Romesco sauce bursts with flavor and is great as a dip, sandwich spread, or over pasta. Make this classic recipe in only 10 minutes!
Rich tomato flavor is combined with sweet peppers and smoky spices for a delicious sauce that pairs well with just about anything!
Another easy, classic French sauce to make is creamy Bechamel Sauce. It works as a base for dozens of pasta dishes, casseroles, and even scalloped potatoes.
What is romesco sauce?
Romesco is a thick tomato-based sauce, named after the coastal town in northeastern Spain where it originates from.
The original version of this recipe called for garlic and roasted nuts. Over the years, the recipe has been modified to include bold flavors from sundried tomatoes and roasted peppers. Lemon juice or wine vinegar can also be added for bright acidity.
Since the texture is somewhere between pesto and hummus, it has a variety of uses and makes a great staple in any kitchen.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full list and amounts needed, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Roma tomatoes – Choose ones that are bright in color and firm to the touch. There shouldn’t be any bruises or wrinkled skin.
- Bread – To get a good texture, you’ll want to use thick slices of baguette or country-style bread. Lightly toast it before tearing it into smaller pieces.
- Sun dried tomatoes – These can come soaked in jars or dried in sealed bags. You’ll want the jarred kind for this romesco sauce recipe.
- Roasted red peppers – You could try roasting your own, but the flavor won’t be that much different. Plus, using jarred is quicker and you get an extra creamy texture from the oil it soaks in.
- Skinless almonds – These will usually be labeled as blanched almonds, and slivered almonds will work as well. Or, grab a bag of raw, unsalted almonds and blanch them yourself if you have the time.
- Red wine vinegar – Use sherry vinegar if you can, which has a softer flavor than traditional wine vinegar. However, it can be pricey and somewhat difficult to find so regular red wine vinegar is fine too.
- Smoked paprika – The flavor profile is actually quite significant, so only use regular paprika if you can’t easily get your hands on the smoked variety.
It can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores, and ethnic markets are guaranteed to have it.
- Flat leaf parsley – Make sure you get the correct kind for this sauce! Flat leaf, also known as Italian parsley, has an aromatic flavor.
In comparison, curly parsley tends to be bitter. For this reason, the curly variety is typically only used as garnish!
Watch our romesco sauce recipe video!
To get tips on making this recipe, be sure to check out the video in the recipe card below.
- Prep: Chop the tomatoes and parsley, smash the garlic, and toast the almonds and bread.
- Blend: Combine everything except the oil, salt, and parsley in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times, then turn on and slowly add the oil until combined and smooth.
- Finish and serve: Transfer the sauce to a bowl and gently stir in the chopped parsley.
Uses for the sauce
Or, you can serve it with thick slices of garlic toast, focaccia bread, or other crusty bread for a great party dip!
- Storage and freezing. Homemade romesco sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Otherwise, it freezes well for up to 3 months. Transfer it to a refrigerator to thaw before using.
- Need to make it nut free? Feel free to substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Or, make it without any nuts or seeds at all.
- Add some heat. A dash of cayenne pepper gives this sauce a little extra kick!
- Enjoy it year-round. If Roma tomatoes are out of season, canned makes a great substitute. However, cans of tomatoes are more acidic than fresh. As a result, you will likely need to add a pinch of sugar.
- 4 Roma tomatoes quartered
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
- 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes from a jar
- 2 oz bread (See Note 1)
- 1/2 cup skinless almonds toasted
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar sherry vinegar preferred
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- Add first 9 ingredients (except olive oil, salt and parsley), to a food processor or blender. Pulse several times to chop and break down mixture.
- With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined and season to taste with salt.
- Pour into a bowl and stir in the chopped parsley and serve at room temperature over meat or seafood, roasted vegetables or as a dip or sandwich spread.
- Use thick slices, about 2 ounces baguette or country-style bread, lightly toasted and torn into pieces.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.