If you love a good queso and you’ve never tried smoked queso dip before, you are in for a treat. Of course, we all know the cheesy goodness that defines a spicy queso but the added smoke flavor takes it over the top amazing. Don’t hesitate on this one.
🍽️ Why This Works
Timing is everything. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can smoke with something else at the same time if you have a smoker with shelves. It takes about an hour — just a little bit less time than smoked chicken wings for example.
Easy party food. Throw this in the smoker when you find out guests are coming over for football. By the time the pre-game show ends, the dip will be ready. Snack on some Smoked Trail Mix while you’re waiting. And it’s a crowd pleaser too!
Delicious, homemade smoked queso dip recipe. This is the kind of appetizer you would order again and again at your favorite restaurant – but now you can make it at home. It has a delicious smoky flavor, as much heat as you want, and it’s so snackable.
Sausage – This can be hot and spicy or mild – your choice. The sausage should be cooked and drained.
Velveeta – This classic helps make a smooth and creamy dip and forms the base for all of the other ingredients.
Cheeses – You can take your pick here. We opted for a Jalapeno Pepper Jack cheese to bump up the spice level and a classic cheddar.
Rotel – Again, you can choose your spice level. It comes in mild, medium, or hot. The important thing is the flavor it brings to the table.
Peppers – We went with canned Hatch green chiles.
Onions – Any kind of onion will work. Red onions have a slightly bitter flavor that works well with the cheese.
Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes have a lower amount of liquid, making them perfect for salsa or smoked queso. It’s okay if you don’t have this variety. Almost any king of diced tomatoes will work.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Skillet | This is for browning the sausage.
Box Grater | To grate the cheese unless you buy pre-shredded. Just be aware the pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking powder that changes the melting properties and can make the dip grainy.
Knife | For cubing the Velveeta cheese, and chopping the vegetables.
Disposable Aluminum Pan | Perfect for smoking queso with minimal cleanup. A cast iron skillet also works.
Smoker | The Big Green Egg is our weapon of choice but you can use a pellet smoker, electric smoker, or a gas smoker as well. A pellet grill (such as a Traeger grill), charcoal grill, or gas grill equipped with a smoking box is also fine to use.
Smoking Wood | Use the wood chunks or wood chips of your choice. Fruitwood like apple, cherry, and peach will give a more subtle smoky flavor. For a more potent flavor go for oak, hickory, or pecan. Our free smoking wood cheat sheet can help you figure out the best option for you.
Step One: Preheat the smoker to 250°F.
Step Two: Brown the sausage and drain the grease. One quick method to drain off the grease is to place a strainer over a bowl and then dump the sausage in the strainer. The grease collects in the bowl and you can soak it up with paper towels for the trash can or dispose of it however you get rid of grease.
Step Three: Cube the Velveeta into one-inch cubes to help it melt faster. Grate the cheese. Drain the can of Rotel and the chilies so that your queso isn’t watery.
Step Four: Dice your onions and tomatoes.
Step Five: Place all of the ingredients in the disposable foil pan, but keep it all in separate sections at first as shown in our images.
Step Six: Place the queso in your preheated smoker. Stir the dip every 10 minutes to make sure it melts evenly.
Step Seven: Smoke the queso for about 50 minutes, until everything is melted, hot, and bubbly. Serve hot.
How To Make Smoked Queso Dip In The Oven
Can you make smoked queso dip in the oven? You bet! The only addition I would recommend is 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. This will add the smoky flavor you would get in a smoker.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Prepare the dip in a disposable pan or cast iron skillet according to the smoking instructions above.
- Bake the dip until it’s hot and bubbly, stirring every 15-20 minutes so all the cheese melts evenly.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
Keep your knife cuts consistent and small so that none of the ingredients are too chunky for dipping and the texture of the dip is consistent.
To keep your smoked queso dip hot when you are serving it at a party, keep it in a small slow cooker on warm or in a fondu pot on the medium-low setting.
If your queso is too thick after smoking, you can use milk, broth, or beer to thin it out to the desired consistency.
Cut the ingredients in half if you want a small batch for home with no leftovers. Use a disposable square aluminum pan instead.
The only smoking wood I would avoid is mesquite, which is extra strong. Fruity woods are very nice.
Using a disposable aluminum pan makes cleanup a breeze. You can find these at your local grocery store or warehouse store and we use them for all kinds of smoked dishes.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Keep leftover queso dip in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. It will start separating or looking filmy as it goes bad.
Reheat your dip in a skillet on the stovetop or microwave until hot and bubbly. The time needed depends on the amount you are reheating.
If you want to reheat the entire leftover portion, you can place it in a fondue pot on medium-high until it is hot and bubbly, and then reduce the heat to keep it warm.
If your reheated queso needs to be thinned, try adding a splash of milk or some of your favorite beer.
Additions and Substitutions
- Rotel already includes green chilis but you can amp up the spice level significantly when you add diced jalapenos, habaneros, Aleppo peppers, or any pepper of your choice. You could also add ancho chili pepper.
- Change up the shredded cheeses to vary the flavor occasionally. Monterey Jack cheese or sharp cheddar cheese are fantastic options!
- This cheese dip could also be made with ground beef, breakfast sausage, shredded chicken, pulled pork, smoked brisket, or leftover taco meat.
- Add a can of black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed.
- Top the queso with freshly made pico de Gallo, which includes freshly chopped Roma tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, freshly minced garlic, and lime juice.
- If you enjoy bell peppers, you can add these as well.
- Try chorizo or spicy hot pork sausage to take the heat level up.
- Go meatless. The dip is perfectly tasty without meat if you prefer.
- Use cream cheese in place of the Velveeta if you prefer. It will not be as smooth and creamy.
- Some recipe variations also use canned cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken). This would also taste lovely!
- Bring even more smoke to the table with smoked cheese or smoked chili pepper.
- A small amount of taco seasoning or salsa mix will add a nice bump to the flavor and heat when you want variety. Even a Southwestern dry rub works well.
Serve this easy smoked queso dip with tortilla chips, toasted pita bread, pretzel bites, pita chips, toasted melba, sliced French bread, or Frito scoops.
It’s perfect for a party spread with other appetizers but also works well as a side dish and topping for tacos, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, or beans and rice.
Lighten up the meal with some smoked asparagus bundles, or grilled veggies such as grilled parsnips, grilled patty pan squash, grilled onions, or grilled roasted root vegetables. You’ll get tons of flavor with a much lower calorie count!
🍲More Dip Recipes
Serving a varied BBQ menu always makes things more fun and exciting!
When you’re in a rush, try this grilled beer corn crack dip that’s ready in about 20 minutes.
Last, but not least, this smoked brisket and beer queso dip is a wonderful variation that will definitely be a hit!
❓ Recipe FAQ
No. Cheese-based dips change texture when frozen and are unpalatable when thawed. We do not recommend freezing smoked queso dip.
250ºF or as close to that as you can set on your smoker.
At 250ºF it takes around 45-60 minutes or about one hour. If you aren’t in a hurry leave it in for the full 60 minutes to soak up more smoke flavor.
It all depends how intense you want the smoke flavor to be. We enjoy the milder aroma of apple, cherry, and peach wood. Oak will give you a classic, medium smoke. Choose pecan or hickory for an even bolder flavor. Mesquite is the only option that can prove too overpowering for queso.
You can thin it out to the desired consistency with a small amount of milk, broth, or beer. Stir well until combined.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 3 roma tomatoes cubed
- ¾ red onion diced
- 8 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 16 oz Velvetta cubed
- 8 oz jalapeno pepper cheese shredded
- 1 can hatch chilies
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- Heat the smoker to 250°F.
- While the smoker is heating up, shred the cheeses, cube the velvetta into one-inch cubes and cook the sausage.
- Drain the can of Rotel and the chilies so that your queso isn’t watery. Dice your onions and tomatoes.
- Using the disposable aluminum pan, start placing all of the ingredients in the pan keeping them in separate sections.
- Smoke the queso for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until it is fully melted and serve.
Jason’s been firing up the grill for over 30 years after graduating from the US Coast Guard Academy. His love of finely-grilled steak and chicken led him to buy his first Weber grill to put on his apartment patio in 1992. Each military move led to a new grill (a mixture of gas and charcoal) until he fell in love with the Big Green Egg in 2008. Since then, he has added another 4 grills to the collection. Yes, he has a problem. Jason loves smoking in the ceramic BGE with exotic woods including olive wood from Egypt and hard to find varieties such as sassafras and orange wood. Jason takes the term “foodie” to a whole new level, jumping at the chance to take food tours and cooking classes during foreign travels. These have provided inspiration to incorporate new ideas into recipes when he gets back home. He has been featured in Fox News, Parade, Yahoo News, Kansas City Living and more. After retiring from the military and moving to southwest Florida, he has focused grilling and smoking locally sourced meats and fish (read: he likes to catch his own fish!)