Method: SmokerJump to Recipe
We have been making some version of this Smoked Taco Dip for years. My siblings and I grew up eating the original version of this game day appetizer at pretty much every Super Bowl Party or family get together of our entire childhood. As I grew older it was was one of the first appetizers that I learned to make when I got together with college buddies to watch a game or for and east tailgate food. Over the years I have made few changes to my mom’s original recipe including this version where we make the zesty taco dip on a smoker, but it still remains an easy family favorite dip recipe.
Making the Smoked Taco Dip
Ingredients for the taco dip
To make this zesty smoked taco dip you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 Pound of Hamburger
- 16 Ounces of Cream Cheese
- 2 Cups of your Favorite Salsa
- 1 Packet (3 tablespoons) of Your Favorite Taco Seasoning
- 8 Ounces of a Combination of Colby, Cheddar, or Pepper Jack Cheese
- 1 Cup of Your Favorite Cheese Dip or Queso
The great thing about this dip taco dip recipe is that it is completely customizable. Use your favorite salsa and queso and make it as mild or spicy as you want. Feel free to use your favorite taco seasoning or use our favorite homemade taco seasoning that you can find in our Scratch Fire Roasted Chile and Beef Enchiladas recipe.
Cook and season the taco meat
Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat and then brown the ground beef. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and follow and package direction as far as water or broth than needs to be added. If you are using our homemade taco seasoning add 3 tablespoons of seasoning along with 3/4 a cup of water and then simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat.
Layer the dip
First, spread the cream cheese along the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan or foil pan. Use a foil pan if you plan on smoking the dip unless you have a very understanding spouse or you plan on cleaning the dirty baking dish that you just mucked up on the smoker.
Follow the cream cheese layer with a layer of the queso or cheese dip and then top that with your favorite salsa. As mentioned, the salsa layer is where you can make this smoked taco dip into a spicy taco dip. Just add some medium or hot salsa. We find chunky style salsa works best for this recipe.
Spread the salsa evenly to completely cover the cheese layers.
Next top the salsa layer of the taco dip with the seasoned and cooked taco meat. Spread the taco meat evenly across the pan.
Finally, top the zesty taco dip with the shredded cheese. Our recipe calls for 8 ounces of shredded cheese but, I can’t lie, we often use some extra because who does not love more cheese.
At this point you can freeze the taco dip until it is needed. We often make a double batch and eat one right away and freeze the other until our next game day party.
Smoke the taco dip
After the explosion of popularity with smoked queso over the last few years, we were very excited to see how the zesty taco dip that we grew up with would taste cooked on our grill or smoker. We were thrilled with how the Smoked Taco Dip turned out.
Preheat your grill or smoker to 300 degrees. For a milder smoke flavor we make the smoked taco dip on our Yoder pellet smoker. When we want a heavier smoke flavor we use a wood or charcoal burning smoker like our Big Green Egg or Gateway Drum Smoker. If you have a wood burning smoker but prefer less smoke flavor then cover the dip with foil halfway through the cook.
Cook the layered taco dip over indirect heat for about 30 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, check the dip, and continue cooking until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the dip is bubbling.
Serve the dip warm with your favorite tortilla chips. Our kids also love the leftovers rolled up into flour tortillas for zesty taco dip burritos.
If you are looking for more great Game Day appetizers or Super Bowl recipes then be sure to check out our Buffalo Chicken Wontons, Pub Style Irish Nachos, and Asiago Cream Nachos with Blackened Chicken and Chorizo. For more great dips be sure to try our Cast Iron Spinach Artichoke Dip and Jalapeno-Cilantro Hummus.
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Smoked Taco Dip
- 9×13 pan
- 1 Pound Hamburger
- 3 Tab Favorite Taco Seasoning 1 one packet
- 16 Ounces Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Queso or cheese dip
- 2 Cups Favorite Salsa
- 8 Ounces Shredded Cheese Colby, cheddar, pepper jack, or combination
- Brown the ground beef and then add the taco seasoning and cook per package instructions. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat.
- Spread the softened cream cheese onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
- Next spread the cup of queso or cheese dip followed by the 2 cups of salsa.
- Next layer the seasoned cooked taco meat onto the dip.
- Finish the layered dip by topping with the shredded cheese.
- Heat your grill or smoker to 300 degrees. Cook the taco dip, over indirect heat, for 30 minutes then rotate 180 degrees. Cook for an additional 15 minutes and then continue to cook until the cheese topping is melted and bubbly.
- Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips.