Easy Romesco Sauce (7 Ingredients!)

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Top-down shot of a jar of our simple Romesco Sauce recipe beside ingredients used to make it

Romesco sauce is something I discovered a few years ago when writing our Everyday Cooking Cookbook.

We had a lovely market near our apartment at the time that had this creamy, dairy-free red sauce called romesco. I was shocked. I’d never seen something so beautiful that tasted so creamy and wonderful that didn’t have dairy! I had to investigate.

Display of ingredients for making Creamy Romesco Sauce

Origin of Romesco Sauce

Like many foods, it’s unclear where exactly romesco was first created. But the version that most resembles those seen today is believed to have originated in Spain in the 16th century.

Romesco is a simple sauce that’s incredibly versatile and typically starts with roasted tomatoes. But because I’m a sucker for a sweeter sauce, our version uses roasted red peppers instead.

How to Make This Romesco Sauce

For those short on time, roasted red peppers in oil can be bought at the store, which would make this more of a 5-minute recipe.

But for those roasting, this is still a 30-minute, 7-ingredient recipe.

Toasted slivered almonds in a cast iron skillet for making Romesco Sauce

While your red peppers are roasting, toast some shaved or slivered almonds in a pan (whole almonds may be used, too) and chop your garlic.

Once your peppers are charred, steam for a few minutes, then carefully remove the charred skin, seeds, and stems, and add to a blender.

Baking sheet with two freshly roasted red bell peppers for making Romesco Sauce

To round out the sauce you’ll need a pinch of salt, a little olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of red pepper flake — that’s it.

I think romesco is so charming because it can be made virtually any time of year with ingredients you likely have on hand right now.

Even the texture is customizable. You can blend until completely creamy and smooth, or pulse until only small bits of almonds remain. We prefer somewhere in between: mostly smooth with a few pieces of almond and garlic intact.

Blender filled with ingredients for making Creamy Romesco Sauce

We hope you LOVE this sauce! It’s:

Creamy
Salty-sweet
Bright
Vibrant
Versatile
& Delicious

This would make the perfect sauce for just about any roasted vegetable — especially potatoes, such as in this Simple Patatas Bravas. It also pairs beautifully with pasta dishes, like this Chili Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower. Or, use it as a flavor-booster in Buddha Bowls and Breakfast Bowls with roasted vegetables, a fried egg or vegan scrambled egg, and plenty of avocado.

Into sauces? (Us, too!) Be sure to check out our 10-Minute Chimichurri Sauce, 5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce, 3-Ingredient Tahini Sauce for Everything, 5-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce, and Easy DIY Harissa Paste.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Spoon submerged in a jar of Creamy Romesco Sauce made with toasted almonds, lemon, and red bell pepper

Easy Romesco Sauce

Easy, flavorful romesco sauce made with just 7 ingredients and 30 minutes. The perfect sauce for veggie bowls, pasta, Italian dishes, and beyond.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Jar and spoonful of easy homemade Romesco Sauce surrounded by ingredients used to make it
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 (2-Tablespoon servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Spanish-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-7 Days

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, left whole
  • 4 Tbsp slivered or flaked almonds (if avoiding almonds, try another nut or seed)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 heaping tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flake (reduce or omit for less heat, but it does help balance the sweetness)

Instructions

  • Heat an oven to 500 degrees F (260 C) and line a baking sheet with foil (avoid parchment paper, which will burn and disintegrate at higher temps). Roast for about 20 minutes, or until nearly blackened on all sides. (Alternatively, roast your pepper over an open flame on a grill or gas stovetop until tender and charred on all sides — about 5 minutes). Then wrap in foil to steam for a few minutes (this will help the skin come off more easily).
  • In the meantime, toast almonds over medium-low heat in a dry skillet, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn. Toast until light golden brown — about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Unwrap bell peppers and carefully remove charred skin, stems, and seeds (be careful as they’ll still be hot). Then add to a small food processor or blender along with toasted almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and chili flake.
  • Either blend until creamy and smooth, or pulse / blend for a few seconds for a chunkier texture. We like a texture that’s somewhere in between: mostly creamy with a few bits of almonds and garlic intact.
  • Add more olive oil or water to make it creamier. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon for acidity, garlic for zing, salt to taste, or chili flake for heat. We added a bit more of each.
  • Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days. Freezer safe up to 1 month, but best when fresh. Delicious on things like poached eggs or hummus over avocado toast, vegan scrambles, roasted vegetables, pasta, and more.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Adapted from Madeleine Shaw’s cookbook, Ready Steady Glow.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 2-Tbsp servings Calories: 49 Carbohydrates: 1.8 g Protein: 0.9 g Fat: 4.3 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g Sodium: 59 mg Potassium: 54 mg Fiber: 0.6 g Sugar: 0.7 g

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  1. Erin says

    Super easy and delicious recipe. I was able to make simple substitutions for what I had on hand and I loved the end result. I served it over gnocchi with asparagus, as well as sautéed spinach with a splash of sherry vinegar. I look forward to trying this recipe out again.

  2. Atiya Abbas says

    Just made this and eating it right now with pasta. Increased the chili flakes to 1/2 tsp and it makes all the difference, the chunks of almond and garlic are so delicious! Cant wait to make again!

  3. Jaime says

    I don’t usually love roasted peppers, but this sauce was outstanding! It will be a new staple in our home.

  4. Rosemary says

    Made this recipe and served it with a potato, spinach, and mozzarella frittata. It was delicious! I subbed an orange pepper for one red pepper (that’s just what I had on hand) and it turned out very well.

    • Nora says

      Second time I’ve made it, and absolutely love it. This time I used cashews instead of almonds and tossed it with fresh vegan pasta. Highly recommend adding chopped parsley on top, it really elevates the flavours of the romesco.

  5. Yiftzi says

    Sounds yum!
    How does ist work when you use tomatoes?
    For peeling the peppers you can also place them in a closed pot and let them cool down – you’ll need to clean the pot but it saves the Aluminium foil (environmental impact…). I’ve also been told you can place the grilled peppers in the freezer for a few minutes and then they peel easily but have never tried it and you need to be careful not to let them freeze…

  6. Kaylie says

    I did this using walnuts instead of almonds and it was amazing!! Another variation I tried was adding 1 can chickpeas so it’s a Romesco/hummus dip and I loved it even more :)

  7. Gina says

    Hello! I was wondering If i pair this with the chili garlic pasta recipe do i add it to the existing recipe? Or do i sub the garlic/olive oil/red pepper mix with the romesco sauce ?

  8. Carol Miles says

    I cannot have any nuts and the only seeds I can have are chia or flaxseeds. Would either of those work? If not, what else could I use as a substitute?