★★★★★

Rotel Dip

When it comes to great cheese appetizers, it doesn’t get any easier than Rotel Dip. With ground beef and juicy tomatoes, Rotel Dip is a tortilla chip’s best friend! Only THREE Ingredients!

Cheesy rotel dip in a black cast iron skillet with a hand scooping dip on a tortilla chip.

The Perfect Snack

The only appetizer better than cheese is MELTED cheese! The only thing better than melted cheese is melted cheese with rotel tomatoes and savory ground beef.

I love a dip with all kinds of fancy ingredients and spices, but sometimes you want simplicity. You want convenience. You want to get a scoop of melty cheese into your mouth as soon as possible.

Enter Rotel Dip!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve made some variation on this Velveeta and Rotel dip with ground beef over the years.

I’m sure I had it for the first time when I was a kid. It’s been a staple of so many parties, tailgates and gatherings over the years and remains a favorite for a good reason.

Variations like changing up the meat and cheese, adding spices or chopped peppers keep me from ever tiring of this classic and easy dip recipe!

The version I’m sharing with you today is Rotel Dip with Ground Beef in it’s simplest form. Just 3 ingredients and one skillet and a few minutes to heat everything up.

Make it for your game day snacking, a midday nosh to keep the kids’ hunger at bay or as an appetizer when you have company. You don’t need any special reason to make a dip that’s so easy and universally enjoyed.

Cast iron skillet with rotel dip.

Ingredient Notes

The first Rotel Dips I had were even simpler: just the cheese and tomatoes. Those meat free versions taste delicious, too–I mean, it’s MELTED CHEESE, so how is it not going to be good?

Adding ground beef to Rotel Dip elevates a very simple appetizer to another level. The meat adds tons of flavor and makes this dip filling enough to serve for dinner.

Yes, I’ve been known to serve blt dip or pizza dip for dinner.

When it’s as satisfying as this Rotel Dip, I’ve yet to hear any complaints from my family. Add some cut up veggies on the side and you can totally call this a balanced meal!

If you’re like me, you might want to set some aside for your secret midnight snacking, too, after the rest of the family goes to bed.

Three ingredients needed to make rotel dip, including ground beef, velveeta cheese, and rotel tomatoes.

Three Ingredients:

Ground Beef- Use a leaner beef so you have less grease to drain. You won’t miss the fat thanks to the cheese!

Velveeta CheeseJust the original box of cheese works!

Rotel tomatoesdecide how spicy you want it by choosing mild (original) or HOT.

Bag of tortilla chips + bowl of Rotel Dip + late night movie = happy mom.

Yes, I know it uses processed cheese. That’s part of its charm. In most of my cooking, I use the less processed cheeses but when it comes to Rotel dip, you can’t beat Velveeta which is designed to melt quickly and stay creamy.

With the rotel tomatoes, you get a dip with the perfect soft, creamy, ooey gooey consistency every time.

Want a dip made with real cheddar cheese? This Instant Pot Queso Dip is perfection.

Step by step photos showing how to make rotel dip.

Step by Step Instructions

The dip comes together right on the stove using your cast iron skillet:

STEP 1. Brown ground beef in a cast iron skillet. Drain the grease.

STEP 2. Cut Velveeta cheese into cubes. Add cheese and tomatoes to the skillet with the beef. Stir until combined and cheese is smooth.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips or fresh veggies!

Variations

Consider this Rotel dip recipe your canvas to create! Changing out the meat and cheese is an instant way to customize this dip.

Sausage and ground turkey both make great subs for the beef. Here are a few more ideas for variations on Rotel dip:

  • Chili dip: Swap out the ground beef for a can of your favorite chili.
  • Spicy Rotel dip: Add a diced jalapeño for instant kick. A dash of chili powder is wonderful here, too.
  • Vegetarian: Omit the meat entirely or replace it with your favorite vegetarian ground beef substitute (or veggie chili).
  • Cream Cheese dip: Swap the Velveeta for two blocks of cream cheese to make a tangy, creamy Rotel dip.
Rotel dip in a cast iron skillet with three bowls of tortilla chips on the side.

Tips and Tricks

If the cheese begins to harden, place your skillet over medium heat until creamy again. The longer you let the dip sit out, the more likely it is to harden, so I like to serve it right away.

Sharing this at a party? You can also serve Rotel dip in a small crockpot on warm to keep the dip the perfect consistency all party long.

I’ll say it again: don’t drain the canned tomatoes! the juice from the tomatoes keeps this dip creamy. It’ll get much harder and tougher to scoop if you leave the juices out and won’t have as much of that tangy tomato flavor.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make Rotel Dip in the slow cooker?

Brown your beef, then add it to the slow cooker with velveeta and rotel tomatoes. Turn on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

What is in Rotel Tomatoes?

Rotel tomatoes are canned diced tomatoes with a hint of heat from green chiles that have been fire-roasted, diced and stirred into the simmering tomatoes. 

Can I use salsa instead of Rotel tomatoes?

Yes! But it does change the flavor of the dip slightly. Choose a mild or medium, THICK and CHUNKY salsa variety.

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Yield: 8 servings

Rotel Dip

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

When it comes to great cheese appetizers, it doesn't get any easier than Rotel Dip. With ground beef and juicy tomatoes, Rotel Dip is a tortilla chip's best friend!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can (10 oz ) Rotel tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz Velveeta cheese

Instructions

    1. Brown ground beef in a cast iron skillet. Drain grease.
    2. Cut Velveeta cheese into cubes.  Add cheese and tomatoes to the skillet with the beef.  Stir until combined and cheese is smooth.
    3. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or fresh veggies. If the cheese begins to harden, place your skillet over medium heat until creamy again.
    4. You can also serve this dip in a small crockpot on warm to keep the dip the perfect consistency.
    5. Don't drain your tomatoes, the juice from the tomatoes keeps this dip creamy!

Notes

  • Can be made with or without meat.
  • Swap out the ground beef for a can of chili instead.
  • Want it spicier? Add in a diced jalapeno!
  • Skip the velveeta and use two blocks of cream cheese instead for a tangy, cheesy twist.
  • Slow Cooker: brown the beef and add it to the crockpot with the cheese and tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 682mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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As an appetizer, a party food or a snack you keep all for yourself, Rotel Dip is easy, satisfying and always delicious!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on May 28, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Yum…I forgot how good this is..thanks for the reminder! I had some ground turkey so tried it with that and my grandkids loved it. I worked with a lady once that used to also add a can of Hormel tamales and chili …it was a surprisinly good variation she brought to our potlucks.

  2. Instead of Velvita cheese use – 2 blocks cream cheese. What size blocks cream cheese? 2 blocks of
    3 oz or 2 blocks of 8 oz.??????? Would be helpful if that had been indicated in recipe.

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