Vegan Rotel Cheese Dip Recipe

Happy Friday Fabbies! Recently in my household, we have begun a tradition where every Friday evening we have movie night as a family at home. This means, we move a spare mattress in our TV room so the kids can lay down/roll around/watch the movie on it. We usually either rent a movie from On-Demand or Netflix, or watch an already saved movie from our DVR. (Don’t get me started on how they request to watch The Peanuts movie every Friday, but that’s a whole ‘nother story!) They bring their pillows and blankets, they get their trays to put their snacks on, they put on their favorite pajamas, I cook their favorite cheese dip, and let me tell you honey, IT IS A THING!” It’s a big deal in the Douglas-Roberts household. Huge. Big. Monumental even. Zé and Vito look forward to it every single week. Well, really, Chris and I low-key look forward to it too, because ALL of us are kind of obsessed with rotel cheese dip. And we all know that every Friday, Mommy’s making rotel dip, and if you had it, you would know why we are obsessed!

If you are unfamiliar or have never even heard of the word rotel, it is actually a can of diced tomatoes and chilis:


It also comes in Mild, Hot, Mexican Lime and Cilantro flavors as well. The Mexican Lime is my personal favorite. So basically, rotel cheese dip is a mix of a cheese and tomatoes and chilis (think salsa like, but chunkier), plus whatever else you’d like to add. And in this post I’ll share the recipe on how I make my version, which is the version I grew up on. (Oh yes, my mother used to make rotel dip growing up, and I had not tasted anybody else’s (including my own) that tastes as good as hers. I feel like my mama’s food is just always better anyway. Doesn’t your mom’s food just always taste better?!) But of course being Vegan now, I’ve just veganized (yes, it’s a word in the Vegan community. Go look it up! Ha!) the recipe to cater to my family’s diet. And let me tell you, it’s just as freaking good!

Here’s the recipe below:

  • One bag of Beyond Beef vegan ground beef (vegan version of ground beef)
  • One 12 ounce jar (or more if you want) of salsa. That day I used what I had at home, which was Double Roasted Salsa from Trader Joes
  • 1 or 2 cans or rotel. (I always double up everything when I make this dip, just so it an last a few days. So I make a huge pot of it! But you really only need one can of rotel.
  • 2 cups of Vegan Cheddar Cheese. (Daiya is by far my favorite brand for vegan cheese. I buy all of their flavors weekly!)
  • 1 cup of pepper jack cheese (again, I make A LOT, so I add lots more ingredients.)
  • 1/2 cup of vegan cream cheese. I typically use Tofutti. Tastes just as good as the “real thing”. UPDATE! I actually don’t use cream cheese anymore, as that brand had soy in it, and my family and I don’t eat soy whatsoever anymore, as it can be detrimental to your health longterm. So OMIT the cream cheese! 🙂
  • *I also add 1 container of Heidi Ho vegan cheese (Spicy flavor) sometimes, I just did not have any at home.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil, grapeseed oil, whatever you desire.)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (and I also add Slap Ya Mama Seasoning and Garlic Powder, because I pretty much add those to everything I cook!)





Making rotel dip is simply about mixing everything in a large pot, stirring, watching it simmer, then enjoying it’s saucy, spicy, cheesy goodness! All in about 20 minutes or so! First you get a medium to large size pot, and add your olive oil on medium heat:


After the pot gets nice and hot, then you add your Vegan ground beef, and season it to taste:


Next, I open the cans of hotel and add them to the vegan beef:


Then vegan cheddar cheese and vegan cream cheese:


Next, I add the jar of salsa (as you add ingredients to the pot, continue to stir everything in together):


Then I add the pepper jack cheese:


After you have finished stirring everything in, you place a lid on top of the pot, and cut the heat down to low, and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


After about a cook time of 15-20 minutes, your rotel cheese dip is ready! It will be very hot, so let it cool before serving. Just add tortilla chips to dip, (or whatever you’d like), and enjoy! Bon Apetit!


After having this, you will see why having this dip front and center completes our Friday Night Movie Night Rituals! And of course, you can make this version non-vegan as well, but the vegan version is half the calories, and of course healthier for you overall. 

Have a wonderful weekend Fabbies!


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