Loaded with layers of sour cream, seasoned beef, cheese, and fresh produce, this easy taco dip with meat is a party classic.
Taco dip is the ultimate party appetizer for your game day spread or whenever you are looking for a sure crowd pleaser! This hearty dip is piled with your favorite toppings and will keep your next party going long after your guests have worn out their welcome. Best of all, it is easy to prepare and can even be made in advance.
What is Taco Dip
A classic taco dip contains a creamy seasoned base consisting of sour cream and cream cheese mixed with taco seasoning. This is topped with layers of lettuce, cheese, and chopped produce like tomatoes, green onion, and black olives. Other ingredients can also be added or substituted based on flavor preferences, such as seasoned ground beef or preferred meat. Tortilla chips are always used for dipping.
Adding Meat to Taco Dip
Adding seasoned ground beef to your taco dip is an easy way to add more flavor and another layer make the dip heartier. You can use leftover ground beef from taco night (which you could also use to make a great taco pasta salad), or quickly brown a pound of ground beef (try saying that 5x fast). Cooking the beef doesn't make this easy taco dip recipe take any longer really because you can do it while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Ground beef is the traditional choice, but you can also use ground turkey, chicken, or venison too. Although less traditional, you could even substitute Mexican shredded beef!
- Ground Beef - I recommend using lean ground beef so the dip doesn't get too oily or greasy. 90/10 beef is my favorite for tacos. You can use a fattier ground meat, but be sure to drain off the excess grease.
- Cream Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Taco Seasoning Mix - Homemade taco seasoning or store-bought are both fine.
- Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
- Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Roma Tomatoes - Romas are meatier and less watery than other tomatoes which is why I specifically recommend them over other diced tomatoes.
- Sliced Black Olives
- Green Onions
- Tortilla chips for serving
More topping ideas and substitutions
My recipe is technically a seven layer taco dip, but there is no reason it can't have more or fewer layers. The best thing about making a layered taco dip is being able to customize it to fit your tastes, right? This is a great recipe to swap out any of your favorite taco toppings. If you are looking for inspiration, you can try any of these additional toppings:
- Leftover taco meat - This recipe is a great use for taco Tuesday leftovers!
- Refried beans
- Pico de gallo
- Green pepper
- Chopped onions
- Avocaodo or Guacamole
- Green chiles
- Greek yogurt can be substituted instead of using cream cheese. This creates a lighter dip with less calories. Pair this with fat-free sour cream for even few calories!
How to make it
Begin making your taco dip with ground beef by browning the meat in a large skillet set over medium heat. Be sure to crumble the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns. Next, the taco seasoning can be stirred in with some water. The water helps it distribute evenly and transform into a flavorful taco sauce. Most of the water will evaporate out when letting it simmer for a few minutes.
Using a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream with another taco seasoning packet. It is important to soften the cream cheese first or it will not blend smoothly. Using a whisk, or hand mixer, mix until smooth.
The cream cheese mixture can be spread across the bottom of your serving dish. A casserole dish or baking dish are both great options to use. Layer the ground beef mixture on top of the cream cheese layer, followed by lettuce, cheese, tomato, olives, and green onion. This can be served hot or cold, and always with tortilla chips.
Tip: If you wish to serve it as a hot taco dip, you can bake it in a 350 oven for 15 minutes to warm the cream cheese and melt the shredded cheese. However, do not add the fresh vegetables until after it is warmed.
Can Taco Dip Be Made Ahead?
My taco dip with meat recipe is perfect to make ahead and enjoy the next day. The flavors of the sour cream mixture meld beautifully when left sitting in the refrigerator overnight, or even when made a couple of hours ahead. Just be sure to cover the dip with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. It is also ok for the ground beef to be cold when this appetizer is served. I recommend serving taco dip in a large serving dish.
More Taco Recipes
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Taco Dip with Meat
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- ⅓ water
- 8 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
- 16 oz Sour Cream
- 2, 1 oz packages Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 cup shredded Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
- 2.25 oz can sliced Black Olives (drained)
- 2 Green Onions (chopped)
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Add ground beef to a medium skillet set over medium heat and cook until browned. Crumble beef into small pieces as it cooks.
- Add water and taco seasoning to the skillet and stir to evenly coat the beef. Bring water to a boil and continue cooking until water has evaporated.
- While beef is cooking combine softened cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl with remaining packet of taco seasoning. Mix cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth with a hand mixer.
- Spread sour cream mixture evenly across the bottom of a large pan. Pour ground beef evenly over the sour cream and top with lettuce, cheese, tomato, olives and green onion.
- Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
This recipe was originally published April 25, 2018 on FoxValleyFoodie.com.
If I wanted to add retried beans, should I put that as the second layer or third?
Fox Valley Foodie
I would put them as the second layer, but there is no reason you couldn't do either if you wanted.
ohhh wow.....It looks so yummy 5 stars! Great post!
yummy i always loved the taco dip at my family outings now i got recipe like it