Thursday's Thrifty Meals on Friday: 5- Layer Dip

This week's thrifty menu from New Seasons is packed with such flavor that you'll never believe it's vegan! Full of veggies and GAPS-friendly ingredients but light on the budget, you can enjoy this simple meal on a Friday or Saturday night!

For this recipe, you'll save lots of money by making your beans from "scratch", meaning that you purchase them dry (at $0.10 per ounce, it's a true bargain!) and effortlessly cook them in your slow cooker. Keep reading for the recipe.

This recipe for refried beans makes 15 servings, which for my family is about 4 meal's worth. These can be made into burritos and frozen for a quick, convenient meal-on-the-go. I tweaked the recipe slightly, but the link below will lead you to the instructions on how to make this!

The Ingredients:

Refried Beans:

1 onion, peeled and halved ($0.25 when purchased in bulk from Costco)
3 cups Western Family navy beans, rinsed ($0.50 for 3 cups)
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped ($0.25)
2 tablespoons minced garlic ($0.35)
5 teaspoons salt ($0.03)
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper ($0.02)
3 teaspoons ground cumin ($0.36)
3 teaspoons chili powder ($0.33)
1 teaspoons oregano ($0.26)
9 cups water

Total Cost for Refried Beans (15 servings, mind you!) $2.10

5-Layer Dip

3 cups refried navy beans ($0.70)
1/2 lb roma tomatoes (diced) ($1.00)
1 avocado*($2.50) mashed, seasoned with salt, pepper, and juice of 1 lemon ($0.60)
1/4 bunch of cilantro ($0.30)
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped ($0.25)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped ($0.13 when purchased at Costco)


Spread the warmed refried beans in the bottom of an 8 x 12 casserole. Next, cover with diced tomatoes, then onions, then cilantro and jalapeno. Cover with mashed avocado. Serve with sliced carrots, for dipping ($0.25) or if you can tolerate them, Blue Corn Chips ($1.00 for 1 meal's worth).

Total Cost for Meal (carrots only): $5.72 (with chips): $6.72

*Why that expensive avocado? Is it really worth it?

Yeah, that avocado really pops out to me as uber-expensive, making the meal a little more costly than without. Nutritionally,however, the avocado is an important component when fasting because it supplies lots and lots of good fats, taking the place of dairy in a traditional dip. If you really want to save money, you can get the avocado elsewhere (Grocery Outlet has them for $0.80!) which would make the meal legitimately under $5.00!

For more bargain meals at a local store near you, visit $5 Dinners!


Alyss said...

Yum yum! You could also include lacto fermented vegetables to add to your nutritional profile for this meal. I never use whey to ferment my vegetables so they are vegan for lenten fasting.
Also, there are some vegan "cheese" recipes out there based on cashews that would get some more fat into this recipe. I bet if you spiced them up with some chili powder you could get something quite reasonable :)
Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!!

Anonymous said...

Ah-ha! I looked into your "store" and found my "Simply in Season" book!! So you're the one who
"borrowed" it!!! I searched my cupboard for it yesterday, but alas, it was gone!! marm

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Carrie @ OrganicThrifty said...


Great input! In fact, I ended up adding to that meal some cortido (yummy!) and some simple guacamole made from mashed avocados and lacto-fermented salsa (just a tiny bit!) made from scratch! SOOO good. I really want to try cashew cheese! I've made sunflower cheese and I need to tweek it to make it more edible!

Nancy said...


Thanks for all the great work you're doing! I never even thought to cook the beans in a slow cooker (it heats up the house so much less than the oven).

Also, you've inspired me to pick up my Nourishing Traditions book again. It has tons of great information for pregnant women!