Main Dish

Romesco Sauce (Roasted Pepper & Sundried Tomato Pesto)

October 24, 2022
Creamy, smokey Romesco Sauce--perfect for crostinis, pizza, or as a sauce for grain bowls. So easy and so good!

Romesco sauce is the perfect smoky condiment for basically anything! It’s one of our favorite things to make in early fall when all the big red bell peppers have ripened to sweet perfection. It’s super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Romesco is delicious on its own with a simple crostini, but it really shines when used as a sauce for grilled veggies or meats, pasta, grain bowls, or pizza. My boyfriend loves a Romesco sauce and sausage pizza, so if you’re a sausage and peppers fan, this is definitely for you!

Simple ingredients and good preparation always make for a satisfying meal. There are 5 ingredients to this recipe, and most of them are probably in stored away in your pantry. You can use a mortar and pestle, but the food processor works just as well (that’s what I normally use). If you’re looking for a chunkier texture, I would recommend processing the garlic and almonds until they’re almost the texture of cornmeal before adding in the peppers and sundried tomatoes.

Seasonal hack: roast your peppers, remove the skin, and freeze them in individual bags or containers so you can make this sauce year-round without sacrificing seasonal flavor and nutrition. We do this for Poblano and Anaheim peppers at the end of summer and use them for salsa and enchilada sauce throughout the year.

Crostini topped with Ricotta cheese, Romesco sauce, and crispy garlic.

How to Make Romesco Sauce

This Romesco recipe is really simple and can be prepared in just 10 minutes. The first step is blistering the peppers which you can do over a gas burner or by broiling in the oven. It takes about 3-4 minutes over a burner and at 3-4 minutes on each side in the oven. After the skin is black and blistered, place them in a plastic bag and twist shut to set for 2 minutes. This will allow them to steam and the skins to separate from the flesh, making it leagues easier to peel.

After you peel the blistered peppers, the food processor can take it from there. Simply add in the almonds and garlic and pulse until it reaches the texture of cornmeal. Then add in the peppers, sundried tomatoes, paprika powder, and sherry vinegar and pulse a few times. Then add in the olive oil in a slow drizzle while processing. Season with salt and pepper and you are done!

Smoked paprika really makes a difference in this recipe–it puts that smoky umami flavor into overdrive. If you’re roasting instead of grilling your meats/veggies, it can impart a pleasant smoky flavor that otherwise would be absent. Not that I’m a full-fledged paprika connoisseur, but this is by far the best brand I’ve found for a sweet smoked paprika.

How to Use Romesco Sauce

Romesco is great with anything you would eat with peppers like grilled fish, chicken, veggies, etc. It’s fantastic on sandwiches or crostinis and makes a great dressing for buddha/grain bowls. Also works great as a pasta sauce or as an addition to a charcuterie board. Here is a list of foods that go splendidly with romesco:

  • Sandwiches
  • Buddha or grain bowls
  • Pasta
  • Poached or roasted fish
  • Sausage
  • Charcuterie boards
  • Any type of grilled vegetable or meat
  • Bread
  • Fried Calamari

Romesco Sauce

Sauce Mediterranean
By Katelyn Bailey Serves: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Romesco sauce is the perfect smoky condiment for basically anything! It goes beautifully with any sort of grilled meat or vegetable; especially fish and sausage. We love having it with crostinis on a charcuterie board or tossed into pasta for a quick meal. So easy, so quick, and absolutely delicious!


  • 2 large red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 sundried tomatoes
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • *optional: 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a kick of heat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Start by blistering the red peppers over a gas stove flame OR an oven broiler. Turn them until most of the skin is black and charred. This should take 3-4 minutes over a gas burner and anywhere from 5-8 minutes in the oven (make sure you put them on the top rack and check often).


Then quickly place them into a sealed or twisted plastic bag to steam for at least 2 minutes. This gives it time for the skin to separate. When cooled enough to handle, peel the skins and deseed the pepper.


Now the food processor can take over. Add in the almonds and garlic and process until you see the consistency of cornmeal. Then add in all the other ingredients except for the olive oil and pulse until it looks a bit like oatmeal.


Lastly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing. Process until it meets your desired consistency (I like it pretty smooth but still with a little texture from the peppers).


Salt and pepper to taste.


  • 106 Calories
  • 5g Carbohydrates
  • 9.4g Fat
  • 1.5g Fiber
  • 1.9g Protein
  • 1.2g Saturated fat
  • 184mg Sodium
  • 2.4g Sugar


If you have Calabrian chili oil, that would be a fantastic addition. I've also seen recipes that add a little stale bread for a thicker texture--this works beautifully but isn't necessary.

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