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Spanish Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce


A vibrant sauce of roasted peppers, garlic and tomatoes, thickened with toasted bread and nuts. Delicious with meat, fish, chicken or vegetables. Great on Sandwiches and burgers.



Equipment: Rimmed baking pan lined with parchment, Food processor fitted with the s-shaped chopping blade

  • 1 cup bread cubes from a thick slice of country bread or French baguette
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds (whole or slivered)
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts (without skin)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes or other ripe tomatoes
  • 1 dried ancho chili, sliced in half, seeds and stem removed
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted red bell peppers roughly chopped, homemade or from a 12-ounce jar.
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Put the ancho chili into the hot pan and cook for 15-20 seconds per side, pressing down on it with a spatula, until you see some smoke and some blistered spots. (Don’t wash the skillet. You’ll need it for the tomatoes). Transfer the chili to a small bowl and cover by an inch with hot tap water. Leave for 15 minutes to soften and then chop roughly and add to the food processor bowl. 
  2. Whizz everything in your processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary, until the mixture is very finely chopped (not a smooth puree). With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil. If you want a thinner consistency, add a couple tablespoons of water with the motor running. 
  3. Serve warm or at room temp as a dip with crostini or crudités or as a sauce to top grilled or roasted fish, chicken, beef, pork, roasted vegetables, sandwiches, burgers or omelets.
  4. Romesco sauce can be stored for 2 weeks in an air-tight container in the fridge.


If you'd prefer to roast your own red bell peppers from scratch, here's how to do it.

What if your hazelnuts have skins? Toast the hazelnuts as per the directions but set them aside on the roasting pan. Drape a dish towel over a medium sized bowl, scoop the toasted hazelnuts into the dishtowel, fold it over the nuts and leave them for 10 minutes, then drop the nuts into the bowl. Through the dish towel, squeeze them and rub them against each other and down against the bowl vigorously for a couple of minutes, to remove most of the brown skins. It's ok of a small bit of skin remains.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Spanish Romesco Sauce, Roasted pepper sauce for meat, fish or vegetables