The best part of this easy smoked queso dip recipe is that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare! It's perfect for parties and potlucks because it's so simple to make. I love this recipe because it's so versatile and has a delicious smoky flavor.
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The Best Smoked Queso Dip
This smoked queso recipe has tons of flavor and makes a great dip that's perfect for parties, potlucks, and game-day snacks. It is a total crowd pleaser and party favorite.
It works great as a snack, appetizer, side dish, or even a main course with minimal prep time. The electric smoker makes this recipe super easy with delicious flavors in only 30 minutes.
This delicious dip is a little twist on the basic queso dip recipe by adding smoky flavor. You can also customize it with so many different variations.
Smoked Queso Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are simple:
- American cheese
- fresh tomatoes
- white onion
- fresh jalapeños
- lime juice
How to Make Queso on the Smoker
Detailed instructions and measurements to make Easy Smoked Queso Dip are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
1. Preheat your pellet smoker to 200°F.
2. Shred the American cheese and add it to the aluminum pan. Top it with the chopped tomatoes followed by the diced onion, spicy jalapenos, and cilantro.
Squeeze the lime juice directly onto the pico de Gallo mixture and not down into the cheese. Pour the milk down into the cheese along the sides.
3. Place the aluminum pan on the pellet smoker grate. You want it to have indirect heat. The cheese can burn easily so it's important to take it slow.
4. Once the queso has been on the smoker for about 15-20 minutes, give it a good stir. Close the lid and let it smoke for another 15 minutes.
5. Remove the queso from the smoker and give it one good final stir and serve it with your favorite dippers!
Whether you're using a Pit Boss or a Traeger grill, the best way to smoke this queso is by using a pellet smoker. Pellet smokers are not only good for smoking meats like brisket, ribs, pork, and chicken breasts.
You can also smoke queso, vegetables, and even desserts. These smokers are designed to cook food at lower temperatures, which allows for slower cooking and added smoke flavor.
The pellets you choose are going to be a bit of a personal preference, but we really love the Pit Boss brand pellets. We find we get the best results with the best flavors using their brand.
Do I need to use a disposable aluminum pan?
Yes, I recommend only using a disposable aluminum pan for smoked queso. Not only will you get the best results from this recipe because it's written with that kind of cookware in mind, but it is also easier for clean up.
What to Dip in Smoked Cheese Dip
The best way to enjoy this recipe is by serving it with your favorite tortilla chips. If you don't want to serve it with chips, here are some other great options to use for dipping:
- vegetables (celery, cucumbers, carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower)
- pork rinds
The difference with the cheese in this recipe is that it does not use Velveeta cheese or cream cheese. It only uses American cheese.
I find the American block of cheese where the rest of the cheese is sold in my local grocery store, but you can also find it at the deli counter.
The types of cheese you choose to use will make a difference in the overall result. Avoiding pre-shredded cheese is key. Pre-shredded cheeses have a coating on them to prevent them from caking together.
While it's helpful when it comes to pre-shredded, it does change the overall texture of cheese dip if you use them.
Substitutions and Alterations for Smoked Queso Dip
Cheese - If you want to add an extra layer of flavor with cheese to smoked queso dip, you can add pepper jack cheese.
Be sure that it's freshly grated. The pre-shredded cheese sold in the store has anti-caking agents on it to keep it from caking together which makes it not melt the same.
Tomatoes - Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use cans of Rotel or fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
Meat - the recipe as written does not include meat, but our favorites to add are ground meat seasoned with taco seasoning (ground beef, ground sausage, ground chicken, or ground turkey), smoked brisket, breakfast sausage, spicy sausage, hot sausage, or leftover St. Louis style ribs.
Whichever meat you choose to add, be sure it is cooked first before adding it to the queso. Be careful when using chorizo or pork sausage in this recipe because of the grease. You'll want to be sure you drain it completely before adding it in.
Green chiles - To kick it up a notch, add a little bit of roasted green chilis to the queso mix before smoking. You can omit the jalapeno peppers and replace them with green chilies entirely as well.
Poblano peppers - Poblano peppers make an excellent addition to smoked queso. They add a flavor similar to green chiles.
Cream of mushroom - If you want your smoked queso extra creamy, try adding in some cream of mushroom soup. It may sound a bit weird, but if you like your queso extra creamy, it will give you that creamy texture.
Red Bell Pepper - You can add chopped red bell pepper to the cheese dip for an added crunch. The peppers won't soften completely, so you may still have a little bite to them once the queso is done smoking.
Jalapenos - if the taste of fresh jalapeños is a bit too strong for you, you can swap them for pickled jalapeno out of the jar. You can also add a bit of the juice from the jar as well.
Beans - You can add beans to the queso for an extra layer of flavor. Anything from pinto beans to black beans to spicy chili beans work well.
What if I don't have a pellet grill? How would I make this on a regular grill or charcoal grill?
If you don't have a smoker, you can still make this recipe by grilling it under low heat. Just remember that the cheese will burn pretty quickly so keep an eye out! It's best to only light one side of the grill and have it cook slowly under indirect heat.
If you're using a charcoal grill, I recommend pushing the charcoal to the side of the grill and placing the aluminum pan with the queso on the opposite side. The charcoal will provide a medium heat level and you don't want it to the burn the cheese.
Can I make this in a slow cooker or crockpot?
Yes! If you want to try making this recipe in a slow cooker or Crock Pot, just add all of the same ingredients to the pot and let it cook on low until it's melted and combined.
To get the smoky flavor you would normally get from the pellet smoker, you can add a dash of liquid smoke to the crock pot.
Can this queso dip recipe be made in the dutch oven?
Yes! You just need to cook it over low heat. As with the crock pot version, you'll need to add a dash of liquid smoke in order to get that smoky flavor and have the same delicious queso.
Can smoke queso dip be made in a cast-iron skillet?
You can make this recipe in the cast-iron skillet. You'll follow the same method as the dutch oven, by cooking low and slow with a dash of liquid smoke.
How do you store leftover smoky queso dip?
To store leftover queso dip, allow it to cool completely, and then place it in an airtight container. For best results, you'll want to use it within 3 days.
Tips and Tricks for making smoked queso dip
If this is your first time making smoked queso, just remember a few tips:
- Don't squeeze the lime into the cheese and milk, make sure it stays on the pico de Gallo mix to avoid the milk curdling from the lime juice. You can also omit the lime juice entirely.
- Low and slow with indirect heat is key - the cheese can burn with too much heat
- Use a disposable pan - save yourself the trouble and dishes
- If you choose to make it in the crockpot, dutch oven, or cast-iron remember a little liquid smoke goes a long way!
- Customize it to what you like!
other cheesy dip recipes you might like
Easy Smoked Queso Dip Recipe
- cheese grator
- disposable aluminum pan
- 8 ounces american cheese
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 large jalapeno seeded and diced (leave seeds in for more spice)
- 1 half white onion diced
- 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ whole lime juiced
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 200°F.
- Shred the American cheese and add it to the aluminum pan. Top it with the chopped tomatoes followed by the diced onion, spicy jalapenos, and cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice directly onto the pico de Gallo mixture and not down into the cheese. Pour the milk down into the cheese along the sides.
- Place the aluminum pan on the pellet smoker grate. You want it to have indirect heat. The cheese can burn easily so it's important to take it slow.
- Once the queso has been on the smoker for about 15-20 minutes, give it a good stir. Close the lid and let it smoke for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the queso from the smoker and give it one good final stir and serve it with your favorite dippers!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.