My Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cheese Dip will be the star of any game day! This creamy dip is perfectly seasoned with my stellar BBQ Beef Rub and topped with crisp bacon. This is an excellent recipe for those days when you’re low on time. It comes together in under an hour, and doesn’t require a lot of fuss.
Bacon is one of those ingredients that everyone goes crazy for. The bacon stays nice and crisp with my foolproof cooking method, just the way I like it. Add some veggies or crackers, and you have an appetizer fit for a king.
This recipe proves that sometimes simplicity is best. My Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cheese Dip couldn’t be easier; mix a few ingredients, create a killer crust, and stick it on the grill. I always recommend my dip recipes to novice pitmasters because they’re simple, and your return on investment is high. I know you’ll love it just as much as I do!
Recipes with less than ten ingredients are my jam. This tasty appetizer uses staples found in most homes to create one decadent, gooey dip. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping list.
- Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. This brilliant blend of paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder is fantastic on any thick steak. It’s not just for beef, though! I use it on veggies, chicken, pork, seafood, and as a seasoning for appetizers.
- Cream cheese. The base of my dip is cream cheese, a tangy spread that pairs well with the spiciness of the jam. I soften my cream cheese to make mixing the dip easier. I leave the blocks on the counter for about 30 minutes, which gets them to room temperature.
- Cheddar cheese. This mild cheese is heavenly with bacon. I use freshly shredded cheese because I’ve found that the pre-shredded varieties contain a lot of fillers. Those fillers coat the cheese and make it melt unevenly.
- Green onions. Chopped green onions add a little kick to this dip, making it look great! Chop your onions finely for the best results.
- Ritz crackers. I love going the extra mile and creating a crisp topping for my dips. This adds a lot of texture and makes it taste gourmet. Ritz crackers get ultra-crunchy when mixed with bacon grease.
- Bacon. Adding bacon to the top of the dip keeps it crisp. There’s nothing worse than soggy bacon, which can happen when mixed with wet ingredients.
- Virginia Chutney Hot Peach Chutney. I garnished my dip with this wonderfully spiced jelly. This condiment gives the dip the perfect bite of heat on the back end.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the leading equipment I used to make this dip. Check out the equipment and tools section for more of my must-haves.
- Pellet Grill/Smoker. Today, I used the Traeger Ironwood 885. This pit is perfect for the grill boss who loves up-to-date technology. I love the included meat probe, app, and super smoke button.
- Pellets. I stoked my grill with Traeger’s Hickory Pellets. They give recipes a remarkable flavor that’s not too overpowering. I consider this an all-purpose pellet option perfect for chicken, beef, veggies, dips, and ham.
The Process for Making Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cheese Dip
You can find a detailed demonstration in the recipe card and video section at the bottom of this post. Here’s a brief overview of how this dip came together.
- Fire up the grill. I stoked my Traeger 885 with hickory pellets and fired it up to 350ºF.
- Make the dip. I mixed the cream cheese, cheddar, green onions, and a good dash of my Beef Rub in a large bowl until smooth.
- Mold and spread. I lightly greased a cast-iron skillet and added the cheese dip to the pan. Using a glove, I molded the dip as you would a cheese ball, so the appetizer cooks evenly.
- Add topping. I covered the dip with another layer of beef rub, then added my topping. To make my topping, I mixed the bacon and crackers until crumbly. Then, I sprinkled it evenly over the top of the dip.
- Cook the appetizer. I put the skillet on the grill and cooked it for about 35-45 minutes until it was bubbly and golden.
- Garnish and serve. I warmed my peach pepper jelly in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, then drizzled it on top of the dip. There you have it; a winning recipe!
My dip was creamy and rich, with just the right amount of spice. The pepper jelly complemented the appetizer without overpowering the other ingredients. This is a fabulous recipe that even kids can enjoy!
Storing Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cheese Dip
I can’t guarantee you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat this dip in the oven or grill it until bubbly.
Equipment and Tools
Sweet and Spicy Bacon Cheese Dip on the Traeger Ironwood 885
Get your Traeger grill temperature up to approximately 350º using Hickory pellets, or grill / pellets of your choice.
Mix cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub in a bowl.
Spread your mixture evenly in an oiled cast iron skillet. Add more Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub on top.
Mix chopped bacon and crushed crackers together and spread on top of your mixture in the cast iron skillet.
Place your cast iron skillet on the grill at 350º.
Cook for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.
Towards the end of baking, heat 1/2 cup of Hot Peach pepper jelly to melt.
As soon as the dip comes off the grill, spread the melted pepper jelly evenly over the top.
Serve with crackers or chips of your choice.