Vegan Seven Layer Dip with Buffalo Refried Beans

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 1 vote

Vegan seven layer dip with buffalo refried beans is an extra spicy take on a game day favourite appetizer. Completely free of dairy and still so creamy, flavourful, delicious. Perfect with chips, crackers or even sliced raw vegetables.

A head on shot of a layered dip in a glass container.
An overhead shot of a vegan seven layer dip with chips.
An overhead shot of dried pinto beans and spices in an Instant Pot
An up close shot of Buffalo refried beans being mashed with a potato masher.
An up close shot of diced avocado, minced onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a white bowl before being mashed into guacamole.

Just the facts: if you aren’t mostly looking forward to the food on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re lying to yourself! I love football, but the biggest game of the year has me dreaming of Tex-Mex specialties, a few cold beverages, maybe something deep fried, perhaps a snack that could be best described as “pizza-blasted,” and just soooo many chips.

I held a survey on my Instagram stories, wondering what everyone’s favourite game day-kinda food was and the overwhelming response was a) dips as a general category and b) anything with Buffalo sauce. Naturally I wanted to mash the two together in a big way. This is a vegan seven layer dip with Buffalo sauced refried beans as the spicy base, and man it is SO good.

I made the refried beans in the Instant Pot (with Flourist’s pinto beans) and very honestly wanted to eat them all straight out of the machine once they were mashed with the Buffalo sauce. I can’t wait to make them again to roll up in burritos or as the filling for some delicious vegan tacos.

Typically seven layer dip has shredded cheese as one of the layers, but since I’m not terribly into most vegan shredded/shred-able cheeses, I made a quick little cashew-based queso instead. This queso conveniently shares the same base as our vegan sour cream that we spread on the top! Throw in some guacamole, salsa, and a whole bunch of flavourful garnishes, and you could honestly fool anyone into thinking that this dip is loaded with dairy. My partner was stunned when he tasted it ;)

More Vegan Game Day Recipes:

One more thing I have to mention: photographing this dip was difficult! One of the hardest times I’ve had photographing food actually. The tectonic layers of dip look very cool in real life, but it’s hard to capture it in photos. Also, I’m typically an overhead shots kinda girl and this dip is obviously all about the side profile. Add to that: refried beans are an unavoidably lumpy brown mess haha. Anyway, hopefully you can forgive the photo struggle-fest this week. Once you taste this dip, all aesthetic issues will be long forgotten. Hope you enjoy the game (or just a nice chill Sunday) with your snacks!

Overhead shot of ingredients used for vegan seven layer dip.
An overhead shot of guacamole being spread on top of retried beans.
An overhead shot of vegan seven layer dip in two photos. In one photo, a hand is using a chip to dip.
An overhead shot of vegan seven layer dip with garnishes.

Vegan Seven Layer Dip with Buffalo Refried Beans

Vegan seven layer dip with buffalo refried beans is an extra spicy take on a game day favourite appetizer. Completely free of dairy and still so creamy, flavourful, delicious.
5 from 1 vote
A head on image of a 7-layer dip captured in a glass container against a white background.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 cups of dip total


Instant Pot Buffalo Refried Beans

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1 cup dry uncooked pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Buffalo-style hot sauce

Cashew Sour Cream & Queso

  • 1 ¼ cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ cup red salsa of choice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon light miso
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

To Assemble The Dip

  • the Buffalo refried beans (see above)
  • 1 ½ cups your favourite guacamole
  • the cashew queso (see above)
  • 1 ½ cups red salsa
  • the cashew sour cream (see above)
  • 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • chopped cilantro, cilantro



  • Instant Pot refried beans guidance from Well Plated and Cashew Queso inspiration from Hummusapien
  • To cut down on the length of this recipe, I just instruct on using your favourite recipe/store-bought version of both guacamole and red salsa.
  • My go-to recipe for guacamole (and the one I used for this dish) is from Food 52 and can be found here.
  • If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make your favourite refried beans recipe and just mash in 3 tablespoons of Buffalo-style hot sauce. Also feel free to do this with canned refried beans! You’ll need about 2 cups total.
  • I would avoid fresh, refrigerated salsa in this recipe. The water content makes this dip somewhat oozy. You want the shelf-stable, preserved stuff in a jar!
  • You can make this up to one day ahead with these modifications: assemble all of the layers in your dish EXCEPT for the salsa, tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro. The day you’re serving it, spread the salsa on top and garnish with tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro.


  • Make the Buffalo refried beans. Set your instant pot to SAUTÉ. Pour the oil into the pot. Add the onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and keep sautéing until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf and taco seasoning to the pot and stir. Add the beans, vegetable stock, and salt to the pot and stir. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot with your spoon. Cancel the SAUTÉ function.
  • Secure the lid on top of the Instant Pot and ensure that the vent is in the SEALING position. Set the Instant pot to PRESSURE COOK (manual) on HIGH for 45 minutes. Once the 45 minutes are up, cancel the PRESSURE COOK function. Let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.
  • Once the pressure has released, remove the lid and stir the beans. There should be a small amount of liquid in the pot. Add the Buffalo-style hot sauce to the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the beans until you have a chunky puree. Transfer Buffalo refried beans to a bowl and let them cool.
  • Make the cashew sour cream and queso while the refried beans are cooking. Drain the cashews and place them in an upright, high-speed blender. To the blender, add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, and water. Blend the mixture on high until you have a completely smooth cream, stopping and scraping down the sides midway if necessary.
  • Reserve ¾ cup of the cashew mixture. This will be the sour cream. Place it in a sealable container and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Make the queso. To the remaining cashew mixture in the blender, add the salsa, nutritional yeast, miso, and turmeric. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth. Check it for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Scrape this queso mixture into a sealable container and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble the dip: In a dish that’s at least 8x8x2, start building the layers. Spread the Buffalo refried beans on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Follow with the cashew sour cream. Then, spread the guacamole on top. Follow with the salsa. Then, spread the cashew queso on top. Finally, top the dip with the tomatoes, green onions, olives, and cilantro (if using). Serve the dip with tortilla chips or whatever you enjoy dipping with.

30/01/2019 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: appetizer, autumn, cashews, creamy, earthy, gluten free, Instant Pot, refined sugar-free, salty, sauce, snack, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter


5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Recipe Rating

  • Anita

    I’ve made these instant pot refried beans a few times now and they are always delicious but a bit too watery. I’ll try decreasing water to 1 and 3/4 cup next time.

  • Haley E Hansen

    Oooooh this sounds so tasty! I love your vegan twist on the classic appetizer and can’t wait to try this one out!

  • Cassie Thuvan Tran

    Let me be clear–I am SO indifferent to football that it’s not funny. My whole country glorifies an event with a bunch of men in burly equipment with helmets tackling each other and chasing each other down on a field with a football. But yeah, the social and food aspect of any Super Bowl party are the BEST! This seven layer dip looks wonderful–the bean and guacamole layers are always my favorite parts of the layer dip.

  • Mel

    Yum! I’m going to make this tomorrow. But I’m soaking my beans overnight and then was going to put them in the instant pot. Wondering if that’s ok because I think the recipe just says put the dry beans right in. Should I adjust the cool time in the instant pot?

    • Laura

      Hi Mel,
      Just from some quick Googling: adjust the cook time to 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release for 20 minutes. You really can’t overcook refried beans since you need them to be mushy anyway. Just watch for extra liquid and strain some off before mashing if necessary.

      • Mel

        Ok great! I’m excited to serve it up this aft. I think it’s going to be a hit.

      • Mel

        Everyone loved the dip! I have to admit it did take a while to get it together but for a special occasion it is worth the effort. I’m going to make the pinto refried beans again tomorrow and serve them in burritos. Yum! Using Grain beans makes such a huge difference too. So good.

  • Carolyn LeDuc-Krehel

    I made this dip to take to a birthday party today. Rave reviews!! Thanks for being the best! Yours is my favorite food blog/site… I have referred so many people to your page :) I appreciate not only your recipes, but also your recommendations for good products. Thanks to you, I now have a turmeric subscription to diaspora. I never even knew there was such a thing haha Anyway, keep up the wonderful work :) Thanks!

  • Mona

    I’m dying to make this, but I don’t have an Instant Pot. Would a stovetop pressure cooker work, or even a regular pot? (Say yes say yes say yes…)

    • Laura

      Yep, I would just seek out a regular stove top refried beans recipe and simply add the Buffalo/hot sauce at the end of the cooking process to mash through. I imagine a stove top pressure cooker would work just fine, but I’ve never personally used one, so can’t advise on proper procedure. If you’re comfortable with using canned pinto beans, this recipe looks easy and great (just mash the hot sauce in at the end):

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    This is the game day food mashup of my dreams! I think I was one of the people who replied to your poll with “anything with buffalo sauce”!! ;)

  • Susan Shores

    I don’t know what “buffalo-style hot sauce” is. What would I use? Would chipotle Tabasco sauce work? Thanks.

    • Laura

      Hi Susan,
      Buffalo-style hot sauce is meant to taste like the sauce that’s typically applied to Buffalo-style chicken wings. Could be a regional thing! I use Tessemae’s brand Buffalo-style hot sauce here. Frank’s also makes a version of this sauce that may be more widely available. Ultimately, any hot sauce you like will work fine, but I’d start with just a teaspoon and work up from there to build up the heat to your liking.

      • Susan

        Thanks so much! You are always so kind and helpful!

  • Mary

    It looks so good! I will make it!