10 Surprising Things to Do with a Can of Ro-tel

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Next time you’re in the canned tomato aisle at the grocery store, forgo you’re usual plain diced tomatoes and opt for a can of Ro-tel. The Southern favorite is a blend of diced tomatoes and fire-roasted green chilies, so it has all the juicy sweetness you’ll find in regular canned tomatoes but with the bonus of bold, smoky spice. Basically, it has the potential to jazz up a whole lot of meals.

Here are our 10 favorite ways to use a can.

1. Make the Pioneer Woman’s 7-can soup.

Dump a bunch of canned veggies and beans into a pot, and you’re rewarded with a Ree-approved soup. She suggests stirring in an additional ingredient — Velveeta — if you’re in the mood for a more decadent dinner.

2. Make Tex-Mex rice.

Stir a can of Ro-tel into any pot of rice and you’ve instantly made a batch of Tex-Mex rice. Even better, throw some cheese and vegetables into the mix and you can call it a meal.

Get a recipe: Cheesy Tex-Mex Rice

3. Stir it into casseroles.

If you want to add a little heat to dinner, look for any casserole that calls for a can of diced tomatoes and swap in a can of Ro-tel. You can also use Ro-tel in place of a jar of salsa, such as in this taco casserole.

4. Make all the queso.

If you’re familiar with Ro-tel tomatoes, you probably already know the power it has when you stir it into homemade queso — but it bears repeating.

Get a recipe: Slow Cooker Queso Dip

5. Jazz up ground beef tacos.

When you start to tire of the same ol’ ground beef routine on taco Tuesday, add a can of Ro-tel tomatoes to the meat to make it all a bit more interesting. Stuff into hard-shell tacos and top with shredded lettuce and chopped fresh tomatoes for a classic combo.

Get a recipe: Freezer Taco Kits

6. Swap it in for regular canned tomatoes in soup.

Just about any soup can be made better with a bit of smoky spice. Try using a can of Ro-tel in a simple minestrone or a crowd-pleasing tortilla soup.

Get a recipe: Minestrone

7. Drain and add to scrambled eggs.

Plain ol’ scrambled eggs are fine, but Ro-tel scrambled eggs are better. Drain a can so you’re not adding too much liquid to the eggs, then toss the diced tomatoes in during the last minute of cooking.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Make a spicy pasta dinner.

Add flair to your go-to pasta dish by opting for Ro-tel tomatoes rather than plain diced tomatoes or marinara sauce. The Italians might not approve, but they also don’t know what they’re missing.

9. Add extra spice to chili.

Ro-tel tomatoes are a good choice in all chilis, but they’re especially nice in vegetarian and vegan chili recipes. Their smoky flavor adds a meaty, umami flavor to the dish.

Get a recipe: Pumpkin Chili

10. Blend it and use it in sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes usually call for a can of tomato sauce, but we think bringing some spice to the sammies is a very good idea. Just blend the contents of the can until smooth, then stir it into the browned meat.