Rotel Dip Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
Serve Rotel dip with tortilla chips or sliced veggies as an addition to a game-day spread, or ladle it over chips for easy nachos.

Updated: Apr. 01, 2024

It wouldn’t be a game-day party at my house without a slow cooker full of warm Rotel dip. This cheesy dip is so easy to make, but people positively gush over it as if it were a fancy dip recipe I learned in culinary school. They’re shocked to learn the dip is made with four ingredients in a single skillet and comes together in 15 minutes.

You can make this savory, creamy dip without meat, but I prefer this heartier version made with ground beef. Velveeta becomes smooth and thick as it melts, and the crumbled meat and chunky tomatoes accentuate that velvety texture. Rotel dip is the ideal consistency for dunking tortilla chips, sliced veggies, warm bread and whatever else your heart desires.

Rotel Dip Ingredients

  • Ground beef: Use lean ground beef or ground sirloin to keep the dip from feeling too greasy.
  • Velveeta: Rotel dip can be made with cream cheese or melting cheeses like cheddar, but we like to use Velveeta. This processed cheese, which becomes oh-so-smooth and saucy when it melts, offers a taste of nostalgia for many people.
  • Diced tomatoes and green chiles: Rotel is a specific brand of diced tomatoes and green chiles. Feel free to use any brand to make this recipe! You can substitute chunky salsa in a pinch, but the flavor will differ a bit.
  • Chili powder: This spice blend adds depth with its smoky, slightly spicy character.  If you don’t already have a favorite brand, check out our Test Kitchen picks for the best chili powder to find a blend with the right balance of flavors.

Directions

Step 1: Brown the beef

Cooking beef in a large skillet TMB Studio

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until no longer pink, five to seven minutes, breaking into crumbles. Drain.

Step 2: Melt the cheese

Cheese, tomatoes and chili powder mixed using a spatula in a large skilletTMB Studio

Stir in the cheese, tomatoes and chili powder. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm.

Editor’s Tip: You can put the whole block of Velveeta into the skillet, but it will melt more evenly if you cut it into smaller cubes first.

Rotel Dip served in a large pan on a wooden surfaceTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Use a different meat: Almost any ground meat, like spicy sausage, ground turkey or chorizo, works here. You can even use chili con carne from a can (as we do in this chili cheese dip recipe) or leftover rotisserie chicken. For a vegetarian version, simply skip the meat!
  • Make it more filling: Add black beans to make loaded cowboy queso.
  • Increase the spice: Kick up the heat with cayenne pepper or sliced jalapenos.
  • Skip the Velveeta: If you don’t like that iconic Velveeta flavor, use the combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese from our cheeseburger dip recipe. The dip will be thicker than Velveeta Rotel dip, but you can always thin it out with a bit of milk.

Can you make Rotel dip ahead of time?

Since dips made with Velveeta cheese reheat well, you can make our Rotel dip ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve it, reheat the dip in a covered heatproof container in the microwave for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can reheat the dip over gentle heat on the stovetop, stirring frequently, until warmed through.

How long does Rotel dip last?

Rotel dip is good for up to four days in the refrigerator. To store it, let the dip cool, then transfer it to an airtight container. The leftovers taste great as a dip with chips, but you can also use the cheesy sauce for nacho recipes or loaded breakfast potatoes.

Rotel Dip Tips

Rotel Dip in a large bowl with a spoon on a wooden surface TMB Studio

How do you thin Rotel dip?

If your Rotel dip is too thick, thin it with a splash of milk, water or broth. Once the cheese is melted, stir in the liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Can you make Rotel dip in a slow cooker?

You can prepare Rotel dip in a skillet, then transfer it to the slow cooker to keep it warm. Or, to turn this skillet Rotel dip into a slow-cooker dip, brown the meat in a skillet as directed. Transfer it to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients, and slow-cook, covered, on low until heated through, two to three hours, stirring halfway through cook time.

How do you serve Rotel dip?

Rotel dip will solidify as it cools, so you’ll want to keep it warm for serving. If you have a slow cooker, use the warm setting to keep the dip at the perfect temperature. Stir the dip occasionally to ensure the cheese doesn’t clump and burn on the bottom. Alternatively, you can make (and serve) Rotel dip in a cast-iron skillet. Cast iron retains heat well, so it will keep the dip warmer than a regular bowl or pan.

Rotel Dip

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in cheese, tomatoes and chili powder. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 148 calories, 11g fat (6g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 10g protein.

Creamy, delicious and made with only four ingredients, this Rotel dip is an absolute showstopper. It gets a bit of heat from the green chiles and chili powder, with a savory complement of ground beef and ooey-gooey Velveeta cheese. Serve it with tortilla chips, sliced veggies, pretzels or whatever else your heart desires. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin