taco dip inside cast iron skillet surrounded with tortilla chips.

This Taco Layer Dip is perfect for your next party. The ground beef is seasoned with taco spices and has two layers of cheese!

It is highly addictive. If you ask me, the olives and jalapeños really make this recipe great. I sometimes will also add crispy bacon to the top. It’s a great appetizer for any party!

It’s almost New Year’s Eve! If you are looking for an easy appetizer for people to munch on while they await the clock, this recipe is for you.

My aunt gave me the base recipe for this Taco Layer Dip via text message while I was in the store shopping.

I remember having it last year around the holidays and loving every single bite. I made it a little more exciting by adding some spicy jalapeños and black olives.

A perfect match, if you ask me.

ground beef, cream cheese, shredded cheese, jalapenos, olives, and spices in various bowls

What are the Layers in Taco Layer Dip?

The ground beef seasoned with taco spices is sandwiched in the middle of a layer of cream cheese and shredded “Mexican blend” cheese.

Mixed with the beef are crumbled bacon pieces, jalapeños, and olive slices.

You’ll want to reserve some of these additions to sprinkle on top of even more cheese.

What spices are in taco spice?

Making your own taco spice is a great way to get this recipe started.

No shame if you’re using a pre-mixed spice though, I mostly do if I am being REALLY honest over here.

The typical spices are:

  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Corn Starch
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Black Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
small white bowl with various spices.

Can you make taco layer dip ahead of time?

This dip can be made a day ahead and left in the refrigerator overnight.  It will keep just fine.

Since the ground beef is precooked you can heat it in the microwave or the oven.

I’d throw it in the oven so the dip heats evenly and there aren’t any cold areas. Although this dip is just fine warm or slightly cool.

What ingredients are in taco layer dip?

If you don’t like the spice of the jalapeños you can omit them completely or add something else. 

This dip is pretty versatile and can accommodate almost anyone’s taste buds. I used the following in my taco layer dip:

  • Olives
  • Jalapeños
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • Ground beef
  • Cream cheese

I sometimes also add crispy bacon to the top!

Detailed instructions and a printable recipe are below. No need to jot the above down! 

What other ingredients can I add to the taco layer dip?

  • Bacon
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Taco Sauce

Anything really. Your imagination is your only limitation! 

taco dip in cast iron skillet with olives, jalapenos, and chips
Yield: 10 servings

Taco Layer Dip

If you don't like the spice of the jalapeños you can omit them and add something else. Be aware that once you add the jalapeños the spicy flavor will soak into the ground beef. This dip is pretty versatile and can accommodate almost anyone's taste buds. Omit or add anything you'd like!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef and drain.
  3. Once beef is drained, add the water and the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes or until taco seasoning is completely combined with the beef.
  5. Once the ground beef is done cooking, transfer to a clean bowl and set aside..
  6. Wipe down the cast iron skillet and add the layer the cream cheese in a 8" cast-iron skillet with the back of a spoon, set aside.
  7. Add the layer of the cooked ground beef on top of the cream cheese.
  8. Add almost all of the olives and jalapeños, reserving some for the top.
  9. Top with shredded Mexican blend cheese and remaining olives and jalapeños.
  10. Bake in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 10 minutes.
  11. Serve with tortilla chips.


If you're making this recipe ahead of time and heating it up in the oven, it might take some time to heat all the way through. Make sure the center is hot before serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. You may want to spot check this information.

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