Romesco Sauce

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This classic Spanish Romesco sauce is made with roasted tomatoes, red peppers, almonds, and garlic for a bright and delicious sauce that tastes great on everything from fish to grilled meats to vegetables.

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Rich, creamy, and bursting with flavor, this Romesco Sauce recipe is the perfect sauce to take your dishes to the next level. Made with under 10 ingredients with no cooking required, this easy and delicious recipe is guaranteed to become a staple in your home.

This classic Catalonian dish was invented by fishermen to accompany their fish, but over the years it has turned into so much more. This sauce is insanely flavorful and requires no cooking at all, making it a super easy addition to any meal. I’ve found that this Romesco Sauce recipe works great as a snack or appetizer with bread and veggies for dipping, or as the main course spooned over chicken, fish, or pasta.

If the color of this gorgeous sauce isn’t enough to entice you (it should be!), then the flavor definitely will be. Every time I’ve made this sauce for friends or family, it’s been an instant hit with the whole crew. The leftovers keep great as well, so you can make a big batch at once and enjoy it all week long.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty snack for the family, a delicious appetizer to enjoy with friends, or a mouthwatering main course for your next dinner party, this fantastic recipe is sure to blow everyone’s expectations out of the water. Don’t just take my word for it, try it out and see for yourself!

What is Romesco Sauce?

Romesco sauce is a tomato-based sauce that originated in the city of Tarragona in Catalonia, an autonomous community in northeast Spain. It was originally created by fishermen to enjoy with fish, but is now also popularly enjoyed with meats, vegetables, potatoes, and pasta.

Romesco sauce is traditionally made with a combination of roasted tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, almonds or pine nuts, and peppers. Spices, fresh herbs, vinegar, and onions are also commonly added to many varieties of Romesco sauce.

Ingredients for romesco sauce including roasted tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, almonds, garlic, parsley, and lemon.

Key Ingredients

This flavorful sauce recipe is made with under 10 ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your pantry. The key ingredients you will need to bring this dish to life include:

  • Fire roasted tomatoes: I prefer to use canned fire roasted tomatoes because the traditional recipe calls for roasted tomatoes, but fresh tomatoes work fine if that’s all you have at home.
  • Roasted red peppers: The kind that comes in a jar works just fine in this recipe; you won’t be able to tell the difference and it’s way less time-consuming. 
  • Flat leaf parsley: Fresh parsley brightens up the rest of the flavors in the dish.
  • Raw almonds: Roasted almonds are fine too, but make sure you get the unsalted kind so the dish doesn’t wind up being overly salty.
  • Olive oil: This ingredient helps the sauce get extra rich and creamy and adds a ton of heart-healthy fats.
  • Garlic cloves: Fresh garlic adds pungent aromatics and a ton of flavor.

Recipe Tips and Easy Swaps

Here are some of my top tips and substitutions for this dish:

  • If you’re serving someone with a nut allergy, you can omit the almonds. Keep in mind that this will alter the flavor profile of the sauce, but it will still taste delicious.
  • For a flavorful twist, try substituting sun-dried tomatoes in place of fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Make sure to use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe for the most rich and flavorful results.
  • If you’re a spicy food lover, try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper for a little heat.
  • If you aren’t a big fan of almonds, you can swap these out for cashews instead.
  • For an extra touch of acidity to brighten up the dish, try adding a bit of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.
  • For a stunning presentation, sprinkle some extra smoked paprika and fresh parsley on top of the sauce just before serving.
  • To add even more depth to the nutty flavors in the sauce, try toasting your almonds on a skillet before blending them with the rest of the ingredients.
  • If you plan on serving this sauce with pasta, try adding in some shredded parmesan. You won’t regret it!
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, you can use the minced garlic that comes in a jar. However, for the best results (and freshest flavors) I definitely recommend using fresh garlic if you can.
  • Have leftover red peppers? Make this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus as well.

Ways to Use Romesco

Once you start making romesco sauce, you will want to eat it with everything. From a quick dip for crudite to the best pasta sauce, this easy Spanish sauce tastes good on everything.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:

  • Roasted and grilled vegetables: Romesco is absolutely delicious with vegetables. Consider drizzling over grilled cauliflower, crispy roasted potatoes, sauteed carrots, or any other vegetables you like. Trust me, this takes vegetables to a whole new level.
  • Fish: The classic pairing for Romesco sauce is fish and it is delicious. Consider trying it with this Easy Baked Cod, Pan Seared Salmon, or Parmesan Crusted Tilapia.
  • Grilled meats: This tomato-based sauce also works great on dishes like grilled chicken and pork tenderloin.
  • Eggs: If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, think about adding a dollop to your scrambled eggs, egg sandwiches, or fried eggs. Add it after cooking the eggs for best results.
  • Grain and grain bowls: To liven up your cooked rice, quinoa, farro, or couscous - add some Romesco on top. It’s also great for grain and buddha bowls like this Roasted Vegetable Bowl.

Spinach romesco sauce in a blender with almonds, garlic, parsley, and tomatoes in a blender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:

How do I store this dish?

To store leftovers of this sauce, you can transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 7-10 days. It’s incredibly versatile, so have fun trying it with different savory foods! Pro tip: it tastes delicious on top of eggs.

Can I roast my own peppers?

Absolutely. I prefer to use the jarred kind because it’s a lot easier and less time-consuming, but if you’ve got red bell peppers at home that you want to use then by all means, go for it! Just make sure to weigh out your peppers after you’ve roasted them to make sure it comes out to 12 ounces in total.

What do I serve with romesco sauce?

While it was originally created to pair with fish, romesco sauce pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes. Try it with grilled meats, mixed into a bed of pasta, served over roasted vegetables or potatoes, or as a dip for grilled bread and raw vegetables.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes! Sauces like this one freeze really well, so don’t be scared to make a large batch all at once. Just transfer the sauce to an airtight bag or container and you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Creamy Romesco sauce in a white bowl with blended almonds, tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, and olive oil.

More Healthy Sauce Recipes:

The Recipe
Romesco sauce with blended almonds, tomatoes, and red peppers in a small white bowl with parsley and lemon on the side.

Romesco Sauce

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  • 12 ounces roasted red peppers, drained
  • 14 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes, drained (or 4 tomatoes)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

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Add everything except the olive oil to a food processor or high-powered blender. Begin to blend until everything breaks down, creating a thick sauce.

Ingredients for romesco sauce in a blender including garlic, parsley, almonds, and paprika.

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it becomes nice and creamy. At this point you can add as much olive oil (or broth) until it reaches the consistency you like. Normally, I like it thick and creamy.

Blended creamy romesco sauce in a blender.

Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. You can also add a touch more paprika or a splash or vinegar.

Spanish romesco sauce in a bowl with almonds, lemons, and parsley on the side.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 86
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 348mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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