Learn how to make Romesco Sauce (Salsa Romesco) at home!
This amazing sauce is super easy to prepare and so delicious. It's the perfect addition to any meal!
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A few weeks ago, I was eating a bowl of zoodles topped with a rich, smokey sauce at one of my favorite restaurants. After a few bites, I immediately knew I had to recreate that dish at home.
The zoodles were good and all, but the star of that mouthwatering entree was the amazing Romesco Sauce. It was so flavorful that I think I could have eaten a bowl of that tasty sauce alone and been happy.
Lucky for you, I'm sharing my Romesco recipe. I'm sure you're going to love it just as much as I do, and it can be used to top everything from vegetables to pasta!
What is Romesco Sauce?
Romesco (or Salsa Romesco in Spanish) is a tomato and red pepper sauce that originated in the port town of Tarragona, Catalonia (Spain). It was originally intended to be served with fish, but there are so many uses for this irresistible sauce ... like these Zucchini Noodles with Romesco and Feta, my Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl, or these yummy Grilled Vegetables.
What does Romesco Sauce taste like?
This addictive sauce has a unique smokey, garlicky flavor that's unforgettable. It's rich and thick, and the nuts give it a great texture.
Once you learn how to make this Romesco recipe, you are going to be hooked. It's so tasty and simple to make, too!
This sauce is Spanish in origin, but you can find the ingredients in almost any grocery store. Here's what Romesco Sauce is made of:
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Smoked Paprika
- Olive Oil
- Sherry Vinegar
The sauce sometimes uses bread as a thickener, but I left it out of my recipe. I'm not Spanish or claiming this sauce is 100% authentic (and every cook has their own version anyway) ... but it is super delicious!
How to Make Romesco Sauce
The best thing about this sauce, apart from it's amazing smokey taste, is that it's so easy to make.
You'll start by roasting the tomatoes. Use a sharp knife to make in X in the top and bottom of the tomatoes, then roast them until their skin is wrinkled and slightly charred.
Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skin and core them. Then, blot the tomatoes dry with a paper towel ... this will keep your sauce from getting too runny.
While the tomatoes are cooking, toast the almonds in a small pan. Make sure to watch them closely, so they don't burn.
Start by mincing the garlic in the processor. (This recipe does have a very garlicky flavor, by the way. If you'd prefer a milder garlic taste, roast the unpeeled garlic cloves with the tomatoes.)
Next, add the almonds and crushed red pepper flakes. Process until minced.
Sweet red peppers are the star of this sauce. I kept things simple and used a jar of roasted red peppers, but you could roast your own peppers if you wish (you'll need two).
Just like you did with the tomatoes, blot the peppers dry with a paper towel. Then, add them to the garlic mixture, along with the roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and salt to taste. Process until smooth.
With the motor running, add the olive oil and sherry vinegar to your pepper sauce, blending until your sauce is thickened. (If you can't find sherry vinegar, feel free to substitute white wine vinegar instead. Do not use sherry wine.)
And that's it, your delicious Romesco Sauce is ready to be enjoyed. Just try not to eat it all with a spoon ... it's a challenge, I'm telling you!
Romesco Sauce Uses
This tasty sauce can be served cold or hot (warm it in a microwave or over low heat), and there are so many ways to use it! Try one of these creative ideas for enjoying this delicious roasted red pepper sauce:
- Serve as a dip for crudité, crackers, and bread.
- Use as a pasta sauce or serve over zucchini noodles (or another spiralized veggies).
- Spoon over (or use as a dipping sauce for) steamed, roasted, or grilled vegetables.
- Stir into soups, stews, or even gazpacho.
- Use it to top fish, chicken, or meat.
- Mix with salad greens (thin with more oil and/or vinegar first, if desired).
- Use as a dressing for grain and veggie bowls, like this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl.
- Serve with fries instead of ketchup.
- Spread on a pizza in place of pizza sauce.
- Top burgers with a dollop.
- Stir into mashed potatoes.
- Spread on sandwiches. (Combine with mayo or use on its own.)
- Mix with mayo, yogurt, or sour cream to create a simple dressing for potato salad.
- Use in place of pesto.
- Serve with eggs.
Traditional Use for the Sauce
You could also make like the Spanish, and serve this tasty sauce as a Romesco dip for roasted spring onions!
Each spring, Catalans roast calçots, a type of spring onion, over an open fire until the outer layer is charred (these traditional barbeques are called calçotades). The charred outside layer is then removed before dipping the tender onions in Salsa Romesco or Salvitxada (a similar sauce) ... doesn't that sounds delicious?
Any leftover sauce can be frozen. Simply place it in a small airtight container or zip top bag before freezing. It should last about a month or two.
If you enjoyed this smokey red pepper sauce, here are some other saucy recipes you'll like, too:
- Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
- Quick Coconut Curry
- Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes
- Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara
- Harvest Veggie Enchiladas with Crema Verde
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Polenta
Check out my other Sauce Recipes, too!
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers (about 2 peppers)
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Score tomatoes with a knife, making a small X on their top and bottom. Place on baking sheet.
- Roast tomatoes for 10 minutes, then flip. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until skin is wrinkled and lightly charred in spots.
- When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove skin. Core tomatoes and remove seeds. Blot dry with a paper towel, then roughly chop.
- In the meantime, place almonds in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until toasted. Remove from heat and cool.
- Place garlic in a food processor and mince.
- Add cooled almonds and crushed red pepper flakes to garlic. Process until almonds are finely ground.
- Remove red peppers from jar and blot dry with a paper towel; roughly chop. Add to garlic mixture, along with tomatoes, smoked paprika, and salt (to taste). Process until smooth.
- With motor running, add vinegar and olive oil. Process until sauce is thickened.
- Season Romesco Sauce to taste with additional salt, if desired.
- Serve sauce immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.