Smoked Cheese Dip

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This Smoked Cheese Dip is loaded with 3 different types of creamy cheese, Rotel tomatoes and savory spices to make the best smoked queso ever!

Whether you’re hosting a big outdoor party or tailgating on game day, this popular appetizer is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It's the ultimate meatless dip!

smoked queso dip in a cast iron skillet.
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Why This Recipe Works

  • Super Cheesy: The blend of 3 different cheeses takes this delicious dip to the next level.
  • Great Taste: Smoking cheese adds an irresistible depth of flavor.
  • Layers of flavor: Rotel tomatoes with green chiles provides a nice little kick. 
  • Crowd pleaser: This cheese dip is an instant favorite at parties and cookouts.
  • Easy Recipe: Find the ingredients easily in your local grocery store. Cleanup is a breeze thanks to a disposable aluminum pan or cast iron skillet. 

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities and detailed instructions.

  • Velveeta cheese 
  • cream cheese 
  • pepper jack cheese 
  • Rotel (tomatoes with chilies) 
  • green onions 
  • minced garlic
  • ground cumin
  • cilantro 
  • milk (any type)
  • chives 
  • pico de gallo 
  • tortilla chips (for serving)
ingredients needed to make smoked queso dip.

Smoked cheese dip is a creamy blend of cream cheese, pepper jack and Velveeta cheese that adds a modern twist to a traditional Mexican recipe.

The addition of spicy peppers, tomatoes and seasonings makes it an instant hit! Cooking it on a Traeger smoker or using a Big Green Egg with wood chips adds an extra layer of flavor.

Even though this recipe is vegetarian, you can add meat like breakfast sausage, taco meat and chorizo sausage if desired.

The result? It's the best smoked queso dip recipe you'll ever taste! Plus, it pairs perfectly with favorite dippers like tortilla chips, crostini, pretzels and veggie sticks. 

cheeses, cilantro, rotel, green onions and cumin in a cast iron skillet.

Equipment

  • pellet grill smoker
  • cast iron skillet
  • serving spoons

Instructions

  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
  • Cube the cheeses and place in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 13 x 9 inch aluminum pan.
  • Add a can of Rotel, green onions, garlic, cumin and cilantro.
ingredients added to smoker in a cast iron skillet.
  • Place cast iron skillet or aluminum pan in smoker. Do not cover pan. Close lid of smoker.
  • Smoke the cheese dip for 1.5 hours, stirring every 15 minutes until smooth and creamy. If queso is too thick, add milk and stir dip to the right consistency.
cheeses and veggies being mixed while queso is smoking.
  • Garnish smoked cheese with chopped chives and pico de gallo if desired. Serve directly from the cast iron skillet with tortilla chips or veggies as a dipper!
smoked queso dip after being stirred in the smoker.

Variations

Smoked cheese dip is a versatile appetizer with many possible variations. Here are a few ways to mix it up a little: 

  • Try different types of cheese: Use monterey jack cheese, sharp cheddar, gouda cheese – or even a tangy blue cheese if desired.
  • Use another cooking process: Make this recipe in a in a slow cooker, crock pot or over a charcoal grill. You'll lose the smoky flavor unless you add a teaspoon of liquid smoke or peppers to the recipe. 
  • Spice things up: If you like it spicy, try adding in some chopped jalapeño peppers or chipotle. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, add spicy chorizo!
  • BBQ blend: For an all-out smoky BBQ flavor, add pulled pork with a dash of famous Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. The mustardy tang will perfectly complement this creamy dip.
  • Add protein: For a meatier dish, add shredded chicken, browned sausage or cooked ground beef with a little chili powder and garlic for extra seasoning. Try this Sausage Cheese Dip if you're looking for a meaty version.
  • Add more veggies: load it up with chopped cauliflower, yellow onion, bell pepper, kale or fresh spinach.
smoked queso dip with tortilla chips.

Expert Tips

  • Keep the heat low and slow and let the dip simmer slowly at about 225 degrees F. This will allow the smoke flavor to infuse it's way into the dip. 
  • Quality matters! Always use the best cheese you can find. Cheese is the heart of this dish, so don’t skimp on quality.
  • Stir it up. Occasional stirring will prevent the dip from scorching at the bottom of the pan. 
  • Use a disposable pan or cast iron skillet. A disposable foil pan is super convenient, while a cast iron pan has better heat distribution. The choice is yours!
  • Don't have a pellet smoker? Add a smoke box to your grill to create that delicious smoky flavor.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep cheese dip from hardening?

To keep your dip from hardening, you’ll need to keep it warm — unless you eat it all right away! A small crockpot or fondue pot set on low heat can help to keep it warm without cooking it further. You may also need to add a little milk or cream to keep it from thickening too much.

How long does smoked queso last?

When stored in the refrigerator, cheese dip can last for 4–5 days. Just make sure it’s kept airtight. To reheat, simply pour it in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until heated throughout.

How long can cheese dip sit out?

As a rule of thumb, no dip should be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. You shouldn’t have much trouble with this, though — it’s so delicious, it’ll be gone in no time.

cast iron skillet filled with smoked queso dip on a traeger smoker.

What to Serve with Smoked Cheese Dip

Whether you’re digging in with crispy tortilla chips, spreading it on a slice of crusty bread, or drizzling it over a plate of smoked baby back ribs or crispy chicken wings, smoked cheese dip is everyone's favorite appetizer.

Storing Leftovers

  • Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4–5 days, then reheat on the stove in a saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Add a little milk or cream to help it maintain its creamy texture.
  • Freezing: When freezing, make sure the recipe cools completely before putting it into an airtight container. It can stay in the freezer up to 3 months. When thawing, place it in the refrigerator overnight and then heat on the stovetop or in the microwave as suggested.

More Great Appetizers

If you're planning a party, be sure to add a these delicious appetizers to the menu:

Recipe Card

cast iron skillet filled with smoked queso dip on a traeger smoker.

Smoked Cheese Dip

This Smoked Cheese Dip is loaded with 3 different types of creamy cheese, Rotel tomatoes and savory spices to make the best smoked queso ever!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings24
Calories: 159kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese cubed
  • 10 ounce can Rotel (tomatoes with chilies) undrained
  • 6 green onions diced
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup chives chopped (for top)
  • ½ cup milk (any type)
  • tortilla chips for serving
  • pico de gallo (optional topping)

Instructions

  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
  • Cube the cheeses and place in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 13 x 9 inch aluminum pan.
    32 ounces Velveeta cheese, 8 ounces cream cheese, 8 ounces pepper jack cheese
  • Add Rotel, green onions, garlic, cumin and cilantro.
    10 ounce can Rotel (tomatoes with chilies), 6 green onions, ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ cup cilantro, ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Place cast iron skillet in smoker. Do not cover skillet. Close lid of smoker.
  • Smoke queso dip for 1.5 hours, stirring every 15 minutes until smooth and creamy. If queso is too thick, add milk and stir dip to the right consistency.
    ½ cup milk
  • Garnish smoked queso with chopped chives and pico de gallo if desired. Serve directly from the cast iron skillet with tortilla chips or veggies as a dipper!
    ¼ cup chives, tortilla chips for serving, pico de gallo

Notes

  • To spice things up, add jalapeños or chipotle seasoning. 
  • If dip thickens and is hard to stir, add additional milk in small quantities and stir until desired consistency. 
  • Can be made directly over a campfire or baked indoors in the oven.
  • Makes the perfect party dip for outdoor barbecues and cookouts!
  • When stored in the refrigerator, cheese dip can last for 4–5 days. Just make sure it’s kept airtight. To reheat, simply pour it in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until heated throughout.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 311mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this dip last weekend on my Pit Boss grill. It turned out so good. I added crumbled bacon to it and all the guys in my family loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of the best cheese dip recipes I've ever seen. I love that it's vegetarian because most of these smoked versions have ground sausage in them. It looks so good I'm going to make it this weekend.

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