Smoky Romesco Sauce Recipe

If you can believe it, romesco sauce has been around since the 1800s when fishermen would pair it with their catch of the day to add some flavor. Today, people still use the sauce to liven things up and take their meals from drab to fab. Whether you're looking for a way to spice up your pasta or chicken, this smoky romesco does the trick. 

Recipe developer Jennine Rye came up with this quick and easy recipe that you'll want to try.  "I love how fresh and smoky the flavor of the sauce is; roasted peppers are so delicious, especially when paired with smoky paprika, and the taste of the toasted almonds is so sweet and nutty. It's a really different take on sauces [from] what people are used to. So often tomatoes or cream are used for the sauce base ... nuts don't get enough of a look but they add so much flavor and texture. I love nuts in sauce!" Rye raves. 

She also shares her favorite occasions to serve it. "This is a really great all-round recipe. It can be served any time of year and pairs well with so many different flavors. It does take a little more effort than other [sauces], so it wouldn't be an everyday kind of sauce, but for a dinner party, a summer gathering, a picnic, or a date night it would be great [for] a little bit of elegance and a lot of flavor."

Gather the ingredients for this smoky romesco sauce recipe

Every recipe starts with a grocery list. For this one, you need red bell peppers, large vine tomatoes, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, whole almonds, smoked paprika, and sherry vinegar. 

Once you have these items on hand, you can make this smoky romesco sauce.

Preheat the oven and cut the veggies

Turn the dial of your oven to 350 F and let it preheat. Take out a cutting board and cut the bell peppers into large pieces. Once you finish slicing, place them on a roasting tray. Add the vine tomatoes and the garlic cloves to the same tray. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt, to taste. The olive oil helps the veggies cook faster while also adding flavor. 

Once the oven finishes preheating, pop the tray in and roast the veggies for 25 minutes. When the skin on the peppers and tomatoes blister, they're ready to remove from the oven.

Dry toast the almonds

Take out a frying pan and place it on your stove. Crank the heat to medium-high and toss in the almonds. Dry toast them until they begin to color and smell like they're roasted. It should only take about 3-4 minutes. "Toasting the almonds before adding them to the sauce enhances their natural nutty flavor, making it more intense," Rye explains. "It brings out the oils of the nuts and gives them more of a lightly caramelized sweetness, rather than the raw nuts which can have a slightly more astringent, less sweet flavor." 

Let the veggies cool and peel the skin off

Allow the roasted veggies to cool for 5-10 minutes. Once you can handle them without burning yourself, carefully peel the skins off the peppers and tomatoes. Also, be sure to deseed the tomatoes.

Load all of the veggies into a food processor, followed by the roasted garlic cloves, toasted almonds, smoked paprika, and sherry vinegar.

Blend the ingredients

Pulse the food processor to blend the ingredients together. Continue pulsing until a thick, textured sauce forms. "The taste is a wonderful mixture of brightness, sweetness, and freshness from the peppers, the tomatoes, and the sherry vinegar. The garlic and the smoked paprika add more depth and warmth to the sauce," Rye explains. "The toasted nuts also add warmth and their own delicious nutty flavor." 

Serve and enjoy

That's all you need to do to make this smoky romesco sauce. Pour it over everything from fish to chicken to veggies. This is also great on a sandwich or mixed in with pasta. Honestly, the possibilities are endless! Rye also shares a few of her favorite serving suggestions. "As romesco sauce originates from Spain, specifically the Catalan region, the best pairings for this sauce are Spanish-style dishes. Think fresh, vibrant ingredients; this is a great accompaniment to fish or chicken, and it is delicious served alongside simple roasted vegetables," Rye notes.

And if you don't use it all up after making it, you can keep what's left over. "Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container, and should be consumed within three days," Rye says. We hope you love this versatile sauce. 

Smoky Romesco Sauce Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
This smoky romesco sauce recipe can elevate practically any dish, whether chicken, fish, or pasta. Whip up a batch before your next special event.
Prep Time
Cook Time
smoky romesco sauce in bowl
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 large vine tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Roughly cut the bell peppers into large segments and place them in a roasting tray with the vine tomatoes and the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Place the tray into the preheated oven to roast for 25 minutes, until the skin on the peppers and tomatoes is blistered.
  3. Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat. Dry toast the almonds for 3-4 minutes until they begin to color and smell roasted.
  4. Remove the roasting tray from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool for 5-10 minutes. When they're cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the bell peppers and peel and deseed the tomatoes.
  5. Place the veggies in a food processor with the roasted garlic cloves, toasted almonds, smoked paprika, and sherry vinegar.
  6. Pulse the food processor to blend the ingredients together, until a thick, textured sauce forms.
  7. Serve as an accompaniment to fish, chicken, or vegetables, in a sandwich, or mixed with pasta.
Calories per Serving 243
Total Fat 19.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Total Sugars 7.4 g
Sodium 571.0 mg
Protein 5.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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