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Rotel Dip: the easy, delicious recipe for a cheesy party dip

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist
Ground beef
1 pound
Processed cheese
8 ounces
rotel tomatoes, undrained
10 ounces
Chili powder
1/2 tsp

If you're looking for the ultimate party dip to serve the next time you're hosting friends in your home, nothing beats Rotel dip. This easy-to-make dip calls for just four ingredients, but despite its short ingredient list, Rotel dip is packed with flavor.

This cheesy, spicy dip is made from Rotel canned tomatoes, Velveeta cheese, and perfectly browned ground beef and seasoned with a dash of chili pepper to give it a spicy kick. It's easy to customize; you can add veggies to it, stir in some extra spices, or use your preferred protein like chicken or shrimp.

However you choose to make it, Rotel dip is always fantastic when served with chips, pretzels, crackers, or even crostinis. It's a surefire hit that everyone will love!


What is Rotel Dip?

Rotel dip is a super simple cheese dip made from Velveeta (or other processed cheese), ground beef, and Rotel canned tomatoes with green chilies. It's similar to queso dip and cheesy, spicy, and all-around delicious! Rotel dip is perfect for Superbowl parties, potlucks, or any time you're serving up finger foods.

Rotel Dip Ingredients

To make a basic (but delicious) Rotel dip, you need ground beef, cheese, Rotel, and chili powder.

Pick up lean ground beef to make your dip. While you'll drain off the excess fat, if you use ground beef with higher fat content, it'll make your Rotel dip greasy.

Processed cheese like Velveeta is the go-to choice for Rotel dip, but you can use any type of cheese you prefer.

Finally, make sure you don't drain the can of Rotel – the liquids will add a ton of flavor to your dip.

How to Make Rotel Dip

Making the best homemade Rotel dip is absurdly easy. Saute your ground beef (or sausage, chicken, or pork) until browned and cooked through, then drain off any fat that's in the skillet. Add in the cheese, Rotel tomatoes with their juices, and chili powder, and let the mixture simmer away over medium heat.

Stir it every occasionally until the cheese melts – this will give you a lovely smooth, thick sauce. When the cheese melts, go ahead and serve your Rotel dip warm with tortilla chips, chopped veggies, corn chips, or whatever you prefer!


How to Make Rotel Dip in a Crockpot

Prefer to make slow cooker Rotel dip? It's just as easy. Saute the beef until browned, then drain it off and put it in your crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients, then put the lid on your slow cooker and cook the dip on low for 2 to 3 hours, making sure to stir it every so often until the cheese has melted. Once the cheese has melted, switch it to warm until you're ready to serve the dip.

Tips for the Best Rotel Dip 

Instead of ground beef, you can use ground pork or sausage instead. Add spicy sausage to your Rotel dip for an extra kick.

Not into meat? Use shrimp or chicken as a substitute for beef.

Jazz up your Rotel dip by adding roasted bell peppers, chopped chilies, bacon, celery, or spices like paprika, pepper, cumin, taco seasoning, or garlic powder.

If your Rotel dip is too thick, thin it out with a little stock or beer.

For a thicker, creamier dip, add some cream cheese, or for a tangier flavor, sour cream to your dip.

What to Serve with Rotel Dip

Serve Rotel dip with tortilla chips, pita chips, corn chips, bagel chips, chopped fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, or peppers, crackers, bread, pretzels, or breadsticks. It goes well with pretty much any type of party nibbles!

How to Store Rotel Dip

Let your dip cool down then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. To reheat it, just pop it in the microwave.

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Saute the ground beef over medium-high heat. Fry until cooked through and the meat begins to brown. Pour off fat.

Reduce the heat to medium or transfer the ground beef to a large bowl. Add in the cheese.

Add the Rotel tomatoes and juices, and chili powder.

Stir until the cheese melts.

Once the cheese has melted and the dip is smooth, transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.


Use a large skillet to cook your Rotel dip.

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