This easy cheesy dip needs just 4 ingredients and a few minutes to prepare.

Rotel dip is a quick party favorite with ground beef, Rotel tomatoes and a creamy cheesy base!

Prep it and keep it warm in a slow cooker. Serve it with a pile of tortilla chips for a great game-day spread.

a bowl of Rotel dip topped with tomatoes and cilantro

Ingredients in Rotel Dip

This Rotel Dip recipe, also known as ugly dip, is a game day favorite made with just a few ingredients. This recipe is similar to queso dip and is a quick and easy snack.

  • Rotel Tomatoes: A can of rotel tomatoes adds lots of flavor and a little heat. Rotel can be substituted with any kind of salsa.
  • Meat: We love ground beef in this recipe but swap it out for ground turkey or sausage.
  • Cheese: Velveeta makes this dip quick and easy (and super creamy). Cream cheese with a bit of cheddar is a great substitute.
  • Seasonings: I add a pinch of chili powder. You can also add taco seasoning or your favorite spices to the meat if you’d like or use leftover taco ground beef.
beef, cheese , chili powder and chopped tomatoes with labels to make Rotel Dip

How to Make Rotel Dip

This Rotel cheese dip recipe is as easy as 1,2,3! 

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

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.

Tips & Variations

  • Brown the meat and drain excess grease or use lean hamburger meat.
  • If you’d perfect to skip the Velveeta cheese, use 8 oz cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese in place.
  • This recipe can be thinned out with a bit of milk if you’d like a thinner consistency.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or celery, carrots, and other veggies for dipping.
  • Keep Rotel dip warm in a small slow cooker. If the Rotel dip cools, it will be hard to scoop so it can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave until dippable again!
  • Leftovers are great in a quesadilla, over potatoes, or added to tacos.
dipping a chip in Rotel Dip
What are Rotel Tomatoes?

Ro-tel tomatoes are a brand of diced tomatoes with green chilies. They bring a little heat to dishes and have a taste similar to salsa and can be found in the canned tomato section of most grocery stores. They add great flavor to Chili recipes, stews, Taco Soup and more.

Can I make Rotel Dip without Rotel?

If you don’t have Rotel Tomatoes on hand, you can substitute another brand of tomatoes with green chiles or salsa. Although the flavor won’t be exactly the same, the dip will still taste delicious.

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 the slow cooker to warm.

More Easy Cheesy Dips

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a bowl of Rotel dip topped with tomatoes and cilantro
4.98 from 164 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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


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


  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef or sausage over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain excess fat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add processed cheese, Rotel tomatoes with juices, and chili powder.
  • Stir the mixture until the cheese has melted and the dip is smooth.
  • Serve warm 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.
To make this dip thicker, reduce the processed cheese to 8 oz. Optional additions include diced jalapeno, sharp cheddar cheese, or taco seasoning.
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.
4.98 from 164 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
plated Rotel Dip and close up with a title
Rotel Dip with peppers and chips with a title
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bowl of Rotel Dip with chips with a title


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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. Hi Evelyn, 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.

    1. Hi Linny, 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.

  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