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
top view of Rotel Dip in a bowl with a title
bowl of Rotel Dip with chips with a title


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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. I want to thank you for this recipe. I made it for a game afternoon gathering. The group ate the meal that was served, and then proceeded to eat the Rotel dip right away.
    I was thinking they would eat it later, not so much. They couldn’t get enough. I doubled it and glad I did.5 stars

  2. Oh, Holly… I when reading the narrative, “How to Make Rotel Dip”, step 1) Brown meat and drain on the stovetop.
    Wait…WHAT? Hell, nah! Not on MY stovetop! I’m the one that has to clean that s*** up!
    Under the weather today, so I appreciated the laugh.
    My gosh…I haven’t eaten Velveeta in over 40 years! Looks like I may just have to revisit that orange box, again!

    1. Haha!! Whoops, thanks for catching that…. please do not drain it on your stovetop. Enjoy the dip and I hope you’re feeling better soon Terry!

  3. Made this in a double portion for a potluck at work. Every bite was devoured and I received a ton of compliments! One of my coworkers who cooks and bakes for people on the side asked what I put in it. She thought the chili powder was the “secret “ ingredient that made the dip really shine.

  4. Delicious and super easy dip. I used the cream cheese & cheddar option from the notes since we aren’t big fans of the other cheese. I tried it without the chili powder first and thought it was delicious. I then added the chili powder and it was even better!5 stars