Romesco Sauce (Red Pepper Sauce)

My easy Romesco sauce recipe is made with roasted, pickled red peppers and toasted almonds, with a touch of garlic. Blended with olive oil and tangy lime or lemon juice, it turns into creamy, heavenly sauce full of flavour and texture. This romesco sauce is made without bread, so it’s paleo, gluten-free and Whole30 and is also vegan-friendly. Find out how to make it and what to do with it.

Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (Vegan, Paleo)
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What is Romesco sauce?

I fell in love with Romesco sauce in Spain and have been making it at home ever since. This red pepper sauce originated in Tarragona, Catalunya (one of my favourite places) and was used by the local fishermen to serve with freshly cooked fish. Today, you can find different brands of this sauce in supermarkets but I still love a homemade version.

Classic Romesco sauce is made with roasted tomatoes, almonds or other nuts, garlic and olive oil. Sometimes the bread is added. There are also variations with roasted red peppers (my version here), fennel, additions of different vinegar and so on. It’s actually very similar other sauces such as salsa de calçots (served over grilled green onions) and Turkish Muhammara sauce.

It’s bright, zesty, creamy and goes with lots of different foods.

Romesco sauce recipe (vegan, without bread, paleo, Whole30)
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How To Make Romesco Sauce (VIDEO)

In this Romesco recipe, I use roasted pickled peppers you can get in a jar from the conserves and pickles section of the supermarket. Alternatively, you can roast or bake a whole red pepper or two in the oven ahead of time. I used a little lime juice, but you can also use lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar. 

You can use raw or toasted almonds (flakes, whole or chopped). I think toasted almonds are WAY tastier and I simply spread the flakes on a baking tray and popped them in the 200 C/400 F oven for 4-5 minutes.

Romesco Sauces Uses

Ever wondered what to do with Romesco sauce? If you make your own or buy it ready-made, here are a few ways to use it up.

  • On top of grilled or roasted vegetables, especially asparagus, leeks or spring onions, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower.
  • As a sauce or condiment with any type of fish, as a dipping sauce for shrimp or prawns, with grilled chicken or lamb (or any meat for that matter). I really like sliced grilled chicken smothered with Romesco and grilled with cheese on top. 
  • Use it in a salad dressing, as a spread in a wrap or a sandwich.
  • Stir through zucchini noodles, other paleo noodles, or regular pasta, if you wish.
  • With scrambled eggs or as a topping on deviled eggs or boiled eggs.
Romesco sauce uses
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More Sauces & Condiments


Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Romesco sauce recipe
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Red Pepper Romesco Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 1 cup
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Catalan
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Calories: 231kcal
This delicious red pepper romesco sauce recipe is made without bread and is vegan, paleo, Whole30 and gluten-free friendly. It can be used as a dip, sauce, salad dressing and a condiment with fish and seafood, grilled meats, roasted or grilled vegetables, in wraps and more.


  • 1 cup pickled red peppers sliced, something similar to this
  • 1/2 cup almond flakes, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • For this sauce recipe, I used a food processor. Add all ingredients and whiz together to process.
  • Stop and open the lid a couple of times to scrape the bits off the sides and to stir the sauce slightly, then whiz again to make sure everything is incorporated and blended.
  • The Romesco sauce doesn't have to be completely smooth, it should have a little texture. Store leftover sauce in the fridge for 4-5 days.


If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blener or chop everything by hand very finely and mix together. It will be more like a salsa sauce.
Nutritional information is calculated for around 1/4 of the recipe or 1/4 cup of sauce.


Serving: 0.25 cup | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Dip, Pasta Sauce, Romesco, red pepper sauce, spanish sauce
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved


Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (Vegan, Paleo, Whole30)
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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