Camille’s Famous Ranchero Sauce

by Andie Mitchell on February 7, 2012


During the past four days of our jungle adventure, Camille and I have spooned her famous homemade ranchero sauce on every last thing we’ve eaten. Our rustic cabin kitchen has never been so flavorful.

Each morning, our plates are hot with two skillet-warmed corn tortillas, two runny-yolked fried eggs, ranchero sauce, guacamole, and crumbled queso fresco.

Each afternoon, we’re on the beach with pineapple slaw salads topped with garlicky refried black beans and yet more ranchero sauce.

Each evening, we’re searing snapper ‘til it’s crisp crusted and slathering it in-

you guessed it-

ranchero sauce.


It has become my lifeblood.

This sauce is bright, spicy, and comforting. It’s full-bodied and aromatic and, to my delight, versatile enough to spoon atop just about anything.

Camille’s Famous Ranchero Sauce

  • 1 can whole tomatoes in juice, juices reserved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper
  • salt
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapenos. Season with salt. When onions become translucent and begin to brown, deglaze the pan with reserved tomato juice. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add tomatoes. Crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon until well integrated into the sauce. Add cumin, cayenne, and season with salt (to taste). Cook for 10 minutes. Add cilantro and stir to combine. Serve immediately over fish, chicken, enchiladas, or huevos rancheros.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

johnny February 8, 2012 at 2:44 am

That sounds great! I’m making some right away! Sounds like you’re having a fantastic time! Enjoy! :)


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh February 8, 2012 at 4:17 am

The hubby would love this for his new huevos rancheros obsession.


Heather (Heather's Dish) February 8, 2012 at 5:06 am

i want this to be my lifeblood too!


Sarah@The Flying ONION February 8, 2012 at 5:32 am

Oh wow, this recipe sounds so easy yet so delicious! I think I’d sprinkle it on anything and everything too. :D


Rachel February 8, 2012 at 5:57 am

Totally making these for a Latin-inspired dinner with my best friend tomorrow night. If only the beach magically appeared upon making this sauce :)


Christy D February 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

My husband would love this!! He loves breakfast tacos, so this would be perfect for him!!! We used to live in TX, and this would totally take him back there.


Jenn February 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

Oh my, I’m already in love! Your recipe says to serve immediately, but do you think this would keep well over the week?


Aly February 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

Could you make and freeze this? Looks yummy.


Leanne@Around the Table February 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

This sounds like a trip I need to go on. Any vacation where I eat this every day sounds amazing.


adrianne (all of the above) February 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

this looks fantastic! Does Camille have any other recipes up her sleeve that we’ll be seeing in the future? I hope so!


Joy February 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

You’ve got us curious about Camille! At first I thought she was your pug, but then I realized her name was DiDi (?) and she probably can’t make ranchero sauce…


Stephanie February 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

Came for an update; stayed (I mean, drooled) for the picture of the guac and tortillas. Have Fun. Viva la Costa Rica!!!


Sabrina February 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I had snapper last night for the first time, also with a nice crisp crust. It was so flavorful and filling, but I left the table not feeling weighed down. Yum.


Andrea February 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Your photos are all sunshine. I love it.


Meg February 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm



Ana Maria February 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Looks wonderful, can’t wait to try it! So happy for you that you’re on this adventure :)


Marian @ MarianWrites February 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm

this makes me want huevos rancheros like nobody, anywhere, has ever wanted huevos rancheros. swoon!


Tara February 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Looks delicious! How does one make pineapple slaw salad? That also sounds like something I would want to eat everyday


cooking rookie February 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

What a great recipe – yum!


Andrea February 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

i made this sauce yesterday to accompany a potato crust quiche i also made….DELISH!!! i absolutely love something spicy, like salsa, to go with eggs, and this was the perfect partner! thanks! =)


elaine June 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

Can you freeze this sauce? I have plenty of tomatoes and peppers in my garden this year.


dinese December 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

So delish! Poured over quinoa n soyrizo burritos, my whole family loved it!


Anonymous June 9, 2013 at 1:44 am

The salsa “ranchero” on the breakfast plate looks more like pico to me.


Meg June 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

I too am wondering is there a shelf live on this? Canning or freezing? Or refrigeration? It looks so good!


Stephanie January 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

Looks delicious! Did Camille come up with this Ranchero sauce recipe? I saw this same recipe in the Cook Yourself Thin cookbook but with added black beans.


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