Easy Rotel Dip

This irresistible indulgent rotel cheese dip is made with seasoned ground beef, creamy cheese, and flavorful Rotel tomatoes and chilies. This popular and easy dip recipe is most often made with Velveeta cheese - can you make rotel dip without Velveeta cheese? You absolutely can and I promise with this recipe you won’t even miss it. This dip is great for dipping crackers, tortilla chips, and even veggies and perfect for game day or any occasion!

Easy Rotel Dip

Why You Will Love This Rotel Dip Recipe

  • Easy to make
  • Quick to make
  • No velveeta cheese needed
  • No extra fillers: corn starch or flour needed to thicken it
  • Double cheese - need I say more?

What Is Rotel Dip?

Rotel dip gets its name from the canned tomatoes that the dip is made with. Rotel original canned tomatoes actually are finely chopped tomatoes & green chilies (basically a combination of salsa and green chilies). This dip is made traditionally with a can of rotel tomatoes , spices and velveeta cheese sort of like a queso dip. This version is made with ground beef and instead of velveeta or thickening with cornstarch or flour, it’s made with real shredded cheese and for extra creaminess and a bit of tang we added cream cheese and some sour cream. The dip is seasoned with taco seasoning and the flavors come together deliciously in this cheese dip.

Easy Rotel Dip Ingredients Layed Out

Rotel Dip Recipe Ingredients

  • ROTEL TOMATOES: All you need is 1 can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies. Do not drain - use the entire can. If you cannot get your hands on cans of rotel in your area I recommend using a 10 oz can of finely diced tomatoes (I like to use Mutti) and feel free to add in a half can of chopped green chilies, or a couple of tablespoons of pickled minced jalapeños.
  • GROUND BEEF: I usually use lean ground beef but you can also use ground pork or Italian sausage or even ground chicken, or ground turkey for a different protein. You can also make this dip using shredded chicken/ rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken. Simply stir it in with the tomatoes to heat it up and proceed with recipe as written. This dip can easily be made meatless as well simply omit and saute the onion and garlic and proceed with the recipe as written.
  • ONION & GARLIC: These are optional to add, but I like to add more flavor to the ground beef and dip itself by sautéing a small red onion or yellow onion and some garlic with the ground beef.
  • TACO SEASONING: Feel free to use a store bought package which I usually have on hand or use a homemade blend - you will need approx 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning or for homemade taco seasoning you will need a blend of: 2 teaspoons hot chili powder, 1½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste, 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red chili flakes, or to taste (Optional)
  • CREAM CHEESE: I use full fat but feel free to use low fat if you wish. Room temperature recommended and cut into cubes
  • SOUR CREAM: Adds creaminess and some tang to the dip
  • SHREDDED CHEESE: I like to use yellow cheddar cheese but feel free to use white cheddar, or pepper jack cheese or a combination of them like a tex Mex mix or for more gooeyness feel free to substitute the some of the cheddar with mozzarella cheese. I always recommend shredding your own cheese as pre shredded cheeses have additives which can create a grainy texture in your dip. GRATE your cheese nice and fine so it melts quickly and evenly in dip.

Easy Rotel Dip Step by Step Directions

How To Make Rotel Dip:

  1. BROWN MEAT: Saute the ground beef with the garlic and onions (drain off excess fat - optional)
  2. ADD TOMATOES: stir in the rotel tomatoes, taco seasoning, cream cheese and sour cream
  3. ADD SHREDDED CHEESE: Stir in the shredded cheese a handful at a time while stirring and cooking over low heat until meted
  4. SERVE: once smooth and creamy, remove from heat and serve hot/warm with crackers, veggies or tortilla chips and whatever toppings you like

Easy Rotel Dip

What to Serve with Rotel Dip:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Crackers or crisps, crostini
  • Chopped veggies for dipping like carrots, celery, bell peppers etc
  • You can also serve it over nachos instead of the queso and ground beef add this dip!
  • Can be served over loaded cheese fries as well
  • This is also great over hot dogs or hamburgers for a chili dog/burger sort of deal

Easy Rotel Dip with a Nacho chip dipped in

Rotel Dip Storage, Make Ahead & Freezing Recommendations

  • STORAGE: Store leftover Rotel dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop and serve
  • MAKE AHEAD: Prepare the dip, cool, and store in fridge in airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove and serve. Prep it ahead, pour it into a slow cooker / crockpot, and keep it on the warm setting while entertaining!
  • FREEZING: Allow dip to cool completely, transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, heat in the microwave or on the stove, and serve.

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Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins


  • 1 small red onion, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning (28 grams/Approx 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes (original or mild) 284 ml, not drained
  • 1 (8 oz) Block of cream cheese, cubed or cut into smaller chunks
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups Finley shredded yellow cheddar cheese

Topping Options

  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Diced tomatoes/Pico de Gallo
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Green onions


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef with onion and garlic, breaking it up with wooden spoon until crumbled and no longer pink. (Drain off excess fat - optional)
  2. Reduce heat to medium, stir in sour cream, tomatoes, cream cheese, taco seasoning and stir cooking until smooth
  3. Stir in cheese a little at a time until completely melted, reduce temperature to low heat so cheese melts gradually.
  4. Taste and add salt or adjust seasonings as desired.
  5. Once melted and smooth remove from heat and serve immediately while warm with tortilla chips and whatever toppings you like. (see notes below for oven version)

Recipe Notes

  • Oven version: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook ground beef in a medium size skillet over medium heat on stove top, break apart the meat as it cooks. Once beef is cooked and browned, no longer pink, drain any excess grease. Stir the taco seasoning into the beef, evenly coating the meat. Add the meat to a square baking dish. Add the cubed cream cheese, shredded cheese and rotel into the baking dish. (no need to stir together at this point) Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheeses are completely melted. Stir together the dip until it comes together and is creamy. Then serve.
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning for this recipe (approx 2 tablespoons): 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste, 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red chili flakes, or to taste (Optional)

Easy Rotel Dip in a bowl