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Best dips for crowds

Sandy Smith is a food writer, editor, recipe developer, and pastry chef. She lives in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley with her awesome family of painfully honest, unfailingly supportive taste-testers.

5 Delicious party dips

Simple to make and easy to eat, these unique and delicious dips will be the life of your next party. Don’t be surprised if they earn you “signature dish” status!

5 Delicious party dips

Hot black bean dip

(serves 12)

A variation on the classic refried bean dip.

1 (15-ounce) can refried black beans
1 cup salsa (medium or hot)
6 ounces shredded asadero cheese (may substitute Monterey Jack or pepper Jack), divided
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup sliced black olives


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together refried black beans, salsa, 4 ounces of the cheese, green onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, salt and chili powder. Add black beans and olives, and stir to blend.
  2. Spray a 1-quart baking dish with nonstick vegetable pan spray. Transfer bean mixture to baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbling on top. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, and serve immediately.

*Suggested dippers: Red and green bell pepper strips, tortilla chips

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