Avocado Ricotta Tomato Pesto Layer Dip is a new take on the classic layered dips that you grew up with. Instead of seven layers, this 5-layer dip is creamy and rich, without being too heavy. Served on top of crunchy, toasted bread, it’s an easy appetizer that you can even make ahead of time!
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Did you grow up with those classic seven-layer dips as a kid? I sure did.
I used to look forward to the classic recipe every Sunday when people would flood our house during football season. It was one of those recipes that people would inevitably bring because, not only is it tasty, it’s also ridiculously easy to make.
Pair it with a giant pile of tortilla chips, and you’ve got a snack that everyone can munch on while the football game is going on in the background.
After years of eating that same dip year after year after year, I’ve gotten a little bored. That’s why I decided to go ahead and shake things up with a new layer dip that is just a bit more elevated
I became obsessed with ricotta when in Italy because of its light flavor and creamy texture. It’s a great base for this dip because it pairs well with the different, very bold and flavorful layers.
Since the ricotta is creamy, the avocado becomes a natural pairing. It’s creamy but it has added richness that cuts through the ricotta so it doesn’t simply taste the same at the bottom of the dish.
I cut the avocado with some bright lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This gives a little punch of flavor as you get to the bottom layers of the dip.
At the top of the dip is a bright, vivacious layer of herbaceous notes. The basil pesto packs a punch of flavor that naturally integrates with the ricotta and avocado.
The top layer is the key to bringing all the richness together. Simple roasted tomatoes are the acidic element that a richly layered dip desperately needs. It’s like the pico de gallo layer that tops a seven-layer dip.
The roasted tomatoes are full of intense flavor so it’s just the right topping!
You can easily make this dip a couple of hours ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I know that avocado generally browns after being exposed to the air, but this dip will keep that layer green for at least a full day!
This Recipe’s Must-Haves
To mix up the mashed avocado, I like to use one of my metal mixing bowls. It’s one of my most used set of dishes in my kitchen!
An OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Masher is the only way that I like to mash up my avocado. It makes life SO much easier because a fork takes FOR-EV-EVER.
I got my glass bowl at IKEA, but this similar Pyrex Smart Essentials 4-qt Mixing Bowl is perfect for serving up this dip while also showing off all those pretty layers.
To roast up the tomatoes, I use my half sheet baking pan. This baking sheet is a BEAST, never warping or staining, no matter how many times I use it.
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Juice from one Lime
- 30 ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1 cup Basil Pesto
- Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over salt evenly. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until tomatoes begin to shrivel and burst.
- Remove tomatoes from oven and cool completely.
- Place avocados in a large bowl. Mash until mostly smooth with the back of a fork or a potato masher. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and lime juice.
- To assemble the dip, layer half of the ricotta in a medium glass bowl. Top with mashed avocado mixture, followed by the other half of the ricotta.
- Top with basil pesto, making an even layer. Finish with roasted tomatoes and a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.
- Serve with toasted baguette slices.