Amy Approved 4-Layer Dip


Over the past decade, my diet has changed a lot, and I have finally surrendered to food allergies. When I find myself at a party, I tend to pick over the spread for foods I can actually eat (which in some instances can be limited to none). There is nothing that breaks my heart more than being left out when it comes to food. To avoid disappointment, I always try to show up with foods that I can enjoy, but I go the extra mile to show my fellow party-goers that the party grub needn't contain chemicals, artificial flavours, ridiculous amounts of sodium, mystery meats,  and all that other horrible stuff that tastes good, but feels really bad after the fact. I love to show people that snacks can be really delicious without any adverse side effects. 

This past weekend, I brought my 4-layer dip and a bag of organic corn chips to a friend's party. After trying a few bites and loving it, one of the guys said it tasted like a "burrito on a chip.”  Little did he know that this "burrito on a chip" was loaded with healthy proteins and fats, fiber and chock full of nutrients. A healthy, delicious layered dip that tastes like a bite-sized burrito? Yep. Dreams do come true!

The full recipe for the dip is below. You'll want to allot about an hour or so to make and assemble since there's a bit of chopping, mixing and blending involved. But, I promise you, it'll be worth it.


Vegan - Gluten-Free

Refried Beans


1 Tablespoon, olive oil

1/2 red onion, diced

3 cloves, garlic, minced

2 hot peppers (jalapeño or serrano), seeded & minced

1 teaspoon, ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon, dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon, chilli powder

3 cups, cooked/canned beans of your choice (I like pinto beans) 

1 bay leaf

1 cup, water

1 teaspoon, sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


On your stovetop, warm the oil in a saucepan or skillet on medium heat.  Add the onion and a big pinch of sea salt. Stir it and allow the onions to cook for a minute or two.  Add garlic and hot pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes to sweat the onions.  Sprinkle in the spices and cook for another 30 seconds. 

Stir in the beans, bay leaf and water and bring the mixture up to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until at least half of the water has been absorbed. 

Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Using a potato masher or hand blender,  mash and blend beans until they become a thick paste consistency.  If the mixture is very dry, add some water, a few tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  Set aside to cool. 

Cashew Cream Sauce


2 cups, raw cashews, soaked for a few hours and rinsed

1/4 to 1/2 cups, water

2 Tablespoons, lemon juice

2 Tablespoons, nutritional yeast

1 Tablespoon, onion powder

1/2 teaspoon,  sea salt


Starting with 1/4 water and the remaining ingredients, blend everything in a high-powered blender, stopping from time to time to scrape down the sides with a spatula until smooth.  If the consistency is too thick, slowly add more water to loosen.  



3 - 4 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped

1 - 2 limes (1/2 lemon), juiced

1/4 bunch, cilantro, roughly chopped

A few big pinches of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Pico de Gallo (Salsa)


1 pint, cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

2-3 limes (or 1 lemon), juiced

1/2 red onion, small dice

3/4 bunch, cilantro, roughly chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded & minced

1 bunch, green onions, roughly chopped

1 -2 cloves, garlic, minced

A few pinches of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients and mix well.

To Assemble the Layered Dip

Once the refried beans have cooled off a bit, spread them evenly at the bottom of an 8 x 8 casserole dish.  Then apply an even layer of the cashew cream sauce on top. Next up, add the guacamole in an even layer, and last but not least, add the pico de gallo over the top. If you don't have a large casserole dish, simply portion the layers into several smaller dishes or jars. Enjoy immediately with organic corn chips, cut-up veggies, pita chips, or by the spoonful!

If you have leftovers of the individual components, you can repurpose them into a healthy salad by adding leafy greens or making wraps using fresh collard leaves or whole-grain tortillas.  The ingredients can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

About Amy Longard

Amy Longard is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) and Plant-Based Chef. Learn more about Amy and her work at

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