Bursting with zesty flavor and addictively spicy, this Mexican salsa ranchera is perfect with crunchy tortilla chips and homemade tacos. Loaded with roasted tomatoes and jalapeños, this salsa is irresistible!
Why You’ll Love This Salsa Ranchera Recipe
This recipe will soon earn a place in your weekly menu because of how easy, quick, and fresh it is.
- Quick. It’ll only take you 12 minutes from start to finish. There’s no excuse to keep on buying boring store-bought salsa after this!
- Fresh. There are no weird ingredients or added sugars like with most salsa brands. This recipe is made with simple, fresh ingredients only.
- Easy. Roast and blend, that’s it! Salsas don’t get much easier than this.
- Authentic. It tastes just like the fresh salsas you’d find at a taco-stand in Mexico!
What is Salsa Ranchera?
There are different variations of salsa ranchera, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re made from roasted veggies. This gives the sauce a much smokier, slightly charred, and complex flavor.
The main ingredients are usually tomatoes, jalapeños or serranos, white onion, and garlic. Spices like cumin and oregano can also be added.
What You’ll Need
This salsa is packed with traditional Mexican ingredients like tomatoes, jalapeños, and onions. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
- Roma Tomatoes: Heirloom tomatoes are a good swap if you remove most of the seeds.
- Jalapeños: If you want your salsa even spicier, swap the jalapeños for Serrano peppers to really turn up the heat!
- White Onion: You can use yellow onion instead.
- Garlic: Don’t use garlic powder for this.
- Chipotles in Adobo Sauce: Feel free to use 2-4 tablespoons of chipotle sauce, depending on your preference. These add a great smokiness to your salsa.
- Oil: Neutral-flavored oils like vegetable, corn, and canola are best. Please avoid olive oil.
How to Make Salsa Ranchera
Salsa ranchera mexicana is way easier than it seems. Roasting the veggies doesn’t take any more than 10 minutes. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full detailed instructions on how to make it.
- Roast the veggies: Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion and garlic to a pan. Roast them until charred on all sides.
- Blend: Process all of the ingredients until smooth.
- Serve: Place it in a serving bowl with chips and serve.
Tips & Variations
You can change a couple of things so that this salsa ranchera is exactly how you like it: reduce the heat, make it smokier, chunky, etc.
- Reduce the heat. Cut back on the jalapeños by half (or more) if you’re not a fan of heat because this salsa is very spicy.
- Make it spicier. If you want to triple the heat, leave the seeds and membrane in the jalapeños. Or if you really want to turn up the heat, swap the jalapeños for Serrano peppers.
- Change the roasting method. You don’t have to roast the veggies in a pan. You can also do it over an open fire, in a skillet, or in the broiler.
- Make it chunky. Instead of blending the salsa until smooth, pulse the blender multiple times until it’s slightly chunky. The bits of veggies need to be much smaller than a tablespoon, so keep this in mind.
- Add spices. Sprinkling in 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano will add lots of extra flavor.
- Use ancho chili. Swap the chipotle for 1 small ancho chili (seeded, stemmed, and rehydrated). The sauce will have similar smokiness but loads more depth.
Ways to Serve Mexican Salsa Ranchera
This salsa ranchera recipe is perfect with Tortilla Chips or Air Fryer Tortilla Chips for an easy appetizer. It’s also a great condiment for lots of tacos like my Nopales Asados Tacos, Flank Steak Tacos, and Carne Asada Tacos.
Salsa ranchera mexicana is slightly different from regular salsas, partly because it’s supposed to be spicy and the cooking method is very specific.
Salsa ranchera needs to be made with roasted veggies, whereas regular salsa can have some roasted ingredients or none at all. In fact, some regular salsas are simply boiled and blended.
Yes. It doesn’t have to be if you reduce the amount of chile in it, but traditional salsa ranchera is quite spicy.
How Long Does Salsa Last?
Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days. You can also leave it in the serving bowl if you cover it tightly with foil. You don’t need to reheat this recipe. It’s best served straight out of the fridge or at room temperature.
More Salsa Recipes
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Strawberry Watermelon Salsa
- Avocado Salsa
- Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
- Watermelon Salsa
- Fresh Corn Salsa
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 10 whole jalapeños
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Roast the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion and garlic in a pan until the tomatoes and jalapeños begin to bubble and blacken. Turn and roast all sides. (You can also do this in the oven under the broiler.)
- Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle, salt and oil to a blender or food processor. Cut the stems from the jalapeños and add them to the blender as well. Blend until smooth, or until desired consistency.
- Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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