It’s no secret that we love homemade sauces here at FITK. They instantly transform a meal from blah to wow, changing up the vibe and adding a whole lotta flavor. So, are you ready to completely change your sauce game?!
As in, are you prepared to serve romesco sauce with anything and everything for the rest of all time?! It’s loaded with flavor, super easy and quick to make, and takes dishes to a whole new level. You’ll love romesco toast with eggs, or the super simple shrimp with romesco sauce.
And don’t forget one of our favorites, romesco pasta with burrata. This sauce, my friends, can be used on it all.
What is Romesco Sauce?
Romesco sauce is a roasted red pepper sauce with tomatoes. It originated in Catalonia, Spain. Fishermen would pair this flavorful sauce with fish (so good). It is traditionally made from a mixture of roasted tomatoes, garlic, almonds, oil, and peppers. Sometimes stale bread is added for texture, too.
It’s a rustic sauce that’s packed with texture and bold flavors that you won’t be able to get enough of. It’s versatile, and although it did originate to be served with seafood, it can also be served with so much more – from chicken, grilled steaks, roasted vegetables, or enjoyed as a dip with homemade flatbread or Mediterranean socca flatbread.
You’ll note a few variations in my version of Romesco, like using roasted red peppers instead of the more authentic nyora peppers, which are a sun-dried variety of red bell peppers. I also make it a little more coarse in texture. The beauty of homemade sauces? Being able to adjust to your preferences!
Simple ingredients that all pack a punch! Be sure to see the full recipe card below for specific amounts and instructions.
- Roasted Red Bell Peppers provide a slightly smoky, sweet flavor! Find them in a jar in your local supermarket, usually with sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are another deliciously sweet, umami-filled, and slightly smoky addition to the sauce. adding so much flavor to the sauce. Note that you could substitute with fresh tomatoes, but it will make the sauce more liquidy, with less umami flavor.
- Garlic – it’s bold, it’s fresh, it’s garlic and I need not say more. The raw garlic gives a punchy kick to the sauce.
- Almonds – they add a lot of texture to the sauce. If I have extra time I like to toast them for a little extra depth of flavor, but it’s not necessary. Sustitute with walnuts, hazelnuts, or pine nuts.
- For nut allergies, omit the nuts or substitute sunflower seeds. More authentic recipes will use stale bread, which is another good substitution if gluten isn’t an issue for you (otherwise, this recipe is gluten-free).
- Parsley is the herb that makes this dish fresh, bright, and earthy. I like to use flat leaf parsley, or Italian parsley as its sometimes called too.
- Red Wine Vinegar and cayenne pepper are added for more flavor, a little tang, a little spice.
- Olive Oil is pulsed into the sauce to smooth and thin it out. Add more, the more smooth you prefer the sauce. Similar to making homemade pesto, you can adjust the texture to your liking!
How to Make Romesco Sauce
This recipe is truly as easy as 1 – 2 – …and no third step. It’s such an easy romesco sauce recipe!
Step One: the almonds.
I use sliced almonds, only because they take less effort to blend into the sauce. But, it’s definitely not required and you can use whole almonds. If you want to be next level, toast the sliced almonds before adding them to the sauce. This brings out a warm, roasted note to the almonds.
But if I’m being honest, I don’t always toast my almonds.
Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest. So do you know what that means? You don’t always have to toast them either. Toasting works its magic by bringing out a more earthy, nutty flavor.
Step Two: Place the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Now, after toasting the almonds (or not), place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor (or blender).
Pulse the ingredients together until a coarse mixture forms, then, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pulse until it all comes together, and until the desired texture is reached.
I prefer a slightly more coarse texture, however, you can continue to blend the sauce until as smooth as you’d like, adding more olive oil if needed to make it even smoother if preferred. Be sure to taste test and add salt as needed.
That’s it! In no time – really, like 5 minutes – your uber-flavorful, fresh romesco sauce will be ready.
How to Use Romesco Sauce
I love keeping a jar of this easy Romesco sauce in my fridge so I can just grab a spoonful and throw it on toast with my eggs in the morning or eat it with a little cheese and crackers. I even love it with homemade cheese ravioli for a unique twist.
While the possibilities are (basically) endless, here are a few more favorites:
- Add it to a Breakfast Charcuterie Board – our O.G. use of romesco here at FITK!
- Toss it with pasta and cheese (and a little pasta water to help it stick).
- Make a fish packet or serve it with simple white fish or shrimp.
- Romesco Toast with Jammy Eggs is a hearty, delicious way to start the day! Similar to the vibes of a sundried tomato sauce paired with eggs.
- Serve it with roasted vegetables – any kind will pair lovely, but cauliflower steaks and roasted broccolini are personal favorites.
- Add it to a flatbread pizza or use it as a dip with naan.
- Serve it on a mezze platter filled with scrumptious Mediterranean-inspired bites!
- It pairs great with chicken for the meat-eaters, too!
- Romesco Breakfast Bagel is *the* ultimate weekend breakfast.
- Serve with crispy roasted potatoes.
There are just so many uses, and I can’t wait to keep sharing my favorites with you! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know your favorite ways to use it, too!
Storage & Freezing Tips
This DIY sauce is perfect for meal prep because it keeps in the fridge to enjoy all week long. Store homemade romesco sauce in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 4-5 days.
It also freezes well, too, just make sure there is room for expansion in your jar before you place it in the freezer. For individual portion sizes, I love freezing it in Souper Cubes so I can take out 2-tablespoons worth at a time. Thaw it in the fridge or microwave on defrost. It will keep at least 6 months in the freezer.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Fresh Homemade Romesco Sauce (DIY Recipe)
- In a small skillet, toast almond slices over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and warm. This step adds a depth of flavor, but if you're in a hurry you can skip it.½ cup almond
- In a food processor, add almonds, roasted red pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, red wine vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Begin to pulse until combined into a coarse crumb.1 cup roasted red bell pepper, 2 cloves garlic, ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, ½ Tablespoon red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- While the food processor is blending, slowly add olive oil until it is completely combined with the sauce. Add salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. If needed, add additional olive oil. Continue pulsing until the desired consistency is reached. I generally make it it's slightly chunky and not completely smooth, however, you can pulse as long as needed until your desired texture is reached.⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, ½-1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Enjoy on a sandwich, with a cheese board, or with grilled meat or paired with eggs (really, so many possibilities!)
- I usually use sun-dried tomatoes that are packaged in oil but feel free to use dried. You may just need to adjust the addition of olive oil depending on which you use.
- The recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of sauce.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of savory homemade sauce recipes. Check it out!