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Ultimate Romesco Sauce Recipe (Gluten Free, Vegan)

It’s a sauce; it’s a spread; it’s a dip!! This sweet and smoky romesco sauce recipe is the superhero of condiments. Grilling the peppers and tomatoes imparts a delicious smoky flavor (I LOVE my Spark Grill), but you can cook them under the broiler instead (see the Tips below). This version is thickened with just almonds and pine nuts, making it naturally gluten free. Serve the sauce with this incredible Romesco Chicken, or on steak, fish or veggies. You can also toss it with pasta and gnocchi; slather it on sandwiches and burgers; or serve it as a dip with potato chips and Grilled Potatoes. For a gorgeous appetizer, spoon the sauce over grilled crostini (see the Tips below) with baby arugula and/or sliced basil and shaved Manchego cheese.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy romesco sauce, gluten free romesco sauce, romesco sauce recipe
Servings: 2 cups

Equipment

  • Grill (or broiler)

Ingredients

  • Neutral vegetable oil, for veggies
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ¼ cup whole blanched almonds, unsalted
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your Spark Grill to 600˚F, or preheat a regular grill to high heat.
  • Rub a thin layer of oil over the tomatoes and peppers. Place the peppers and tomatoes directly on the grill grates. Cover and cook, turning the vegetables occasionally, until they’re blistered and blackened (the tomato skin will start to slip off), about 6-8 minutes for the tomatoes and 15-20 minutes for the peppers.
  • Let the vegetables cool, then peel off and discard the skins (don’t go crazy with the peppers—if some skin doesn’t come off it’s totally fine). Cut out the pepper cores and discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and slip out the seeds.
  • Transfer the tomatoes and peppers to a high speed blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Process on high until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally (or stirring with the tamper if using a high speed blender). Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. The sauce will be quite pourable at this point, but it will thicken up as it rests!

Notes

Do Ahead: The romesco sauce can be refrigerated for 1 week (it will thicken as it chills), or it can be frozen for up to 2 months. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Tips:
  • To grill crostini: Brush baguette slices with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Arrange the bread in a single layer on 500-600˚F degree grill and cook until golden and lightly toasted on the bottom, about 1-3 minutes. Flip the slices over and rearrange them on the grill. Cook until lightly toasted on the other side, 1-3 minutes longer. 
  • To cook the peppers and tomatoes in the oven: Preheat the broiler with a rack 4-5 inches from the heating element. Line a small sheet pan with foil and drizzle it with oil. Cut the peppers in half through the stem ends. Place the pepper halves, cut sides down, on the pan, along with the whole tomatoes. Broil the vegetables until they're blackened all over, flipping the tomatoes once, about 7-9 minutes total. Transfer the charred vegetables to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 5-10 minutes. Remove and discard the skins and seeds as directed, as proceed with the recipe.