Now here is an appetizer with an identity crisis. Is it a taco dip or bean dip? It has ground turkey and all the fixings that would make a great taco, so taco dip would seem more likely. But, it also has a lot of beans, and since that is the main flavor it’s a bean dip, right? Tomaayto-tomaahto…I’m hereby calling this Taco Bean Dip, thereby satisfying the best of both worlds.
As a kid, I loved this dish. I remember my stepfather, Ed, making it as his contribution for potlucks or family events. As an adult, this is was one of my go-to dishes for feeding the girls when we would go to dinner parties. I’ve served this up for more than one New Year’s Eve celebration. Now, I make it for busy weekends when we don’t have time for lunch, or for a nibble while catching a football game on T.V. I even rely on it for dinner during the week, when we are all rushing about and just need a little something on the spot.
Even folks who don’t like to cook can master this recipe. Just think “layers” and lots of them: cream cheese, ground turkey (cooked), refried beans, tomatoes, salsa (it is great with the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa), avocados, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, black olives.
I made this during the week for an after-school snack. No joke, this is what it looked like a mere .5 seconds after I told the girls I was done with taking pictures. Vultures!
My preference is to cook all the ingredients at one time. This is the fastest and easiest way and in no way changes the taste, however, the colors of the avocado will brown, and the tomatoes will cook and soften. If you are sharing at a potluck, or have texture-sensitive little ones in your household, you can hold off on the avocados and tomatoes and layer them after the taco bean dip has baked. I do a little bit of both, and the recipe I took pictures of shows it like that.
Serve with crispy tortilla chips, or if super hungry, get a tortilla and make a burrito out of it. It’s delicious either way.
- 1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese
- 1 (30 oz) can of refried beans
- 1.5 lbs of ground turkey (or beef)
- 1 cup tomatoes (about three garden variety tomatoes) seeded and diced
- 1 cup of your favorite salsa (roasted tomatillo is a great one)
- 3 avocados, diced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Brown the meat in a skillet. You can season it a bit with seasoned salt.
- In a 9 x 13" glass baking dish, spread the cream cheese on the bottom for the first layer.
- Spread the refried beans in a second layer.
- Add the ground meat and spread in a layer.
- Layer the tomatoes evenly over the ground meat.
- Layer the salsa over the tomatoes.
- Layer the avocados over the salsa.
- Layer the shredded cheddar cheese over the entire dish.
- Dollop the sour cream over the dish to your preference.
- Layer the black olives over the entire dish.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until everything is melty and cooked.