Ahh, the 7 layer dip, the classic party appetizer. As with most popular party foods, 7 layer dip does not tout being low in fat or calories.
Many people attempt a healthier version of their favorite junk food so that they can get the same great taste without all of the calories. However, as you probably already know, this is nearly impossible to do this. The healthier version never tastes as good.
But we have a solution for you. Since the 7 layer dip has so many layers to begin with, a few tweaks here and there will not leave the flavor lacking.
A normal 7 layer dip typically consists of the following: refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, ground beef, cheese, and black olives. It’s pretty obvious where the bad fats are coming from out of this list.
The refried beans are arguable. While beans are definitely good for you, your favorite brand probably packs a lot of sodium and probably some fat. There are some fat-free varieties… but the best way to ensure that you’re getting only the good parts of the beans is to make them yourself. They are pretty easy to make, and you can adjust how much oil is used and skip the salt altogether.
Sour cream is definitely one of the biggest culprits in this dish. Fortunately, you can swap it out for Greek yogurt, and you won’t notice much of a difference in flavor.
You might not realize this until you look at the nutrition label on the back of your favorite salsa brand, but most store-bought salsas have a lot of sugar. The best way to combat this is to again go homemade. You can either make salsa or pico de gallo for this layer. All you’ll need are some tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and hot peppers.
Guacamole is also always best when made fresh. For a super easy guacamole recipe, simply mash some avocado, lime juice, and garlic together. The fat content found in avocado is considered “good fat”, so munch away.
Red meat is another thing you’ll want to avoid if trying to make a healthier 7 layer dip. Instead, cook up some chicken with taco seasoning and shred it. Or, if you’d prefer to go vegetarian, opt for lettuce instead. It’ll give more substance without the added calories.
The cheese is going to have to go if you really want this dish to be low-cal. But that’s okay. You have the Greek yogurt to take care of the dairy flavor you’d miss otherwise. Instead of cheese, slice up a green onion and sprinkle all over the top of your dish. The green onions will add a new dimension of flavor.
While olives are good for you, they tend to contain a good amount of sodium. You can get low-sodium olives, or opt to keep them. Many prefer to top their dish with something a little more piquant, such as jalapeno slices.
If you’re not in the mood for cooking, you could always visit Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant instead. We have a number of healthy Mexican style appetizer options, such as our homemade guacamole and salsa. Visit one of our locations throughout Massachusetts today!