This gluten free dip is SO convenient if you have to bring something for a Halloween or Dia De la Muertos gathering. Beware, however, that it will become an exciting conversation starter so if you don't like attention or talking to people, don't make this dip 😁. The good news is that you have one whole year to figure out your social spiel given that I could not get this posted in time for either of those holidays this year!
So this dip was inspired by Food Network's Graveyard Dip and by my colleague's enthusiasm for Halloween. My third grade level team at school was doing treats for the staff and we realized that Treat Day was the week before Halloween. So we decide to go with a Halloween theme. Now, I specifically chose to call this a Cemetery Dip and not a Graveyard Dip because I did not want to attach any religious connotation to this, in an unintentional way. A graveyard is typically a burial site next to a church as opposed to a cemetery, a general burial site.
Now, everyone who knows me, knows that "packaging" issues can irritate me. I just want to go for "substance". But off late, I've decided to incorporate "packaging" into my activities because it creates an opportunity to connect with myself and people, in a way that is just joyful overall. This dip did just that.
The substance of the struggle with this dip really was to think about the execution timeline
because it needed to be ready to go by 6:45AM with the gravestones and ...What?! 6:45 AM? Who is even up at that time? And, that is NOT the time for chips and dip.
If that is you, then most likely you are not a teacher because in the teacher world, a million things happen before some people at other work places take a sip of their coffee and are fully awake 😂
As I mentioned earlier, the idea of the dip was inspired by Food Network's Graveyard Dip but I made some modifications.
I decided to make it vegetarian and not add the ground beef. For this time around, I just went the easy route and bought fresh guacamole from my neighborhood mercado, but if you have avocados lying around then this would be the perfect time to make some homemade guacamole and spread the love. I also decided to go with fresh pico de gallo that was sitting right next to the guac at the store but a store bought salsa mix is always an excellent option.
I added some taco seasoning to the sour cream. I love the Trader Joe's seasoning mix for a quick handy go to.
I also paid attention to the layering of the dip because I did not want the guacamole to oxidize (or become black) because of being in the refrigerator overnight. So I started with the refried beans and then layered on the salsa. The guacamole went next and then the sour cream. I felt like having the guac between two layers of acidic foods would help with the guac not getting oxidized. Then went the shredded cheese and shredded lettuce. Of course, during any other time, it would not matter which went first, the cheese or the lettuce. But here, I put the lettuce to be on the top for "grass effect". After that, I just wrapped up the dip as is and put it in the refrigerator.
Then I went to work on the tombstones and the tree. They were super easy. I cut out store bought flour tortillas into my best version of tombstones and a barren tree. I used my kitchen toaster oven -toast the tortillas for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Once they were done, I let them cool.
Now, I will have to say that figuring out how to write the RIP on the tombstones was a fun problem. In the original recipe, pureed black beans were used but because of the drip factor, the tombstones were laid flat on the dip. It was cool; BUT I wanted my tombstones standing up.
My idea was a success. I was able to have the tombstones standing up :)
So, everyone who saw the dip, asked the same question. How did you write the RIP? Here is the trick.. Sriracha! It's perfect because it's already in a bottle with a nozzle.
If you don't have Sriracha, I would say use ketchup in a ziplock bag, and snip the tip.
If you can get fresh tortilla chips from a Mexican Grocery store, nothing like it. In my neighborhood/the Los Angeles area there is a grocery store called
Superior that has ridiculous tortilla chips. We are so very spoiled and if you get a chance, make sure you get a bag!
32 oz (2 cans) refried beans...check ingredient label to ensure there is no lard for truly vegetarian dip
minced garlic (optional)
16 oz salsa/pico de gallo
16 oz guacamole
12 oz sour cream
2 tsp taco seasoning or to taste
Sriracha in bottle or KETCHUP in ziplock bag (for RIP lettering)
canned black sliced olives
If you are not using garlic, go to step 2. In a small pot, add 1 tsp of oil, heat and add minced garlic. Stir.
Place refried beans in the pan and add about 1/3 cup of water. Stir. Heat for 2-3 minutes to smoothen out the refried beans.
In a 13x9 pan, start with layering the refried beans.
Then add the salsa.
Guacamole goes next.
Then add the taco mixture to sour cream; spread on top of the guacamole.
Add shredded cheese and then the lettuce.
At this point, if you want to refrigerate for next day wrap with seran wrap.
For tombstones, turn oven to 400 degrees (or wait if you have a toaster oven).
Fold the tortillas in half; then cut in the shape of a tombstone. Place on baking tray or toaster over tray. Cut out the tree if you are doing that.
If using toaster oven, them toast anywhere between light and medium. If using oven, bake for 2-3 minutes, and check. You may need to bake a little longer to get it to whatever shade you would like.
Let it cool. Use the Sriracha or the ketchup in a ziplock back (snipped in one corner) to write RIP.
Use a knife to cut into the dip and them stick the tombstones in to avoid breaking the "tombstones"
Arrange the black sliced olive to represent a new grave. Stick the tree on.
Throw chip in (maybe a Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos themed) bowl!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anything is unclear or if you have any questions. If you try this recipe and it works for you or made modifications, please leave a comment to let the community know.