Spicy Romesco Dipping Sauce

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Dipping Sauces
Photo: David Malosh
Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
1 cup

A tomato-based sauce that originated in the Catalonia region of Spain, Romesco has a rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor thanks to the addition of bell peppers and almonds. The sweetness is balanced out with a dash of vinegar, cayenne pepper, and garlic. It goes particularly well with dishes like roasted vegetables, and these grilled chicken tenders.


  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled

  • cup sliced or slivered almonds

  • ¼ cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (from 1 small can)

  • 1 tablespoon white or dark balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Roast bell pepper directly over a gas flame, or on a rimmed baking sheet directly under the broiler, turning several times, until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or resealable plastic bag; cover or seal and let stand 10 minutes. Remove stem and seeds, then peel and discard blackened skin (a paper towel makes quick work of this). Tear pepper into pieces.

  2. Pulse garlic and almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add roasted pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Purée until smooth. With motor running, slowly add oil through feed tube until combined, a few seconds. Serve, or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Cook's Notes

To skip the step of roasting and peeling a fresh bell pepper, use one store-bought roasted red or two store-bought roasted piquillo peppers instead.

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