This Healthy Taco Dip has all the flavors of the classic party appetizer, just lightened up! It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, and it’s super easy to make. Serve it warm or cold with all your favorite taco toppings for the ultimate appetizer.
Whether you call it Healthy Taco Dip or 7-Layer Dip, this creamy dip is always a crowd pleaser! Serve it at your next barbecue, Super Bowl party, or potluck for a dip that no one will ever believe is a lighter version of the original.
It starts with a layer of perfectly seasoned cream cheese, that’s lightened up with Greek yogurt. Then everything is topped with refried beans, salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce, black olives, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, and any other toppings you like.
Whether you're hosting a party, looking for a quick snack, or just in need of some comfort food, this healthy taco dip is your go-to recipe.
Why You’ll Love this Healthy Taco Dip
This dip is one of our favorite things to make for parties and get-togethers! Here’s why.
- Fewer calories and fat: Traditional taco dip made with cream cheese and sour cream has over 400 calories and per serving! This lightened up dip has less than 150 calories with 8 grams of protein. It’s even high in fiber.
- Party favorite: Everyone loves taco dip making it perfect for parties! Serve it warm or room temperature and prep all the ingredients up to 3 days in advance.
- Easy to make: If you need an easy dish for a crowd, this is it! It comes together in less than 15 minutes.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is everything you need to make this healthier taco dip.
- Light cream cheese: If you have ever had classic taco dip, cream cheese is always a pin ingredient. To lighten things up, we like to use light cream cheese instead. For an even lighter option, consider using blended cottage cheese.
- Greek yogurt: While taco dip usually uses all cream cheese (or cream cheese and sour cream), adding Greek yogurt is a great way to lighten things up and add protein. If you prefer, swap in cottage cheese.
- Taco seasoning: To add that classic Tex-Mex flavor, taco seasoning is key. Use store bought or homemade taco seasoning. If you like things spicy, consider adding some extra chili powder or chipotle chili peppers as well.
- Refried beans: Use these quick and easy refried beans or store-bought for the bean layer. If you don’t love refried beans, add a layer of canned, drained black beans or pinto beans.
- Salsa: Thick and chunky salsa is best for taco dip so the dip doesn’t get watery. Drained pico de gallo is also delicious.
- Toppings: The classic taco dip toppings include shredded iceberg lettuce (or Romaine), diced tomatoes, shredded Mexican cheese (or shredded cheddar cheese), black olives, green onions, fresh cilantro, and fresh jalapenos. We also love taco dip with pickled red onions, sour cream, guacamole or avocado, or corn.
How to Make Healthy Taco Dip
This dip couldn’t be easier to make! Serve it warm or cold.
1. Blend the cream cheese layer
Classic taco dip always starts with a creamy layer, usually made with cream cheese and taco seasoning. To lighten things up, this version combines cream cheese and Greek yogurt. You could also use cottage cheese or light sour cream.
Simply add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and taco seasoning to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the taco seasoning if needed. This can also be done by hand, just make sure the cream cheese is softened.
Then spread the taco seasoned cream cheese mixture into a glass dish or baking dish.
Want to make your own taco seasoning? Combine:
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper.
2. Add beans and salsa
Use a spoon or spatula to add a layer of refried beans on top of the cream cheese. For easier spreading, slightly warm the refried beans. Then add a layer of thick and chunky salsa on top of the beans.
3. Bake for a warm dip (or serve cold)
If you prefer a warm dip, now is the time to bake the dip. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
If you want melted cheese, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salsa. Then bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling.
This dip is also delicious cold, so skip this step if you plan on serving it cold or at room temperature.
4. Layer on toppings
The best part of taco dip is all the delicious toppings. Anything that tastes delicious on tacos, will taste delicious on this dip.
Layer on the shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, black olives, green onions, and sliced jalapeno. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh vegetables, crackers, or pretzels.
Taco Dip Toppings
There are so many different ways to customize this dip with different toppings. Here are some delicious ways to level up your dip.
- Avocado or guacamole
- Corn or corn salsa
- Fresh red onions or pickled red onions
- Sour cream
- Fresh or pickled jalapenos
- Bell peppers or fajita vegetables
- Lime juice or lime zest
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Hot sauce or habanero salsa
Add Taco Meat! Ground Turkey or Ground Beef
One of my favorite variations of this recipe involves adding a layer of seasoned ground beef or ground turkey. Not only does this add even more flavor, it also adds lean protein and makes the dip more filling.
- Ground turkey or ground beef: Saute one pound of lean ground turkey or beef with 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid. Add this as the first layer of the taco dip.
- Other protein options: You can also add cooked shredded chicken (like this chicken tinga or rotisserie chicken) as the second layer of the dip.
What to Serve with Healthy Taco Dip
While taco dip is normally served with tortilla chips or corn chips, there are so many ways to serve this dip.
- Baked tortilla chips
- Halved mini bell peppers
- Carrot sticks or baby carrots
- Celery and cucumber slices
- Whole wheat crackers
- Romaine or butter lettuce wraps
- Tostada shells
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
Taco dip is a great appetizer for any gathering, especially since it can be prepped in advance.
- Make ahead: For best results, add the cream cheese layer, refried beans, and salsa to your dish. The cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then add the remaining toppings before serving.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this healthier taco dip.
The most common reason that taco dip comes out watery is using a thin salsa instead of thick and chunky salsa. If the salsa has a lot of liquid in it, then it makes the entire dip soggy and watery.
This healthier taco dip has just 150 calories for 1/3 cup. Typical taco dip made with full-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and/or mayonnaise has between 400-500 calories per serving.
Healthy Taco Dip
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- 8 oz light cream cheese
- 8 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or light sour cream)
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 2 cups canned refried beans
- 1 cup chunky salsa (or pico de gallo, drained)
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Baked taco dip: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you want melted cheese, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salsa. Then bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling. Add toppings.
Lighten it up more: Use reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese.
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