diced tomatoes on a board ready to make rotel

Homemade Rotel Tomatoes Recipe

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Homemade Rotel is so easy to make in your kitchen! Using fresh tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers from your garden, this recipe for Rotel comes together quickly. 

Red and green hot peppers on a tray with red tomatoes

In this post, you’ll learn what is in Rotel tomatoes, how to make homemade Rotel for freezing, and recipes to use your Rotel.

My little sprouts and I have harvested over 100 pounds of tomatoes this year. What are we doing with all of those tomatoes? We are eating them like crazy as well as freezing them to use later. 

The kids have also been taking some home and I have been sharing with family, friends, and neighbors. I have made multiple quarts of roasted tomato sauce to put in the freezer to use throughout the year. 

But one of my favorite ways to use garden-fresh tomatoes is to make homemade Rotel.

What is Rotel?

Rotel is the brand name for canned diced tomatoes and diced chili peppers. It is an ingredient often used in soups, sauces, queso, and casseroles. It’s a convenient way to add extra flavor to recipes that require diced tomatoes.

Making homemade Rotel tomatoes is simple and healthier than the canned version. I use it for many things. It brings a ton of flavor to dishes and it’s super versatile.

What are the benefits of making homemade Rotel instead of using canned?

  • Using your own fresh, free ingredients from your garden
  • Better flavor
  • Better quality
  • Chemical-free produce
  • More nutritious produce

When you grow something, you know what’s in it, what’s been on it, and how it’s been handled. It’s great to make a batch of homemade Rotel for freezing instead of letting your wonderful produce go to waste.

How to Make Rotel Tomatoes

The recipe for Rotel couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is finely dice one onion, two to three hot peppers (you can use whatever kind you have on hand),  and about two cups of tomatoes. The finer you can dice them, the better. I like a petite dice on my tomatoes especially.

Mix the diced ingredients together well and you’ve made homemade Rotel!

Finely diced tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers in a bowl.

Homemade Rotel for Freezing

If you have a lot of tomatoes and peppers from your garden, make a large batch of homemade Rotel for freezing. You will only have to do the dicing and cleaning up one time. And once your Rotel is done, you’ll have a freezer full of flavor! 

After dicing up the onion, peppers, and tomatoes, mix well and toss them in a Ziploc bag. Get out as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn. It lasts in the freezer for months and tastes fresher than canned in your recipes. 

I make tons of Rotel for freezing. When I need a can of Rotel tomatoes, I just grab a bag from the freezer and drop it in my recipe. Easy peasy! 

Homemade Rotel ingredients on a cutting board: tomatoes, hot peppers, onion and a knife.

Using Rotel in Recipes

Many people wonder, “Is salsa the same thing as Rotel?” No. Salsa contains more water and additional spices and flavorings. You can’t usually substitute salsa for a can of Rotel or bag of homemade Rotel in a recipe. 

So stick to your homemade Rotel when making these delicious dishes:

As I have stated before on this blog, USDA and DHS regulations prevent me from serving home-canned foods to my kids, so I freeze as much of our produce as I can to use throughout the year. My homemade Rotel tomatoes are easy as can be and super handy to have on hand to add flavor to many dishes.

What is your favorite way to use your garden tomatoes? Click here to find more ways to use your excess tomatoes from the garden and excess hot peppers from the garden.

5 from 1 vote
You can make your own spicy diced tomato and chili homemade rotel tomatoes recipe with garden tomatoes this summer and fill your freezer full of flavor.
Homemade Rotel
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Spicy diced tomatoes to enhance many recipes

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: hot peppers, rotel, tomatoes
Servings: 4
Calories: 62 kcal
Author: Christina
Ingredients
  • 2 c finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 small hot peppers of your choice, very finely diced
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients and mix. 

  2. Use as is or freeze until needed in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Rotel
Amount Per Serving (12 Tablespoons)
Calories 62
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Protein 2g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Homemade Rotel Tomatoes Recipe

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18 Comments

    1. This recipe makes about a can and a half worth. A can is almost two cups and this recipe makes around 3 cups depending on how big your peppers an onion are.

    1. You could can it for sure. I don’t know anything about canning, but i would follow the instructions for canned tomatoes if I were going to try.

  1. hi christina, generally would two tomatoes equate to two cups? i know size varies. what chillies would you recommend? thanks!

    1. It really depends on the tomatoes, most tomatoes wouldn’t be a cup each, but a few would like the biggest slicers might be. When I make this, I use whatever kind of hot peppers we have. We’ve used jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, or whatever is on hand. Whatever kind of peppers you like the flavor of is perfect. Sorry those answers aren’t super helpful, but I hope you give it a try with whatever you have available. It’s going to be yummy! Thanks for checking it out.

  2. This is fantastic, I used jarred jalapeños, added some of the juice from the jar. I let it sit for a while so the flavors could mingle and it’s as if I opened a can of Rotel. I highly recommend this recipe.

      1. Thanks for sharing! Have lots of peppers and tomatoes ripening. I don’t go to the grocery store any oftener than I have to,so having this mix in freezer simplifies my life!

        1. I don’t, but if you want skinless tomatoes, you can blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then shock them in an ice bath and the skins will slide right off. I don’t notice the skins in the finished product though. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Thanks for asking!

  3. Ok, first of all … “My little sprouts and I have harvested over 100 pounds of tomatoes this year” … can I simply say … jealous? While I did really good with tomatoes this year, the lack of lengthy heat really had our production down this season.

    With that said, it looks like a great mix you have there.

    1. I would share if you came over! 🙂 He he. We have been very blessed. We’ve had many strange cool spells this summer, but not cool enough to slow down the tomatoes. A cool spell for us is 85. Today I didn’t get near as many but it was 100 most of last week and tomatoes won’t make fruit when it’s that hot, so hopefully we will get another rev up in production. If not, it was a good ride! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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