Dips for Labor Day

Mexican Seven Layer Dip is a party favorite and this week I’m taking it in another direction with a Mediterranean Seven Layer Dip. The dip is great for your Labor Day gatherings or any time you’d like an out-of-the-ordinary, quick and easy appetizer.


The first layer starts with a block of softened cream cheese that’s combined with lemon juice and Greek seasoning. Beat it until smooth and spread it in the bottom of a pie plate.

Prepared hummus is the second layer, and remaining layers are essentially the ingredients of a Greek salad: cucumber, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and green onions.

Pack this up and take it to your holiday picnic or pool-side gathering.

Serve with pita chips for a taste of the Mediterranean.

I’ve come up with several layered dip recipes over the years, and I’m including my Six Layer Italian Dip recipe, which appeared in this column in 2003, and my version of the classic Mexican Seven Layer Dip recipe along with my Mediterranean version.


1 8-ounce block regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Greek seasoning

8 ounces prepared hummus

1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

½ cup Kalamata olives, seeded and coarsely chopped

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

3 green onions, thinly sliced

Pita chips, for serving

Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice and Greek seasoning in a small bowl.

Spread in a pie plate or other serving dish. Spread the hummus over the top.

Sprinkle the cucumber, tomato, olives, feta and green onions over the hummus.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Serve with the chips.

Makes 10-12 appetizer servings.


1 15.8-ounce can Cannellini, great Northern or navy beans, drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons prepared pesto

1 cup regular, reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained

3 green onions, chopped

Bagel chips, pita chips or toasted bread rounds, for serving

Puree beans in a food processor or blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread on a serving platter, dinner plate or pie plate.

Combine the pesto and sour cream and spread over the beans. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, tomatoes, black olives and green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with the bagel or pita chips or toasted bread rounds.

Makes 10-12 appetizer servings.


1 can (15 or 16 ounces) regular or fat free refried beans

1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup regular, reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream

1 cup prepared guacamole

1 cup prepared salsa

1 cup regular or reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese

1 4-ounce can sliced olives, drained

3 green onions, chopped

Combine refried beans and taco seasoning in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended and spread on a platter. Spread the sour cream over the beans, and then spread the guacamole over the sour cream. (Spreading these ingredients is easier if you first place dollops of sour cream or guacamole all around and then use a spatula to spread the ingredient over the previous ingredient.) Spoon the salsa over the guacamole, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, olives and chopped green onions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 10-12 appetizer servings.



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