Last Minute Appetizer: Crowd-Pleasing Bean Dip


As of late, I’ve been finding myself in situations where I need to throw together a last minute appetizer. These predicaments always help me get a little creative and this bean dip is one of the outcomes.

Several weeks ago we threw a party to welcome Jeremy home from his deployment.

When we have a lot of people over to our house (and I’m talking standing room only), I almost always serve street tacos. They’re small. Easy to handle. And the meat is marinated and grilled perfectly so it carries all the flavor (no need for 50 taco toppings).

As people started to arrive I realized I did not really have an option for an appetizer besides my homemade salsa. What I did have were two cans of Amy’s refried beans.

I went to our beloved internet for inspiration and mostly found bean dips with 8,000 layers. These all looked like a lot of work and a little bit like a lot of ingredients. So I just decided to create my own.

What I did not expect was how much everyone would love it. It was gone within the first 45 minutes and people were asking for the recipe.

The people shall have what they want!

Side note: I also did not expect to learn at the end of the night that a friend of ours, who is a vegetarian, would eat my skirt steak street tacos. In his words, “I tried a piece of the steak and then I couldn’t stop.” I am 100% proud of this. This is my greatest accomplishment.

Let’s make bean dip!

LAST MINUTE APPETIZER: Crowd-Pleasing Bean Dip

Listen, you can serve this cold or straight out of the oven. I like melty cheese so I put the refried beans in an oven safe dish and sprinkle sharp cheddar on top. I bake until the cheese is melty and then add the rest of the toppings!

I’m pretty obsessed with how the cheese gets crispy on the sides of the baking dish.

For a cooling element to go with the beans, I like to spread on my avocado lime crema!

When I first made this I did not have my avocado lime crema (and it was still a hit). So you can omit completely or sub for sour cream.

We love to add any veggies we have around (we almost always have mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and avocado).

What really makes this dish pop is the sprinkle of goat cheese! The tangy goat cheese with the creamy refried beans really brings this to a whole new level!

We served it with plantain chips and tortilla chips!



  • 2 15 oz cans Refried Beans (Amy’s brand is delicious and has real ingredients!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta or queso fresco)
  • 1/2 cup cheery tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks

Optional for serving:


For Warm Bean Dip:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread the refried beans into an oven safe dish.
  3. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. Place the dish in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melty and bubbly.
  5. Pull out of oven (preferably right when guests arrive) and top with avocado lime crema (optional), cherry tomatoes, avocados, crumbled goat cheese, and additional toppings.
  6. Serve warm!

Cold Bean Dip:

  1. Spread refried beans into a serving dish. On top, spread avocado lime cream (at this point the dish can be stored in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve).
  2. Top with cherry tomatoes, avocados, crumbled goat cheese, and additional toppings.

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