Ranchero Sauce

Maggie May Schill


I love making my ranchero sauce. It stores well and goes so well with so many different south-west and Mexican foods. I prefer to make my ranchero sauce with heirloom or Mexican Organic tomatoes. I am a huge advocate of not using those genetically modified freaks people call tomatoes traditionally. They are orange, watery with zero flavor. In Florida is it really hard to find good tomatoes. The heat makes it hard to grow them, and commercially they barely put any effort in for quality. And tomatoes frankly are the key to good ranchero sauce.


★★★★★ 1 vote

20 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


  • 3 medium
    heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small
    yellow tomato, chopped
  • 2 c
    red onion, diced
  • 1 medium
    red bell pepper, diced, seeded and ribs removed.
  • 2 c
    fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4-5 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c
    veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    chili powder
  • 4 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 medium
    jalapeno pepper, diced, seeded and ribs removed
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    smoked paprika
  • ·
    salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste!

How to Make Ranchero Sauce


  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add oil and smoke.
  2. Sweat garlic and onion in oil until tender.
  3. Add jalapeno and cook for 10 minutes covered.
  4. Add tomatoes with salt. (salt will draw the liquid from tomatoes.) Cook covered for 30 minutes on medium low heat.
  5. Drain excess tomato liquid from pan.
  6. Add cilantro and broth to pan. Simmer for 5 minutes covered.
    (Adjust the thickness of the sauce with broth. Be sure to drain all the excess liquid you can, the tomato liquid is super watery, but the 1/2 cup of broth will add the extra flavor you are looking for. You might need more than 1/2 cup or a little less depending on how much liquid your tomatoes give up while cooking.)
  7. Add paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, chilli, lime juice and cumin.
  8. Blend mixture with immersion blender, or transfer to a standard blender until smooth. (If you like chunky sauce don't blend it, tastes the same whether smooth or not.)
  9. Simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes before serving. A little tip: if you find the sauce too watery after you add your stock, no big deal, simmer it uncovered, it'll thicken itself up in no time.
  10. In this entry I served ranchero sauce over my black bean quesadilla.

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