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Traeger Beef Queso

This simple smoked Traeger Beef Queso is made with NO processed cheese, full of big, bold, taco flavor, and is great for dipping! It is also reheatable, can be made in advance, and is amazing in scrambled eggs the next day!

Smoked Beef Queso Dip

Traeger Smoked Beef Queso Dip

Our delicious, cheesy, smoked beef queso is made right on the pellet grill, without any processed cheese. We use the BFF of all cheese sauces, sodium citrate, to ensure a smooth, creamy, unbreakable cheese sauce that is the perfect dip for tortilla chips!

Make this dip for a potluck, football party, or any kind of cookout or family gathering that calls for a great appetizer! Make it a day or two in advance, and reheat right before you want to eat.

Traeger Beef Queso

Traeger Beef Queso shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • ground sirloin
  • Meat Church Fajita Rub (or your favorite taco seasoning)
  • El Pato Jalapeño Tomato Sauce
  • canned green chiles
  • Rotel
  • sodium citrate
  • whole milk*
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese

How to make Smoked Beef Queso

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Preheat your smoker

200° is perfect for this dish!


Make the sauce and brown the meat

Take the ground beef and season it with the Fajita seasoning. Mix in the tomato sauce, green chilies, and Rotel to the ground beef.

In a separate saucepan, heat the milk and whisk in the sodium citrate. Simmer gently until it is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and slow mix in the cheese to the hot milk until it is fully melted. If you’d like thinner queso, stir in more (hot) milk.

Combine the meat and the cheese sauce in a grill-safe dish.


Smoke it

Place the dish back into the smoker, and smoke for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Serve hot.

Smoked Beef Queso FAQ

How do you store leftovers?

Covered, in the fridge, for 2-3 days.

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

We throw it back on the smoker if the smoker is already running, if not, the oven or the microwave work great!

Are there any substitutions for sodium citrate?

Nope! This recipe isn’t going to work, as written, without that. This ingredient makes the cheese sauce more soluble and lowers the pH, preventing it from curdling.

What if you don’t have a smoker?

If you don’t have a smoker, you can make this on the stovetop and keep it warm in a crock pot or oven. You’ll miss a little of the wood-fire flavor, but it’ll still be delicious!

Traeger Beef Queso with chips

More amazing appetizers to try

We love a good appetizer party, and if you need some ideas we’ve got tons of great ones here for you! Here are a few of my favorites!

Smoked Beef Queso Dip
Yield: 12 servings

Traeger Beef Queso

Traeger Beef Queso

Our delicious, homemade beef queso uses a little sodium citrate to keep things smooth and creamy, and NO VELVEETA!


  • 1 teaspoon sodium citrate
  • 1/2 cup whole milk*
  • 16 ounces Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon Meat Church Fajita Rub
  • 1 - 7 3/4 ounce El Pato Jalapeño Tomato Sauce
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • 1 can Rotel (your favorite flavor)


  1. Preheat your smoker to 200°.
  2. Combine the sodium citrate and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine and simmer until the sodium citrate is dissolved (about 2 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until it is melted. Add more hot milk, if desired, until the sauce is as thin as you like it.
  4. In a separate pan, brown the ground beef and season with the fajita rub. Drain the excess fat and add in the El Pato, green Chiles, and Rotel.
  5. Mix the ground beef mixture into the cheese sauce, and place all of it into a grill-safe baking dish. Put on the smoker for 30-60 minutes, and enjoy piping hot with chips!


  • You can use more milk if you like a thinner queso. I think mine thick and scoopable, but because of the sodium citrate, you don't have to worry about adding so much liquid it breaks.
  • Additionally, if you want to skip the milk and make the flavor a little bolder, you can use tomato juice, V8, or a thin salsa for the liquid portion of this dish.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 668mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 29g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Friday 11th of February 2022

Just wondering if the recipe card could include the instructions? At least they don’t shown my screen nor on the printed recipe. Sounds absolutely delicious!

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Welllll that's embarrassing! Just fixed that, thank you so much for pointing it out!

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