Take your meat & veggies to the next level by serving over a bed of this fresh homemade Romesco Sauce. It comes together in just 15 minutes with fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic that are broiled, then blended with almonds, bread crumbs, oil, and vinegar. Serve with roasted vegetables, chicken, or red meat.

a bowl of romesco sauce

There’s something about a homemade sauce that can totally transform a dish.

A platter of roasted broccolini? Fine. A platter of roasted broccolini served over a bed of fresh romesco sauce? Impressive!

This homemade Spanish sauce is colorful, complex in flavors, creamy smooth, and surprisingly simple to make.

I couldn’t get enough of this sauce on my last trip to Barcelona, whether served with a perfectly seared steak or grilled zucchini. With its Catalonian origins, I find myself adding this to both Moroccan recipes and Puerto Rican recipes.

This sauce combines fresh tomato, bell pepper, and garlic with almonds and bread crumbs for a unique and hearty component that’s great when served with grilled vegetables and meat.

I especially love serving this with my dad’s Moroccan lamb chops, my mom’s Pinchos de Pollo and these grilled veggies (skip the balsamic sauce and use your romesco instead).

And when all else fails, dragging a toasted piece of crusty bread is always an easy & delicious win.

bowls of almonds, olive oil, and more

Ingredients

  • Red bell pepper
  • Tomato – You can use any kind of tomato here; using one large tomato makes for an easier peeling process.
  • Garlic, unpeeled
  • Skinned almonds – I like buying these skinned, to save some time, but you can also blanch and peel them yourself. Check out step 1 of this almond paste recipe for instructions on how to peel whole almonds.
  • Bread crumbs – A piece of stale bread will work great as a substitute if you don’t have bread crumbs on hand. Just make sure not to use the crusty exterior of the bread, as this won’t break down in the blender.
  • Red wine vinegar – Any neutral vinegar can work, but red wine vinegar really compliments the flavors well. You could also use a squeeze of lemon.
  • Olive oil – Make sure to wait to add the olive oil and vinegar at the end, to help emulsify the sauce, giving it that luscious, creamy smooth texture.
  • Salt to taste 

Find the full ingredient list with exact quantities in the recipe card below.

How to Make Romesco Sauce, Step by Step

Tip: Sweating the veggies after broiling helps make the peels come off with ease. Just be careful not to burn yourself while peeling!

Easy Shortcuts

In a pinch, you can substitute the fresh tomato and red bell pepper for a can of roasted red peppers and roasted tomatoes. I recommend using a cup of each.

I’ve also made this using sun dried tomatoes and really enjoyed the flavors. Use what you have on hand!

A Note on Texture

It’s important to note that romesco sauce can vary in texture, depending on the recipe.

Some people enjoy a thicker, chunkier texture, which can be achieved by using different kinds of nuts (more on that later) or by simply pulsing the sauce, instead of blending until smooth.

I really love a creamier romesco sauce, which is why I’m using peeled almonds and blending the sauce before adding the oil and vinegar, then blending again to emulsify.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to go with this – you can try both methods and see which you prefer.

a plate of broccolini with romesco sauce

What to Serve with Romesco Sauce

This fresh romesco sauce goes great with roasted vegetables and proteins like roasted chicken, red meat, fish, and even tofu. It provides a great deal of flavor and is really fun to serve as a bed, topped with just about anything savory.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to pair it with:

Alternative Nuts

Both nuts and bread crumbs are commonly used to thicken romesco sauce, giving it that unique, rich texture.

While some recipes skip the bread crumbs altogether, the nuts are essential. That said, many recipes vary in the type of nut used. This means you can get creative wit the nuts you have on hand.

Here are some options:

  • Whole, unpeeled almonds: Many recipes don’t require you to use peeled almonds, making things even easier. I like using peeled ones because of the smooth & creamy texture it results in, but if you like a chunkier romesco, you might enjoy leaving the peels on!
  • Pine nuts: This buttery nut adds a wonderful creaminess to the sauce, as well as a mild sweetness. Toast them before adding to the blender for a nuttier, almost smokey depth of flavor.
  • Hazelnuts:
a plate of romesco sauce

Buen Provecho,

Salima written in cursive
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Fresh Homemade Romesco Sauce (15 Minutes)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce, Appetizer, Dip
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Take your meat & veggies to the next level by serving over a bed of this fresh homemade Romesco Sauce. It comes together in just 15 minutes with fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic that are broiled, then blended with almonds, bread crumbs, oil, and vinegar. Serve with roasted vegetables, chicken, or red meat.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup skinned almonds
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste


Instructions

  1. Broil. Arrange the pepper, tomato, and garlic on a sheet pan and broil, rotating every minutes or so until charred all over (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a container and cover to sweat for a few minutes (this makes removing the peels easier).
  2. Peel & remove cores. Peel the pepper, tomato, and garlic, being careful not to burn yourself. Remove the cores & seeds from the pepper and tomato.
  3. Blend. Add the peeled pepper, tomato, and garlic to a blender or food processor with the almonds and bread crumbs. Blend for a minute before adding the vinegar and oil and continuing to blend until creamy and smooth.
  4. Season & enjoy. Season with salt to taste and enjoy!