If you're looking for a speedy and tasty dip or sauce to pour over just about anything, you'll love this salsa romesco recipe! This quick and easy sauce recipe contains flavorful tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper, roasted almonds, garlic, and spices.
Anyone who knows me knows I love sauces - that's why I have so many recipes. I put sauce on sandwiches, wraps, salads, grain bowls, veggies, pasta, burgers, potatoes, pizza - pretty much everything. It turns ordinary meals like rice and beans into extraordinary dishes. This sauce is no exception and is in my family's top 5 favorites.
Origins of Salsa Romesco
Salsa romesco traces its roots back to the Catalan region of Spain. It is believed to have originated in the Tarragona area, where it was traditionally served with fish and seafood. The sauce gained popularity in the 20th century and has become a staple in Spanish cuisine.
Easy to find romesco sauce ingredients
While this easy variation differs slightly from an original Spanish recipe with its ready-to-use ingredients like roasted almonds, that's why I like it- because it's fast but still captures the essence of romesco sauce.
- Roasted Almonds: These provide a nutty and creamy base to the sauce.
- Roasted Red Peppers: They add a smoky and sweet flavor profile.
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: A can of fire-roasted tomatoes contributes tanginess and acidity.
- Garlic: Garlic cloves do what they always do, enhance everything.
- Vinegar: The vinegar provides a pleasant acidity and complexity.
- Olive Oil: A generous drizzle of high-quality olive oil brings richness to the sauce.
Tip: If you can't find roasted or toasted almonds at the store, toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden brown or place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in a 400°F oven for about 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.
How to use Romesco sauce
Romesco can be considered both a dip and a sauce. While it is traditionally used as a sauce, served with grilled or roasted meats, fish, and veggies, its creamy texture makes it suitable for dipping with bread, crackers, or vegetables. Here are some other ideas on how to serve it up in a plant-based way:
Serve it with roasted or grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers, or eggplant. Your family will finally start eating their veggies!
Add it to a grain bowl like the Mediterranean Grain Bowl.
Spread this sauce on sandwiches or wraps, or try this Roasted Cauliflower Tacos recipe.
Tapas and Appetizers: Use the sauce as a dip for bread, crackers, or raw vegetables. It also complements vegan cheese and charcuterie boards wonderfully.
Even though the original sauce is fantastic, I always appreciate creative culinary remixes. Here are a few for you to try:
- Smoky Romesco Salsa: Infuse a smoky flavor using smoked paprika or adding a small amount of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Herb-infused Romesco Salsa: Introduce fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro to the romesco sauce for a vibrant and aromatic twist.
- Citrus Romesco Salsa: Add a tangy twist by incorporating citrus zest or juice, such as lemon, lime, or orange, to the romesco sauce.
- Nutty Romesco Salsa: Experiment with nuts like walnuts or pine nuts to give the sauce a rich and nutty flavor profile.
- Mediterranean Romesco Salsa: Incorporate Mediterranean flavors by adding ingredients like olives, capers, or sun-dried tomatoes to the romesco sauce.
- Creamy Romesco Salsa: Blend in a dollop of Greek yogurt or mayonnaise to create a creamy and smooth romesco salsa.
- Roasted Garlic Romesco Salsa: Roast the garlic cloves and blend them with the traditional romesco ingredients for a robust and aromatic flavor.
- Green Romesco Salsa: Replace the traditional red peppers with green peppers or tomatillos for a refreshing and slightly tangy romesco salsa.
Craving more 5-minute sauces?
You can store the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
You can freeze the sauce in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before use.
If you have a nut allergy or prefer an alternative, you can replace almonds with sunflower seeds or breadcrumbs (yep, breadcrumbs - some variations of romesco sauce include breadcrumbs as an ingredient).
- 12 ounces jar of roasted red peppers in water
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- ½ cup roasted almonds
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or sherry vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender or bullet. Mix until well combined.
If you have a nut allergy or prefer an alternative, you can replace almonds with sunflower seeds or breadcrumbs (yep, breadcrumbs - some variations of Romesco sauce include breadcrumbs as an ingredient).
Nutritional information is only an estimate. Use a nutritional app like Cronometer to get information on the exact ingredients and amounts you are using.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: condiment
- Cuisine: Spain-inspired
- Serving Size: ¼ cup
- Calories: 491
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 4394
- Fat: 40
- Saturated Fat: 4
- Carbohydrates: 28
- Fiber: 9
- Protein: 11
- Cholesterol: 0 mg