Ranchero Sauce

Ranchero Sauce

Ranchero sauce is a flavorful and versatile tomato-based sauce typically made with chili peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and a blend of herbs and spices. It is a staple in Mexican cuisine and can be used as a topping, dip, or marinade for a variety of dishes. The sauce is known for its rich, aromatic components and is easy to make at home using simple ingredients.

To make the sauce, ingredients like tomatoes, cilantro, and chicken broth are added to a skillet or pot with onions, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and other seasonings. The mixture is then simmered for about 20-25 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and thicken. It can be blended to a smoother consistency using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender before adding lime juice for an extra zing of flavor.

This sauce offers the great advantage of allowing individuals to customize it according to their preferences by adding various spices, vegetables, or even fruits such as pineapple to give it a sweeter twist. Therefore, people can create their own unique version of the sauce. However, regardless of the variation, the sauce remains tomato-centric and brings a burst of flavor to any dish.

Ingredients Needed for Ranchero Sauce

Making Ranchero sauce is relatively easy, and most ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. You will need these ingredients:

  • Medium tomatoes 4
  • White onion 1
  • Garlic cloves 4
  • Serrano or jalapeno peppers 2-3
  • Cumin1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Chicken broth or water 1/4 cup
  • Chopped cilantro 1/4 cup
  • Ancho powder 1 tsp
  • Guajillo powder 1 tsp
  •  Chipotle powder 1 tsp
  • Cayenne 1 tsp
  • Mexican oregano 1 tsp
  • Lemon (optional)

How to Make It

With all the ingredients at hand, it’s time to proceed with the recipe. Here are the steps to make Ranchero sauce:

Prepare the Ingredients

Peel the garlic cloves and dice the onion. Quarter the tomatoes and discard the stems. Cut the serrano or jalapeno peppers in half and remove the seeds.

Cook the Ingredients

In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and then add the onions. Cook the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, serrano or jalapeno peppers, cumin, chili powder, chopped cilantro, ancho powder, guajillo powder, chipotle powder, cayenne, Mexican oregano, and salt. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the spices become aromatic.

Blend the Ingredients

Add the tomatoes and chicken broth or water to the pan. First, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes become soft. Finally, take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blend until the sauce is smooth.

Serve the Ranchero Sauce

You have the option to serve the sauce either hot or cold, based on your personal preference. It can be used as a dip for tortilla chips or as a condiment for various Mexican dishes such as huevos rancheros, enchiladas, and tacos.

Why You Should Make Your Own Sauce

Ranchero sauce is a versatile sauce used in many Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Making your own sauce at home can be a great idea for several reasons. Firstly, homemade ranchero sauce allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking. Secondly, it is often healthier and more cost-effective to make your own sauce rather than buying it pre-made from the store.

Recipes for homemade sauce can vary, but most involve sautéing onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes in a skillet with various spices and seasonings. Chicken broth is typically added for extra flavor and to help thin the sauce. Some recipes also call for cilantro and lime juice to add a fresh, bright flavor to the sauce.

What To Serve With Ranchero Sauce?

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you’ve probably tasted ranchero sauce at some point. But what should you serve with ranchero sauce to make the most of its flavor? Here are some ideas:

Huevos rancheros – This classic breakfast dish consists of fried eggs served on a tortilla with ranchero sauce and refried beans. The combination of the rich, runny egg yolk, the spicy ranchero sauce, and the creamy beans is unbeatable.

Tacos – Tacos are a versatile dish that can be filled with a variety of meats or vegetables. Try topping your tacos with a spoonful of ranchero sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Grilled meats – Ranchero sauce pairs well with grilled meats like steak, chicken, or pork. Brush the sauce on the meat during the last few minutes of grilling for a tasty glaze.

Nachos – Who doesn’t love a plate of loaded nachos? Drizzle some ranchero sauce over your favorite toppings for an added kick.

Enchiladas – Enchiladas are a great way to use leftover chicken or beef. Roll up your filling in a tortilla, top with ranchero sauce, and bake for a delicious and easy dinner.

Quesadillas – Quesadillas are quick and easy meals that can be customized to your liking. Try adding some ranchero sauce to the filling for a burst of flavor.


Does Ranchero mean spicy?

Ranchero Sauce is a Mexican sauce that has a delightful blend of tomato and smoky cumin flavors. Although it typically includes hot peppers such as jalapeños or serranos, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a spicy sauce.

How do you eat Ranchero?

If you’re wondering how to enjoy Huevos Rancheros, a dish made with refried beans, fried eggs with runny yolks, and fried corn tortillas, it’s best to use a knife and fork. In certain regions of Mexico, it’s also customary to serve it alongside diced and fried potatoes as a side dish.

What is ranchero sauce vs red sauce?

The ranchero sauce features a notable tomato base and contains a generous amount of peppers, whereas the enchilada sauce usually omits tomatoes or has a less pronounced tomato flavor. Both sauces can be substituted for one another in specific dishes” can be changed to “You can substitute both sauces for each other in specific dishes.

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