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This romesco sauce recipe is a bright red, zingy Spanish condiment with loads of flavor! Serve with vegetables, fish, and more.

Romesco Sauce
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Here’s a tasty sauce recipe that every cook should have in their arsenal: Romesco Sauce! This bright red Spanish sauce is bursting with flavor: tangy, garlicky, savory, sweet, zingy and earthy all at once. There are so many facets to the flavor, it’s hard to comprehend it all in one bite! Serve it with grilled or roasted vegetables, fish, chicken, bread or really anything that needs a little sparkle (or even a French fry dip?). Here’s how to make our spin on this tasty Spanish classic.

What is romesco sauce?

Romesco sauce is a sauce from the Catalonia region in Spain, made from peppers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and almonds. It was originally developed by fisherman to serve with fish, but it can also be eaten with grilled or roasted vegetables, chicken, bread, and other foods.

After traveling in Spain and Catalonia and falling in love with this sauce, it’s become one of our favorite Spanish recipes too make on a regular basis because it’s so simple to whip up. With its zingy, developed flavor and creamy body, romesco sauce is great for dolloping on power bowls or salmon bowls. Or, it’s great as a dip for fresh veggies on a crudite platter.

Romesco Sauce

Ingredients in romesco sauce

A traditional romesco sauce is made with Spanish peppers called ñora peppers. This type of pepper is small, red and round and comes dried. The flavor is fruity and earthy, but not spicy. Because this type of pepper is hard to find in America, here we’ve substituted roasted red peppers here. It’s also important to find fire-roasted crushed tomatoes if you can: their sweet, developed flavor is perfect for this sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Garlic
  • Red peppers
  • Fresno pepper (optional)
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Tips for making the sauce

This romesco sauce is an American-spin on the classic Spanish sauce, since some of the classic ingredients are tricky to find here. We opted for broiling the peppers and garlic before blending the sauce, just like a traditional romesco. For ease, we also used canned tomatoes instead of fresh. Here are a few notes on the process:

  • Broil the peppers and garlic until they start to blacken, about 5 to 8 minutes. This may take longer or shorter, depending on your broiler. Don’t want to broil? See the section below.
  • Blend with the remaining ingredients, making it as chunky or smooth as you like. Start with ¾ cup almonds. If the sauce needs to be thicker, add a bit more.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more salt or vinegar as necessary until the flavor sings!
Romesco Sauce

Variation: use roasted red peppers

There are a few variations on this romesco sauce that we like to play with, depending on what ingredients we have on hand. Don’t want to broil the red peppers? You can use roasted red peppers instead. Simply use 2 jarred roasted red peppers that are drained.

For the garlic, you can roast it in a pan instead! Place the whole peeled cloves in a dry skillet and heat it until it is browned on all sides. This helps to mellow the flavor of the garlic so it’s not as pungent as using raw garlic.

How to serve romesco sauce

Once you’ve blended up your romesco sauce, you can get to the fun part: eating it! There are lots of tasty ways to enjoy this delicious sauce. Here are some of our favorites:

More sauce recipes

Love making a great sauce? Here are a few more tasty homemade sauces to try:

This romesco sauce recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups 1x


This romesco sauce recipe is a bright red, zingy Spanish condiment with loads of flavor! Serve with vegetables, fish, and more.


  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 red peppers, sliced and deseeded*
  • 1/8 Fresno pepper, deseeded, or other sweet and spicy chili pepper (optional)
  • 15-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place the garlic, sliced red peppers and sliced Fresno pepper on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil on high for 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, until the vegetables are starting to blacken and soften. Remove from the oven.
  2. Add the vegetables to a blender, starting with ⅛ of the Fresno pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes, almonds, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and kosher salt. Blend until smooth, making it as chunky or pureed as you like. Add up to ¼ cup more nuts for a thicker sauce. Adjust the flavors to taste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


*Or, substitute 2 large jarred roasted red peppers (drained). If so, cook the garlic in a dry skillet until browned on the outsides. 

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Spanish inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!