Best Smoked Queso Recipe
This smoked queso dip is loaded with melty cheese, sausage, tomatoes, and peppers. Perfect for cookouts, game days, and parties!
About The Easy Queso Dip Recipe
This queso dip, even if started to be so popular after the tik-tok trend, actually has been around from before, when everyone used to make it on the crockpot.
So, no matter where you want to make it. The only thing is that you want to have the smoky taste and that can be done either by cooking it on the smoker, grill or in the fire place.
Every now and then I like to make something less traditional than the food I grew up with. Like stacked enchiladas or a large pan of lentil taco meat.
So, as soon as I saw this recipe all around internet, I knew I should give it a try because, well…who doesn’t like a good, melty, bubbly, flavorful queso anyways?
This reminds me so much of queso fundido and it also features a couple of Italian ingredients I love: sausages and provolone cheese which provide delicious flavors.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- It is flavorful. This dish has a delicious smoky, mild-spicy taste. The ingredients balance to each other and add the right amount of heat without being overly spicy.
- Is easy to make. You place all ingredients in one pan, pop in the smoker, do a little mixing and there you go.
- Is creamy. The texture is perfect to dip in chips, veggies or bread sticks.
- You can customize it. Adding some ingredients you might have already in your pantry or fridge, think of black olives, pepperoni, ham, etc.
Or you can also add a few ingredients to enhance that particular, delicious smoky flavor. Keep reading because I will tell you below how.
I was even thinking in investing in a cheap pellet smoker, since we always have lots of pellet at home anyway and it makes smoking so easy!
Ingredients And Substitutions
CHEESE – Velveeta is the first option, but I do not live in the USA so I just used a few packages of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and a bit of provolone affumicato because it adds a nice smoky flavor.
Other types of cheese you can use are mozzarella, queso blanco, Oaxaca, asadero, pepper jack cheese, and gouda.
SAUSAGE – Italian sausages are always my first option, but actually you can use also breakfast sausage. Or even ground beef. For the protein lovers, add also a few hotdog sausages to the mix, or chopped ham. Or even better, Mexican chorizo!
TOMATOES – The Texan recipe calls for the popular brand of canned tomatoes Ro-Tel. Since I cannot find them here, I just used a can of Italian diced tomatoes.
PEPPERS – Our smoked queso cheese dip recipe calls for bell peppers (red or any color you’d like), fresh jalapenos, and pickled jalapeños. The last are my favorites as they not only add heat but also a Mexican touch. Again, use any type of chilis you have available.
SEASONINGS – Flavor up this queso dip what whatever you feel like. From sautéing onions and garlic with the sausage to any spice you like (including taco seasoning). We used a pinch of cumin, freshly cracked pepper, and chipotle powder, this last added a superb smoky flavor, you can also use one or two teaspoons of smoky paprika instead.
Smoked queso is not a traditional recipe, so no worry if you don’t have all those ingredients in your pantry as you can customize your own recipe with whatever you have on hand.
How To Make Smoked Queso Dip
Heat the oil in a sauté pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and break them in small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.
Cook stirring constantly until sausages are no longer pink.
Add onions, bell peppers, fresh jalapeño or green chili, and garlic. Stir everything for about 5 minutes or until onions and peppers starts to soften.
Add the mixture to a disposable aluminum pan (I used a 9-inch/23cm rounded pan). If you making this smoked queso in the fireplace, you might want to use a cast-iron skillet instead.
Now, add canned tomatoes (or rotel), cheeses and pickled jalapeños to the pan. Sprinkle with cumin, fresh cracked pepper and chipotle (or paprika) powder.
Place the pan on your preheated smoker at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes.
Stir the ingredients to combine and keep cooking for another 20-30 minutes stirring once or two more times in between.
You will see the smoked queso is ready when everything is combined and the queso is melted and bubbling on the edges of the pan.
Want to make it in a slow cooker? Make sure to use about a half teaspoon of liquid smoke to achieve that smoky flavor.
How to serve
This smoked cheese dip is perfect to serve as an appetizer with anything like
- Tortilla – Corn tortilla chips are the always first option, but, try it also spread in a warm flour tortilla.
- Bread – Use it to spread on some crusty bread, bolillo rolls, or pita.
- Vegetables – Sliced fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers.
- Snacks – Crackers, pretzels, bread sticks, or potato chips are perfect to eat this cheese dip.
How To Store And Reheat
Leftover queso dip can last up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator. First, allow the smoked cheese to cool down completely (it will get a bit firm), then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge.
To reheat, use the microwave at 1-minute intervals stirring in between, or transfer the smoked cheese dip to a saucepan, add a splash of milk and reheat over medium-low on the stovetop stirring constantly.
Smoked Queso Recipe
- Aluminium foil pan – 9"/23cm
- 6 oz Italian sausages (about 2 links)
- 10 oz cheddar or velveeta cheese slices (2 packages )
- 4 oz provolone cheese (cubed)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup red bell peppers (chopped)
- 3 jalapeño peppers (veins and seeds removed, chopped)
- ½ cup onions (chopped)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeños (chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 tsp chipotle powder (or smoky paprika)
- ½ tsp cumin
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan or a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and break them in small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook stirring constantly until sausages starts to brown.
- Add onions, bell peppers, fresh jalapeño and garlic. Stir everything for about 5 minutes or until onions and peppers starts to soften.
- Add the sausage mixture to the pan.
- Add canned tomatoes, cheeses and pickled jalapeños. Sprinkle with cumin, fresh cracked pepper and chipotle powder.
- Place the pan on your preheated smoker at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes.
- Stir the ingredients to combine and keep cooking for another 20-30 minutes stirring once or two more times in between.
- You will see the smoked queso is ready when everything is combined and the queso is melted and bubbling on the edges of the pan.
Let me know if you enjoyed this Smoked Queso Dip recipe! Leave a comment, rate the recipe and share it with your friends. I really appreciate any support and keeps me motivated too. Also, remember you can follow this blog on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE.
This is one of the most easy and delicious smoked queso recipe I have ever tried! I didn’t even knew that you could use the fireplace to make it, and it makes sense after all. Thank you so much, I neither couldn’t use rotel but used canned tomatoes with some pickled peppers.
Hi Mari, thank you so much for the recipe. Smoked queso is one of my fav foods so far from the texan cuisine and I am glad I found your recipe. I hope you will give a try to other tex-mex recipes and post them in this blog.