Home~Made Rotel (Green Chiles and Tomatoes)

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For those folks living in Canada that do not get out much or are too busy swatting mosquitos and black flies all summer or shoveling snow all winter to never have had the experiece of knowing what Rotel is…. Let me enlighten you.

Rotel is a marvelous product made by ConAgra Foods in the U.S.

Rotel pic

Here is what it looks like in a can.

This stuff is amazing.  Many, many Americans use it in just about everything they cook…except maybe pancakes or a souffle, as I am sure that wouldn’t go over very well with your family. 

Many egg dishes, and any South-West/Mexican style of dish or sauce gets a healthy dose of this stuff.  Awesome in Chili or even used right out of the can as a salsa, it truly is one of the greatest inventions EVER!  *Almost* better than chocolate…ALMOST.

BUT…it is NOT sold in Canada.  I have been lobbying the company for several years, even threatening to cut off their chile pepper supply if they don’t bring it across the border.  I even threw a temper tantrum.  But apparently all my efforts had been in vain. 

So what to do?

Make my own of course, and I was darn determined to do just that….somehow….

So last year when I decided I wanted to grow different varieties of Chile Peppers in my garden, I first headed to my local Chapters Bookstore (like Barnes & Noble for you U.S. readers) and picked up an amazing how-to-know-it-all book on growing peppers. 

DSC06549

The absolute ultimate guide in growing peppers.

I have not regretted buying this book since I picked it up.  Anyone that is attempting to grow their own peppers, you need to pick up this book.  You will not begrudge the money spent.

After I started my peppers and had them growing in the garden, I had a chance to sit and read through the rest of the book.  Well, let me tell you, I was SO excited at what I found at the back of the book – do you know what was there???

Recipes!!!!

Lots and lots of them!  This book is beyond know-how and how-to, it is also HOW TO MAKE YUMMY, SUPER SPICY FOOD. 

I was in heaven. 

Amongst these glossy pages of peppery goodness, I found the holy grail of recipes.  How to make your own Green Chiles with Tomatoes….aka Rotel….why oh why did I not discover this book sooner??!!

But I think I have made you read enough, so let’s get on with it shall we?

Green Chiles with Tomatoes

Ingredients

3 Cups peeled and chopped Tomatoes
3 Cups chopped New Mexican Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeds and stems removed (Jalapeños or Serranos can also be used)
1/2 Cup chopped, fresh Cilantro
1 to 2 tsp Ground Cumin (to your preference)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/4 Cups White Vinegar *

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars, taking care to use all the liquid and leaving a 1/2″ headspace.

Process in a boiling water canning bath for 30 minutes (start timing when water returns to a boil).

Remove from canner and let cool on wire racks.  Label and store in a cool area.

* Half of the vinegar can be replaced with Lime Juice or Lemon Juice for a different flavour.

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There you have it, your very own Rotel, made by you to be enjoyed by all.

I now thumb my nose at ConAgra Foods ~ Ha!

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32 thoughts on “Home~Made Rotel (Green Chiles and Tomatoes)

  1. Just a quick question on the Rotel recipe. Are you certain that the recipe calls for 3 cups of chiles. Seems like a lot. Please let me know if this is accurate. Thanks

    • Thanks for your question Gord, yes, 3 cups of chopped chiles goes into the recipe…if you feel it is too much, cut back a little, but make up the difference with tomatoes. Also, use milder chiles (anaheim’s or cubanelle’s) if you do not like the prospect of fiery hot serranos and jalapenos. This recipe came directly from the book highlighted in this post and it worked out perfectly for me. Cheers!

    • It will be milder than you expect without the seeds. I decided to seed the jalapenos in my homemade salsa for the first time. Usually 3 jalapenos whole gives it a good kick. With them seeded it was so mild I was almost disappointed for lack of spicyness.

  2. Although this looks good I’m pretty sure Rotel doesn’t have cilantro in it. Looks like it would make an awesome salsa though! :)

    • You can buy Rotel with Cilantro in it. They make it regular and with Cilantro. It is an amazing salsa either way you look at it! :)

  3. Ro*Tel has 6 different blends, but I think the one with cilantro is the best. Thank you for this recipe! I wish I found it a month ago when my tomatoes and peppers were at their peak. Will definitely try this next season!

    • You are welcome! It’s tough to have to wait so long isn’t it? I just put the last of my gardens to bed for a long winters nap.

      Sorry for the tardy reply, this time of year is a busy one with yard work ;)

  4. What is the excuse that ConAgra Foods make for not expanding to Canada? Seems almost stupid to ignore a 35 million person market.

    • Agreed! (Happy New Year to you and thanks for commenting) Would love to hear an answer from them, so I will send them an email asking :)

  5. Just to enlighten you .. Us people in Canada do get out often. We have some beautiful scenery here as well as some glorious summers. Winters .. meh, sure we get lots of snow but still a lot of fun activities to do. You should come play on our Island and see for yourself!

    Proud to be a Canadian from little ole PEI!

    • Well of course I know folks in Canada get out, I was being tongue-in-cheekie :) My bucket list does include the East Coast, looking forward to seeing your part of the country!

    • I don’t have a pressure cooker so do not have any idea how long it would take. I would follow the manufacturer’s guidance of the appliance as a start though.

  6. Thank you! It’s been years since I’ve been able to make the rotel and velveeta dip for Super Bowl. Hopefully it will live up to my memories. And yes, I’ve tried several times to get them to tell me why they won’t even bring it to New York. I’d gladly drive across the border to stock up!

  7. Hi. I am a Canadian transplant via Texas, always carting as many cans as I can fit into my suit cases each time. I know there are several varieties of Ro-Tel now, & how great that you made your own recipe! How close would you say yours taste compared, to the Original? Thank you!

    • Hi Kelly! I think mine tastes pretty close to the original, I think its all in the seasonings one uses. How are you adapting to Canadian winters? Coming from Texas must have been a wee bit of shock! Thank you so much for your note and let me know how you like the recipe if you decide to make some :)

    • Hi Kim ~ No, I haven’t tried freezing it. I would be worried it would change the texture of the tomatoes and peppers (ie mushy).

  8. Hi Deborah,
    I moved to Alberta from New Mexico years ago where peeled and roasted green chilies are available everywhere. I haven’t had much luck growing them (not in the volume I would like) and can’t seem to find them in any stores. WalMart sells tiny little cans for about 2 bucks. Do you know of any stores or distributors in Canada?
    Thanks

    • HI there, sorry for the tardy reply, vacation time! ;) and no, I don’t know of any suppliers of roasted green chile’s in Canada. Chiles do need a longer growing g season, I start mine indoors in February so they are well established by the time I can plant outdoors. Mine are in raised beds with plastic I can roll down if it gets too cold. Have you thought about ordering some from the U.S.? Not sure if that is even a possibility, but a thought?

  9. I will have to try this. I’m also a Texan in Canada. I’m now back to bringing ro-tel up when my mom or I visit. I’ve never seen the cilantro version. It’s been awhile since I bought it personally in the store though. :P I’ll have to give this a try.

    At my previous house up here, I used to find Pastene’s tomatoes and chiles. It’s the only thing close to ro-tel that I’ve ever found in Canada. Sadly I can find Pastene, but not the tomatoes with chiles at the stores near my new house. So disappointed in that. If you find it, give it a try. Here’s what it looks like:

    https://store.pastene.com/canned-tomatoes/129-diced-tomatoes-with-green-chilies-145oz-can.html

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