Romesco sauce is a smoky Spanish sauce that's super easy to make in minutes with just a high-speed blender or food processor. Slather onto sandwiches, use it to poach eggs, smother fish, meat, or your favorite plant-based protein, and dip veggies!
Romesco sauce is one of those fancy-sounding but ridiculously easy sauces you keep in your back pocket to give any recipe that something *extra*. Think sandwiches and wraps with thick layers of smoky Romesco sauce, or chicken/fish smothered in it, or roasted veggies, dipped! Basically, consider your meal transformed with one of the most uncomplicated, effortless sauces.
My take on Romesco is heavy on the roasted red peppers and smoked paprika. I'm a total sucker for smoky flavor, but feel free to adjust it a little bit based on your preferences.
- Roasted red peppers - We use the jarred ones for convenience, but you can totally roast fresh peppers if you're up for it.
- Tomatoes - Again for convenience, we used canned San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes. But, you could also try using fresh!
- Almonds - For delicious texture and flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil - A Spanish food staple!
- Sherry or red wine vinegar - If you can find one, I love using an aged sherry vinegar for this recipe because it's slightly sweeter. Lately I have been obsessed with O Olive Oil vinegars! Their aged sherry vinegar is so delicious. I can't live without it!
- Smoked paprika - How I adore you!
- Parsley - Optional, but just a little bit does enhance the fresh, bright flavor.
- Garlic - A few fresh garlic cloves for flavor. See tip below for mellowing out the garlic flavor a bit!
- Salt - As a flavor enhancer.
Some recipes call for a slice of bread too, to thicken things up. I left it out because I thought the almonds did the trick, but you can always include that!
Making Romesco is honestly as simple as putting all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, and blending until smooth. SO easy!
Hint: Fresh garlic has some bite to it, so if you want to tame the bite but up your garlic flavor, purée it in your blender with just the sherry vinegar, and allow it to sit for five minutes. The acidity of the vinegar balances the pH of the garlic. For more details, see the scientific explanation about garlic flavor in this Serious Eats article about making hummus.
Substitutions & Variations
Romesco sauce is naturally a vegan and gluten free sauce (yay!), but below are some substitutions and variations you can try to make this recipe work for you.
- Nuts - Instead of almonds, try using walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Bread - Add a slice of bread and allow it to soak for five minutes in your fully blended sauce (while still in the blender). Then, blend it up until smooth to thicken the sauce and add flavor.
- Roast your own peppers - It's super easy to get nicely charred, roasted peppers in your own oven!
Store your fresh Romesco in an airtight glass container or jar in the fridge for up to a week! You can also freeze it in an airtight glass container for up to a couple months. Simply thaw it in the fridge when you're ready to use, and give it a stir right before use.
Romesco Sauce Uses
Another of Romesco's many winning qualities? Its versatility! It can be a sauce, a spread, or a dip.
- As a sauce: Think any kind of pasta or grain, any meat or seafood, vegan protein, any vegetable. If you make a grain bowl with Mediterranean flavors, Romesco would be delicious for a sauce to tie it altogether. Otherwise, drizzle it over cooked meats, seafoods, and veggies for extra flavor!
- As a dip: Dip chips, roasted/raw veggies, skewered foods, fries, bread. Anything you can possibly think of. Dip it.
- As a spread: Consider all of your future sandwiches leveled-up! Note: Romesco on toast with a fried egg on top is spectacular.
If you try this sauce, you'll have to tell me what you make in the comments below!Print
This healthy, easy, smoky Spanish Romesco sauce comes together in minutes! Transform your meals and snacks by using this as a dip, spread, or sauce.
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2.5 cups 1x
- Category: Sauces, dips, spreads
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: Spanish
- 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers
- 4-5 plum tomatoes (I used canned whole tomatoes and saved the rest for another recipe)
- ¾ cup raw almonds (or walnuts)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)*
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- Handful of fresh parsley (about ¼ cup), if you have it
- Blend ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (or food processor) and blend until completely smooth.
- Optional garlic mellowing step: Place vinegar and garlic cloves in your blender first, and purée. Allow to sit for five minutes to balance the garlic's bite. Then, proceed with blending the remaining ingredients.
- Vinegar: I love using an aged sherry vinegar for a less "vinegary" taste (the aging process takes the edge off). Red wine vinegar or another light vinegar works as well!
Keywords: Romesco sauce