Smoked Chili Queso Recipe

David Dial | Spiced Blog

Smoked Chili Queso is easily made on the grill in a cast iron skillet. It is a delicious appetizer perfect for your next gathering or tailgate party!

Smoked Chili Queso Photo

This smoked chili queso recipe is one of my favorites! I mean, I’m pretty sure I could drink queso straight so I know a good queso.

You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Ok, ok. The thought of drinking queso does kinda gross me, but the point remains that I consider queso to be a food group by itself.

Since my favorite thing to do in the summer is get out the grill or smoker (and sometimes both at the same time!), I decided to create a queso recipe that is cooked outdoors. This smoked chili queso is absolutely delicious and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Smoked Chili Queso Picture

Why is it that tortilla chips taste so much better when served with queso? Seriously…who is going to be upset when you bring out a big bowl of hot queso dip and chips? No one!

Smoked Chili Queso Image

Is it the saltiness of the chips combined with the cheesy goodness of the queso? I’m not sure, but I do know that it is one of my favorite snacks of all time! But hold on… I made it even better by cooking this queso outdoors on the grill!

How to Make Queso Photo

How to Make Queso on the Grill

How does it work to make queso on the grill? That’s where a handy cast iron skillet comes into play. First, spread the cheeses evenly across the bottom of a well seasoned eight to ten inch cast iron skillet. 

How to Make Queso Picture

This queso recipe uses a combination of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses. I think it melts quicker and more evenly if you use shredded cheese.

How to Make Queso Image

Soak hickory chips in water for a half hour to an hour, then transfer them to a foil pocket. Poke holes in the pocket so the smoke can escape, then transfer to the grill.

How to Make Queso Pic

Place the cast iron skillet on the opposite side of the grill, away from the heat, and allow it to smoke and cook for about 30 minutes or until it's melted and slightly browned on top.

While the cheese is smoking, sautee the onions, diced jalapeño pepper and garlic until soft. Add in cumin and flour until everything is a little gummy and sticky, then whisk in the milk, cilantro, diced tomatoes and green chiles.

Once the cheese is metled through mix together with the sour cream and the pepper and onion mixture.

Smoked Chili Queso Pic

My favorite way to eat this smoked chili queso is simply with tortilla chips. But I don’t stop there!

I also enjoy adding one to two tablespoons of queso in my burritos, or I’ve also been known to serve a small bowl of queso as a dipping sauce of sorts alongside quesadillas. So good!

Smoked Chili Queso Recipe Photo

If you anticipate having any leftovers, make sure you know how long queso can last in the fridge.

What to Serve with Queso

Smoked Chili Queso Recipe Picture

Grab the ingredients for this tasty cheese dip and invite some friends and neighbors over this weekend for a casual summer party. Happy grilling!

Smoked Chili Queso Recipe Image

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Smoked Chili Queso Recipe

    5 Servings


  • 2 cups hickory wood chips or chunks
  • 8 ounces Monterrey Jack Cheese, Shredded
  • 12 ounces Mild Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 medium White Onion, Diced
  • 1 jalapeños Jalapeño, Seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves Garlics, Diced
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 10 ounces Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, Canned
  • 4 1/2 ounces Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • Black Pepper, To garnish


  1. Soak the hickory chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the grill for indirect heat. (If using a gas grill, turn burners on one side to high and leave burners on other side off. If using a charcoal grill, bank the charcoal up against one side of the grill.)
  3. Using an 8"-10" cast iron skillet, place the shredded cheese evenly across the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Place the hickory chips directly on the coals and wait for the smoke to appear. (If using a gas grill, make an aluminum foil pouch for the hickory chips. Seal pouch, but poke several holes in the top to allow smoke to escape.)
  5. Once hickory chips are smoking, place the cast iron skillet on the opposite side from the charcoal or lit burners. Cover grill and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until cheese has fully melted. (Note: Check on the cheese occasionally and rotate the skillet as needed.)
  6. Meanwhile, place the olive oil, diced onion and diced jalapeño in a medium fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until onions begin to turn translucent. Add diced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Whisk the flour and cumin into the fry pan and cook for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the milk and whisk until mixture is well combined. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, canned diced tomatoes and canned diced chilies. Set mixture aside.
  8. Once the cheese has melted fully, add the sour cream and sautéed onion mixture. Stir together until fully combined. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve hot with tortilla chips.


Cooking Method:
Tex Mex
Party Food
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Related Recipes:
Party Food Recipes, Tex Mex Recipes, Grilling Recipes, Cheese Recipes, Dip Recipes, Pepper Recipes, Easy Recipes
Recipe Yields:
5 cups
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: David Dial
Recipe Yields: 5 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 177
Calories 327

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g
  Saturated Fat 12g
Sodium 623mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 3g
Protein 13g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
David Dial

About David

David is bringing up the guy quotient here on Food Fanatic, representing all things Grilling in a big way. On his own site, Spiced, David covers every kind of culinary adventure.

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