A Spicy Perspective

The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe

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The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe Ever – Looking for the ultimate ranchero sauce recipe? You found it! Creamy, robust, and a hint spicy. This sauce makes every dish taste better!

The Best Ranchero Sauce Ever - in glass jar

Mexican Dinner Night

This silky sauce adds a perky punch of flavor to any dish!

I guarantee once you make this recipe, you will use it over and over again. It’s a creamy smoky sauce with tons of zest and a little hint of spice.

In fact, I believe this to be absolutely The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe Ever!

Easy Ranchero Sauce Recipe  - overhead shot in jar

You could put “The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe” on just about anything, and it would improved it…

Eggs, potatoes, steaks, pork chops, fish, grilled vegetables, risotto or grits, leftover holiday dishes, old shoes.

Anytime I make this easy Ranchera Sauce Recipe my family rants and raves about whatever I spoon it over. They say things like, “This is the best chicken ever!” and “This is the best-roasted asparagus ever!”

Yet in reality… It’s always the sauce that brings out this reaction.

Don’t believe me?

Make a batch to keep in the fridge this week. Warm it up and serve it over your leftover turkey, dressing, or green beans. You won’t believe what a difference it will make.

Ranchera Sauce Recipe in spoon

What is Ranchero Sauce?

Ranchero sauce is a type of cooked salsa made with tomatoes, peppers, smoky chiles, and spices. It can be pureed smooth or left chunky (although we like it smooth) and can be spooned over everything.

Ranchero sauce is similar to red enchilada sauce. However, it is lighter on the chiles, giving it a brighter perkier flavor than enchilada sauce. But don’t let that stop you from using Ranchera over enchiladas!

Heavos Rancheros with homemade sauce

What Ingredients You Will Need 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce (1 can)
  • 12 ounces roasted piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers (1 jar)
  • 4.5 ounces chopped green chiles (1 can)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

How To Make The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe


Place a saute pan/large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil and shallots. Sauté the shallots for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Drain the piquillo peppers. Add all remaining ingredients to the saute pan, except for the heavy cream. Simmer the ranchero sauce for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree/blend the sauce mixture until smooth. Then stir in the heavy cream. Salt to taste.

Serve with your favorite Mexican dish and garnish with some cilantro.

puree ranchero sauce with a blender

Get the Complete (Printable) Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

Jar of homemade Ranchero Sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does This Sauce Last in the Fridge?

You can store this sauce in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 7 days!

What Dish Can I Pair With This Recipe?

This sauce would be super tasty with most of your favorite Mexican dishes or Tex Mex dishes. You can use this with taquitos, fajitas, as an enchilada sauce, on burritoshuevos rancheros, or even tacos

Can I Use Onions instead of Shallots?

Shallots are a type of onion, so yes, can swap them for sweet onions or red onions. Shallots tend to have a more gentle sweet flavor compared to most onions, so you might want to pare back if making a substitution.

smooth ranchero dip

Check the printable recipe card below for nutritional information including calories, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar percentages.

Print Recipe
5 from 24 votes
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The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe Ever – Looking for the ultimate ranchero sauce recipe? You found it! Creamy, robust, and a hint spicy. This sauce makes every dish taste better!
Servings: 3 cups



  • Place a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and shallots. Sauté the shallots for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  • Drain the piquillo peppers. Add all remaining ingredients to the saute pan, except for the heavy cream. Simmer the ranchero sauce for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the ranchero sauce until smooth. Then stir in the heavy cream. Salt to taste.



Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 332kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 1333mg, Potassium: 674mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 2355IU, Vitamin C: 85.1mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 5.2mg
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier

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43 comments on “The Best Ranchero Sauce Recipe”

  1. Made a chunky version of this recipe tonight for rellenos and man, I can honestly say this TRULY is the best ranchera sauce I’ve ever had! Beats any restaurant ranchera sauce I’ve ever tried! The entire family raved about this dinner! Thank you for being a sauce genius!!!

  2. I never have time or want to leave reviews on recipes but y’all this sauce is incredible! I’m dairy free so substituted creamy oat milk for the heavy cream. It was a huge family hit. I’m going to make this sauce a staple in our fridge and freezer! So happy a dear friend traded this recipe with me. 

  3. I used ranchero sauce in our favorite burritos, I am so pleased with the outcome! My family loves it and they’re can’t wait to use it on tacos as well. Exciting!

  4. Yup, this really is the best ever! This is such an amazing recipe, I sent it to my closest friends.

  5. I made this to put on my carnitas I was making and this sauce added so much flavor now I think I need this sauce for any time I make carnitas.

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  7. Can your set it as enchilada sauce?

  8. So fabulous! I’ve been making this for a few years now and always have some on hand…the yummiest!

  9. I just made this and it’s terrific. Like another poster I added a chipotle instead of liquid smoke. I upped the garlic because garlic, more green chiles, and didn’t add the cream. Used it for heuvos rancheros and we loved it. This is a great sauce for enchiladas too. Faster than my go-to enchilada sauce and just as good. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Fabulous recipe!  I’e made it 5 times over the last 6 months and it is a fan favorite.  Added chipotle in adobo sauce instead of liquid smoke.  Didn’t have a can of green chilis so used a 10 oz can of Rotel and an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce as a replacement for the green chilis and the 15 oz can of sauce.  Came out perfectly.  Will make chicken enchiladas with this amazing sauce!

    • Excellent idea – rotel and tomato sauce!  And I thought the same with adobo instead of liquid smoke!   All pantry staples – no extra trip to the grocery store. Thanks for sharing. 🤗

  11. How long will this sauce last in the refrigerator?

  12. Absolutely delicious! Pretty easy to make too!

  13. Amazing!!! The blend of flavors takes this entirely over the top and it only takes a few minutes to make. My kind of recipe!

  14. Is there a different milk you would use in place of heavy cream? Husband is allergic to milk :(

    • Hi Catherine,

      You can substitute thick unsweetened coconut milk, but it will create a different overall flavor. Another option would be to make cashew cream using 1 cup of raw cashews and 1 cup of water. Puree in the blender until very smooth and creamy. Then measure out what you need for the recipe.

  15. Can I substitute a different onion instead of shallots? Ranchero sauce recipes are hard to find! Thank you!

  16. This is the most amazing sauce I have ever made and so simple to make!

  17. Has anyone tried freezing the sauce?

  18. Absolutely delicious. I was a touch short on the roasted red peppers (my local Trader Joe’s stopped carrying piquillos ages ago and I haven’t been able to find them since :( ) but it still turned out AMAZING.

  19. This sauce turned out delicious – thank you so much!

    Especially love the Roasted Red Pepper addition!

    We used ours on Huevos Rancheros and then the leftovers to dip raw veggies in. It makes a TON!

  20. How long will the sauce last in the refrigerator 

  21. So delicious! I had leftovers of the sauce… is this something you can freeze? 

  22. Just made it. I omitted the cream because were putting on carnitas tacos and think it will be more zesty.  I could only find the jar of roasted red peppers but they are yummy and smoky.  Also omitted the liquid smoke because my husband is a griller/smoker and our meat is already smoky.  We both love this.  I’m putting on eggs for breakfast in the morning, for sure!  

  23. Hi Sommer, I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for awhile, it looks just like the sauce we used at the Mexican restaurant I worked in during grad school. I had one quick question though, I apologize if this is in the recipe but I did not see it. Do you drain the piquillo peppers and green chiles before adding them to the pot? Thank you for posting this. I can’t wait to try it. 

  24. Made this and substituted the peppers in the recipe with a single chipolte pepper (adds a hint of smoky flavor without overdoing it — which is easy if using too many).

    It turned out perfect.

  25. This sauce is AWESOME and I want to use it on everything – so simple but sooooo good! Only thing I did differently: couldn’t find liquid smoke so I used the juices of some canned chipotle peppers to give it a similar smokiness (with a little more spice). Will be making this again and again and again!

  26. This recipe looks amazing, but I’m hoping to make it without the heavy cream. Any suggestion for an alternative, or should I just leave it out if I don’t want cream without replacing it?

    • Hi Justin,

      That’s up to you… The sauce is delicious without the cream. It just doesn’t have the same silky texture. If you want that, maybe consider thick unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream.

      • Thanks for the suggestion! I’m considering using raw cashews and turning them into milk. Will update after I make it.

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  29. Hey, I made this and it was awesome, and I just went to write it down and it’s gone! Can you fix that? 

    • Hey Danielle,

      I’m so sorry about that! We are converting our recipes to a new format and there have been some glitches. I am trying to find them all, so thank you for pointing this out!

  30. This is so good. I didn’t puree it because I like the chunks of (I used onions all i had, red peppers and green chilies). It is restaurant quality and so simple. We used it even as hot sauce

  31. Hey Sommer…! i love sauce and your sauce looks soooooo yummy & delicious i will trying to making. Thanks so much for sharing….!