Ranchero Sauce

This chunky, quick-cooked salsa has a lot more flavor than the store-bought stuff. Serve it with chips for dipping. Also use it on Chevys Three-Cheese Chile Relleños, huevos rancheros, and omelets. You can even heat it up and toss it with pasta, just like a traditional Italian tomato sauce (for extra credit, crumble some queso fresco on top).–Peter Serantoni

LC Salsa As Sauce Note

Yes, we realize you’re accustomed to raw salsas. We Americans tend to equate “salsa” with raw chopped tomatoes, onion, chile pepper, lime, and cilantro, although the term actually is Spanish for “sauce,” which covers all manner of salsas, both uncooked as well as cooked. Which is our way of saying that “salsa” can be many, many different things. Like this quick-cooked ranchero sauce that’s oh so mild and lovely on just about most things.

Ranchero Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 3 cups


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced oregano leaves


  • 1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • 2. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Gently heat the ranchero sauce over low heat before using.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

May 09, 2000

This is the recipe to use for a quick cooked tomato salsa. The texture of this salsa is really great. Not too thick, not too thin or runny. My garden tomatoes were perfectly ripe and oh, so juicy and sweet. They were practically clamouring for the pot. Just the thing for this recipe. When chopping my tomatoes, I left some pieces large, some small. None. The addition of tomato paste really brought out the tomato flavor. And the oregano? Delicious. Great with tortillas. We're using it for Mexican night tomorrow, too. I like that this does not make a large amount so canning is unnecessary. When you can make a salsa this satisfying and fast, what need is there to buy it?

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