Homemade Rotel Dip

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings

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This easy Rotel Dip recipe is made with fresh ingredients for the best flavor. This classic creamy dip is made with ground beef, Rotel tomatoes, Mexican seasonings, half and half, and cheese.

If you’re looking for more game day dips, try my Cream Cheese Fruit Dip for something sweet, my Caramel Apple Dip for dessert and my Taco Dip for a dip that eats like a meal!

Top view close up image of chip scooping rotel dip.

Made with simple ingredients, this homemade Rotel Dip still packs a punch and is such a crowd pleaser! Rotel cheese dip recipe is unique because it does not include any Velveeta cheese at all (I promise you won’t miss it!).

We love creamy, cheesy, comforting foods but I also love making food with real ingredients — and real cheese is a must here! If you’re looking for a Rotel Dip without Velveeta, you’ve come to the right place.

This classic cheese dip is the perfect appetizer for parties as it goes well with so many dishes. It’s a favorite Game Day recipe, and this stove top version only takes 20 minutes to make. Serve this flavorful dip with tortilla chips and other handy snacks.

If you want some other great Appetizer recipes check out this Buffalo Chicken Dip, this Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Dip, these Air Fryer Chicken Wings or my Classic Homemade Salsa.

Rotel Dip Ingredients Needed:

Top view of ingredients needed for Rotel dip.

This recipe is made with simple ingredients! See the recipe card for the amounts needed.

  • Ground Beef: I use lean ground beef as this gives the best beefy flavor without the unnecessary fat. If you use regular ground beef, you may want to drain it before continuing with the recipe.
  • Flour: All Purpose Flour works best for this recipe. Flour binds with the any fat from the beef to thicken our dip and make it creamy.
  • Taco Seasoning: You can use chili powder as an alternative. See below for homemade taco seasoning instructions.
  • Half and Half: Makes the dip creamy and gives it a great consistency. You can swap for any other cream or even whole or evaporated milk. The heavier the cream, the richer the dip will be.
  • Rotel Tomatoes: You need one can of Rotel tomatoes. Use the original or mild if you prefer.
  • Cheese: I use cheddar cheese, but you can also use other types such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack or whatever you’ve got kicking around in your fridge!
  • Salt: To enhance the flavors. You may want to reduce the added salt if your taco seasoning is quite salty.
  • Tortilla Chips: These are for serving, so you can use plain, lightly salted, cheesy, or a variety of flavors for your guests to choose.
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How to Make Rotel Dip:

This Rotel cheese dip just takes 20 minutes to make! See the complete recipe down in the recipe card.

  1. Brown ground beef: Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned.
  2. Add flour and seasoning: Add the all-purpose flour and taco seasoning and stir until no white remains.
  3. Add tomatoes. Add half and half and tomatoes. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.
  4. Add cheese and season. Stir in cheese until melted. Taste and add salt or adjust seasonings as desired. Serve.

What to Serve with Rotel Dip:

  • Crackers: Try this dip with your favorite crackers! Try Triscuits, Ritz, pretzels, you name it.
  • Chips: Tortilla chips are a classic side to Rotel dip. I like the lightly salted kind, but also other flavors like cool ranch or cheesy Doritos with it too.
  • Bread: This dip works well on slider buns or baguette slices. Take it up a notch and toast the bread, add the dip and top with some chopped cilantro!
  • Other Appetizers: Chicken Tenders, Flatbread Pizza, Mozzarella Sticks, or Tater Tots.

How to Make Rotel Dip in a Slow Cooker

This easy dip recipe can also be cooked in a slow cooker! It is super easy to do, and can make this easy recipe even easier, as there is very little prep.

Simply cook the ground beef until browned and drain the excess fat. Put all the ingredients into a slow cooker or Crock Pot, and cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Make sure to stir the mixture occasionally to melt cheese evenly. Once the cheese has melted, turn heat to a warm setting and serve.

Chip scooping Rotel tomato dip out of black skillet.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

You can use store-bought taco seasoning, but making your own taco seasoning means you can adjust the flavor to exactly how you like it. Save time by making a big batch of this seasoning and storing it in a labeled jar to use it in other dishes! For homemade taco seasoning, mix together:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Rotel Dip FAQs

Why is it called Rotel Dip?

Rotel Dip gets its name from the type of canned tomatoes it uses which gives it a signature flavor – Rotel tomatoes.

What is Rotel dip made of?

The basic ingredients of Rotel dip are Rotel tomatoes, meat, and cheese. The types of meat and cheeses used can vary, but you would normally find ground beef and Velveeta cheese in easy recipes.

What are the different kinds of Rotel?

Rotel tomatoes are diced canned tomatoes with green chilies. They come in a range of flavors and spice levels. On the milder side, there are the Mild and Original Rotel tomatoes. Then they have a variety of spicy flavors, including Hot, Chipotle, and Serrano.

Is Rotel the same as salsa?

Rotel tomatoes and salsa are different, though you can sometimes substitute one for the other in recipes without too much impact.
Rotel tomatoes only contain diced tomatoes and green chilies, whereas salsa usually also contains diced onions, cilantro, lime juice, and other seasonings.
The closest Rotel tomato substitute for salsa would be the Rotel Tomatoes – Mexican Style with Lime & Cilantro.

How do I store this recipe?

Store Rotel Dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat it on the microwave or on the stove top at a low heat, but you may need to add in some half and half or milk to make it less thick.

Top view of Rotel dip with wooden spoon stuck in.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Add a little heat. Customize this dip to your preference for spiciness. Add in diced jalapeños, chili powder, or your favorite hot sauce for added heat!
  • Use different kinds of cheese. Substitute some of the cheddar cheese with pepper jack cheese to add some extra heat as well.
  • Swap the meat. Instead of ground beef, you can use ground sausage meat, ground turkey, shredded chicken, or even shredded turkey. It can be a useful recipe to have on hand to use up those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!
  • Substitute the half and half. Use evaporated milk, whole milk or greek yoghurt instead of half and half, but the quantities for each may vary depending on the type used.
  • Fresh veggies: Add some finely diced veggies into the dip, or serve with fresh veggie sticks like carrots, celery, and cucumber.

More easy appetizer recipes you’ll love:

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Rotel Dip

5 from 6 votes
This Rotel Dip is made with fresh ingredients for the best flavor. This classic creamy dip is made with ground beef, Rotel tomatoes, Mexican seasonings, half and half, and cheese.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Appetizer
Servings 12 servings
Calories 153cal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder or taco seasoning
  • cups half and half (you can sub evaporated or whole milk)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (original or mild) 284 ml
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt to taste
  • tortilla chips for serving


  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned.
  • Add flour and seasoning and stir until no white remains.
  • Add half and half and tomatoes. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.
  • Stir in cheese until melted. Taste and add salt or adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.


  • Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top at low heat. Add in some half and half or milk if it is too thick.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 153cal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 257mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords rotel dip

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. Trudy says

    I am going to make this for the
    SUPERB OWL party I am having tomorrow and I am wondering f I need to drain the hamburger? Cannot wait to try it!

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