If you go crazy for jalapeño poppers, you’ll love my Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip. This creamy appetizer features my top-rated Garlic Jalapeño Rub, a crisp crust, and just the right amount of kick. Every good get-together needs a dip, and this recipe will go over well with friends and family.
My wife’s been making this decadent dip for years. I put my own BBQ spin on it, and now we enjoy it Heath Riles style. This is perfect for game days, boy’s nights, and holidays. Serve it alongside my smoked meat recipes for a killer spread. Everyone will be dying to know the recipe!
This appetizer is easy to make and is always a crowd-pleaser. You won’t believe how easy it is to make dips on the grill! This is a fantastic recipe for novice pitmasters because it involves no guesswork. You’ll have a gooey, cheesy dip ready to serve in less than an hour.
I've got you covered if you’re looking for an appetizer that doesn’t require many ingredients. My Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip is a fun twist on your typical hot dip. Here’s what you need to pull this recipe together.
- Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This rub is my #1 best-seller. It’s great on chicken, seafood, beef, veggies, and popcorn. Jalapeños and garlic are a classic mix, and this rub has heat on the back end but is mild enough that even kids can enjoy it.
- Cream cheese. You can’t have jalapeño popper dip without cream cheese. This tangy ingredient counteracts the spiciness of the jalapeños, leaving you with a fantastic balance of flavors. I recommend softening your cream cheese to make mixing the dip easier.
- Mayonnaise. This ingredient thins the dip for ultimate dipping delight. The best part? You don’t lose moisture or flavor like you would if you added milk. I always keep a jar of mayo on hand for dips and burgers. It makes everything taste better.
- Shredded cheddar cheese. The sharp taste of cheddar is a remarkable contrast to mild cream cheese. I freshly shred my cheese to avoid the preservatives in pre-shredded varieties. These preservatives coat the cheese, making it harder to melt. Trust me; this is an extra step you’ll want to take.
- Diced jalapeños. I finely chop my jalapeños, so every bite has an even amount of spice. If you’re a real firebreather, you can use fresh jalapenos. I prefer using pickled jalapenos.
- Melted butter. Butter is one of the ingredients I use in the breadcrumb topping. It helps the crust get beautifully golden on the grill and adds a burst of flavor.
- Panko breadcrumbs. A breadcrumb topping takes this dip to a whole new level. Panko breadcrumbs get toasty but not soggy. You've got a winning combination when mixed with melted butter and my Garlic Jalapeño Rub.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. Find more of my grilling favorites in the equipment and tools section.
- Pellet grill/smoker. I used a Traeger Timberline 1300 for this recipe. My favorite thing about the Traeger is that it can smoke or grill. This is an excellent setup if you want one pit for multiple functions. I’ve had great results every time I’ve used it!
- Pellets. I stoked my grill with Traeger’s Hickory Pellets. Hickory is a neutral wood that goes great with everything. I use it for everything from pork to veggies. If you want just one kind of wood pellet, go with hickory.
The Process for Making Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip
You can find detailed instructions for this cook in the recipe card and corresponding video at the bottom of the post. For now, enjoy this brief overview.
- Fire up the Traeger. The first thing I did was stoke the Traeger with hickory pellets and get it up to about 375℉.
- Mix the dip. Then, I put my softened cream cheese, mayo, jalapenos, half of my cheddar, and a good dash of my Garlic Jalapeño Rub in a mixing bowl. I mixed the dip until all the ingredients were homogenous, then spread it into my greased skillet.
- Add the topping. I created a delicious topping by combining the bread crumbs, remaining cheese, a dash of my Garlic Jalapeño Rub, and butter. I sprinkled it over the dip and spread it, so it was even.
- Cook the dip. I put the Jalapeño Popper dip on the top shelf of the pit for about 35-45 minutes. I knew it was done when it was golden and bubbly. The only thing left to do was serve it.
Cooking this dip on the top shelf gave it a golden crust. The topping added texture to this dip, which you don’t see in many recipes. The dip was gooey with just the right pop of jalapeno heat.
Serving Suggestions for Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip
Serve this delicious dip with veggies, chips, or your favorite crackers. You can also add leftover dip to toasted bread for a change of pace.
Storing Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip
If you find yourself with leftovers, store them in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat this dip on the grill or in the oven.
Equipment and Tools
Jalapeño Popper Cheese Dip | Traeger Timberline 1300 | Heath Riles BBQ
Get Traeger grill, or grill of your choice, up to temperature of approximately 375 º with hickory pellets.
Mix cream cheese, mayo, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, 1/4 cup of jalapeños, and Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeno Rub together in a bowl.
Place your mixture evenly in an oiled cast iron skillet.
Mix panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of cheddar, melted butter, and Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeno Rub.
Spread mixture evenly on top of your cream cheese mixture in the cast iron skillet.
Put your cast iron skillet on the grill at 375 º.
The total cook time is about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with chips, crackers, or veggies.