Layered Bean Dip: Vegetarian Recipe

My husband and I looked at each other in the kitchen the other night and sighed. It was ninety-some degrees with 100% humidity, and cooking was the last thing either of us wanted to do. Rummaging in the fridge and glancing at the avocadoes in the fruit bowl, I suggested, “How about bean dip?”

layered vegetarian bean dip

He grinned with relief. “Yes! Perfect.”

This delicious dip combines the savory flavor of refried beans with lots of fresh toppings for a wonderful healthy vegetarian and vegan take on an old favorite. It is a great recipe for hot summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking anything elaborate and it is also a quick and easy dish to take to a party. Serve fresh warm or chilled.

Layered Vegetarian Bean Dip Recipe
serves four


  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/8 to 1/2 jalapeno (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans*
  • vegetable broth
  • about 1 1/2 cups guacamole**
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 medium sized tomato
  • 1/4 medium sized green bell pepper
  • 1/4 medium sized red bell pepper
  • sour cream (optional) ***
  • fresh chopped cilantro garnish
  • serve with corn tortilla chips

* For a special twist, try using refried black beans instead of the more typically used refried pinto beans.

** Halve the guacamole recipe here and it works perfectly for this bean dip.

*** To make this vegan, either leave out the sour cream or use a soy-based sour cream like Tofutti’s Sour Supreme.

Preparation Instructions:

1. Prepare the guacamole if you are making it from scratch (half of the guacamole recipe above works perfectly).

2. Dice the onion and finely mince the jalapeno (use however much jalapeno you are comfortable with).

3. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion and jalapeno in the olive oil over medium heat (medium-low on a gas stove) until the onions are just translucent.

4. Meanwhile, slice the olives. Wash the tomato and bell peppers then coarsely dice them.

4. When the onions have started to turn translucent, reduce the heat to medium-low (low on a gas stove). Add the can of refried beans and mix.

5. Once the refried beans are warm, add vegetable stock until it reaches the proper consistency for a dip. Stir, warm for about two more minutes.

6. Assemble. Spoon the beans into a medium-sized serving bowl and level them. Add the guacamole, and smooth it out over the beans. Over this base, spread evenly the sliced black olives, tomato, green and red bell pepper. If desired, spoon a generous dollop of sour cream on top, garnish with cilantro.

7. Serve fresh or chilled with corn tortilla chips for dipping. Enjoy!

A Quicker Alternative:

If you’re either in a hurry or don’t want to use the stove for quite so long and you don’t mind a little less spice to this dish, then you can leave out the jalapenos and onions and skip steps two and three.

layered vegetarian bean dip

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