This layered taco dip combines layers of the best homemade taco meat, caramelized corn, black olives, and lots of cheese for one amazingly delicious appetizer! It’s almost like dippable nachos and so good!
It would also make a great addition to this Mexican charcuterie board!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Layered taco dip with meat – unlike many taco dip recipes out there that just use cream cheese with taco seasoning, this taco dip actually uses ingredients you’d put in tacos – meat, corn, olives, cheese, etc. It’s way better than just flavored cream cheese!
- Hot dip – when serve warm, all of the flavors in this dip mingle together like a big plate of nachos.
- Easy to make ahead – make the main layers of the dip ahead of time then just bake right before serving for a deliciously cheesy and gooey taco dip that’s warm out of the oven!
- Substantial dip – if you just want to serve appetizers and not an actual dinner, this taco dip is a great option because it actually has ground beef in it, not just taco seasonings!
One of the most important parts of this dip is the ground beef you use because the beef gives this tip a big part of its flavor.
Our personal favorite for this dip is Panorama Organic Grass-Fed ground beef that’s 85% lean and 15% fat. They also have a 93/7 option if you want a little less fat in the dip, but I personally prefer the flavor of the extra fat for this dip in particular.
In addition to being juicy and flavorful we love Panorama because it’s born and raised in the USA, there’s never any added hormones or antibiotics, and the animals are pasture raised. It’s meat you know where it came from and know what you’re getting.
If you can’t find Panorama ground beef in stores, you can get it and tons of other meat options shipped directly to your house quickly from Perdue Farms.
In addition to the ground beef, just a few other notes on the ingredients that will make a difference in this dip!
- Chicken broth – you use either chicken broth or chicken bone broth, chicken bone broth is one of our Whole 30 must-haves but either one works!
- Ghee – we prefer making the corn with ghee but if you don’t have ghee, butter will work as well.
- Olives – you can either buy pre-sliced olives or regular olives and just slice them into small slices for the dip. Regular black olives are best in this!
- Corn – you can either use canned corn that’s been drained or frozen corn that’s been thawed and drained. Canned is much easier but if you don’t have it on hand, then frozen is an option as well.
- Shredded cheese – our favorite type of cheese to use with this is Mexican Blend but a good shredded cheddar is second best.
- Sour cream – you want the sour cream at room temperature before you add it to the dip (since this is a warm dip). I also recommend stirring it a little bit with the fork to thin it out before adding to the dip.
- Tomatoes – you can either use diced tomatoes that have been drained of any liquid or your favorite tomato type topping like pico de gallo, salsa, etc. I just don’t like onions so both of those options are out for me.
- Cilantro – this is totally optional and just used as a garnish. If cilantro tastes like soap to you, skip it.
How to make layered taco dip
Alright now let’s talk about how to make this layered taco dip. It’s really as easy as making the taco meat, caramelizing the corn, and layering all the ingredients together!
Taco Meat & Corn instructions
Begin by heating two medium-large pans over medium heat. You will cook the taco meat in one and roast the corn in the other.
Next, combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika in a bowl and stir together. Set this aside for a few minutes until you’re ready to add it to the taco meat.
If you’re working with a square block of meat, cut the block in half to create two flat squares then salt both sides of the meat squares liberally.
Cook in one of the pans for 2-3 minutes on one side, until browned, flip the square and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until browned.
While cooking the taco meat, add the ghee to the other pan. Once the ghee has melted, add the corn and two pinches of kosher salt and stir to combine.
Cook the corn for 8-10 minutes, until the kernels have caramelized and browned but not burned, only stirring every few minutes.
When meat is done, break it up into small pieces and cook for another two minutes, until the meat is just cooked through then sprinkle the spice mix on the meat and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the chicken broth, stir, and continue to simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked away.
Now that your taco meat and corn is done, it’s time to actually make the taco dip itself!
Spread the hot taco meat on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and cover with 1 cup of cheese. Just spread the meat and not the liquid that’s remaining in the pan with the meat.
Since the taco meat is hot, the cheese will melt into it creating your first layer of cheesy goodness.
Next, evenly distribute the hot caramelized corn into the baking dish, followed by the olives and another cup of cheese on top.
If you are making the dip ahead of time and want to serve it hot, stop here and store the dip on the counter for a few hours or covered in the fridge for longer. You will broil and add the remaining layers just before serving.
In order to melt all of those ingredients together, you’re going to broil the dip for just a few minutes. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat your oven broiler on high.
Once preheated, broil these layers on the middle rack for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Once melted, remove the baking dish from the oven and spread the sour cream in an even layer on top of the melted layers.
Evenly distribute the chopped tomatoes on top of the sour cream layer and finish off with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
Garnish with cilantro to taste if desired.
Serve the taco dip with your favorite tortilla chips, tortilla shells (if people want to just use this to make tacos), or anything else crunchy.
Switch the tomatoes with your favorite tomato based taco topping. Pico de gallo and salsa are both great choices for anyone who likes those options.
Double the taco meat and caramelized corn and use half to serve up homemade tacos for dinner! Two meals in one!
Make sure to let the sour cream come to room temperature and to stir it slightly with a fork so it spreads on the dip well. You don’t want to add a cold creamy mixture to a hot dip.
Store in the refrigerator for up to five days in an airtight container or just cover the dish you baked it in with plastic wrap. Enjoy leftovers cold rather than trying to reheat with the sour cream and tomatoes on top.
Serve with a spoon nearby so that people can spoon up some dip and enjoy it with chips on their own rather than everyone eating out of the same baking dish.
This layered taco dip is meant to be a hot dip. It tastes fine cold if you’re enjoying leftovers, but it’s best served warm.
Taco dip is made of homemade taco meat, caramelized corn, olives, cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes.
Taco dip lasts in the fridge for up to five days. Enjoy any leftovers cold with your favorite tortilla chips.
Make sure to drain your corn thoroughly and to only transfer the taco meat (not all the liquids with it) to your dip. This will keep your dip nice and thick and creamy, not runny.
More Easy Appetizers
- Broccoli bites – broccoli, cheese, and a little crunch! These are the appetizers you didn’t know your party table needed!
- Pulled pork and cabbage slaw – sweet pulled pork topped with a homemade cabbage slaw makes these the most amazing game day sliders!
- Spinach artichoke cups – your new favorite way to enjoy spinach artichoke dip! They’re crunchy, creamy, and delicious!
- Pizza roll ups – pepperoni pizza all rolled up in one delicious appetizer! They’re easy to make, delicious, and great for the entire family!
- Bacon wrapped dates – a little bit sweet, a little bit sticky, and a lot delicious!
Layered Taco Dip with Meat
- 1 lb Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- kosher salt (enough to coat meat)
- 1 cup chicken broth or bone broth
- 1 TBS ghee
- 1 15oz can corn (drained)
- 1 6.5oz can sliced olives (drained)
- 2 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup sour cream (room temperature, stirred well)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (drain if canned)
- chopped cilantro (garnish on top)
Taco Meat & Corn
- Heat two medium-large pans over medium heat. You will cook the taco meat in one and roast the corn in the other.
- Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika; stir; and set aside.
- If working with a square block of meat, cut the block in half to create two flat squares. Salt both sides of the meat squares liberally.
- Cook meat in one of the pans for 2-3 minutes on one side, until browned, flip the square and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until browned.
- While cooking the taco meat, add the ghee to the other pan. Once the ghee has melted, add the corn and two pinches of kosher salt and stir to combine.
- Cook the corn for 8-10 minutes, until the kernels have caramelized and browned but not burned, only stirring every few minutes.
- Break up the meat into small pieces and cook for another two minutes, until the meat is just cooked through then sprinkle the spice mix on the meat and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the chicken broth, stir, and continue to cook simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked away.
- Spread the hot taco meat on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and cover with 1 cup of cheese.
- Evenly distribute the caramelized corn over the cheese.
- Add olives over the corn then top with another cup of cheese.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat your oven broiler on high. Broil these layers on the middle rack for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- Once melted, remove the baking dish from the oven and spread the sour cream in an even layer on top of the melted layers.
- Evenly distribute the chopped tomatoes on top of the sour cream layer. Top with the last ½ cup of cheese on top of the tomatoes.Garnish with cilantro to taste.
Tips & Notes:
- Ghee can be substituted with butter
- Chicken broth can be substituted with chicken bone broth
- Diced tomatoes can be substituted with pico de gallo, salsa, etc.