Skip to content

Ranchero Sauce

Ranchero Sauce

This mild Mexican red sauce has a dark, mole flavor and is great on burritos and other traditional dishes.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


  • 2 dry chile de arbol peppers
  • 4 dry California chili peppers
  • 2 c water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • pinch Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chili peppers.
  2. Heat an 8-inch skillet (or small saucepan) on medium setting. Add chili peppers and heat for 15 seconds on each side. (Overheating may cause a bitter flavor to develop.)
  3. Add the water, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Turn heat off and allow to stand 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  4. Place the chili mixture in a blender and process 30 seconds or until smooth.
  5. In the same skillet/saucepan, heat the oil briefly. Add the blender mixture, oregano, cocoa, and salt. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or hot over burritos, tamales, or other Mexican specialties. Cover any extra sauce and refrigerate; use within a week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *