Rotel Dip is an easy cheesy dip that needs just minutes to prepare! With only 4 ingredients, this quick dip recipe has been a crowd pleaser for years!

Ground beef and Rotel tomatoes are mixed with processed cheese and seasonings for a quick and extra creamy favorite.  

Prep it and keep it warm in a slow cooker. Serve it with a pile of tortilla chips alongside The BEST Buffalo Chicken Dip and Jalapeno Poppers for the best game day spread (don’t forget the Baked Buffalo Wings)!

rotel dip in a bowl

What is Rotel Dip

Rotel Dip (sometimes called ugly dip) is a very simple recipe, similar to a Queso Dip made extra easy with just 4 ingredients! Processed cheese, a can of Rotel Tomatoes, a bit of chili powder and I add sausage (or ground beef).

If you’re wondering what are Rotel Tomatoes, they’re petite diced tomatoes with green chilis and spices. They have a little heat, I would consider them almost salsa like!

Rotel Tomatoes add great flavor to things like Chili Recipes, stews, Taco Soup and more! You can generally find them in the canned tomato area of your grocery store!

If you want to make Rotel dip and you don’t have Rotel, you can certainly substitute salsa (the flavor won’t be exactly the same and of course then it’s not technically Rotel Dip, but it’ll still be really good).

Ingredients for Rotel Dip

How to Make Rotel Dip

This cheese dip recipe is as easy as 1,2,3!  It honestly couldn’t be more simple.

  1. Brown meat and drain.
  2. Add Rotel tomatoes and cheese to the same pan.
  3. Stir until melted.

Remember, do not drain the Rotel, as the juices provide the right consistency. We do sometimes add two cans of Rotel! Of course, like most recipes, you can add in your own favorites or change the flavors/additions based on what you have on hand.

Rotel Dip with Ground Beef

    • You can certainly make Rotel Dip without meat but we absolutely love making this dip hearty with the addition of ground beef or sausage.
    • Brown the meat and drain any fat. Once drained, add your (undrained) Rotel tomatoes and cheese. Stir it all in the same pan until melted.

Rotel Dip with Cream Cheese

    • If you’d perfect to skip the processed cheese loaf (Velveeta cheese) you can certainly make this dip with cream cheese instead. Simply replace the processed cheese with an 8oz package of cream cheese.
    • If using cream cheese, I also like to add in a handful of sharp cheddar cheese.
    • Regardless of the type of cheese, this recipe can be thinned out with a bit of milk if you’d like a thinner consistency.

Rotel Dip with a chip

How to Make Rotel Dip in the CrockPot

This dip can easily be made in the slow cooker. Simply brown and drain the ground beef or sausage as directed and drain. Combine all ingredients in a mini crock pot/slow cooker and set to low 2-3 hours stirring occasionally until melted. Once melted, turn slow cooker to warm.

Even if you cook this recipe on the stove top, using a slow cooker on warm is a great way to serve it at a party! Rotel dip can harden once cooled making it difficult to scoop. If this happens, simply reheat on the stove top or in the microwave until dippable again!

More Easy Dips You’ll Love

rotel dip in a bowl
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Rotel Dip

An easy cheesy 4 ingredient party dip made with sausage or ground beef!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef or mild/hot sausage
  • 8 ounces processed cheese *see note
  • 10 ounces Rotel Tomatoes undrained
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder optional


  • Brown ground beef (or sausage) over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Turn heat down to medium and add remaining ingredients.
  • Stir until cheese melts and the dip is smooth.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips.



Rotel can be substituted with salsa if preferred.
Cream cheese can be substituted for Velveeta cheese. Replace the processed cheese with an 8oz package of cream cheese and add in about 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
We make this dip with 8 oz of processed cheese as well like a thick and hearty dip. You can add up to 16 oz of processed cheese if desired.
Optional additions include diced jalapeno, sharp cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper.
Keep this dip warm in a small slow cooker. The dip will thicken as it cools but can be reheated. To keep it dippable longer, add up to 1/3 cup of milk as it cooks.
4.95 from 72 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 126 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 200mg | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Tex Mex

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. There is no way that this dip is made with just 8 oz Velveeta. I made this recipe following the instructions exactly. It’s so thick and overly chunky with ground beef that it’s almost comical. Even after thinning it with milk and adding a couple TBSP of butter to add richness, it’s way too thick.1 star

    1. Sorry to hear that, Kat! We do make this recipe with 8 ounces of Velveeta as listed in the recipe. Be sure to use 10 ounces of rotel tomatoes and do not drain them. The juices help to thin the dip to the perfect consistency.

    2. You need 32 ounces of velveeta not just 8 ounces & it turns out just right… I have made this for years & never had any problem using 32oz velveeta….

  2. I used one lb. ground pork sausage, 16oz. Velveeta, 1/2 cup sour cream, dried cilantro, lime juice, 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with chilies, and a bit of taco seasoning. I cooked all on stovetop and reheated in serving casserole dish in microwave before serving. xxxx

  3. Hi. If I triple the recipe for a potluck, how much chili powder would I have to use and is it added to the ground beef while Browning?

    1. Hi Constance, if tripling the recipe I would also triple the chili powder you are using and you mix it in with the remaining ingredients after the ground beef has browned.

    1. Hi Mattie, you could reduce the ingredients but with how delicious this dip is I honestly don’t think you’ll mind having extra!

    1. Hi Karen, I haven’t tried freezing this dip (there is never any left to try ), but it should last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

    2. Yes you can & it lasts awhile… Especially if you use freezer bags & freeze it & just take it out & reheat on oven or in microwave…..

    1. Hi Jean, you can use the jump to recipe button at the top of the page or scroll towards the bottom for the full recipe including quantities. Enjoy!

  4. Love the Rotel cheese dip I put two cans of Rotel tomato’s in mine and velveeta cheese it was a hit going to try more of your recipes