Recipes > Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce


From the Catalan region of Spain, this delicious version of Romesco sauce contains roasted nuts, red peppers, smoked paprika and sherry vinegar.
  • Serves: 2 cups
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 46,556
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Roasting the Peppers

Roasting the Peppers
  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil (for roasting)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (optional)*


Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Lightly coat the peppers with a bit of oil. Place them onto a tray lined with foil. Roast, turning as needed, until all sides are blistered and blackened. Keep an eye on them because you may need to rotate the tray to promote even roasting. Once the peppers are nicely charred and the skins have blistered, remove them from the oven and place into a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes. This will help the peppers to sweat and their skins will loosen.

Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins and seeds from the peppers. Set the peppers aside while you gather the rest of your mise en place.

*Note: You can also roast a couple of tomatoes and purée them at the same time as the peppers, but this sauce is also very nice with the peppers alone. Also, you may want to strain and reserve any juice from the peppers and tomatoes, as the added liquid can make the sauce too thin.

Step 2: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika*
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar


With the oven set to 350°F (176°C). Roast the hazelnuts and almonds and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the hazelnuts. No need to do this for the almonds. Set aside.

Next, gather the garlic, paprika and sherry vinegar. *Note: You can use solely smoked paprika, but the heat from hot, smoked paprika gives the sauce a very nice, but gentle kick.

Step 3: Making the Romesco Sauce

Making the Romesco Sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


To make the sauce, first purée the garlic in a food processor. Next, add the nuts and grind until you reach the desired consistency. The finer you grind them, the smoother the sauce will be. You can also leave them a bit chunky for added texture.

Next, add the peppers (and tomatoes, if using) and purée until well combined. Then add the paprika, sherry vinegar and pulse a few times.

To finish, add the olive oil and seasoning and pulse again. Lastly, taste again adding more salt, vinegar and/or more spice, to taste. It should be rather bright with acidity. Transfer to a bowl and serve. This sauce will also keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Note: You can also prepare this sauce using a mortar and pestle.

Chef's Notes

This sauce goes well with many dishes. It also makes for a delicious and full-flavored dip for items such as Chickpea Fries.


  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    This sauce is a good sauce to make ahead and store in the refrigerator. It goes well with vegetables, bread, name it. Lately, I have not been toasting the nuts, as I have grown accustomed to—and would even say that I now prefer—the flavor of unroasted nuts. Either way, this sauce is always a big hit when I make it.
  • Bonnie D
    Bonnie D
    When i have read about romesco sauce it always has hazelnuts. I do not have hazelnuts in my freezer but have most other nut types. What kinds of substitutions would also work?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You could try almonds instead of hazelnuts. The results won't be the same obviously, but it should still be really good. Cheers!
  • Bonnie D
    Bonnie D
    I used these two nuts because they were raw nuts and not roasted. The outcome was fabulous! We will have some nice go to snacks after work when we come home from work this coming week. Thanks for the tips Dawn. I will look for hazelnuts next time i am at the store and will put some in the freezer for batch number two. Bonnie
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    Thanks for this recipe. It is wonderful. I roasted cauliflower slices and put them on top of the sauce then garnished with micro greens. It was a big success with my family.
  • Nida S
    Nida S
    what are chickpea fries?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    These are Chickpea Fries, they are made with chickpea flour and they are quite delicious!
  • Courtney E
    Courtney E
    What did I do wrong? I switched the hot paprika to Cayenne pepper because my store didn't carry it. None of us liked this so I must of ruined it somehow. Also made with only almonds. Idk
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I am pretty sure the issue was the fact that you switched the paprika for the Cayenne. Cayenne is WAY hotter then paprika and it also does not have that same smoky depth that paprika has. In fact, paprika is one of the main flavor profiles of this dish, so without it, I can see why it would not be the same. I say try it again with paprika when you can get it and see how that goes for you. Cheers!
  • Barbara S
    Barbara S
    Is it preferable to use almonds with skins? I can buy raw skinless as well as sliced raw almonds.
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Barbara - Great question. You can definitely use skinless, raw, sliced almonds. Roasting them yourself is a bit more work but enhanced that "smokey" flavor. One idea - something I do often - is to use the skinless almonds but prior to using, heat a steel pan on high and then "toast" your almonds a bit before using - that way you can replicate that smokey flavor without the roasting and long process of rubbing off the skins. Let me know how it goes! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Sunnie S
    Sunnie S
    In general, I'm not a huge fan of bell peppers, but I was quite impressed with this sauce. I did not include the tomatoes. I found that the peppers took on a bit of sweetness from the roasting, which really came through in the finished product. It is also so pretty! I used the only paprika I could find - which is labeled just as paprika (not necessarily smoked or hot). I enjoyed with a crudite platter and my family loved it!
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Sunnie. I am glad that you liked this and found the pepper's sweetness was adequate. Smoked paprika is a staple of a certain region of Spain and has a really notable and unique flavor. If you can find it, it is a great addition to your spice collection. It is often found in a small aluminum box, rather than a traditional spice bottle. Lauren
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    can i omit the nuts so i have like a bell pepper sauce?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hi Riaz, yes, you sure can!
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    whats the bell peppers in grams please in total?how much should i omit the other ingredients if im only using the peppers?thank you.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Riaz--when you are at the market, you will have to weigh the six bell peppers to learn their weight. An average bell pepper weighs about 142 grams. Take care, Char
  • Jodi C
    Jodi C
    I made this tonight exactly as written, except I only had 4 red bell peppers and added 2 orange bell peppers, and half a garden tomato I had left over from lunch. It was divine! I used it as a sauce for shrimp served with a green salad. Very pretty on the plate with the bright colors. My husband loved it too! I added a bit more smoked paprika since we like a little bit more kick. I used one clove of garlic, and next time I'll use two.

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