5 Layer Taco Dip
This 5 layer taco dip is a staple at my family’s holiday parties. It’s one of the first dishes to disappear! It’s super easy to make and easily feeds a crowd. Although it’s technically an appetizer, I also like to eat it as a light dinner in the summer when I don’t really feel like cooking. This dip is high in protein and also keto-friendly. Eat it plain with a spoon, or eat with plain tortilla chips. For additional flavor, eat with nacho cheese Doritos.
While this recipe does require you to bake a chicken breast, feel free to substitute leftover rotisserie chicken or even canned chicken.
Most taco dip recipes start with a cream cheese and sour cream base layer, followed by taco sauce, shredded lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese (in that order). From there, there are many variations. Some add in meat layers (like this recipe), bean layers, jalapenos, black olives, taco seasoning, etc.
Either it has been in the fridge for too long, or there is excess water coming from the shredded lettuce or tomatoes. Personally, I do not wash the shredded lettuce before adding it to the dip. If you prefer to wash the lettuce, make sure you dry it really well before using it in the dip. And for the tomatoes, I cut out the membrane and seeds, which contain the most moisture in a tomato. By eliminating those two sources of moisture, your dip should no longer be runny.
Step-by-step instructions in a video format for this recipe are available on my YouTube channel and above the recipe card below.
Step 1. Arrange the oven rack to be in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once the oven is preheated, bake ~1/2 pound thawed, boneless chicken breast for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 and the juices run clear. Transfer chicken breast to a cutting board or a plate, and shred with two forks. You should end up with about 1 cup of shredded chicken.
In a small bowl, mix 8 ounces of softened cream cheese and 8 ounces of sour cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely combined and smooth. Note that this will give about a 1/2″ thick layer at the bottom of the dip in a 9″ pie plate. If you think this will be too much, consider halving it and only using 4 ounces of cream cheese and 4 ounces of sour cream. Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (either prepackaged or homemade) into the cream cheese mixture, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Click here to learn how to make homemade taco seasoning from ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Transfer the seasoned cream cheese mixture to a pie plate and spread into a smooth layer.
Step 2. Add 1 cup shredded chicken.
Step 3. Drizzle 1/2 cup mild taco sauce evenly over the chicken. I find it easiest to do this using a measuring cup with a spout.
Step 4. Add 1 cup shredded lettuce and 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (about 4 cherry tomatoes) evenly over the taco sauce.
Step 5. Top with 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese and garnish with additional taco seasoning if desired.
Tips for Success
- To avoid a runny taco dip, make sure your shredded lettuce is completely dry and that you’ve removed the membrane and seeds from the tomatoes.
- To save time, you can also use canned chicken or rotisserie chicken instead of baking your own chicken. Just be sure to shred it before layering on the dip.
- Pre-packaged shredded cheese can also be used in place of grating your own. If you are gluten-free, be sure to check the label.
- Feel free to make it your own! Try adding jalapenos for some kick, black olives, different cheeses (e.g., Colby jack, pepper jack), fruit salsa in place of the taco sauce, queso sauce in place of the shredded cheese, taco seasoned ground beef in place of the chicken (if you do this, remove the seasoning from the cream cheese layer), beans, etc. There are endless combinations to suit your taste buds.
5 Layer Taco Dip
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup mild taco sauce
- 1 cup shredded lettuce, completely dry
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato, membrane and seeds removed (about 4 cherry tomatoes)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Arrange oven rack to be in the middle and preheat oven to 400F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once the oven is preheated, bake chicken breast for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 and the juices run clear. Transfer chicken breast to a cutting board or a plate, and shred with two forks. You should end up with about 1 cup of shredded chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely combined and smooth. Add taco seasoning and mix on low speed until incorporated.NOTE: this layer will be about 1/2" thick in a 9-inch pie plate. If you think this will be too much, consider halving it and only using 4 ounces of cream cheese, 4 ounces of sour cream, and 1/2 tablespoon of taco seasoning.
- Transfer the seasoned cream cheese mixture to a pie plate and spread into a smooth layer.
- Add the shredded chicken evenly over cream cheese mixture.
- Drizzle taco sauce evenly over the chicken.
- Add shredded lettuce and tomato evenly over the taco sauce.
- Top with sharp cheddar cheese and garnish with additional taco seasoning if desired.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. It will last about 2-3 days in the fridge before it starts to get watery.
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