Ranchero Sauce Recipe (Chunky or Blended)

This Ranchero sauce recipe is the perfect way to add a little Southwestern flair to your meals, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. All you need is a few simple ingredients, and in just minutes you’ll have a delicious sauce that’s perfect for tacos, burritos, or just about anything else you can think of. So why wait? Give ranchero sauce a try today!

Next time give this Tomatillo Green Salsa or this Red Enchilada Sauce recipe a try!

Ranchero sauce in a glass jar with salsa in the background.


If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make sauce to top your tacos or enchiladas, look no further than this ranchero sauce recipe. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, and it’s sure to add authentic Mexican flavor to your dishes.

  • This zesty sauce only requires simple ingredients that you may already have on hand.
  • Best of all, it only takes minutes to prepare, so you can enjoy your meal in no time.
  • It’s easy to make and packs a delicious kick of flavor.


This tangy sauce that will add amazing flavor to your favorite Mexican food recipes only requires a handful of kitchen tools. And, these tools should already be in your cabinets which can help you keep things simple.

  • knife and cutting board
  • large skillet
  • stick blender or food processor
Ingredients to make ranchero sauce.


Do you love Mexican food? Of course, you do! Who doesn’t love cheesy enchiladas, zesty refried beans, and crispy tacos? This ranchero sauce recipe is the perfect way to spice up your favorite Mexican dishes. Gather these fresh ingredients and get ready to make this classic Mexican sauce recipe.

  • jalapeño, sliced
  • chipotle pepper (optional to add spice)
  • Roma tomatoes – or use 16 ounce of diced canned tomatoes.
  • small white onion, sliced
  • oil – neutral (canola, vegetable, olive)
  • garlic powder – you can also use fresh garlic. 1 clove minced would be the right amount in this recipe.
  • kosher salt
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • tomato sauce
  • bay leaves


What do you get when you mix tomatoes, chili peppers, and spices? A delicious ranchero sauce with incredible flavor, of course! This recipe is perfect for topping your favorite Mexican-inspired recipes. Serve it chunky, or blend it up into a smooth sauce.

Follow the simple steps below and you will have an easy sauce recipe that pairs perfectly with Tex Mex cuisine in no time at all. Your taste buds will thank you for making this spicy sauce.


Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions and jalapeno. Saute for about 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.


Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spices; cumin, bay leaves, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and chipotle if using.


Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tomatoes break down. Remove bay leaves.


Leave sauce chunky or for a smooth sauce remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Alternatively, cool and place in a blender or food processor pulse until the sauce is smooth.

Note: the smaller the tomatoes are diced the quicker the tomatoes will turn into a sauce.


This delicious sauce recipe is the perfect addition to your favorite Mexican recipes. Here are a few ideas of dishes to serve ranchero sauce with:

  • Tacos – This sauce is perfect for topping tacos, whether they’re beef, chicken, or veggie.
  • Burritos – Add a little ranchero sauce to your burrito for extra flavor.
  • Enchiladas – This sauce is delicious on enchiladas, whether you use it as a topping or include it in the recipe.
  • Rice – Ranchero sauce is also great on rice, whether you’re making a rice dish or just want to add some flavor to plain rice.
  • Beans – Add ranchero sauce to your favorite beans recipe for extra flavor.
  • Eggs – This sauce is also delicious on eggs, whether you’re making scrambled eggs, an omelet, or sunny-side-up eggs.

There are so many ways to enjoy this ranchero sauce recipe. Get creative and try it on your favorite dishes. You’ll be sure to love the flavor it adds!

Top view of homemade ranchero sauce with tortilla chips on the side.


This ranchero sauce recipe is pretty simple, but there are a few ways you can change it up to suit your tastes.

  • Jalapeño – If you don’t like things too spicy, you can leave out the jalapeno pepper or only use half of one. You can also substitute the jalapeño for a green bell pepper if you don’t like spicy food.
  • Chipotle Peppers – The chipotle pepper is optional, but it does add a little extra spice to the sauce. If you don’t have a chipotle pepper, you can leave it out or substitute it for another type of red peppers.
  • Tomatoes – You can use any type of tomato in this recipe, but I prefer to use Roma tomatoes because they have higher water content and make for a thinner sauce.
  • Onion – You can use any type of onion in this recipe, but I prefer to use a small white onion because it’s milder.
  • Oil – You can use any type of oil in this recipe, but I prefer to use a neutral oil like canola, vegetable, or olive.
  • Chicken Broth – If your sauce ends up to thick after you blend it, you can thin it out with a little chicken stock, broth, water, or even vegetable broth.
  • Oregano – If you can find Mexican oregano or you have some already on hand, I recommend using that. But the regular oregano will also work.
  • Liquid Smoke – If you want a smoky flavor you can add a small amount of liquid smoke to this flavorful sauce.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you want some extra heat in this versatile sauce that is full of spicy tomato flavor.
  • Creamy sauce – You can make this sauce creamy by adding a splash or two of coconut milk or heavy cream.
Blended red salsa in a black dipping bowl.


This ranchero sauce recipe will last for about 3-4 days in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container and be sure to reheat it before serving.

You can also freeze this sauce for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stove before serving.


Do you have questions about this homemade ranchero sauce recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about this recipe.

What is ranchero sauce made of?

This ranchero sauce recipe is made with tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, and spices. It’s a simple sauce that’s perfect for topping your favorite Mexican dishes.

What is the difference between ranchero sauce and salsa?

Ranchero sauce is used to flavor foods and is usually thinner in consistency than salsa. Salsa often is diced into chunks and may or may not be cooked. Both ranchero sauce and salsa are tomato based with Mexican spices.

Is red enchilada sauce the same as ranchero?

No, red enchilada sauce is made with chili powder adding a different flavor. Ranchero sauce is made with tomatoes.

This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves Mexican food. It’s simple to make and can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re looking for a new sauce recipe or want to add a little extra flavor to your favorite dishes, this ranchero sauce recipe is perfect for you!

Chunky ranchero sauce used to dip tortilla chips.


Homemade ranchero sauce in a clear bowl.

Ranchero Sauce Recipe (Chunky or Blended)

This easy ranchero sauce made with fresh ingredients can be served chunky or blended. Add a little Southwestern flair to your meals.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Salsa, Ranchero Sauce, Ranchero Sauce Recipe, salsa
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 34kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1/2 small white onion sliced
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes about 4 large
  • 1 Tablespoon oil – neutral canola, vegetable, olive
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 4 ounce tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in sauce diced (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Remove stem from jalapeno and slice or dice removing the membrane and seeds. Slice or dice the onion.
  • Add oil to large skillet and heat over medium-high. When oil simmers, add onions and jalapeno. Saute for about 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices; cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt and chipotle if using.
  • Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tomatoes break down. Remove bay leaves.
  • Leave sauce chunky or remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Alternatively, cool and place in a blender or food processor pulsing 2-3 times or until the sauce is smooth.


The smaller the tomatoes are diced, the quicker they will break down into a sauce.
This will make 2 1/2 cups if left chunky. Blended ranchero sauce will make 2 cups.


Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 34kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

Hugs Sandra Signature

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  1. 5 stars
    Quite tasty. We left it chunky. Chipotle in Adobe was great addition. Will definitely make again.