Romesco Sauce

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Learn how to make a delicious and versatile romesco sauce with fresh ingredients and a few simple steps. This sauce has a rich and complex flavor and is perfect for dipping, spreading, saucing, or dressing any dish you like. You’ll love this easy and healthy twist on the classic Catalan condiment!
Quick & Easy
Freezer Friendly

Have you ever tried romesco sauce? It is one of my favorite sauces ever, and I’m sure you’ll love it too. It has a rich and complex flavor that comes from the combination of roasted peppers, almonds, garlic, and vinegar. It is a staple in Catalan cuisine and is often served with grilled vegetables, fish, or meat. But you can also enjoy it with bread, crackers, or fresh veggies as a snack or appetizer. It is also great for adding some color and texture to your salads, sandwiches, wraps, or bowls.

This recipe is a twist on the classic romesco sauce, using fresh bell peppers and roma tomatoes instead of jarred ones. I love roasting them in the oven until they are soft and charred, which enhances their sweetness and flavor. I also use sherry vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, which adds a more complex and nutty taste to the sauce. And of course, I don’t forget the smoked paprika, which gives the sauce a nice smoky aroma and a beautiful red color.

This sauce is so easy to make, you just need a blender or a food processor and a few ingredients. It is also vegan and gluten-free. It is a perfect sauce for any occasion, whether you want to impress your guests, treat yourself, or use up some leftover peppers and tomatoes.

Recommended Substitutions

  • If you don’t have sherry vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar instead. You can also adjust the amount of vinegar according to your preference for acidity.
  • If you don’t have almonds, hazelnuts make a great substitute here. You can also toast them lightly in a skillet before adding them to the blender for more flavor and crunch.
  • If you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the cayenne pepper or use less of it. You can also add some fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary, for more flavor and freshness.

Usage Ideas

This sauce is very versatile and you can use it for many different dishes. Here are some ideas for how to use it:

  • As a dip: Serve it with bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumber, or cauliflower. You can also sprinkle some chopped nuts, parsley, or vegan cheese on top for some extra texture and flavor.
  • As a spread: Spread it on toast, bagels, or sandwiches, and add some lettuce, tomato, avocado, or vegan cheese for a delicious and satisfying meal. You can also use it as a base for pizza or flatbread and top it with your favorite toppings.
  • As a sauce: Drizzle it over grilled or roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, or asparagus. You can also use it as a sauce for pasta, rice, quinoa, or couscous and add some chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh for some protein. You can also use it as a marinade or a glaze for tofu, seitan, or veggie burgers.
  • As a dressing: Toss it with some salad greens, such as spinach, kale, or arugula, and add some cherry tomatoes, olives, or capers for a Mediterranean-inspired salad. You can also use it as a dressing for coleslaw, potato salad, or pasta salad and add some vegan bacon, cheese, or mayo for some creaminess.

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Prep Time:
15 min
Cook Time:
25 min
Total Time:
40 min
2 cups
Equipment Needed
  • blender or food processor
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the bell peppers and tomatoes into quarters and remove the stems and seeds. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet along with the garlic cloves. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until the peppers and tomatoes are charred and soft.
  2. Transfer the roasted vegetables and garlic to a blender or food processor. Add the almonds, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the chopped parsley. Serve with bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables, or use as a sauce for grilled meats or fish.
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