A lot of my recipes on my blog are inspired by visits to some of my favorite restaurants. This 5 Layer Black Bean Dip is no exception.
I recently went to District American Kitchen and Wine Bar in Downtown Phoenix, and was surprised to find such a tasteful and pleasant atmosphere in the hustle and bustle of it all.
It’s an elegant restaurant located right inside the Sheraton Hotel, which happens to be the largest hotel located in downtown Phoenix. The best part about the fancy restaurant is that all of it’s dishes are focused on classic American comfort food with a twist.
The Sheraton has 1000 rooms, and is often at full capacity during the week. They host loads of travelers who are busy going to conferences and meetings; so being able to sit down and enjoy some nice comfort food at affordable prices makes being away from family a little easier.
The restaurant is very focused on growing their own herbs, and even a few vegetables right on their roof top garden. They buy local produce whenever possible and support local farms too. It’s so nice to see such a big company remembering the little guys.
The hotel and restaurant even hosts several fun events throughout the year. One that’s coming up is their 4th Annual Gingerbread House Contest. A local culinary school will be competing to create Dr. Seuss themed gingerbread houses for a chance to win a scholarship to their school. The houses will be showcased in their lobby for everyone to admire.
But more back to my lunch experience there. The food was fantastic, the service was stellar, and the prices are phenomenal! They have a lunch menu where nothing is over $9 at noon. I now have a favorite lunch spot to visit when I am visiting downtown Phoenix.
Their Black Bean Tostadas with guacamole, pico de gallo and cotija cheese is what inspired my 5 Layer Black Bean Dip. These were so simple and yet so extremely tasty and memorable. I simply had to recreate these and put my own spin on it.
I love getting appetizers at restaurants, but sometimes they are hard to recreate at home for a group. So instead of making tostadas I took the whole idea and turned it into a dip, so now everyone can dig in just a little more.
I made individual dips, but you can easily turn this into a casserole sized dip for a larger party.
I’m all about easy, so you know this dip comes together extremely fast.
Here are the first 3 layers… then just top with some sliced pickled jalapenos and a little crumbled queso fresco cheese on top.
The layered flavor combinations are irresistible: smooth refried black beans topped with ripe avocado, a punch of fresh and chunky pico de gallo, a kick of heat with some pickled jalapenos, and a salty and fresh queso fresco balances it all out.
Just make sure you have plenty of chips on hand.
- 1 (20.5 oz) can of refried black beans
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
- ½ a white onion, diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juice of
- ¼ cup (or more) jarred jalapenos (the kind that you put on top of nachos)
- 3 tbsp queso fresco cheese
- Corn Tortilla Chips
- Place refried black beans in a microwave safe dish, cover and heat in microwave until warm (about 1 minute).
- In a separate bowl combine onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and mix. Add salt to taste.
- Assemble your dip in desired container (casserole dish, or individual parfait cups) by placing the black beans down first and use the back of a spoon to flatten out evenly. Top with diced avocado, then the onion and tomato mixture, jarred jalapenos, and finally sprinkle with the queso fresco cheese.
- Serve with the corn tortilla chips.