Ranchero Sauce Recipe


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Ranchero sauce is a tomato based sauce that’s blended with jalapeños, chipotle peppers, onion, garlic, and seasonings. It’s perfect to serve with huevos rancheros, burritos (especially wet burritos), tacos, tostadas, eggs, or any of your favorite Mexican food!

Ranchero Sauce

If you love adding a bold pop of flavor to your food, this ranchero sauce recipe needs to be on your list of recipes to make.

It’s smoky, a little spicy (but not overly spicy), and packed full of flavor from the combination of dried and fresh herbs.

The fresh lime juice really brightens up the flavor, and balances out the flavor of the chipotle peppers.

My favorite part about this sauce is that it packs tons of flavor, but it also uses really easy to find ingredients. Everything in this recipe should be relatively easy to find at any major grocery store.

So mix up a batch and start serving it with everything! You’re going to love it.

A small bowl of ranchero sauce surrounded by tomatoes and cilantro.

What Is The Difference Between Ranchero Sauce And Enchilada Sauce?

The main difference between the two sauces has to do with the tomato flavor.

Even though they have noticeably different flavor profiles, it’s common to see them used interchangeably.

Ranchero sauce is a tomato based sauce that is spicer and has other supporting flavors.

Enchilada sauce is milder and either has no tomatoes, or only a small amount of tomatoes, and the other flavors are the focus of the sauce.

A side image of a bowl of ranchero sauce.


This ranchero sauce is made with olive oil, sweet white onion, chipotle peppers in adobo, jalapeño, garlic, dried oregano, salt, smoked paprika, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, fresh cilantro leaves, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Ranchero sauce ingredients labeled.

How To Make It

Start by sautéing the onion, chipotle peppers, and jalapeño in oil. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Add in the garlic and spices, and sauté until they’re aromatic. Then stir in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth.

Mixing in spices and diced tomatoes to a large pot.

Let the sauce simmer until it thickens. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Adding fresh chopped cilantro to a pot of ranchero sauce.

Use an immersion blender, blender, or food processor to carefully blend the sauce to your desired consistency (be very careful when blending something hot!). See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Before and after blending ranchero sauce.

Ranchero Sauce Uses

This is a such a versatile sauce, so feel free to add it to just about anything that carries flavors well. Some of my favorite ways to use it are on wet burritos, dolloped on tacos, as a dipping sauce for steak quesadillas, or on huevos rancheros.

The best homemade ranchero sauce, topped with a sprig of cilantro.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image of ranchero sauce with title text at the top.

Mexican Sauce Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire sauce recipes section! We’re all about delicious, easy, and homemade sauces here, so there are tons for you to choose from. Some really popular ones are:

Yield: 8 servings (or 1 cup)

BEST Homemade Ranchero Sauce Recipe

The best authentic homemade ranchero sauce recipe.

Ranchero sauce is a tomato based sauce that’s blended with jalapeños, chipotle peppers, onion, garlic, and seasonings.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet white onion (diced)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (diced)
  • 1 medium jalapeno (stem, seeds, and ribs removed, minced)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic (pressed through a garlic press, or minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, include if you like a smoky flavor)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  2. Add the onion, chipotle peppers, and jalapeno. Saute until the onion is translucent (about 4 - 5 minutes). Add in the garlic, oregano, salt, and smoked paprika. Stir to mix and saute until the garlic is aromatic (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then turn the heat down low enough so that it just maintains the rapid simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every minute or two. The sauce should thicken considerably.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off. Add in the cilantro leaves and lime juice, and taste. Adjust the salt to your preference.
  5. Blend the sauce to your desired consistency. The easiest way to blend it is with an immersion blender, but you can also use a food processor or blender if you prefer (just be really careful transferring the hot sauce). Blend the ranchero sauce in 10-second increments until you get the consistency you like - some people prefer it chunky, but I prefer it smooth.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 1.9gCarbohydrates: 4.8gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 2.1gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

If you’re looking for an easy Mexican sauce to make from scratch that will pair well with pretty much everything, try making a big batch of this authentic homemade ranchero sauce!

The best authentic homemade ranchero sauce recipe.

2 thoughts on “Ranchero Sauce Recipe”

  1. Oh my goodness. Made this today and only had pickled jalapeños in the house so I used just those for peppers and I am in love. So simple and sooo delicious. Thank you

    • Hi Laura, I’m so happy to hear that you loved this ranchero sauce so much! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback. -Alexa


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