This easy, one pan Smoked Queso Dip is the ultimate appetizer for tailgating, holidays, and parties. It has two types of cheese, sausage, Rotel with chilies, onion, garlic, and does not lack in smokey flavor. So do yourself a favor and fire up the pellet smoker this weekend. Your taste buds and family will thank you!
Don’t have a smoker? No worries, you can make it in the oven or slow cooker.
Let me tell you, my family LOVES cheese dip and queso even more! The first time my dad and I made this in his pellet smoker, it was a complete game-changer for us. We have always loved classic queso, but once the hint of smoke was added… we were hooked!
Just imagine it- bubbly, melty cheese, a slight kiss of smoke, and tons of tortilla chips for dipping! Don’t try and deny it, I know I piqued your interest. And it’s not even hard to make!
Why This Smoked Queso Dip Recipe is the BEST!
- Quick to assemble- Literally throw everything together and pop it in the smoker.
- Versatile recipe- The ingredients are pretty straight forward which makes it even easier to add, substitute, or take away anything. I give some fun suggestions down further in the post. You can also make this in the oven or slow cooker if for some reason you cannot smoke the dip.
- Easy clean up- If you use a disposable aluminum pan there is literally no clean up, just throw it in the trash.
Here’s A Quick Video Tutorial:
Ingredients for Smoked Queso
- Velveeta Cheese: This is essential for a perfectly melty and delicious queso.
- Ground Breakfast Sausage: Be sure to strain off any grease (you don’t want that in the dip).
- Diced Tomatoes with Chilies: Feel free to use mild or spicy, you can also use diced tomatoes if you do not want any spice. I used Rotel brand.
- Mexican Cheese: You can never have enough cheese in queso, am I right?
- White Onion: Peel and finely dice the onion.
- Evaporated Milk: Feel free to use regular milk in it’s place.
- Garlic Powder: You can also use fresh minced garlic for stronger garlic flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Add these to suit your taste preferences.
PRO TIP: Easily double or triple this recipe to feed a crowd. Or if you want a smaller amount, cut the recipe in half.
- Pellet Smoker: You can use a pellet smoker grill or a vertical smoker for this recipe (I have tested this recipe with both). My favorite smokers are from Pit Boss but any will work great!
- Wood Pellets or wood chips (suggestions for flavors further down)
- Aluminum Foil Pan or a cast iron skillet
- Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves
How To Make Smoked Queso Dip
This is a short summary of the steps, the recipe card below will have more details.
- Preheat smoker with the pellets of your choosing.
- Prepare the ingredients (brown your sausage, dice the onion, cut up the Velveeta, etc.).
- Combine everything together.
- Smoke your dip.
- Serve with the dippers of your choice and eat immediately.
PRO TIP: If you are serving it at a party or want it to stay melty longer, place the queso in a slow cooker on the “keep warm” or low setting. As this dip comes to room temperature it thickens and will become solidified.
Other Cooking Methods:
MAKE IT IN THE OVEN: Follow the same directions as if you were smoking it (same temperature and same cook times). Feel free to add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke to replicate the smoky flavor.
MAKE IT IN THE SLOW COOKER: Add the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low, stirring every 20 minutes, until it is melty and delicious.
Dippers to Serve With Smoked Queso Dip
The obvious option is tortilla chips because “duh,” chips and queso. But here are some more ideas for you to try out:
- fresh vegetables
- Doritos and other chips
- pretzels (soft pretzel bites would be so good)
- pita chips
- toasted bread slices
- pork rinds
Smoked Queso Variations
This dip is very versatile and you can do pretty much anything with it. Try some of these fun suggestions:
- add jalapenos (fresh or my Quick Pickled Jalapenos)
- a can of black beans (drained)
- different meats: chorizo, ground beef, pulled pork, chicken strips, etc.
- other cheese: pepper jack cheese, mozzarella, etc.
- 1 ounce packet of taco or chili seasoning
- diced multi colored bell peppers
- black olives
What Kind of Pellets Should I Use For Smoking Queso Dip?
For this recipe I used a mixture of Apple and Competition Blend pellets by Pit Boss. I think mild wood pellets work best because you do not want it to be overwhelmed with smoke.
Great mild wood pellets include apple, cherry, maple, oak, or a combination. Flavors like mesquite and hickory are stronger but can still work. Just keep in mind, every pellet has a different flavor and smoke strength.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
It is most likely because there was not enough liquid (evaporated milk) added. All you have to do is add a splash of evaporated milk or regular milk and stir it in well. This will help thin out your queso without altering the flavor.
Yes! What I like to do is make the dip no more than three days in advance. When I am ready to serve it I throw it into my slow cooker and heat it back up on low, stirring every 20 minutes, until it is ready to eat. You may have to add a little more evaporated milk, salt, and pepper (just taste test it).
Yes, but keep in mind it will not have the smoky flavor (unless you add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke). Anyways this dip can be made in the oven and also in a slow cooker. In the oven follow the same instructions as if you were smoking it. In the slow cooker you will cook it on low, stirring every 20 minutes, until it is melty and delicious.
Dairy tends to not freeze well so I do not recommend freezing this dip.
Looking For More Delicious Dips?
- Jalapeno Artichoke Dip
- Butter Bean Hummus
- Fried Dill Pickle Dip
- Ricotta Dip with Roasted Grapes
- Buffalo Crab Dip
- Feta and Onion Hot Dip
More Smoker Recipes To Try:
- Smoked Baked Beans
- Smoked Hot Dogs
- Smoked Cheez Its
- Smoked Pork Butt
- Smoked Peach Cobbler
- Smoked Whiskey Sour Mocktail
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Smoked Queso Dip
- Smoker - Tested with a Pit Boss Vertical Smoker and Pellet Grill
- 13×9 Aluminum Pan
- Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves
- 2 pounds Velveeta cheese
- 2 pounds breakfast sausage - cooked and crumbled
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies - 15 ounces (Rotel)
- 1 can evaporated milk; - 12 ounces
- 1 cup mexican cheese
- 1 yellow onion - finely diced
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Preheat pellet smoker / grill to 200 °F and load with wood chips. I used a mixture of Apple and Competition Blend pellets by Pit Boss.
- In an aluminum pan add all the ingredients, cubed Velveeta cheese, cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage, diced tomatoes with chilies, evaporated milk, Mexican cheese, diced yellow onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Place in the smoker to smoke for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Remove the Smoked Queso Dip from the smoker and eat immediately with dippers of your choice. NOTE: If you are serving this at a party, or want it to stay melty longer, place the queso in a slow cooker on the "keep warm" or low setting.
- Refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
- Freezing is not recommended.
- Microwave for 30-60 seconds.
- On the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
- In the slow cooker on low until warmed through.
Instructions for Baking in the Oven:
- Follow the directions exactly the same (add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke if you want), as if you were smoking it. Bake at 200° F for two hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
Instructions for Making in the Slow Cooker:
- Cook on low, stirring every 20 minutes until melty (add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke if you want).
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.