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Smoked Queso Dip

Smoked queso dip kicks regular cheese dip a big notch with tons of flavor. This recipe features a silky smooth cheese base, spicy jalapeno and sausage and delicious smoky flavor from cooking. 

smoked queso dip in an aluminum foil baking pan with fresh tortilla chips and a bunch of cilantro in the background

If you want to show me you love me, bring me cheese.

It’s really that simple.

If you really love me a lot, bring me luscious cheese full of flavor that’s perfect to dunk tortilla chips into.

And that is exactly what this smoked queso is.

smoked queso dip in an aluminum foil baking pan with fresh tortilla chips and a bunch of cilantro in the background

Why smoke queso?

Traditional queso recipes are prepared on the stove top or sometimes in a slow cooker. And that does the job for sure.

But smoking anything adds an extra layer of big flavor and that’s exactly what it does to this dip: adds tons of smoky flavor.

And smoked cheese is a delicious thing.

While you can sometimes find smoked cheese in the store, it can be hard to find and smoking this will give you that same flavor.

smoked queso dip in an aluminum foil baking pan with a wooden spoon shown dipped in the center

How to Make This Dip

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make!

Just add all of the ingredients to a disposable 9×13 aluminum pan.

Then smoke at 250 degrees for 2 hours, stirring after an hour.

When the time is up, use pot holders to carefully take the pan out of the smoker.

Stir the dip again until it is smooth.

What Can You Dip In Hot Cheese Dip?

Serve hot with plenty of chips for dunking.  Fresh chips are the absolutely best!

Other options include freshly sliced baguettes, toasted bread, bread sticks, and obviously store bought tortilla chips.

Think of it kinda like fondue. If you’d dunk it in that (and enjoy it), you can dunk it in this.

If you need a less carb loaded dipping option, sweet pepper slices make a great choice.

Lightly steamed broccoli is also a great alternative.

a corn tortilla chip being held aloft with a scoop of smoked queso dip on it- fresh cilantro's shown in the background

Making Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Tortilla chips really do pair perfectly with this queso dip.

And while I am no stranger to store bought brands (there’s always a bag in my pantry), homemade chips really set this dip apart.

If you have the time.

Luckily, whipping up a batch of fresh tortilla chips is super quick & easy.

You’ll need roughly a dozen corn tortillas.

Doesn’t matter if they’re fresh, or slightly stale and maybe even on their last leg.

Homemade chips are a great option for giving old tortillas new life.

Cut the stack into four even quarters, this will give you about 48 chips.

If you want more, you can cut the tortilla stack into 6 smaller triangles instead. This will yield about 72 chips.

Heat canola, or vegetable, oil in a large heavy bottomed pot.

Heat the oil until a small piece of tortilla dropped in the oil sizzles (about 350 degrees).

It takes some time to heat up, but we tend to find the best success with our oil heated just a tick under medium heat.

Once the oil’s ready- carefully add a handful of tortilla triangles to the hot oil. Make sure to stir them to prevent them from sticking together.

Let the chips cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Color isn’t always the best indicator- look for them to be firm, and no longer pliable.

Use a slotted spatula to remove them from the pot and transfer them to a waiting stack of paper towels to drain off the excess oil.

Repeat until all the chips have been cooked & drained.

Raise the heat slightly if on subsequent batches the chips aren’t frying the same.

Be Very Careful when working with hot oil, or things that have just come out of hot oil to avoid getting burned.

The oil will stay hot long after you’re done using it.

My suggestion is use potholders to carefully move the pot to one of the stove’s back burners where it can rest until the oil has completely cooled.

Tips and Tricks

Making this is so easy, but these tips and tricks will help make this the most delicious queso recipe ever.

  • If you prefer, you can smoke a bulb of garlic as you cook the dip. Then peel and mash several cloves with a fork and then stir them in the dip before serving.
  • Chorizo makes a delicious sub for the hot sausage.
  • We used a blend of hickory & pecan chips, but any should work as long as they’re not a super strong flavor like mesquite.
  • The queso will look really brown on top before each stirring from the smoke. Stir and incorporate the film into the dip, It will melt right in and incorporate the smoked flavor.
  • We used regular velveeta cheese in this recipe, but their queso blanco style will also work and turn out just as tasty.

smoked queso dip shown on a stack of freshly fried corn tortilla chips on a wooden table top

What To Do With Leftover Queso?

Chips and cheese are a match made in Heaven, and they make a great appetizer or snack.

The biggest question I get though is what happens when the party’s over?

What to do with that leftover queso dip then so that it doesn’t go to waste?

Here’s some ideas: 

  • Drizzle over steamed broccoli in lou of a plain cheese sauce
  • Serve over a baked potato for a light meal or a zesty side dish
  • Depending on how much dip you have left, stir in 1-2 cans of drained & rinsed kidney or black beans to turn it into a cheesy Tex Mex side dish
  • Add cooked ground beef or rotisserie chicken + some cooked pasta for an extra meaty simple supper.

Other Cheese Dips You Might Love

This smoked queso is a Summer time favorite in our house. Make some the next time you fire up your smoker and watch it disappear!

Looking for other cheese dips? Here are a few favorites:

Looking for other queso style dips to make at home? This restaurant style white queso dip is a hot, creamy Mexican style cheese dip that’s perfect for serving with fresh, warm tortilla chips.

Want to pair this with something cooler, like a zesty salsa? This smoked salsa recipe is the perfect thing for an award winning snack or appetizer combination for any backyard party or barbecue.

If you’ve tried this SMOKED QUESO DIP, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

smoked queso dip in an aluminum foil baking pan with fresh tortilla chips and a bunch of cilantro in the background

Smoked Queso Dip

Smoked queso dip kicks regular cheese dip a big notch with tons of flavor. This recipe features a silky smooth cheese base, spicy jalapeno and sausage and delicious smoky flavor from cooking. 
3.89 from 280 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dip, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Tex Mex
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 239kcal


  • 1 lb spicy ground sausage browned & strained of grease
  • 1 jalapeno seeded & diced, optional
  • 1/2 large white onion diced
  • 32 oz block Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies drained
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic


  • Add all of the ingredients to a (disposable) 9x13" aluminum pan.
  • Smoke at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Stir the queso 1/2 way through cooking.
  • Use pot holders to carefully remove the pan from the smoker.
  • Stir the dip a final time until everything's smooth and evenly combined.
  • Serve immediately, with chips for dipping.


Queso, especially this velveeta cheese based dip, begin to harden & congeal rather quickly. To keep it smooth & creamy for longer serving, transfer it to a slow cooker and leave it covered on the warm setting.


Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1157mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 691IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 369mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @4sonsrus or tag #4sonsrus!


3.89 from 280 votes (275 ratings without comment)

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    1. The sausage is cooked/browned first, and then strained of any excess grease before being added to the pan with all the other ingredients.

  1. Can I use cubed or shredded block cheese instead of Velveeta? With maybe some hwc to help make it smooth?

    1. This dip is a big hit at the family lunch. I added a block of cream cheese. I want to use the queso blanco next but it’s hard to find in the stores.

    1. You can omit the sausage completely if you want, or substitute ground beef or even chorizo if you’re looking for an alternative.

        1. So happy you enjoyed it, Sara! I love how easy it is to throw together, but something totally magical comes together in the smoker for such a simple dip 🙂

    1. We used a blend of hickory & pecan chips for this. Any should work though as long as it’s not a super strong flavor. Apple, cherry, alder are all great options- stay away from Mesquite.

  2. Goodness, I miss read this and put this in the oven but it still turned out really good. It baked for 2 hours on 250. I need to invest in a smoker.

    1. Glad it still turned out, Cali! It should still be rich and creamy with great flavor. If you want to infuse it with that ‘smoked’ flavor, add some liquid smoke and smoked paprika to the mix!

    2. If you want to do this and don’t have a smoker, there are both liquid and powdered smoke flavorings available that do a really good job of mimicking the job of an actual smoker. I add powdered smoke to my dry rubs all the time when I’m just too lazy to fire up the smoker.

  3. 5 stars
    Can this be frozen? Very good! i will do it again and may try beef next time. Also may increase the amount of meat as well! Thanks!

    1. I didn’t use my water pan for this recipe, and it came out perfectly infused with just the right amount of smoke.

  4. I make this but instead of tomato w/green chili peppers I use 16oz hot salsa I added hamburger and hot sausage. Soo goood!!