Make this easy, 5-minute romesco sauce, then put it on everything! You’ll fall in love with the bold flavors from sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, parsley, garlic, and more. It’s excellent served with grilled meats, roasted cauliflower, on sandwiches, in pasta, paired with eggs…so many ways to enjoy it!
It’s no secret that we love homemade sauces here at FITK. They can instantly transform a meal from blah to wow, changing up the vibe immediately and they add 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. It’s incredibly versatile, with uses in appetizers, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.
What is Romesco Sauce?
Romesco sauce is a pepper and tomato-based sauce that originated in Catalonia, Spain. Fishermen would pair this flavorful sauce with fish (so 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 really 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 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, and I make it a little more coarse. The beauty of homemade sauces? Being able to adjust to your preferences!
- Roasted Red Bell Peppers – slightly smoky, sweet! Find them in a jar in your local supermarket, usually by the sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – they’re sweet, umami-filled and slightly smoky, adding so much flavor to the sauce.
- 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. I also use sliced almonds, but you can use whole almonds, too.
- Parsley – it’s fresh, bright, and earthy.
- Red Wine Vinegar – for a little tang.
- Cayenne Pepper – for a slight kick.
- Olive Oil – to smooth out the sauce. If you’re looking for a smoother sauce, you might want to add more olive oil while mixing it together.
- Salt – to bring out all the flavors. Very important to taste test!
Hello. Hi. I mean, can you imagine it now? Is your mouth salivating? Ready to smear it all over your breakfast sandwiches, toast boards, weeknight pasta, fish packets, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING FOR ALL TIME?
Great, let’s get to making it then!
How to Make this Easy Recipe
This recipe is really as easy as 1 – 2 – …and no 3, it’s just that easy.
Step One: the almonds. I use sliced almonds, but if you don’t have sliced almonds, go ahead and use whole almonds, you will just have to pulse them a few extra times to make sure they’re combined. 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. I do prefer the slightly more earthy, nutty flavor that toasting brings out, but really, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t toast them. I know how it goes sometimes, and sometimes you need to just hurry things along.
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 together until as smooth as you’d like, adding more olive oil if needed to make it into a smoother sauce.
That’s it! In no time – really, like 5-minutes – your uber-flavorful Romesco Sauce will be ready.
How to Use Romesco Sauce
I love keeping a jar of 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 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:
- Toss it with pasta (and a little pasta water to help it stick)
- Burrata Breakfast Board – it’s so so good with eggs, burrata, and sourdough toast!!!
- Make a fish packet or serve it with simple white fish or shrimp
- Romesco Toast with Jammy 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 with falafel
- It pairs great with chicken for the meat-eaters, too!
- Romesco Breakfast Bagel
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can simply omit the almonds or substitute them with sunflower seeds or pine nuts (technically seeds), if you’re able to tolerate them. More authentic recipes will use stale bread, which you could use too if gluten isn’t an issue for you (otherwise this recipe is gluten-free).
Store 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. It will keep at least 6 months in the freezer.
Yes, you can! The sauce will be thinner from the juices of the fresh tomatoes. It will also have a slightly less smoky and umami flavor because you won’t be getting it from the sun-dried tomatoes, but it will still be delish!
I don’t really recommend it, but if you need to, you can use extra roasted peppers in place of the tomatoes.
Easy Romesco Sauce
- 1/2 cup almond slices
- 1 cup roasted red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, drained, preferred
- 3 Tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½-1 tsp kosher salt, start small, add to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Enjoy on a sandwich, with a cheese board, or with grilled meat or paired with eggs (really, so many possibilities!)
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of savory homemade sauce recipes. Check it out!