As my parents like to say, this recipe has a romantic origin. Sometime in the 1970s, my mom's aunt & uncle attended a wedding shower in San Diego. People were gathered around one particular food table, jockying to reach one item. It turned out to be this bean dip.

My mom's aunt got the recipe from the host, and brought it back to Buffalo. At my parents' wedding shower, she made the bean dip, and it was a hit again.

Fast-forward to the 90s. Every year for about 15 years, the Dillons threw a party on Christmas night at our Nashville house. We had dinner early, inviting one or two people who were in town without family. Later, friends came over for snacks, drinks, & desserts. The bean dip dish was always cleaned out.


31 oz
refried beans
8 oz
canned green chili peppers
8 oz
quesadilla cheese (shredded)
8 oz
taco sauce
~1 oz
sour cream
~1 oz
tomatoes (diced)
~1 oz
black olives (quartered)
~1 oz
chives (chopped)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Layer a 9x9" baking dish in this order:
    1. refried beans (31 oz)
    2. green chili peppers (8 oz)
    3. cheese (8 oz)
    4. taco sauce (8 oz)
  3. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Allow the dip to cool slightly (5–10 minutes) on the counter before adding the optional toppings.
    If adding sour cream, use a pastry bag (or sandwich bag with the corner cut out) to squeeze it into parallel lines or a wavy pattern.

About this recipe

  • Serve this dip with tortilla chips.
  • It sounds simple, and even a little unappealing, but trust me—this dip is addictive.