19 Best Substitutes for Romesco Sauce with Ratio & How to Use Them

As a home cook or a chef, you might locate yourself in a position where you need an acceptable alternative to Romesco sauce.

Romesco sauce is a popular Spanish sauce that is made with roasted red peppers and almonds, and it’s perfect to pair with seafood and grilled meats.

But what if you fail it or can’t find it in the grocery store?

No worries, as this blog post will provide you with the 19 best substitutes for Romesco sauce with the right ratio and how to use them in recipes.

In short, " What can I use instead of romesco sauce?"

Harissa sauce, Red Pepper Flakes, Almond Butter, Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Chimichurri, Salsa Verde, Tzatziki, Romesco Dip, Olive Tapenade, Tomato-Walnut Sauce, Citrus Aioli and many more.

What is romesco sauce, and what does romesco sauce taste like?

Romesco sauce is a flavorful Spanish sauce that originates from Catalonia.

It is made with a blend of roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, nuts (typically almonds or hazelnuts), olive oil, vinegar, and spices.

The ingredients are typically combined and pureed into a smooth sauce, although variations in texture can exist.

In terms of taste, romesco sauce has a robust and complex flavor profile. It has a rich, smoky undertone derived from the roasted red peppers and garlic. 

The combination of nuts adds a subtle nuttiness and a creamy texture to the sauce.

The acidity from the tomatoes and vinegar provides a tangy and slightly acidic note that balances the richness.

The sauce is typically seasoned with spices such as paprika, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes, which contribute a mild to moderate level of spiciness.

The exact flavor can alter depending on the specific recipe and the variations in ingredient ratios.

Overall, romesco sauce is known for its bold and harmonious blend of flavors.

It combines sweetness, smokiness, tanginess, and nuttiness to create a versatile and delicious sauce that pairs well with various dishes, including grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and seafood.

Uses of Romesco sauce

One common use for Romesco sauce is as a dip or spread for vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrots.

The creamy texture and mild savor make it a perfect accompaniment to raw vegetables that need some extra flavor.

Additionally, the nutty undertones of the sauce help produce the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Romesco sauce also works very well as a marinade for meats like pork or chicken. 

When used as a marinade, the acidic qualities in the tomatoes and red peppers help tenderize the meat while adding flavor.

Additionally, its thick texture helps keep moisture locked into the meat to ensure that it maintains its juiciness even after cooking.

Romesco sauce can also be used in cooked dishes such as stews and casseroles. Its mild yet flavorful taste makes it an ideal choice for adding depth to these types of comfort foods.

By stirring some into your favorite stew recipe right after you add the liquid ingredients, you can add an interesting new extent to your dish without overpowering other flavors.

The versatility of this unique Spanish sauce makes it a fantastic addition to any kitchen pantry or refrigerator shelf.

Whether you’re looking for something new to drizzle over veggies or want to jazz up an old family recipe with something special – Romesco sauce is sure to deliver creative culinary satisfaction every time!

Where to buy Romesco sauce?

If you are looking for Romesco sauce where to buy, there are a few other places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores

You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of Romesco sauce.

Best substitutes for Romesco sauce

Here are 19 of the best substitutes for Romesco sauce with ratio and how to use them:

1. Harissa sauce – A good substitute for romesco sauce

Harissa is made with roasted chili peppers, garlic, and spices, and it has a spicy and smoky flavor.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Harissa to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

Harissa sauce goes well with grilled vegetables and meats.

2. Red Pepper Flakes

red pepper flakes is good substitute for romesco sauce

If you’re looking for a quick substitute for Romesco sauce, red pepper flakes will do the trick.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of red pepper flakes to Romesco sauce is 1:4.

These flakes can be sprinkled over grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.

3. Try Almond Butter to replace romesco sauce

Almond butter is made by blending roasted almonds, which can be used instead of almond paste.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Almond Butter to Romesco sauce is 1:2, and it's perfect for dipping vegetables or spreading over sandwiches.

4. Pesto

Pesto sauce is produced with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Garlic, and olive oil,

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Pesto to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

 It’s great for topping fish, pizza, or pasta dishes.

5. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – a great alternative to romesco sauce

roasted red pepper hummus is nice alternate for romesco sauce

Roasted red pepper hummus is made by blending cooked chickpeas, roasted red peppers, tahini, garlic, and olive oil.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

It’s perfect for dipping vegetables, pita bread, or as a sandwich spread.

6. Chimichurri

Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian sauce that’s made with fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Chimichurri to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

It’s great for grilled meats.

7. You can use Salsa Verde instead of romesco sauce

Salsa Verde is a green sauce that’s made with fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Salsa Verde to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

It’s perfect for topping grilled seafood or vegetables.

8. Tzatziki

tzatziki is great replacement for romesco sauce

Tzatziki is a Greek sauce that’s made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Tzatziki to Romesco sauce is 1:2.

It’s great for dipping vegetables or grilled meats.

9. Romesco Dip – a tasty replacement for romesco sauce

The Romesco dip is a great alternative to the Romesco sauce. It’s made by mixing more tahini with red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, garlic, and vinegar.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Romesco Dip to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

It’s perfect for grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.

10. Olive Tapenade

Olive Tapenade is made by blending black olives, capers, garlic, and olive oil.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio of Olive Tapenade to Romesco sauce is 1:1.

It’s perfect for topping fish or as a sandwich filling.

11. Tomato-Walnut Sauce gives you the same taste as romesco sauce

This is a flavorful alternative that combines tomatoes, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and parsley. It’s great when served with grilled fish or roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or eggplant.

Ratio or measurement: To make it: combine 2 parts canned tomatoes and 1 part chopped walnuts in a blender; add in 1 clove garlic and a few tablespoons of additional virgin olive oil; taste with pepper and salt; then blend until smooth.

12. Citrus Aioli 

citrus aioli is good romesco sauce substitute

This tangy option goes great with shellfish such as shrimp or lobster tail.

Ratio or measurement: In a blender, combine 1 cup mayonnaise with 3 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons orange juice concentrate and a pinch of cumin powder; blend until creamy.

Finish by adding extra virgin olive oil gradually till desired consistency is achieved; season to taste with salt and pepper.

13. Caponata – a decent substitute for romesco sauce

An Italian dip can be served hot or cold, depending on preference.

Start by sautéing onions in olive oil until golden brown; add in 1/2 cup diced celery and 2 cups diced eggplant before cooking for another 5 min over medium heat.

Pour in half a cup white wine and let reduce before adding 2 tablespoons capers,12 pitted olives (halved), 3 tablespoons pine nuts, along with about 4 ounces tomato paste (diluted first in warm water).

Next, reduce heat to low before seasoning well with salt & pepper; cook covered for 20 minutes more before serving either hot or cold.

14. Avocado Salsa 

This one uses avocado as its star ingredient, along with tomatoes & onions for texture, plus cilantro & lime juice for piquancy!

Ratio or measurement: Simply combine all ingredients into a food processor container: 3 ripe avocados peeled & pitted + 1 large tomato diced + ½ onion finely chopped + ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves + Juice of ½ lime + Sea salt & black pepper to taste blending everything together.

Until creamy yet still slightly chunky (adjusting seasoning according to personal preference), serve at room temperature either alone as a dip or atop tacos or burritos!

15. Breadcrumbs Pesto – similar to romesco sauce

An Italian classic made even easier!

Start by combining ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves + ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese + 3 cloves minced garlic + ¼ teaspoon kosher salt into a food processor container pulsing several times till the mixture turns into a paste-like consistency.

Then add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil gradually while continuing blending.

Thereafter add about ⅔ cup plain breadcrumbs, slowly pulsing several times until fully incorporated. Adjust seasoning according to personal preference before serving atop your favorite pasta dishes!

16 . Onion Marmalade 

onion marmalade is nice romesco sauce alternate

This one gives classic French cuisine an exciting twist!

Begin by chopping finely 2 cups yellow onions plus one small red bell pepper before sautéing them over medium heat until softened.

Next, dissolve ½ tablespoon sugar plus ¼ teaspoon sea salt into ½ cup dry white wine, followed by adding mixture onto the pan, stirring constantly, allowing liquid to evaporate slightly while gently reducing and stirring continuously.

Take off the heat after about 8 minutes, mixing in one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, stirring once more.

Let cool completely before topping any type of sandwich, from French baguette slices to hamburgers!

17 . Tahini Spread – an ideal substitute for romesco sauce

For those looking for something Middle Eastern-inspired, this creamy blend may be just what you need!

Start by adding 15 ounces of tahini paste to a large bowl, whisking vigorously while slowly pouring about 6 tablespoons of water.

Allow mixture to come together gradually while adjusting thickness according to individual’s liking. Afterward, add other ingredients, such as freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 tablespoons) plus two cloves of minced garlic, stirring well.

Season lightly according to personal preference, allowing flavors to meld together prior to utilization atop any type of wrap sandwich, toast, etcetera

18 . Coconut Curry Sauce 

For a tropical twist, opt instead for this aromatic coconut curry sauce, perfect when paired with chicken dishes!

Begin by heating two tablespoons of cooking oil (either coconut or vegetable ) in a large saucepan over medium heat, afterward adding ½ cup chopped onion followed by stirring continuously until softened.

Before adding ¼ teaspoon curry powder plus one teaspoon ground coriander, stirring constantly for about one minute thereupon, pour in 1 cup canned lite coconut milk allowing the mixture to come together fully.

Reduce flame slightly before simmering about 5 minutes more Adjust seasoning according to individual’s preference prior to serving atop grilled chicken dishes.

19. Chipotle Aioli – similar to Romesco sauce

Give your meals a spicy Mexican twist with this creamy and flavorful chipotle aioli that pairs perfectly with tacos and burritos!

Start by combining one cup of mayonnaise, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder and sea salt to taste into a blender container blending everything together until creamy texture is achieved.

Next, incorporate 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil gradually while continuing to blend until fully incorporated. Adjust seasoning according to individual’s liking prior to utilization atop tacos or burritos!


vegan substitute for Romesco sauce

1. Tahini Sauce

This Mediterranean-inspired sauce is made with sesame seed paste, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a few herbs and spices like cumin and paprika.

It adds a nutty, creamy flavor to dishes such as roasted vegetables or falafel.

2. Avocado-Lime Sauce

This vegan sauce is made from blended avocado, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno pepper and a pinch of salt. Its light and creamy texture pairs well with tacos, burritos or nachos.

3. Mushroom Gravy

A combination of mushrooms, onions, garlic and vegetable broth creates an umami-rich gravy that can be served over potatoes or grains for a savory meal packed with protein.

4. Green Goddess Dressing

This classic dressing is made from mayonnaise (vegan version available), parsley, tarragon, oregano, scallions and other herbs blended together until smooth.

It’s great as a dip for crudites or added to sandwiches for an extra pop of flavor.

5. Cashew Cream Sauce

Raw cashews are blended with water until creamy for this vegan substitute for romesco sauce; nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy savor without the dairy, while herbs like basil or oregano add additional depth of flavor.

 Serve over grilled vegetables or pasta dishes for maximum deliciousness!

Substitute almonds in romesco sauce

Suppose you are looking for almonds in romesco sauce as a substitute. In that case, there are several choices you can consider depending on your preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are a few alternatives:

1. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a common substitute for almonds in romesco sauce. They offer a similarly rich and nutty flavor that complements the other ingredients. 

Hazelnuts can be roasted and blended into the sauce to provide a similar texture and taste.

2. Cashews 

Cashews can use as a substitute for almonds in romesco sauce. They have a creamy thickness and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Soaking the cashews before blending can help achieve a smoother consistency.

3. Sunflower Seed

Sunflower seeds can be a nut-free option to replace almonds in romesco sauce. They offer a subtle nutty flavor and can provide a similar texture when roasted and blended.

4. Pine Nuts

Pine nuts can be used as an alternative to almonds in romesco sauce. They have a buttery and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients. 

Toasted pine nuts can be ground and incorporated into the sauce.

How to Choose the Most Suitable Substitution Option for romesco sauce

When selecting a substitution option for romesco sauce, consider the following tips:

1. Flavor Profile: Romesco sauce has a complex flavor profile with elements of smokiness, tanginess, and nuttiness. Look for a substitution option that can provide a similar combination of flavors.

Consider options like roasted red pepper sauce, sun-dried tomato pesto, or even a combination of tomato sauce and nut butter.

2. Texture:  Romesco sauce has a smooth and creamy texture. If the texture is important to your recipe, choose a substitution option that can provide a similar consistency.

For example, blending roasted red peppers, tomatoes, nuts, and olive oil can help mimic the creamy texture of romesco sauce.

3. Ingredient Compatibility: Consider the specific recipe you’re preparing and choose a substitution option that complements the other ingredients.

For example, if your dish includes roasted vegetables, a sun-dried tomato pesto with roasted nuts can be a suitable substitute.

4. Spiciness: Romesco sauce can have a mild to moderate level of spiciness depending on the recipe.

Adjust the spiciness of your substitution option based on your taste preferences and the desired level of heat in the dish.

5. Allergies and Dietary Restrictions: Take into account any dietary restrictions or allergies when selecting a substitute. Consider options that align with dietary needs, such as vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free alternatives.

6. Experiment and Adjust: Conduct a small-scale test with the substitute to gauge its impact on your recipe. Adjust the quantities or make any necessary flavor adjustments based on your taste preferences. Taste and adjust until you achieve a flavor profile that satisfies your desired outcome.

how to make Romesco sauce

Romesco sauce is a traditional Spanish sauce that is perfect for serving over grilled meats and vegetables, adding flavor to sandwiches, or stirring into a soup.

This is easy to create at home and only requires a few ingredients.

To make the romesco sauce, start by prepping the ingredients: One red bell pepper, one slice of toast (preferably stale), two garlic cloves, half an onion, honey or sugar (optional), and one tablespoon of tomato paste.

Also required are four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, four tablespoons of almonds (or other nuts) and two tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

Roast the bell pepper over a flame until blackened on all sides. Peel off the charred skin and extract the seeds and stems.

Transmit to a food processor or blender and add in the garlic cloves, onion slices, toast and almonds. Process until all ingredients are blended together but not overly processed—there should still be some visible texture.

Next, add the olive oil in several small batches while mixing with each addition. Then add in the tomato paste and mixture till blended.

Finally, stir in red wine vinegar and honey or sugar if desired for added sweetness.

Taste as you go to adjust seasonings if needed, then mix again until all ingredients are fully incorporated into a thick sauce-like consistency. Enjoy!

Conclusion on substitute for Romesco sauce

Romesco sauce may be a favorite sauce amongst many, but it’s good to know that there are ten substitutes that you can use in its place. 

Use the ratio guide provided in this blog post to ensure that your substitute measures up to the taste of the original sauce. 

Whether you’re grilling meats, seafood, or vegetables, you can find the perfect alternative to the Romesco sauce.

 Enjoy experimenting with these substitutes and find which one best suits your taste buds. Happy Cooking!

FAQs on substitute for romesco sauce

Q1. What is similar to romesco sauce?

Romesco sauce is similar to other types of sauces like pesto, chimichurri, and salsa verde. These sauces are all typically made with a combination of fresh herbs, garlic, nuts or seeds, olive oil or vinegar, and spices.

The main dissimilarity between them lies in the individual flavors brought out by the ingredients used in each recipe.

Q2. Can you make romesco sauce without nuts?

Yes, you can make romesco sauce without nuts! This traditional Spanish sauce is usually made with a mix of roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, paprika and almonds.

Don’t want to include them in your recipe if there is a nut allergy; simply leave them out and combine other ingredients.

For example, you could substitute the almonds for toasted breadcrumbs or an alternative nut-free one like pumpkin seeds. You could also add herbs and spices like cumin, oregano and smoked paprika to add more flavor.

To create an even creamier consistency, you could combine the ingredients with tomato paste or even cream cheese.

Additionally, depending on how thick or thin of a texture you prefer, you can either purée it until smooth or keep it more chunky by blending for only a few seconds.

Ultimately though, the best way to make romesco without nuts is to experiment and find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds!

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