Loaded Guacamole Dip

Loaded Guacamole Dip by Tara Bench

Recipe excerpt from:
Delicious Gatherings: Recipes To Celebrate Together
by Tara “Teaspoon” Bench

TURN THAT FAMOUS seven-layer dip on its head! You know the one; I’ve got a gorgeous
version on my blog
. Here, I’ve loaded a tasty layer of guacamole with so much good stuff (and some new additions). I wanted a dip that could serve as a centerpiece, so I’ve composed the platter to look impressive. It’s a showstopper that’s perfect for dipping your chips into, scooping onto enchiladas, or dolloping on a taco salad. Your taste buds will know what to expect—amazingness!

I suggest making your own simple guacamole with my quick-cheat tomatillo salsa recipe provided here. But in a pinch, you can buy the guac. I won’t tell.

Taco Crema

  • 1 ¼  cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning


  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup green tomatillo salsa
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Green Salsa

  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño


  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups finely diced tomatoes,
  • seeds removed and drained of juice
  • 1 to 1 ¼  cups crumbled cotija cheese
  • Half a can (15-ounce) black beans,
  • drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup roasted corn kernels
  • Chips for serving


  1. For the taco crema: In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream and taco seasoning.
    Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the remaining elements.
  2. For the guacamole: In a large bowl, smash all guacamole ingredients until you
    achieve a slightly chunky consistency. Cover and set aside.
  3. For the green salsa: Mix together all green salsa ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Prepare remaining toppings.
  5. On a large platter (I used an oval platter 12-by-14- or 12-by-16-inches), spread
    guacamole in a .1/4- to .1/2 -inch-thick layer. Gently spread taco crema on guacamole
    in a single layer, leaving a border of guacamole. Carefully create a ring
    of chopped tomatoes near the edge of the sour cream, then do the same with a
    smaller ring of cotija cheese. Continue making rings with the green salsa and
    the black beans, finishing with the corn in the center. Make sure to create very
    skinny rings so there is room for each ingredient.
  6. Serve immediately with chips, or cover and refrigerate for up to an hour.

Tara’s Tip: In order to create this look, you need enough dip ingredients for a large crowd. For smaller groups, halve the recipe. “Load” your dip however you wish on your platter or layer it in a glass dish. It’s tricky to get perfect rings of toppings on your first try. You can start in the middle with the corn and work outward if that is easier for you!

Show 198, November 19, 2016: Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site, Upscale Downhome – Family Recipes All Gussied Up

Rachel HollisRachel Hollis, popular blogger and founder of The Chic Site (reaches over 1 million users a month) has a new swoon-worthy cookbook out, Upscale DownHome: Family Recipes all Gussied Up. It’s truly the best in Guy Tailgate Comfort Food that’s sure to impress at both family suppers and the fanciest dinner parties.

Rachel puts a finger-licking gourmet twist on classic American favorites in sections that include recipes for:

  • Casseroles: balsamic bacon-wrapped meatloaf, bacon and green chili mac n’cheese
  • Potluck: loaded baked potato salad, seven-layer salad
  • Dips: grilled guacamole, corn dip, chili cheese dip, pizza dip
  • Sips: strawberry rosemary moonshine, Grandma’s sweet tea
  • Somethin’ Sweet: banana pudding parfaits, Mema’s carrot cake

The Spicy Corn Dip with freshly-fried Tortilla Chips is a crowd-pleaser.

Packed with big flavor and simple enough for a beginner home cook to master, Upscale Downhome focuses on great-tasting food and beautiful presentation that is guaranteed to impress. This is the kind of food that we all like to eat, served up with a chic twist.

Rachel joins us with a fully-leaded, tasty preview.


Show 157, January 30, 2016: Christian Ziebarth and Chef John Smittle, the new Naugles

Hombre Nachos at NuaglesThe fondly remembered Naugles fast food restaurant chain was founded by Dick Naugle in 1970 in Southern California with 225 locations prior to merging with Del Taco in 1988. Sadly, Naugles lasted only 7 years on its own after that. It featured an American and a Mexican kitchen. Popular items included the cheese burrito, the bun taco, the combo cup with tortilla chips, the Naugleburger, the Ortega burger and more.

A new business group formed in the last few years has been patiently working on bringing the chain back. The group recently opened a corporate kitchen with plans to expand to more locations. It’s open for service on Weekends.

This effort is not affiliated with Del Taco nor with any other prior owner of the brand. The mission is reviving the original concept with a new company.

In 2014 Gustavo Arellano, the editor of OC Weekly and the author of a highly regarded book on the history of Mexican food in America, recognized the new Naugles as one of his “5 Favorite Restaurants of 2014.”

“So Naugles isn’t technically a restaurant again yet, but the effort by a Naugles fan to bring back the legendary Mexican fast-food chain from the archives of Del Taco is not only a great story, but a delicious one. Are the meals Taco Maria-worthy ? Absolutely not. But they did teach me why people get so crazy over the popups. Go to the next one. Get a simple bean-and-cheese, and you’ll tell me what’s up.” Gustavo Arellano.

This unusual grass roots revival is an incredible comeback story and we’ll meet the architect of it all, Christian Ziebarth along with his Chef, John Smittle (who credits Chef Alan Greely as a mentor).


Show 34, July 6, 2013: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Foods Conquered America

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanOur favorite all-star, “Ask a Mexican,” Gustavo Arellano, returned to give us more practical insight on Mexican ingredients and their history. He’s also the editor of OC Weekly.

Today we talked tortillas. Why is a burrito made with flour tortillas?  On the other hand why are enchiladas prepared with corn tortillas. What is right for a hard or soft-shelled taco?

Gustavo explained that flour tortillas are popular in the Northern states of Mexico. They arrived from Spain in the 1500s.

Gustavo also shared the history of tortilla chips which traces its origin to San Antonio in 1912.

It’s summer so it’s time to quench your thirst. Gustavo suggests a flavorful agua fresca. This translates as “fresh water.” The base for this refreshing Mexican beverage is water and sugar. Cucumber and Tamarind are particularly refreshing versions.