This Smoked Queso dip with poblano peppers and pepper jack cheese is a creamy melted cheese dip recipe with smoky flavors, ground beef, and a hint of spice. This smoked cheese dip is great for backyard get-togethers, game day parties, or just a fun snack to that can be prepared on your pellet grill.
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What you will love about this Smoked Queso Dip
Easy to make- all you need to do is cook up the meat, add the rest of the ingredients into the pan, and let the grill or smoker do the work.
Great for entertaining- smoked queso dip is a party favorite. Most people enjoy dipping and snacking before the main entree. This recipe isn't too spicy, so great to satisfy a large range of people's taste buds.
Customizable: making smoked queso is great since you can add just about any flavor of cheese, peppers, onions, or seasonings you want to experiment with.
What is Smoked Queso
Smoked queso is a warm cheese dip that is prepared on your pellet grill or smoker by cooking different cheeses with other ingredients at lower temperatures to create a smoky, flavorful dip. It has become pretty popular over the last few years because it is a fun way to present an easy appetizer, and you can add ingredients that you enjoy. The queso is great with tortilla chips, soft pretzels, or on top of tacos/nachos, etc.
Ingredients Needed for this Smoked Queso Dip Recipe
Ground Beef- I wanted some meat in my smoked queso dip recipe, so I added in some ground beef.
Spicy Fajita BBQ Rub- the blend of paprika, garlic, and chili pepper provides flavor and a little heat to the mixture.
Velveeta Cheese- using Velveeta cheese dip helps the melting process and provides a rich and creamy texture to the queso.
Pepper Jack Cheese- this shredded cheese is soft and provides a little heat to the dip.
Rotel tomatoes- I went with a cilantro and lime flavored can of Rotel tomatoes to add of little more flavor, acidity, and texture to the queso dip.
Green Chiles- these mild green peppers add flavor to the appetizer without too much heat.
Poblano Pepper- this mild chili pepper pairs nicely with the pepper jack cheese and gives a little crunch to the dip.
Red pepper flakes- I like to kick up the spice up a bit by adding in some red pepper flakes. If you don't like too much heat, leave them out.
Milk- adding just a bit of milk helps thin out the thick consistency of the Velveeta cheese.
How to make smoked queso dip
First, start by preheating the smoker to 300 degrees F. Then, grab out your cast iron skillet, aluminum pan, or baking dish of choice.
Break up the ground beef and season with the Spicy BBQ Rub (or something similar). Place the pan in the smoker, close the lid, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes (breaking up and stirring the meat as necessary).
Once no longer pink, pull the beef off and drain any excess grease. Reduce the heat of the smoker to 225 degrees F.
Next, push the seasoned meat to the side of the pan and add in the Velveeta, pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes (with liquid), green chiles, poblano peppers, red pepper flakes, and milk. Do not stir.
Place back in the smoker, close the lid, and let smoke for about 30 minutes.
Stir until all of the ingredients are combined, and then continue to smoke for about 45 minutes longer until hot throughout (stir occasionally).
Once it is melted and hot to your liking, pull it off and serve warm with tortilla chips and or soft pretzels, and enjoy. Or you can keep the queso on the smoker until ready to serve.
- You can leave the queso on the smoker until ready to serve for even more of a delicious smoky flavor.
- For a little thinner consistency, you can add up to ½ cup milk.
- If you want this queso prepared quicker, you could leave the temperature at 300 degrees F for the entire process for faster cook times.
- You can reserve a little bit of the pepper jack cheese to add to the top for a garnish, along with diced tomatoes and fresh poblano peppers.
- You could swap out the beef for other ground meats such as hot sausage, breakfast sausage, chorizo sausage, or even smoked chicken.
- Want to add in some more veggies? Go ahead and toss in some diced onions, jalapeños, or fresh tomatoes.
- Other cheeses that would work well would be Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese!
- Don't have the Spicy Fajita Rub seasoning? You can create your own by preparing a mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
What to do with leftover queso dip?
This smoked queso recipe will be good for a few days in an air tight container. It may get a little stronger of a smoke flavor after resting for a few days. But you can get creative and smother it over some beef tacos, make it into a Mexican style casserole, or spoon into tortillas as is.
Poblano & Pepper Jack Smoked Queso
- 1 Cast Iron Skillet or pan of choice
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp Spicy Fajita Rub (by Traeger) or similar
- 16 oz. Velveeta cut into cubes
- 1 8 oz. Block of Pepper Jack cheese shredded
- 1 10 oz. can of Rotel Lime & Cilantro flavor
- 4 oz. medium green chiles
- 1 large poblano pepper (or 2 smaller) finely chopped
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- ¼ cup milk
- Chips/ Soft Pretzels for serving
- Preheat the smoker to 300 degrees F.
- In a cast iron skillet break up the ground beef and season with the Spicy BBQ Rub (or similar).
- Place in the smoker, close the lid, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes (breaking up and stirring meat as necessary).
- Pull the beef off once browned and drain any excess grease.
- Reduce the heat of the smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Push the seasoned meat to the side of the pan and add in the Velveeta, pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes(with liquid), green chiles, poblano peppers, red pepper flakes, and milk. Do not stir
- Place back in the smoker and let smoke for about 30 minutes.
- Stir until all of the ingredients are combined and then continue to smoke for about 45 minutes longer until hot throughout. (stir occasionally).
- Serve warm with chips andor soft pretzels and enjoy.
- Optional: you can reserve a little bit of the pepper jack cheese to add to the top for a garnish along with chopped tomatoes and fresh poblano peppers, too.