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  • Writer's picturemeghannbower

Ranchero Sauce

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Most of you know, I have a deep passion for Mexican food and culture. I absolutely LOVE taking my otherwise unhealthy Mexican favorites and making them nutritious AND delicious.

Chili peppers are rich in vitamins C and B6, both vital in immune function, wound healing, and energy metabolism. The most notable nutrient found in chilis, however, is Capsaicin. This phytochemical, along with several other antioxidants and essential acids, combine to protect against chronic diseases, cancer, and improve eye health.

Establishing a good ranchero sauce recipe is a key tool in any Mexican cook's toolbelt. Luckily, I had a little help from a wonderful site, Chili Pepper Madness ( ). To all my fellow chili-heads out there, head over to their site for some fiery recipes!

I updated the recipe to my tastes and dietary preferences and really feel like I'm on to something here. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


  • 3 dried guajillo chilis

  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno, chopped

  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp. ground ancho chili

  • 1 - 14.5 oz. canned diced tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Juice of 1 lime

Heat a large, deep, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add dried guajillo chilis and toast for about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat to a large bowl filled with hot water to soak.

Lower the heat on the pan to medium and add the oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the onions and jalapenos. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin, and ground ancho chili and cook for another minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and cilantro and stir to combine. Remove stems and seeds from guajillo chilis and add to pan. Add maple syrup and salt.

Increase heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes.

Turn the heat off and allow to cool slightly. Transfer sauce to a blender (or leave in the pan if using an immersion blender) and add the lime juice. Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately with tacos, nachos, or enchiladas. You can also store in an airtight glass container for up to a week.

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