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This romesco sauce is bold, flavorful, and endlessly versatile. Use it to liven up fish, meat, or grilled vegetables, or serve it as a tasty dip. It's made with mostly pantry ingredients, and it's ready in just 5 minutes!
It's no secret that we love sauce, and this Spanish romesco sauce ranks as one of our favorites. It's super easy to make and adds a burst of flavor to any dish.
Since it's made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, it's quick and easy to make any time the mood strikes. Just add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. With a base of nuts, it's a hearty sauce that can be made as thick or thin as you'd like. It can also be made spicy or mild depending on your taste preference.
It's delicious year-round, but as it doesn't require any cooking or roasting, it's a great recipe for summertime. It pairs especially well with fish, seafood, grilled meats and vegetables, pasta, or as a dip with crudités!
What is romesco sauce?
Romesco sauce is a bold, flavorful sauce with a base of roasted tomatoes. It originated in Tarragona in Catalonia, a port city in northern Spain. It's said the fishermen in the area made it to be eaten with fish.
It is traditionally made from a mix of roasted tomatoes, garlic, and dried red peppers puréed then thickened with nuts like toasted almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and sometimes bread. It can also include sherry or red wine vinegar and onions.
It's commonly served with fish or seafood, but can also be served with chicken, red meats like lamb, or vegetables.
Romesco sauce ingredients
Here are the ingredients you need to make this romesco sauce recipe. You may have many of these staples at home already!
- Almonds – look for whole, unsalted almonds. We use raw almonds in this recipe, but roasted works too. And pine nuts or hazelnuts are other traditional options.
- Roasted red bell peppers – go for good-quality jarred roasted red peppers. You can also easily make your own by roasting them in the oven!
- Fire-roasted tomatoes -while roasted tomatoes are traditional, these fire-roasted tomatoes are sweet, subtly smoky, and easy to find in most grocery stores.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – these give lots of depth to the sauce with their sweet-tart tomato flavor.
- Italian parsley – the fresh taste of parsley adds a nice dimension to this sauce.
- Red wine vinegar – for a pop of acidity to brighten everything up! You can also use sherry vinegar instead.
- Smoked paprika – for a little additional smoky flavor.
- Sea salt – enhances all the amazing flavors in this sauce.
- Garlic – garlic cloves for that classic garlic taste and a little pungent kick.
- Olive oil – use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor and to add body to the sauce and help emulsify it.
How to make romesco sauce
Romesco sauce is packed with nutrients, it's super versatile, and it will liven up any dish. Here's how to make it in just two simple steps!
- Just add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender (preferably) or food processor.
- Blend it until it's smooth and creamy. That's it!
- Serve it with meat, pasta, or as a dip. If you're serving it as a dip, drizzle it with olive oil, some chopped almonds, and fresh minced parsley.
Romesco sauce is great to make ahead of time as it stores well. Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in your fridge for up to four days.
The sauce thickens when it's cold so you may want to let it come to room temperature before serving it.
What to do with romesco sauce
Romesco sauce is traditionally served with fish or seafood and meats like chicken or steak, but it's super versatile!
We love it with grilled vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, or eggplant. And it's wonderful with pasta, dolloped into bowls, or spread onto sandwiches. It also makes a delicious dip with fresh bread, crostini, and raw or grilled veggies.
Favorite recipes to serve with romesco sauce
Can I use regular canned tomatoes instead of fire-roasted?
You can, but they are more acidic and less flavorful. If you do use regular tomatoes, we recommend adding a tablespoon of honey to balance the acidity.
How long does it keep in the refrigerator?
This easy romesco sauce will keep for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
What is the best kind of sun-dried tomatoes to use?
We use oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes because we can use them straight out of the jar. You can also use dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, but they will need to be rehydrated in hot water for 30 minutes.
Why are there no hazelnuts?
Traditional romesco sauces are often made with almonds and hazelnuts. But as hazelnuts are often quite expensive and unavailable year-round, we make our romesco sauce with almonds only. But this recipe is incredibly versatile and you can definitely substitute hazelnuts for some of the almonds if you'd like!
Would this be good if it were a little spicy?
We love spice so our answer is always YES! If you'd like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes.
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 14 ounces roasted red peppers
- 14 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes (drained)
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
- ¼ cup Italian parsely
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Add all of the ingredients to your blender (preferably) or food processor.1 cup whole raw almonds, 14 ounces roasted red peppers, 14 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes, ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, ¼ cup Italian parsely, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅓ cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic
- Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve with pasta, meat, seafood, or as a dip.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.