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Ranchero Sauce Shopping Tips
A great sauce is all about flavor. Be sure to get fresh and bold flavors to add to your sauces based on what looks good at the store.
Ranchero Sauce Cooking Tips
When reducing a sauces be sure to keep an eye out and not let it burn. For extra shine in your sauce, add a pat of butter at the end.
Homemade Ranchero Sauce
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A simple homemade recipe for ranchero sauce. This sauce can be used in breakfast casseroles and the all time classic – Huevos Rancheros!
Readers, friends, sauce-covered-food loving people every where: let me share with you my recipe or the easiest, most delicious, and FREEZABLE ranchero sauce.
Loaded with onions, multi colored bell peppers, GARLIC, jalapeños, tomatoes, and hints of cumin and cayenne –> it’s all real food without any of those pesky store bought food preservatives. And dare I say it kinda sorta has similar vibes as salsa, because a lot of the ingredients are the same that you’d find in a traditional salsa recipe. And shouldn’t that be enough reason for you to grab the ingredients and start making it? Ah I know, I know. You’re thinking, why the heck is her salsa-like ranchero sauce smooth?
Well… I’ll get to that in a second.
This sauce is simple, I promise. It’s sautéing off a view ingredients –> onions and bell peppers. And then spicing it up with hints of garlic lots of diced tomatoes jalapeños cumin and cayenne. I did use a little chicken broth to help give it that smooth consistency and you can definitely swap that for vegetable broth if you’re a vegetarian.
My ranchero sauce takes about 10 minutes of prep work and in the ball park of 30 minutes for cooking time. I like to make a double batch and freeze half for later use because things like a breakfast enchilada casserole smothered in ranchero sauce are a welcome sight for Sunday morning breakfasts around here.
One batch of sauce is enough for 1 enchilada casserole (it’s coming, it’s coming!) but I like to have extras in the freezer because the hubby and I WUV huevos rancheros smothered in smooth ranchero sauce.
This ranchero sauce is probably most known for it’s contributions to the popular breakfast item –> Huevos Rancheros. And the first time I ever had this for breakfast was on our Honeymoon in 80 degree weather, with the most breath taking view of the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
It’s as simple as a view flour/corn tortillas with eggs on top (your choice! scrambled, omelette style, or sunny side up) smothered in sauce with refried black beans on the side. After much deliberation, and taking the servers advice into account, we both went the sunny side up route.
And folks, I will NEVER again enjoy huevos rancheros with anything but a sunny side up egg. Seriously. STOP reading for a second if you hate egg yolks. But the way that the melty warm yolk tastes mixed in with the smooth ranchero sauce with a little kick of heat and warm flour tortillas with just a small smear of refried black beans is out of this world. I probably ate a million things on my honeymoon (we were at an all inclusive resort) that I wanted to make when I got back but the ONE thing that I NEEDED to make was this sauce.
Sharing embarrassing honeymoon photo in –
And now to tell you about why this sauce needs to be smooth –> after getting back to town, I tried a dozen different variations of huevos rancheros here. Living in Texas, I assumed it was the next best thing to living in Mexico. I mean we have GOOD –scratch that– GREAT mexican food here. I would go so far as to say it’s kind of AMAZING. But sadly, every where I tried, they make their huevos rancheros with a chunky salsa style sauce. Whomp. Whomp.
It’s as simple as making the sauce and tossing it in a blender. And I don’t know what kind of magic the blend has going on but this sauce just tastes a million times better. It’s probably because you get all the flavors at once in each bite, the peppers, the onions, the garlic and the tomatoes. But i’m still going to tell myself that it’s the blender that makes this sauce magical.
Kids. This is next level stuff.
A quick and easy ranchero sauce that you just babysit while it simmers. It’ll help you bring your breakfast A game in the form of casseroles and huevos rancheros for forever. Because you WILL not want to go back to the chunky variation after you have this. Smooth is the way to go. Breakfast tacos your thing? My taco bar serves a similar sauce on the side for you to dunk your tacos in. SO no matter what way you prefer your tortillas in the morning –> enchiladas –> tacos –> huevos rancheros –> you need this ranchero sauce to dip, dunk, drizzle and ladle on top of your food.
I love this recipe but I reduce it only by 1/2 cup at most. This may sound petty but I wish Epicurious had chosen a picture of the actual recipe. The photo above doesn't look like the finished product at all. There are no tomatoes in the recipe and the photo above clearly shows a ton of tomatoes! Very misleading.
Made this tonight . excellent! Being vegetarian I did not have chicken broth so I substituted with water. No other subs and it was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the perfect sauce.
Great recipe. 2nd time making
Made this sauce for the second time to use with my chile rellenos. I made it as written. The first time I made this I didn't cook it down so much. This time I cooked it down a little more and put it in a blender. Both times the flavor was amazing! This might be really good mixed in shredded chicken or pork for tacos!
I created a epicurious account just to review this recipe. I was skeptical going in because currently there are only a few positive reviews. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I chopped the bell pepper and onion very course, and minced the jalapeno. Added the garlic and spices after veggies were done softening, and stirred for 30 seconds before adding the liquids. Strong simmer for 20 minutes and this is the best ranchero sauce I have ever tasted! I skipped the cilantro, because I don't like it. This is definitely a keeper recipe!
This is a really great recipe, it just could use more directions for the novice cook. You want to start by sautaing the Onions and the Jalepenoi, garlice and bell pepper then cummin and add a dash of Chili Powder first for 5 mins before adding the chicken broth and then the Tomato sauce. Be sure to simmer the full 20 mins and get it down to a nice consisitency, stir often, then cut in your Cilantro and let it sit for a bit. Perfecto
This was too watery hence needed more boilling down. It was also a bit too spicy for my taste but that can be adjusted. It was just OK. I won't make it again.
I've made this twice and both times it has been great. It's a keeper!
I have looked for years for a traditional ranchero sauce. For some reason, nothing online I have found is as perfect a balace of flavors as this recipe. I added a couple extra garlic cloves and would probably add more spice to this, but it is PERFECT as is.
I love this recipe! We used to go to a cheap mexican place and spend alot of money on rancheros sauce. But now we can make it and it is cheaper. Except for the halapenos are horrible! DONT ADD THEM EVER!
made with red pepper instead of green. and poured over chili rellano i stuffed with cheese, corn, cilantro, and jalepeno. and topped with lime and avocado. delicious!
this sauce was amazing! i used it to top veggie enchiladas and they turned out to be the best i have ever made! my hubby loved the sauce too. i couldn't keep him from eating it with chips before dinner. this will be my ranchero sauce recipe from now on!
A delicious sauce, so easy to make. I'm making it again today for a Fiesta Party, to serve with smoked chicken. A great combo!
Excellent sauce and simple to make. I paired it with a chile releno casserole and the combination was awesome!
Add with shredded beef to make awesome burro grandes!
This sauce is great over a shredded very slow/low cooked pork tenderloin! I experiment by substituing other mexican pepper for the green pepper. EXCELLENT LOW CARB SAUCE!
I cover shredded beef burritoes with this and top with manchego cheese & bake. This is a great sauce.
Very good sauce. I also added oregano and some chopped green chiles in a can to it. This added more zip.
So fast and easy to make. Loaded with flavor for such a simple recipe. I serve it with chile rellenos and get raves every time.
This recipe is the closest in taste to a similar the dish served at my local Mecican resturant but with out the fat. I love this recipe and will make it once a week.
Ranchero Sauce is most popular and well-known is for topping Huevos Rancheros, a Mexican dish in which corn tortillas, beans, and over-easy eggs are topped with cheese and Ranchero Sauce. But, the fun certainly doesn’t stop there.
This zesty Mexican sauce is also served on top of:
- Chili Relleños (we use it here in our Chili Relleno Casserole!)
In our house, we use it on Mexican-inspired dinnertime creations like Ground Turkey Casserole, Huevos Rancheros with Shredded Chicken, and so much more.
It’s a family-friendly sauce that goes with almost anything and makes pretty much everything better.
How to make Ranchero Sauce
Making ranchero sauce is super easy and only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. First, heat up some olive oil in a skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Then add in the tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and all the spices and saute for 10 minutes.
At this point, the tomatoes and onions will have cooked down and a lot of the water in the vegetables will have evaporated. To add some moisture back into the concentrated mixture, mix in some chicken stock or water (I like to use chicken stock for added flavor) and cook for about another 30 seconds.
Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in cilantro and lime juice.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or to a bowl if using an immersion blender, and pulse a few times to mix everything together to a slightly chunky consistency.
If you want the mixture smooth like in the photos above, puree the sauce until it’s completely blended.
Whether you leave the sauce slightly chunky or smooth is totally personal preference. I like to leave it a little chunky if I’m making it specifically for huevos rancheros, but if I’m making it to eat with other dishes, I like it smooth. It’s totally up to you!
In bowl of food processor, add onion, jalapeño peppers and garlic Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat add pureed onion mixture and cumin. Cook until mixture turns light golden brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and 1 cup water bring to boil. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes more season with Adobo keep warm. (Note, to make sauce head of time, see tip below).
Heat oven to 200F. Heat 1 tsp. oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add one tortilla cook until tortilla inflates and turns light golden on both sides, flipping once, about 2 minutes. Transfer tortilla to large sheet of foil. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil in 1 tsp. measurements if pan becomes dry. Loosely wrap tortillas in foil and transfer to oven to keep warm.
Divide remaining 2 tbsp. oil between 2 medium skillets over medium-high heat. Add 4 eggs to each skillet season with adobo. Cook eggs until whites are set and yolks are runny about 3 minutes.
To assemble Huevos Rancheros, divide tortillas between 4 serving plates spread each tortilla with 2 tbsp. refried beans. Top each with 2 eggs drizzle with sauce, then sprinkle with cheese. Serve with slices of avocado, if desired.
What ingredients do you need
It may look like the ingredient list is a bit long, but let’s break it down and you will see that this is all easy stuff and making ranchero sauce is no challenge.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Yellow onion. Dice or chop, it is no matter since this will all get blended anyway.
- Kosher salt. just a pinch. This is to coax the onions into softening before the garlic overcooks.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes. One can. No need to drain.
- Green chiles. One small can. No need to drain these either.
- Roasted red peppers. One jar. These we want to drain.
- Chicken or vegetable stock. Either will work.
- More kosher salt. This time it is for seasoning.
- Fresh cracked pepper.
- Hickory liquid smoke. Note that I am specifying hickory. Mesquite is too obnoxious a flavor as far as I am concerned – not a fan.
- Heavy cream. So, the cream is kind of sorta optional but I prefer this sauce far more with the cream than without.
- Unsalted butter. Just a little pat of butter love to add a bit of silky Mmmmm. It also serves to mellow the acidity of the tomatoes.
Even with the cream and butter, this sauce is surprisingly light on the palette. Precisely why it is such a great complement to eggs, chicken, and the like.
- 1 cup finely crushed ranch-flavored tortilla chips
- ½ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 (8 ounce) fillets catfish, washed and patted dry
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, mix together crushed chips, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, mix egg and oil. Dip catfish in egg and oil mixture, then dredge in chips mixture. Place catfish on foil-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle any leftover chip mixture over the catfish.
Bake in a preheated oven until catfish is flaky and white in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
Ranchero Sauce (Kerbey Lane Cafe)
At Austin's famous 24-hour Kerbey Lane Cafe, they use this tasty sauce on their enchiladas, as well as their famous breakfast migas. This recipe has been handed down by the cafe's founders, David Ayer and Patricia Atkinson. It has a strong garlic flavor.
For the ranchero sauce (makes 4 cups):
- Add the oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and serrano pepper, and sauté until the onions are soft amd transparent.
- Add the onion mixture to a food processor bowl, along with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until well combined, but do not puree.
- Transfer mixture back to the saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes. Ranchero sauce will keep, refrigerated, for a week.
Note: This sauce keeps for a week in the refrigerator. If you want to add some heat, substitute medium heat chili powder.
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell
All materials, including Grandma's Cookbook and its contents are © 2020 . Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Homemade Ranchero Sauce Recipe:
- 4 Large Tomatoes - roughly chopped
- 1 Poblano Pepper - roasted - diced
- 1 White Onion - diced
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 - 2 Jalapeno Peppers - stem and seeds removed - If you want it hotter, leave the seeds
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Vegetable Bullion Cube - unsalted
- 3 Tablespoons Ancho Powder or made from 4 -5 Dried Ancho peppers
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Cups Filtered Water or desired thickness
Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease. They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium. The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil. The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.” They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.
Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C just one pepper has 95% of your daily value. They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma. They contain lycopene a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas. They are also helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.
Jalapeno is a rich source of vitamin C, 1 pepper provides 18 % of the daily value for men and 23 % for women. They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which helps skin and eye health. Jalapenos contain phenols, flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss. The bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants and help strengthen blood vessels. They also fight nasal congestion by stimulating secretions that help clear mucus from the nose. They contain more vitamin B6 aiding the immune system, E that protect the cells and K, which increases bone mass, than any other pepper.
- 1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced romaine lettuce
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup prepared green salsa , (see Tip)
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- Canola oil cooking spray
- ¾ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine lettuce, scallion, cilantro, 1 teaspoon oil, lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl set aside. Combine beans and salsa in another bowl.
Coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Place tortillas on a large baking sheet in 4 sets of overlapping pairs. (Each pair should overlap by about 3 inches.) Spread about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on top of each pair of tortillas and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cheese each. Bake until the beans are hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them one at a time into the pan, taking care not to break the yolks. Season the eggs with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook undisturbed for 5 to 7 minutes for soft-set yolks. (For hard-set yolks, cover the pan after 5 minutes and continue cooking until the yolks are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more.)
To assemble, place an egg on top of each pair of tortillas and top with a generous 1/4 cup of the lettuce mixture.
Green salsa (sometimes labeled salsa verde or tomatillo salsa) is made with tomatillos, green chiles and onions. Look for it near other prepared salsa in large supermarkets.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.