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posted April 14, 2022

Smoked Queso

This smoked queso is bubbly, melty, and especially delicious when paired with your favorite potato or tortilla chip. It makes a great appetizer or side for a variety of occasions.

Stretchy smoked queso bein pulled out of a cast iron skillet with text overlay - Smoked Queso.

Smoked Queso Dip

I am a lifetime lover and, some might say, connoisseur of queso. To me, there is nothing more delightful than a giant scoop of warm, melty, stringy cheese. I’ve eaten many a queso and never have I ever seen queso combined with my favorite of all meats, BACON! So of course I had to go there with this recipe for smoked queso.

I used generous amounts of my Homemade Smoked Bacon, fresh garlic, cream cheese, and Monterey jack cheese to create smoked queso that is ultimately smooth and melty without using any processed American cheese.

There’s a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes and the coarse black pepper that beautifully compliments the creamy cheese and salty bacon. As an added bonus, this queso recipe is made in one skillet, takes less than an hour, and tastes so dang good with crispy chips.

Cheddar jack being sprinkled on top of a skillet of queso.

Smoked Queso Ingredients

Ready to make this queso? You only need a handful of ingredients to make this yummy snack, and a good majority of them will already be in your fridge and pantry.

  • 1/2 pound diced bacon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions

Last up, make sure you have a cast iron skillet on hand to make this recipe. I used an 8-inch skillet, but you can likely also use a 12-inch pan as well.

Bacon being added to a skillet of smoked queso.

How to Make Smoked Queso

Once you have all your ingredients assembled, you’re ready to make this queso. From start to finish, it should only take 1 hour or less, giving you a tasty snack anytime, anywhere.

  1. Render the bacon. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook to your preferred doneness (this will be used as a topping later so make sure it’s fully cooked now).
  2. Make the base. Add garlic to the bacon grease in the skillet. Add in minced garlic and chicken stock, cream cheese, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook until all ingredients have combined. Turn off the heat on the skillet.
  3. Add the cheese. Stir corn starch into the shredded cheese, and add the cheese to the base. Stir well to combine.
  4. Smoke. With your smoker preheated to 175 degrees F, place the queso in the skillet on the grill grates, close the lid, and smoke for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Serve. Once your cheese is looking good and smoky (it will likely change color a bit from the smoke), remove the skillet from the grill and top with bacon and green onions. Serve while still hot (but take care not to burn yourself on that ooey, gooey cheese!

Tips for Making Smoked Queso

Even though I think this queso is just about as perfect as can be, there’s always room for tweaks to make it work for you. Here are a few flavor swaps and suggestions to try the next time to make smoked queso.

  • Swap your cheese. I used Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe, but you can use whatever cheese you prefer. Pepper jack would add a nice bit of heat, or Colby jack would give you that yellowy cheddary bright flavor.
  • Add different toppings. This queso can be topped with whatever you like. Instead of bacon and green peppers, you can top your smoked queso with beans, chorizo, sausage, red peppers, or even my Candied Jalapenos.
  • Try potato chips. Even though queso is usually enjoyed with tortilla chips, this queso also tastes incredible with flavored potato chips or even sweet potato chips! You can even enjoy it with a nice salty cracker or some veggies. It tastes great on just about anything!

Did you do anything special with your queso that you want to share with the whole class? Let us know! We love hearing how you customize your BBQ to please your friends and family.

Smoked queso in a cast iron skillet topped with bacon and green onions.

More Smoked Cheese Recipes

Cheese and smoke go together beautifully, and Hey Grill Hey is happy to cook all sorts of cheese and queso recipes on the smoker. Check out a few of our cheesiest recipes below.

Best Smoked Queso Recipe

Did this smoked queso turn out to be everything you needed and more? If so, let us know in the comments below. You can also catch more behind-the-scenes content from Hey Grill Hey on social media by searching @HeyGrillHey.

Smoked queso in a cast iron skillet topped with bacon and green onions.

Smoked Queso

Susie Bulloch
Smoked queso combines crispy bacon, fresh garlic, and loads of real, melty cheese in a delicious dip that's perfect with chips!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 10 mins
Total Time : 15 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 570kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • ½ pound bacon (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions (sliced)

Instructions

  • Cook bacon. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon pieces until crisp, about 3-4 minutes, and remove from the pan to a paper towel to drain. Leave about 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan.
  • Start making the queso. Add the minced garlic to the hot pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the softened cream cheese, the chicken stock, the red pepper flakes, and the black pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.
  • Add the cheese. In a bowl, combine the shredded Monterey jack cheese and the corn starch. Mix together to coat the cheese shreds evenly. Dump the cheese into the hot cream cheese/broth mixture. Whisk until the cheese is nice and melty.
  • Smoke. Place the queso on the smoker at 175-200 degrees F for 30-45 minutes to melt the cheese and add some smoky flavor.
  • Serve. Remove the smoked queso from the smoker and top with the cooked bacon and fresh sliced green onions. Serve while still hot with your favorite chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 855mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1017IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 460mg | Iron: 1mg
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