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RoTel Substitute

If you’re in the mood for Mexican food but don’t have any Rotel tomatoes on hand, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ingredients you can use as a RoTel substitute.

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A spoonful of homemade Rotel tomatoes.
Homemade Rotel tomatoes substitute.

Substitute for RoTel tomatoes

If you are making a recipe that calls for RoTel tomatoes but you don’t have any on hand, or if you live somewhere where they are not available, you will be wondering what you can use as a RoTel substitute.

Read on for a simple recipe to make homemade Rotel tomatoes in no time at all.

What are RoTel tomatoes?

Does your recipe call for RoTel tomatoes, but you are not sure what they are, or can’t find them in your local gracery store?

RoTel tomatoes RoTel tomatoes are a type of canned tomato sauce that is made with diced tomatoes and green chilies. They’re perfect for adding a touch of heat to your favorite recipes, and can be used in a variety of recipes.

They are available in the United States and Canada, and can often be found in the Mexican foods section of the grocery store.

Key ingredients

A flatlay of the ingredients for this Rotel substitute recipe.

There are three key ingredients in RoTel tomatoes. The canned version also contains various preservatives and thickeners. That is another benefit of making homemade Rotel tomatoes – none of those added nasties!

1. Chopped tomatoes

The main ingredient of Rotel is chopped tomatoes. Use a can of chopped tomatoes to make this substitute so that the texture is the same as the original. You use canned whole tomatoes and quickly chop them in the bowl using (clean) kitchen scissors.

2. Chopped chili peppers

To make the original or hot version of RoTel you need to use green chili peppers. To make mild Rotel, you will need to choose a can of mild green chilies.

You can chop fresh or preserved chilis, but diced canned chilis are the best and easiest to use, and the texture will be closest to that in the canned RoTel tomatoes.

3. Salt

A small amount of salt is needed to really bring out the flavor of the tomatoes and chilis. You can mix it to taste.

4. Optional: Tabasco Sauce (for Hot Rotel)

If you want to make a substitute for the Hot version of Rotel tomatoes, you will need to add some Tabasco Sauce or other hot sauce made from habanero peppers. This can be added to taste so you make make it as hot as you like.

A bowl of homemade Rotel tomatoes.

How to use these homemade Rotel tomatoes

Try swapping chopped tomatoes for these RoTel tomatoes in any recipe where you want to add some heat, or a kick of flavor.

A spoonful of homemade Rotel tomatoes.
Yield: 2 cups

Homemade RoTel tomatoes (RoTel Substitute)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

How to make a homemade substitute for RoTel tomatoes.


  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can diced green chilies (4 oz) [Note 1]
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

To make Hot RoTel

  • Tabasco sauce to taste


  1. Add the tomatoes, chilies, and salt to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix well to combine. If making Hot Rotel, gradually add Tabasco sauce a dash at a time until the desired heat level is reached.
  3. Taste and add more salt if required, mixing well to combine.


  1. Use mild green chilies to make mild RoTel

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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