Romesco Sauce (Gluten Free)

Spanish style food is very trendy right now. That makes me so happy. I am excited to try new dishes that are traditional to Spain. Croquettes and fried milk. A  Tortilla Espaniola (potato omelette). I truly believe when it comes to cultural foods there is nothing new under the sun. I think were all making the same thing we simply add our spin to it and voilà, a family recipe that gets passed down to each generation.

I feel this way about Romesco sauce. Every Spanish family has a recipe for it but they’re all different in some small way. It’s the equivalent to the Italian Red sauce. 

And you know me, while I am Not Italian, I just had to have a red sauce to offer to my girls. My sweet grandma taught me hers and its been my sauce for twenty years. And while I am part Mexican (so I’ve claimed Spanish heritage) I don’t have a Romesco sauce.  

The main elements of this sauce are red peppers that give it a nice ruddy brick red color, roasted or raw nuts of some kind, garlic olive oil and bread. It’s only spicy if you desire it to be, but deliciousness is a requirement for any version.

The thought of savoring a rd sauce not based by tomatoes, intrigues me. While I will be making this sauce over and over again since you can’t really mess it up, but mostly I want to arrive at my favorite combinations of the key ingredients.

So here is my first round. I have to say I loved it! We had it on pasta (but it can be a dip as well and has tons of applications), with Spanish olives, and Spanish olive oil, of course.


FREEZER FRIENDLY: Pour sauce into freezer containers or zip top freezer bags and seal. Freeze the bags flat so they are stackable when frozen.

romesco sauce


2-4 red bell peppers, roasted on the grill or oven (you want the black bits)

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 cup blanched almonds, or slivered almonds

1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted skins removed, (see note)

1 slice of gluten free bread, toasted

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup spanish olive oil

1 tablespoon capers

Fine sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper


Beforehand, make sure your almonds and hazelnuts are blanched and toasted. And your peppers are roasted and skins removed.

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add oil; process until smooth. Cover and chill. Or use immediately as sauce.


There is a great tutorial on how to blanch nuts here.

Romesco can be made up to one week ahead. Cover well.

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