3 Best Rotel Substitute Available Now! – The List For Tomatoes’ Lovers!

Among all the vegetables, tomatoes are frequently used because of their healthy characteristics yet diverse taste in dishes. We certainly cannot imagine a vegetable soup without tomatoes.

Tomatoes, along with their special versions such as rotel, splendidly complements dishes, which is why we can see Mexican cuisine love rotel very much. People often use rotel as a tomato substitute as well. 

But if rotel seems too difficult to find or make, a different rotel substitute is coming up next in this article to support you and your dining experience!

Top 3 Best Rotel Substitute You Can Get

Rotel Substitute

1. Canned Diced Tomatoes

So, what is rotel or what is rotel made of? Rotel is a mainly used canned tomato seasoning in tomato juice, spices, and seasonings. In case you ask what spices are in rotel tomatoes, well, this special sauce is particularly used among Western and Mexican cuisine to gain tomatoes’ spicy yet juicy flavor among certain dishes. 

If your recipe requires rotel, but you cannot find it in the local store or don’t know how to create it, go to your local store and buy canned diced tomatoes instead. 

Since rotel consists mainly of tomato juice, you can frankly take any tomato, drain it, and pour some seasonings to make a substitute for rotel tomatoes and green chilies

However, canned diced tomatoes will have the flavor that resembles rotel most. Remember that rotel has its own consistency, so it’s important for you to maintain that consistency by not draining the juice out of the canned diced tomatoes. Instead, you should chop the tomatoes into small portions and use canned diced tomatoes with the skin on to make sure the juice has a density. 

Don’t forget to season your canned diced tomatoes sauce with spices like chilies, salt, pepper to make the flavor resemble rotel tomatoes substitute.

2. Green Chiles

There are many great chili recipes with fresh tomatoes since the combination of chilies and tomatoes is always highlighted, but we bet you haven’t heard of green chilies that can be used as a substitution for rotel tomatoes

With fresh or canned, chopped green chilies and some tomato juice extract, you can recreate your rotel recipe. The tomato content is vital in the rotel, and the spiciness, hotness from chilies make up the difference in the sauce. No spice can bring up the “heat” element like green chilies when substituting a rotel. 

If you use fresh green chilies, chop them into small pieces for the heating element to easily spread all over your tomato sauce. For canned green chilies, drain the water out before using the chilies. 

Add 4-5 tablespoons of canned tomato sauce in the green chilies portion, and adjust the sour, spicy flavor according to your preference.

3. Seasonings

With high-quality spices and flavors, you can transform an ordinary tomato sauce into a rotel. The main seasoning factors that you will need are salt, pepper, and extra Mexican spices to bring in the heat and tribal elements such as cumin, cilantro, chili powder, green chilies powder, etc. 

Depending on your taste preference, you can alter flavors on the tomato sauce base so as it matches your dishes well. This seasoning method is the fastest and easiest way to create a substitute for rotel – using seasonings. 

How To Make Your Own Rotel? 

Since there are not many options as a rotel tomato substitute, why don’t you try creating your rotel? Making Rotel sauce is not a difficult task at all once you follow our simplified instructions below:


For the rotel ingredients, you will need a:

  • Three fresh tomatoes.
  • Three teaspoons of chili powder. You can choose any chili powder due to your preference: green chili powder, red chili powder, etc.
  • One tablespoon of mixed salt and pepper. 
  • One teaspoon of optional dry seasonings: oregano, cumin, and cilantro.
  • Half teaspoon of coriander


Chop out the tomatoes into small pieces and slightly smash them to create a tomato-based sauce. Then add up all ingredients and mix them well with the sauce until you see seasoning grains. 

Remember to taste the sauce frequently to find out which spices you need to focus on to season right. Then, you can use your homemade rotel as a dipping sauce or a sauce on savory dishes. 


Note 1

You may find another rotel alternative, and that is salsa sauce. Since both sauces are made with red tomatoes and green chilies, they are usually confused. 

However, salsa is a more complicated sauce than rotel, so that it may bring a different taste to your dishes. While rotel consists only of fresh ingredients of tomato sauce and seasonings, salsa sauce has many acids and natural flavors. 

The texture of salsa is quite different from rotel as well. But it is entirely your choice to use salsa sauce as a substitute for rotel tomatoes. In that case, you should be cautious about how well salsa sauce matches your dishes. Otherwise, spending a few minutes creating your own homemade Rotel sauce would be a better idea. 

Note 2

If we compare Rotel and salsa on how long they last in storage, we can see that rotel has a shorter lifespan. If we ask how long homemade salsa lasts, the answer will be within a week, while we can only get 3-4 days to use the rotel. So, if you are planning on meals for many days, make sure to use a rotel before they start to go bad.

The Final Word

And that’s all kinds of food we can give you as a choice for rotel substitute. You can either choose a substitute for rotel in queso to work with or create your own homemade Rotel sauce. 

With our instructions, either way, we believe you can have a spectacular meal with the help of rotel. Thank you for reading our article, and we will see you soon in the next one!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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