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Homemade Ranchero Sauce

This Homemade Ranchero Sauce recipe is a popular red sauce used in Tex-Mex cooking. It can be served drizzled over eggs to make huevos rancheros,  as well as chimichangas, enchiladas and tacos.


Easy Homemade Ranchero Sauce Recipe

One of the peppers I use in my ranchero sauce are guajillo chilies, a dried chili pepper very commonly used in Mexican cooking. On the heat scale, they tend to be on the milder side and lend a depth of flavor to the ranchero sauce that makes it ever-so-tasty and authentic in flavor. The skin is tough, so take time to let them soak in hot water which will soften the skin making them easier to chop. Guajillo chiles are readily available in the Hispanic foods section of most any local supermarket.

Homemade Ranchero Sauce

How to Make the Best Homemade Ranchero Sauce

Is Ranchero Sauce spicy? The amount of heat in this recipe can be personalized to your taste. While it is a tomato based sauce, the primary peppers used are dried guajillo peppers which tend to be on the milder side of the heat scale. You’ll also need a jalapeno pepper and serrano chiles which can vary in the amount of heat. If you’re spice shy, be certain to remove all seeds and ribs from the inside of the peppers.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe for easy Ranchero Sauce: Guajillo, jalapeno and serrano peppers, fresh garlic, onion, vegetable oil, pureed tomatoes, diced fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock or broth, fresh cilantro, cumin, dark chili powder, seasoned salt, ancho powder or smoked paprika, Mexican or Italian oregano, black pepper and lime juice.
  • How can I add heat to the flavor overall? If you fall into the category of “the hotter the better” you may like to add red pepper flakes, or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the mix. You could also double up on the Serrano chiles. This recipe suits our taste leaving room for adding more heat depending on how I plan on serving it.
  • You can use an immersion blender, a stand blender or a food processor to process this easy ranchero sauce. You can adjust the texture to suit your taste.
  • Can I freeze Ranchero Sauce? Just like an Italian red sauce this ranchero sauce recipe keeps beautifully in the freezer. Cool it completely then divide into 2 cup portions and ladle into freezer safe Ziploc bags or containers. You can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • You can make this Ranchero sauce recipe up to 3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s terrific to have it ready to go for your next Mexican food for dinner night with the family. The flavor becomes even more robust the longer it sits.

Best Dishes to Serve with Ranchero Sauce

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Homemade Ranchero Sauce

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homemade-ranchero-sauce
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 190kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 3 dried Guajillo peppers soaked in hot water, seeded and diced
  • 1 serrano pepper chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 3 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz can fire roasted tomatoes or diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 16 oz chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt [more or less to taste]
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lime juiced


  • Before you begin, place the guajillo peppers in a shallow dish and cover with hot water. Sit for 15-20 minutes then seed and chop.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the diced onion and peppers in a couple of drizzles of vegetable oil. Season lightly with seasoned salt and black pepper.
  • Saute for 2-3 minutes until softened and beginning to brown then add the minced garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Lower the temperature and continue to simmer, gently bubbling, uncovered for 40-45 minutes to reduce and thicken. Stir periodically.
  • After reducing add the juice of 1 lime. Ladle into a stand blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
  • Cool and freeze or serve over huevos rancheros, homemade enchiladas or as a taco sauce.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2.5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1783mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1645IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Hi, so I tried this recipe and was just wondering, how much does it make because I got two 16 oz size canning jars. But it came out wonderful and very tasty although I did not add the guajillo peppers as I could not find them.

  2. I often crave Huevos Rancheros on Sunday mornings. I also prefer a ranchero sauce on cheese enchiladas and chili rellenos. I tried this recipe and absolutely loved it. I have made it several times since and am making a list to make more this afternoon! Plan to keep some in my fridge for those Sunday mornings. Thanks!

      1. Although I haven’t canned this specific recipe, my guess is that you could. It would be just the same as any tomato sauce that’s canned using proper water bath or pressure canning technique.

  3. 5 stars
    We moved away from our favorite place to get good ranchero sauce. I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making it and have suffered through some really terrible imitations. Finally, I dug up the nerve and found your recipe and made a pan. My children (all five of them) have been hovering over the pot with a sack of taco chips inhaling this sauce! To say it is a huge success around my picky eaters is an understatement. This is a wonderful sauce quick easy and no more “marinara” flavored red sauce! Hurray!!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! I doubled or tripled recipe and put it in freezer. My family loves it and I’m love it so much I’m going to keep a constant supply in my freezer. Thank-you for such a delicious recipe! I love that’s it’s healthy too!

  5. 5 stars
    So amazing! I had been craving good Ranchero sauce like this restaurant that makes best huevos rancheros. The sauce turned out just as good if not better. I doubled the recipe and put a bunch in the freezer too.

    1. I’ve never canned this but, it does freeze. My guess is it would do good using proper canning technique.

  6. Thanks for this recipe! I’ve pinned several of your recipes and have made several – and I’ve always been pleased! I’m making enchiladas for the first time this week and, if I can find the peppers you list easily, I think I’ll make this instead of buying a can of enchilada sauce. If I keep a couple of cups in the frig, how long do you think it would keep?

    1. Hi Mary, I’ve kept this for 3-5 days in the fridge without any issues. I most often freeze it, though so it’s ready when I need it. It’s much more flavorful and better for you than canned sauce. Hope you enjoy!

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