Romesco Sauce

My brain is old. At least, that’s my excuse. Or maybe my brain is just full of food-related trivia. Because occasionally I come across a culinary term or food name and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what the heck it is.

But Romesco is one of those I remember. But it’s only because of a trick, not because it’s more significant in any way.

You see, I can remember Ro-mesco, because it reminds me to think of Ro-asted red bell peppers. And that’s exactly what this sauce is. The base, at least, is roasted red bell peppers. It’s extremely easy to make. In fact, you can use jarred roasted red bell peppers instead of roasting your own.

But the taste? It’s to me, the best flavor ever of anything that doesn’t contain cheese. And that’s saying a lot. If you’ve never made Romesco sauce before, it’s high time you did. You will slather this beautiful red sauce on anything, including yourself, if you run out of breads and meats. It’s just heavenly.

Besides the red bell pepper flavor, the sauce includes almonds, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. It’s Spanish in origin. And similar to a pesto, it all comes together with some olive oil. Only a food processor or blender is needed to make this. In 5 minutes tops you will get the opportunity to smell and taste heaven. Promise.

Romesco Sauce
This recipe makes about 12 ounces

1 – 8 ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tomato purée
1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain the red bell peppers before you begin.


Have all of the other ingredients ready to go.


Place the drained red bell peppers in a jar of a food processor. Add the almonds, garlic, tomato purée, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Then add the hot paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.


Begin processing. The mixture will be very coarse at first.


Continue processing, adding the olive oil a little at a time. It is also important to wipe down the sides of the jar with a spatula.


After all of the oil has been added, process until the sauce is smooth. There will be some texture to it, but it will still be a smooth sauce.


At this point, it is ready to use.


I chose to make a Mediterranean-inspired lunch using the Romesco spread on a flatbread, and with grilled shrimp placed on top.


I also added some buratta and fresh cilantro; I was out of goat cheese – shame on me.


I bet you’re already thinking about all the ways you can use this sauce. It’s exquisite, isn’t it?!!


Fortunately, Romesco sauces freezes well. Otherwise, plan to use it before a couple of weeks if you store it in the refrigerator.


And thank you daughters for my cute labels!

By Published On: January 24th, 201461 Comments on Romesco Sauce

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Amanda January 24, 2014 at 9:47 AM - Reply

    Mimi this looks delicious! Great photos. Love the mnemonic device you use to remember the recipe. Great stuff in this sauce! Yum!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM - Reply

      It’s worth making from scratch. But then, most things are!

  2. colormusing January 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM - Reply

    Ooh, this sounds so good! I’m always a fan of anything with roasted peppers (as in the Arroz con Pollo I made the other day), and have even roasted my own. But I haven’t made this sauce. Yet. Definitely on my must-try list!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM - Reply

      It’s so easy with the jarred red peppers. And it’s quite versatile!!!

  3. sani panini January 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM - Reply

    Sounds amazing!

  4. Elaine @ foodbod January 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM - Reply

    Another great recipe thank you x

  5. Ada ~ More Food, Please January 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM - Reply

    Yum! I am already thinking about what to make to go with this sauce :D Love your last photo with your personal tag–looks lovely!

  6. {Main St. Cuisine} January 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM - Reply

    Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for reminding us about the versatility of this sauce and being able to cheat a bit with a jar of roasted red peppers means this will fit into weeknight dinner rush very easily!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM - Reply

      I just had some last night with flank stead – I used a jar I’d frozen – and it was perfect.

  7. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward January 24, 2014 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    Romesco sauce is so delicious and one of my favorite sauces. I usually pair it with marinated, grilled chicken kebob, saffron couscous and grilled scallions (from a Sunset recipe). Your photos are just gorgeous, and you flavors are so clean. You have given me pause – Romesco is so versatile.

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:11 AM - Reply

      It’s extremely versatile. I keep thinking of more ways to enjoy it!!!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward January 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        I agree. Oh, side-note, we made chimichurri last night using your delicious recipe. :-)

      • chef mimi January 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM


  8. apuginthekitchen January 24, 2014 at 1:57 PM - Reply

    Love Romesco, you reminded me how good it is and that I should make it, love your recipe.

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:11 AM - Reply

      Suzanne, try my recipe, because it can tell you it’s total perfection!

  9. flippenblog January 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM - Reply

    Nope. Your brain is not old.

  10. dishnthekitchen January 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM - Reply

    sigh. I do that all the time.
    How easy is Romesco? And that lunch looks so delicious, thanks to all those lovely photos.
    I’m so excited, now that I have a food processor I can make all these fun little sauces in seconds!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM - Reply

      It’s ridiculously easy. And with already roasted red bell peppers there’s just no excuse!!!

  11. Dolly Rubiano January 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM - Reply

    This sauce looks so incredibly wonderful! I have a bottle of roasted peppers so I might try this sauce anytime soon.

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM - Reply

      It’s a perfect recipe. The almonds are a very interesting ingredient, but it works!

  12. Pacific Merchants January 24, 2014 at 7:29 PM - Reply

    One of my favorite sauces in the world! I use it on fish, on chicken, and as a dip for bread pretty much any time I have last minute company. Also, try swirling it into hummus!

  13. Choc Chip Uru January 24, 2014 at 11:08 PM - Reply

    Such a delicious looking recipe, this sauce looks so flavoursome :D


  14. Three Well Beings January 25, 2014 at 12:37 AM - Reply

    I didn’t know the ingredients in Romesco. I’d have been eating it in restaurants before now had I known peppers were the main ingredient. I am happy to hear it freezes well, too. And no, you’re not old. Your “hard drive” is just full. Delete a few items to make a bit more space! :-)

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM - Reply

      hahaha!!! I just had some romesco last night that I’d thawed and there was no difference.

  15. annashortcakes January 25, 2014 at 8:37 AM - Reply

    I don’t know that I have ever had romesco but it looks fantastic! Perhaps it is because this post’s photos are so lovely. The tag in the last photo is darling!!!

  16. richardmcgary January 25, 2014 at 9:31 AM - Reply

    I love romesco. Nicely done with lovely photos. :)

  17. the drunken cyclist January 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM - Reply

    I usually use Thomas Keller’s recipe for my Romesco, but I will certainly try this the next time!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM - Reply

      I highly respect T.K. I’d love to know how his recipe varies from mine, cause mine is pretty spectacular!!!

  18. anotherfoodieblogger January 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM - Reply

    Beautiful sauce. Ohh and look at that shrimp! Yumm!

    • chef mimi January 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM - Reply

      Hahaha! It was a wonderful combination!!!

  19. Jody and Ken January 25, 2014 at 6:41 PM - Reply

    It doesn’t get any more versatile than Romesco. We make it in the spring to go with grilled spring onions, then some leftover in the fridge is rapidly consumed leading to another batch–and so it goes until sometime around Thanksgiving we give it a rest. If you’ve got it around in the summer, it goes with ANYTHING that comes off your grill. Nice. Ken

    • chef mimi January 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM - Reply

      I agree. Including grilled vegetables! I’d like to try it with some haloumi for my vegetarian daughter when she’s home. I know she’d love that!

  20. yummychunklet January 25, 2014 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    Ooh, what a tasty looking sauce. Can’t wait to try it.

  21. Cecile January 25, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Romesco sauce. I’m actually pretty darn excited about this recipe. I love trying new things and this looks de-lish !!

    • chef mimi January 26, 2014 at 8:54 AM - Reply

      Well if you love roasted red bell peppers, you’ll love Romesco!

  22. Kim Bultman January 26, 2014 at 2:28 AM - Reply

    Your Romesco sauce looks fantastic!

    • chef mimi January 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It was pretty perfect!

      • Kim Bultman January 27, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I gathered that, Chef Mimi… now I’m gathering the ingredients for it! Thanks again.

      • chef mimi January 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM


  23. eliotthecat January 26, 2014 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    I have been a fan of this sauce since I saw Bourdain dunking charred green onions in it in the Basque region of Spain. (I miss that show.) Good to know it freezes well and I do love your tags. This is a great idea for next Xmas. Thanks, Mimi.

    • chef mimi January 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM - Reply

      Oh, that’s a lovely combination. Bourdain has a new show now that’s pretty good. We were watching it last night – he was in Tokyo.

  24. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs January 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful… I’ll be adding these ingredients to this week’s grocery list for sure. <3

  25. myhomefoodthatsamore January 27, 2014 at 3:20 AM - Reply

    I have fallen in love with your recipe and I’ve yet to try it! Off to buy some red peppers NOW!

    • chef mimi January 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM - Reply

      Oh I can’t wait until you try it!!!

  26. The Wimpy Vegetarian January 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM - Reply

    Love this!! This is a great all-round sauce to have in the refrigerator. It’s great with so many things!

    • chef mimi January 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM - Reply

      It’s truly the most versatile sauce, yes?

  27. Bunny Eats Design January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM - Reply

    Gorgeous sauce. I’ve roasted peppers a few times but never made this sauce. Even though it doesn’t have cheese in it and is delicious without it, I’m sure it wouldn’t be terrible with additional shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano either ;)

    • chef mimi January 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM - Reply

      No, but it’s got big flavor, so I’m really not sure cheese, even Parm, would add much. Try it!

  28. buttoni February 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM - Reply

    This souncs marvelous, Mimi. I’m really getting in to sauces lately and will add this one to my short list to try. :)

    • chef mimi February 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM - Reply

      I think this one is my all time favorite because of the cayenne!

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