Spicy and full of bold flavor, this Roasted Ranchero Sauce is perfect with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex dish! Fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and garlic are roasted to perfection before being blended into a smooth sauce with irresistible smokiness.
My grandmother, who was from Mexico, used to make ranchero sauce often. She would use whatever type of tomatoes, onions, and peppers she had in the kitchen.
I think many people like to make theirs over the stovetop, but she either roasted the veggies in the oven or over an open flame in a roaster. For this recipe, we’ll use the oven to create that same amazing, authentic flavors.
You can make this salsa recipe with whatever type of onions, chile peppers, and tomatoes you have in your kitchen or garden. For example, instead of your classic green jalapeños, maybe one day you’d like to try it with red chile peppers or serranos instead. This will change the heat level and flavor in a fun way!
What is Ranchero Sauce
Ranchero sauce is a pureed, reddish-orange sauce with tomatoes, onions, and chile peppers as the primary ingredients. Ranchero means “rancher” in Spanish. It is usually paired with classic Mexican meals. For example, Chiles Rellenos might be flooded with this spicy sauce or it might be poured over savory Breakfast Casseroles. Make your enchiladas with it or enjoy it with tortilla chips!
Another favorite is to use it as a dip for tortilla chips. Ranchero sauce is different from salsa because the ingredients are cooked and then pureed. Whereas, salsa usually involves fresh, raw ingredients that are simply chopped and combined.
Why This Recipe Is Special
- It’s homemade with fresh ingredients.
- It goes great with so many meals or as a dip with tortilla chips.
- Roasted ranchero sauce is easy to put together and so delicious!
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Ingredients And Substitutions
- Tomatoes - Tomatoes on the vine or Roma work great here.
- Sweet Onion - Truly, any type of onion is great, sweet, Spanish, yellow, etc.
- Jalapeños - Any type works here, but I like to stick to the classic green variety.
- Garlic - Whole garlic cloves make the best ranchero sauce!
- Cilantro - Fresh cilantro is an amazing herb to use in this sauce, but no worries if you don’t have it on hand. You can use ⅓ to ½ of a teaspoon of dried cilantro instead. There’s no need to cut the fresh cilantro as it will come apart in the blender.
- Broth - Veggie broth provides a flavorful liquid base for blending.
- Lime Juice - Fresh lime juice or the prepared type from the produce section of your store works just fine. It adds a nice tangy dynamic to the sauce.
- Seasoning - Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the onion and tomato into thick slices. Cut and deseed the jalapeños. You can leave some or all the seeds in if you want the ranchero sauce to be on the spicier end.
Peel the garlic and measure out the remaining ingredients.
Coat the sheet pan in a thin layer of oil, then add the veggies. Top the single layer of vegetables with a little more oil.
Season them and then roast them for about 30-40 minutes or until you see charred ends.
Allow them to cool for a few minutes before adding them to a blender.
Add in the vegetable broth, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend everything together until it’s nice and smooth.
Give it a taste to see if you'd like to add more seasoning. You can also make it spicier with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Enjoy it immediately or save it for later!
- Store leftover ranchero sauce in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator.
- When ready, eat it chilled or warm it up for about a minute in the microwave.
Enjoy This With
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Roasted Ranchero Sauce
- 6 tomatoes
- 1 sweet onion
- 3 jalapenos
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons oil (olive, avocado, etc.) separated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup vegetable broth, add more for a thinner sauce
- ½ teaspoon lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut the onion and tomato into thick slices. Cut and deseed/devein the jalapeños. Peel the garlic and measure out the remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle ½ tablespoon of olive oil on the sheet pan and spread it around to coat the pan. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and garlic in a single layer. Drizzle the remaining oil over top and then add the seasoning.
- Place the sheet pan in the center of the oven and let them roast for 35 minutes or until you see charred ends throughout.
- Remove the roasted veggies from the oven and allow them to cool for about 3 minutes. Add them to a blender along with the vegetable broth, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend everything together until it’s smooth and creamy.
The nutrition information is estimated and can vary depending on brands and measurements used.