Homemade Rotel (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)

Copykat Rotel using garden fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and seasonings. One of my favorite things about summer is our vegetable garden. This year wasn't too unbearably hot, so we were blessed with a variety of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and a variety of squash. 

August and September is the time of year when we start getting overloaded with tomatoes, squash and peppers. This year our squash plants did very well, so we have tons of squash to deal with. I've made squash casserole a few times, canned zucchini pickles and grilled zucchini. 

Our tomato plants seemed to take off a bit late, so now we have tomatoes coming from everywhere. It's funny how we spend all summer tending to our gardens trying to get everything to grow, and then before we know it we are in garden overload.

To help conquer the abundance of all the tomatoes and peppers in our garden I searched around online for a few tomato recipes. I came across this recipe for Homemade Rotel from Canning Granny. We use Rotel a lot, so I thought this was the perfect idea. 

I did adapted the recipe slightly by using a variety of peppers (bell pepper, anaheims, and jalapenos). I also decreased the amount of sugar in the recipe, because I thought my first batch was a bit sweet. Also original Rotel doesn't contain onions, but I thought it was a nice touch. 

I have used a couple jars in a Queso dip, and in chili and both were very good. I will definitely be making this again with next years tomato crops. I hope you will give this recipe a try. 

Yield: 7 - 8 half pint jars
Author: Tina Butler | Mommy's Kitchen
Homemade Rotel - Tomatoes & Green Chilies

Homemade Rotel - Tomatoes & Green Chilies

Make this Copykat Rotel using garden fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and seasonings.
Prep time: 29 MinCook time: 41 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M


  • 12 - cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 - green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 - Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 5 - jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 - small onion, chopped
  • 2/3 - cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 - tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 - tablespoons canning salt
  • 1 - tablespoon lemon juice


  1. First you need to remove the skin from the tomatoes. Do this by preparing a large pot of boiling water. Cut an "x" on one side of the skin of each tomato.
  2. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water bath for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and add to a ice water bath. Remove after about 5 minutes.
  4. Peel the skin (it should slide off easily), chop the tomatoes and add to a large stock pot. Chop the peppers and onion, and add to the pot. Add the vinegar, sugar and canning salt.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes. 
  6. While the mixture is cooking, wash and sterilize the half pint canning jars (about 7-8).
  7. Remove the tomato mixture from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Using a ladle fill each half pint jar leaving a half-inch head space.
  8. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and add a sterilized lid. Screw on a ring to each jar and tighten each ring.
  9. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes (for half pints and 10 minutes for pints). Make sure the jars are completely covered with water. Start the timer once the water starts boiling.
  10. Using canning tongs, remove and place each jar on a dishcloth to cool completely.
  11. Listen for each jar to pop or ping, and make sure each jar is sealed. Store jars in your pantry.


Recipe adapted from: Canning Granny

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Jenn said…
Oh my Gosh!!! I buy so much Rotel. I can imagine how amazing a homemade version is.
Colleen said…
I don't believe it. We both must have had our brain waves working. I had Rotel on my grocery list, plus was planning on going to the Farmers Market today so now I can pick up items I need at the Market and can my own. :} Thank U.

I don't know the origin of the following as a friend had sent me this idea.
Easy Way To Peel Tomatoes & Peaches: (for small batches)
When you have a small batch of tomatoes to peel, remove the soft spots and cut the cores from the tomatoes and then cut in half.
Arranging them cut side down in a heat proof baking dish.
Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil.
Once water has come to a boil, pour over the tomatoes; needing not to fully submerge them, but adding enough water in the pan so it doesn't cool down too quickly.
Then place a cookie sheet over the tomatoes trapping the heat and leave sit for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooled down enough to handle.
Drain the tomatoes and peel.
Remember; this method is for small batches of tomatoes only. Anything 10 lbs or more it's best to go with the blanching pot method.
Thanks again Tina for this wonderful recipe.
Unknown said…
With an abundance of tomatoes from our garden I have thought about making Ro-Tel! Thank you for the recipe!
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Unknown said…
Thank you! Will have many tomatoes this year, perfect recipe!
Anonymous said…
I am confused, if you start with 12 cups of tomatoes how do you end up with 7 to 8 half pints. I made this recipe and ended up with about 20 half pints. I steamed tomatoes until I had 12 cups. Was your 12 cups before they were cooked? It tasted great but just wondered why my outcome was so different. Thanks

Tina Butler said…
The original recipe called for a gallon of tomatoes which is 16 cups. She ended up with 10-12 pint size jars which would be 20 half pints. I used 12 cups of tomatoes and ended up with 8 half pints.
Anonymous said…
I just made my first batch of this recipe. It is so good I could eat a whole jar with a spoon! I used Joe Numex Anaheims in place of the Jalapenos, but otherwise followed it exactly. I did measure my pelled, cored, and chopped tomatoes. I started with 12 cups and ended up with 11 1/2 cups (half pint jars). I made a note to be careful to start with the full 12 cups next year. Thank you for this great recipe!

Just curious if you have any kind of "official" word on whether this recipe is considered safe if it is processed as specified?
Wendi Wolfe said…
Great recipe - we tossed in a few cloves of garlic, since everything we use Rotel for needs garlic, and also used a variety of peppers we had in the garden, including some habaneros (huzzah!).