Ben’s mom is not really into cooking.  She certainly does a fine job when she decides to do it, but she just doesn’t enjoy it the way some people do.  I’m happy cooking, she’s happy eating what I make, and it’s an ideal situation for both of us.  However, there is one dish she is known for among family and friends: her layered tex-mex dip.  You know what I’m talking about – a layer of refried beans, a layer of spiced sour cream/mayo, etc. topped with lots of cheese, tomatoes, green onions, etc.  I’m not alone in saying that I am positively crazy about her tex-mex.  She brings it along nearly every time she comes over and I never complain because, dude, I love that stuff.  (And I know this sounds crazy but try as I might, it never comes out quite the same when I make it.)

Anyway, I saw this layered Greek dip and was instantly taken with the idea.  So brilliant, to take the concept of a layered dip and apply a Greek flavor profile.  Why didn’t I think of this?  I’m just glad someone did.  Ben’s parents came over a few weeks ago and when they offered to bring a tex-mex, for maybe the first time ever I said we would skip it because I had something new to try.  This dip is so, so awesome.  Between four adults and one kid, we cleaned the plate over the course of a couple hours.  And unlike with tex-mex, I didn’t feel nearly as guilty about filling up on this stuff.  You can definitely customize this to suit your tastes.  I used oven-dried tomatoes because I am increasingly in love with them, but you could also use sun-dried tomatoes or even just halved cherry or grape tomatoes.  Kalamata olives would be the natural choice for a Mediterranean dip but we don’t like them, so I opted for black olives instead.  The quantities you need for each topping will depend on your preferences and how large your serving platter is.  I have a feeling this will become another family staple for us and we might be seeing a little less tex-mex in our future.  As much as I love tex-mex, I’m not even sad about that.


For the cilantro pesto:
1½ cups fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. pecans
2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To assemble the dip:
Cilantro pesto (above)
Cucumber, seeded and diced
Red onion, diced
Banana peppers, chopped
Sliced olives (black or Kalamata)
Crumbled feta cheese
Oven-dried tomatoes


  • 01

    To make the cilantro pesto, combine the cilantro, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, pecans, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until a coarse paste forms.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth.  Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan.  (If storing for later use, drizzle with a thin film of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto, and store in an airtight container.)

  • 02

    To assemble the dip, spread a layer of hummus on a serving platter.  Spread the cilantro pesto over the top of the hummus.  Layer evenly with cucumber, red onion, banana peppers, olives, feta, and oven-dried tomatoes as desired.  Garnish with an additional few tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro.  Serve with pita chips.


  • What a lovely twist on my favorite layered Mexican dip….LOVE this!!!!

  • Oh yum! This would be wonderful to nibble on for my husband’s birthday.

  • Shanti1

    Oh no I can see myself polishing this off all by myself. Great idea for a potluck or party. Can’t wait to try this!

  • Shanti1

    OMG snack food with all my favorite things. I think I will try throwing on some artichokes too. Thank you for this Annie!

  • Love this! Great idea to change up the flavors from the more classic Mexican dip. This looks wonderful!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Whoa! This looks fabulous. I especially love that step-by-step photo. It’s a beauty!

  • This looks amazing. I’ve pinned it to try soon!

  • Looks terrific!

  • This is a gorgeous dip! Love the colors on that!
    I’m bookmarking this for the next pot-luck :)

  • This looks amazing! – Rachel

  • Annie, this looks amazing!!! Such a good idea! :)

  • This is brilliant. I love everything about it. These flavors are favorites of mine!

  • I love this idea! My mom makes a greek layered dip with a feta-cream cheese spread as the base, but I like the hummus idea better. Much less guilt! The cilantro pesto also makes it beautiful.

  • This looks fantastic! Yum! I cannot wait to make this for my family. My mom always makes a tex-mex layer dip that we all love too. But a change might be good! :)

  • Erin Crowe

    This looks fresh and delish!

  • Sara{wherethecookiesare}

    Wow. I think I’d like to do a face-plant in that dip. Then the back-stroke. Then eat it for ten days straight. I love the combinations and how beautiful it’s presented!

  • Love this idea – I did something similar with Italian flavors a few years ago, but this sounds even better – love the cilantro pesto! All you need is some tzatziki sauce drizzled over the top!

    Oh and the layered tex-mex dip reminded me of Joey – it used to by his “signature” dish and always compared others’ versions to his own. It was always pretty funny.

  • I would love to try this, but I’m not a fan of cilantro. Do you have any ideas on other herbs to use instead of the cilantro? And I LOVE the serving dish, so cute! :)

  • What a great new idea for a layered dip! I think this dip sounds much more enticing than the Tex Mex :)

  • Chelsia Rief

    If I made this dip, I’m not sure there would be any left to share with. Looks incredible!

  • Karen Kelly

    I cannot wait to try this…who is going to invite me to dinner?

  • This has my name written all over it! I am booking marking this. I would LOVE to try your Mom’s too! I am such a mexican food freak, however your’s it totally more healthy which is way better for me. I am so making this!!

  • Wow. This looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    I hope I have a daughter-in-law (or two) like you someday. I wish I enjoyed cooking, but I simply don’t. Or maybe my sons will enjoy cooking; the oldest is already showing interest!

  • I am SO making this! I’m not super crazy about the seven-layer dip (although I will eat my share of it when it’s sitting in front of me). This looks much better!

  • As always, this looks amazing. I have made a layered Greek Dip, but you totally kicked it up a few notches with the cilantro pesto. Brilliant.

  • Lei

    My mom makes something similar to this, but adds cooked ground lamb seasoned with a little bit of Greek spice and mint right on top of the hummus layer. It’s DELICIOUS…if you’re a carnivore :)

  • There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing a gigantic pan of 7-layer dip and a big bowl of chips :) But I love the Mediterranean twist on the flavors!

  • I love what you did with this! Adding the sun-dried tomatoes is brilliant, my dear. I love this dip so much — it was such a hit at our housewarming!

  • Jennifer Blanton

    I love you SO HARD right now. That sounds so perfect to me, I am a mezze addict. I am thinking toast some pine nuts for the top or use a layer of labne or mutabaal, mmmmm.

    So, is there any possiblity of the famous 7 layer dip showing up here? For what it is worth, I make my mashed potatoes exactly like my grandmother, but they’re never as good. She says because she didn’t get a chance to stick her finger in them.

  • annieseats

    Aw, thanks :) You are awesome.

  • Yum! What a fabulous, simple to make, delicious and healthy appetizer! Definitely something I want to make.

  • Love all these flavors. I made a greek 7-layer dip that was delicious, so I’ll have to try this tasty version!

  • Oohhh, that looks fantastic. I love tex-mex too, and could kick myself for not thinking of this combo myself!

  • Lisa

    Confession: if I had to pick only one food blogger to read it would without a doubt be you. Your recipes are consistently delicious and you have reached “Ina status” with me, meaning I know I can use a recipe you’ve posted for company or potlucks without a trial run. This looks like another winner! I was thinking a little spread of your homemade greek yogurt would make a tasty layer as well. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share!

  • annieseats

    Lisa, that is high praise! I very much appreciate it. Thanks for reading :)

  • annieseats

    You could use a traditional basil pesto, but then it would taste more Italian.

  • This dip is so pretty it makes me want to throw a party!

  • This looks amazing! I can’t wait to give this dip a try–what an awesome idea!

  • Charlie

    Annie: I would definitely love the hummus over the refried beans.
    But would stick to basil pesto, as I’m not a fan of cilantro.

    But other than that!

    I love the recipe!

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Nicole

    Thanks for this recipe. Love the twist on the layered dip concept. Wonder what else you could do – maybe something Italian but what would you use as the base. Or you could go very greek by including Tzatiki. Yummy.

    Made this last weekend for a potluck and just made the cilantro pesto again for another potluck tomorrow. Different crowd so I can share this awesome dip twice.

    While making the cilantro pesto though, I got to thinking what else would people do with the pesto – it is so delicious and we love cilantro. I thought maybe toss with new potatoes for a sidedish in the summertime. Or on pizza. What else would people do? Would love any ideas.

  • I am looking forward to serving this at our family’s spring celebration this weekend. It looks so fantastic, I’m sure it will win over even my ‘ham and cheesy potatoes’ family. Thanks for the great post!

  • Tami Timmermann

    How far in advance can I make this? Would the cukes,tomatoes, or peppers,etc. get soggy laying in the pesto if I made it the night before?

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure, I think it’s probably best assembled before serving but feel free to experiment. Enjoy!

  • Tolepantr

    I made this for a dinner party last Saturday and everyone gobbled it up – even the kids! Everyone wants the recipe and this was a group of seriously good cooks so it was a really big hit!!! I did substitute pistachios in the pesto as this is what I had on hand. Also used fresh tomatoes because I didn’t have the oven-dried ones. Regular basil pesto would work well as would using baby spinach. Next on my list of your recipes is the Pimento Cheese dip – can’t wait!!

  • Liz Gotauco

    Made this today for a Marathon Day party in Boston – it killed! I can’t wait to make it again, although I spent a little too much money on it this time around. I’m thinking that making my own hummus and pesto, and using black olives and NOT sundried tomatoes will cut costs and hopefully be just as yummy!

  • Anissa

    This was delicious. I used kalamata olives and they really put it over the top for me. SO GOOD! I also added a little garlic salt to the cilantro pesto.

  • This looks great – i have never had a layered dip before but i so want to try this now ! and i love the idea for the pesto it sounds so fresh and scrummy! thanks for the great idea x

  • Alisonkamperphotography

    Annie!!!! a friend brought this AMAZING dip to my party yesterday, sent everyone the link because it was a COMPLETE hit with the crowd, and when i clicked on it, i was so excited because i’ve seen all your photographs on bobbi+mike’s website!!!! EEK!!! just had to say something :). AMAAAAAAZING RECIPE!!!!!! ps i would’ve clicked on your website before but i suck at cooking ;) haha

  • Stacyparillo

    I made this last weekend and it was the hit of the party food!!! We all loved it!!! I know what everyone will be asking me to bring next time:) Love your blog! Stacy

  • Caroline Vengazo

    I made this for a party last weekend and it was awesome! The flavors were fresh and delicious – thank you for your yummy blog!

  • Islandgirldebbi1

    Is there anything that I could substitute in for the pesto layer or another way to make a pesto? My husband is allergic to walnuts and pine nuts and my oldest son is allergic to pecans and peanuts. I would love to make this recipe and feel that leaving out the pest layer may leave it lacking in something.

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • korey

    What time of hummus do you typically buy?

  • annieseats

    I make it. The recipe I use is linked in this post. Hope that helps!

  • Hpalmer

    I’ve been a fan of your site for a long time, but never commented. I must say something now, though, since I just received compliments on this dish from almost everyone at the barbecue I just attended. People raved and I felt almost guilty taking any credit. I received many, many requests for the recipe, so I’ll be sure to tell them I got it from your site. Thank you for such a delicious recipe!

  • ryan’s mom

    Andrea made it for me! Love It. I’ll make it for my friends this weekend.

  • annieseats

    Awesome! (PS – I’m very honored to get a comment from you :)

  • Moschwarting

    I tried this for the first time last week at a birthday party cook out. Was a huge hit! The only item I changed was I used artichoke hearts in water, instead of cucumbers. I drained them and chopped them up, tasted awesome. Making again for the 4th! Thanks and this time I am trying to make the hummus as well!

  • Missbananahannah

    I have made this 3 times in the past 3 weeks for different parties. It is always a hit, everyone loves it- even people who thought they didn’t like hummus. The cilantro pesto is what really makes it, it adds a fresh, citrusy flavor that basil pesto just wouldn’t do. YUM!

  • Christine

    I brought this to a potluck and it was definitely the star of the show. So easy to make and looks beautiful!

  • Margaret

    This was absolutely delicious!

  • Pam Cope

    Just made this for a party tonight. It was delicious, and definitely a hit with the crowd.

  • YUM! This looks delicious. Vegetarian friendly too :)

  • MD

    This is incredible! I love it, my friends love it…I get asked to make it for every get together!

  • beth

    This is unbelievably good. I made it for a book club last night and the platter was almost licked clean by the end of the night. Even the people who don’t like cilantro liked it– I think the pesto doesn’t have a very strong cilantro taste. This is going into my binder to make again. Thanks!

  • brittany

    Hi, Annie! As always, your recipes turn out beautifully. I made this tonight with your restaurant style hummus, as well as the whole wheat pitas – everything was delicious!!! I’d be lost without your recipes – seriously! You’re such a culinary inspiration. Keep up the great work!!!

  • Jenny

    OMG – Made this for a super bowl party and it went faster than any other snack! This is definitely a keeper for any occasion! Thank you!

  • Susanna Ruth Wagner

    I have made this over and over again. It’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever eaten!

  • Tessa Johnson

    Are these fresh banana peppers or pickled?

  • Annie

    Jarred, but not pickled.