If you're going to a party and need to make something in a hurry, make five layer dip. It doesn't take much time to put together, and it can be heated or not, depending on personal preference. Bring tortilla chips along, as they are the mandatory accompaniment to five layer dip. If you have extra time, add additional layers to this easy, basic recipe, based on what's available seasonally.
Spread the refried beans evenly in the pan using the spatula. For a twist on making five layer dip, try using refried black beans.
Take the cream cheese out of the wrapper and soften it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your microwave's strength, until it is spreadable. Spread it on top of the refried beans using the spatula.
Use the spatula or a small spoon to sprinkle the black olives evenly over the base layers of beans and cream cheese.
Spread the salsa over the black olives by pouring it from the jar and spreading it with the spatula. If you want your five layer dip to be spicy, use a spicy salsa.
Sprinkle the cheese over the salsa. At this point, you can either heat it up or not, depending on your personal preference. Wait until you get to the party to heat it up, if necessary. Set the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.
Shred the lettuce using a sharp knife and chop up the tomatoes and onions. Add these on top of the dip, whether it's cooked or uncooked.
Never cook the five layer dip with the lettuce on top.