappears quickly.
I use pre-made refried beans, vegan sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, which means that making this dip is as easy as opening containers and assembling it. Usually, when I make this dip, I'm making several other snacks and appetizers, so having one thing that doesn't require too much effort is really appealing.
The 5 Layers of a Five Layer Dip
When I first shared this recipe, there weren't many options available for vegan cheese and sour cream. Now there are many types of dairy-free products available.
The first layer is refried beans. You'd think refried beans would be meat-free, but that's not always the case, as lard is sometimes added. I like to use Amy's, because I know they're vegan. If you'd like to make your own, I have a recipe for homemade refried beans in The Big Book of Vegan Cooking.
The next layer is non-dairy sour cream. Years ago, I would use Tofutti sour cream. (They have two kinds - I always get the one without hydrogenated oil.) These days, there are many more options. Try Kite Hill, Forager, or Follow Your Heart. I have homemade sour cream recipe in Eating Vegan, if you feel like making your own.
Next up we have guacamole. I always put the guac in the middle, because the acids in the sour cream and salsa keep it from going brown. I tend to pick up fresh guac from the grocery store or Trader Joe's Chunky Homestyle Guacamole. My Avocado Salsa Verde would work great here, too.
Next, we have salsa. There are tons of salsas available, so use your favorite. I like Whole Foods 365 Thick & Chunky Medium Salsa and Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica. If you'd like to make your own, give my Fresh Tomato Salsa a try.
Finally, we have a layer of shredded cheese. Back in the day, Daiya was all that was available. Now, you can choose between so many types. Try Violife, So Delicious Dairy Free, or Follow Your Heart. You can use cheddar, pepper jack, or colby jack cheese - whatever strikes you fancy. If you'd prefer homemade cheese, try my Queso or Cashew Cheese Sauce.
How to Make Five Layer Dip
This dip couldn't be easier to make!
- First you spread the refried beans in a single layer at the bottom of a large bowl.
- Next you spread the sour cream in a single layer.
- Then you spread the guacamole on top of the sour cream.
- Next, you spread on the salsa.
- Finally, you top your dip with vegan shredded cheese.
If you want to add more layers to make this a six or seven (or even eight!) layer dip, it would be great with a layer of lettuce, another with olives, and even some fresh tomatoes.
Don't want to worry about anyone double-dipping? Assemble mini dips in cups!
Five Layer Dip
- 1 15-ounce can vegetarian refried beans
- 1 12-ounce container vegan sour cream
- 1 12-ounce container guacamole
- 1 16-ounce jar salsa
- 1 cup shredded vegan cheese cheddar, pepper jack, or colby jack
- Carefully spread each layer in a large, flat glass bowl or dish. Start with the refried beans at the bottom. The next layer should be the sour cream. The third layer should be guacamole, and the fourth should be salsa. Top with a layer of shredded cheese.
Originally published February 1, 2013. Updated May 18, 2022.