A Taste Of Spain…Romesco Sauce Served With Pechuga De Pollo

I’m giving you a taste of Spain today, more precisely a specialty from the Catalonia region of Spain. Romesco is a famous sauce made with almonds, olive oil, bread and peppers. Traditionally made from dried nyora chilies, you will find as many ways of preparing this sauce as there are Catalonian cooks. Some add tomatoes to the recipe as well.

In the region, it is traditionally served with fish, poultry and meats, used as a dip for grilled onions and potatoes or slathered on toasted rustic bread. Think of using it much like you would pesto or salsa. The flavor gets better the longer it is sits and it freezes very well if you can resist eating it all in one day.

Pechuga De Pollo Served With Romesco Sauce On Toasted Rustic Bread

Since nyora chilies are not available where I live, I used roasted red bell peppers which should be available to most cooks. If you don’t have time to roast your own peppers, use jarred roasted peppers (packed in oil is the best).

Romesco Sauce

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted lightly
  • 1 c. homemade bread crumbs
  • 1 c. roughly chopped roasted and peeled red peppers or 1 jar (14 oz.) fire roasted peppers
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp. pepper

In a small pan, simmer the 2 cloves of garlic in the olive oil until soft. Remove the garlic and set aside. Let the infused olive oil come to room temperature as it will be used later. Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Add the reserved garlic and all the other ingredients except the oil to the food processor and pulse until a smooth consistency. Slowly drizzle in the oil while the processor is running. You should end up with a mayonnaise like consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the romesco sauce is too thick, drizzle in a little more oil while processing.

I used my romesco sauce to go with simple and quick to prepare chicken breasts topped with an herb sauce.

Pechuga De Pollo (Chicken Breast) With Herb Sauce

  • One chicken breast per person, butterflied and then pounded to even out the thickness, rubbed with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. each of minced fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley (or your favorite herbs)
  • zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste (red chili flakes may be added)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Warm the olive oil in a small pan, add the garlic and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat, add the herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Once the oil is infused with the garlic and herbs, then add the lemon juice and stir.

Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the oiled and seasoned chicken breast smooth side down in the skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until brown. (If you have a cooking weight, it will help with even browning). Turn the chicken breast and cook until done. Plate the chicken and drizzle with the herb sauce. Serve with the extra sauce at the table.

A fresh herb sauce brings out the wonderful flavors of a simply cooked piece of chicken,  fish or meat. Serving the romesco sauce on the side is not only a great condiment to the simple meal but adds a wonderful bright color to the dish as well. Once you try preparing romesco sauce, I think it will be a staple in your kitchen. My husband and I could have this sitting on our table most days…it is that good.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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135 Responses to A Taste Of Spain…Romesco Sauce Served With Pechuga De Pollo

  1. Kristy says:

    This looks delicious and hearty! It does sound a lot like a pesto, but I like the use of almonds. I would love this on some fish for sure!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, Thank you for your nice compliment. The nice thing about romesco is that it is much lighter than pesto. You could eat it by the spoonful if you were so inclined.

  2. The sauce and chicken sound delicious.

  3. Tandy says:

    This sounds divine and something I could gobble up right now 🙂

  4. What a brilliant sauce Karen, packed full of robust wonderful flavours.
    🙂 Mandy

  5. Gorgeous – we love this sauce! The peppers are sold here dried, then soaked in water to rehydrate them for sauces. Happy to send you a pack if you want some, just let me know!

  6. What a beautiful dish. I can’t wait to try it with my friends.

  7. niasunset says:

    seems delicious, sounds delicious… Thank you dear Karen, with my love, nia

  8. viveka says:

    Karen, like the reading of your sauce too – and I eat a lot of chicken, when I don’t eat baked beans. *smile Have so much on file now from you .. I have to start cooking. *smile

  9. Romesco has to be one of my favorite sauces and this is a lovely version. Perfect on the simple, but flavorful chicken.

  10. This sounds incredible Karen … this may very well be the next thing I make. I eat a lot of chicken and this recipe is just what I like! Thanks!

  11. Im salivating at the mere thought of this recipe Karen; lovely recipe and a nice addition to your blog!

  12. Cajunlicious says:

    Wow, that sauce sounds amazing!

  13. Mary Ann says:

    This is a great recipe! It may just appear alongside some chicken tonight for dinner!

  14. Sounds amazing. I just bought white fish yesterday to see what I can do with it … this is a must-try.

  15. lulu says:

    Hmmm, wonder if this is a sample of what we will be tasting on our upcoming trip to Spain and Portugal. As with all your preparations, it looks tasty. BTW, the portobello mushroom recipe is on the menu this week as Italian sausage and spinach are high on hubby’s favorite things.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, I’m sure you will probably come across similar food during your travels. I hope you and your husband will enjoy the portobello mushrooms. Thanks for your nice comment.

  16. Sissi says:

    I love the way you travel around the world in your kitchen. I never know which country I will see here represented on a plate 😉 This Spanish sauce sounds extraordinary and makes me think I have hardly ever cooked Spanish (maybe two dishes…).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, I do travel around the world with my cooking, don’t I. I love the cuisines from so many different countries but am not able to find many restaurants that serve them here in New England. The only answer is to cook the dishes myself. This sauce is really good!

  17. ChgoJohn says:

    This sounds wonderful, Karen, and looks so enticing! Every time I see a Romesco sauce prepared, I think to myself that I really have to try it — and then promptly forget all about it until the next time I see one prepared. Not this time, however! No, I’ve bookmarked your recipe and I will make it. Promise! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you John, for your nice compliment. This is one recipe that I know you will enjoy. My husband topped his meatloaf sandwich with some romesco sauce yesterday and said it was great. It is very versatile.

  18. A_Boleyn says:

    I love the language lesson that sometimes comes with new recipes (pechugo = breast) as well as the vibrant redness of the romesco sauce. The idea of a sauce based on bread crumbs at first seems off-putting but then I’m reminded that they’re also a thickener in the Jamaican beef patties that I love. Two sauces seem luxuriously decadent but I imagine there’s enough contrast between the two so as not to make them redundant.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Boleyn, The breadcrumbs are homemade not the dried kind that come in a package. They help thicken and give the romesco sauce its creaminess. The two sauces are very different. The romesco is thick like mayonnaise with a sweetness from the roasted peppers. The herb sauce is a liquid to be drizzled over a dish. It has a lovely fresh taste that brings out the flavor of the dish it is put on.

      • A_Boleyn says:

        You explained the difference between the two sauces much more clearly than my own pitiful attempt. 🙂 Would it be possible to use fresh bread (crust trimmed off) that had been soaked in milk or water to make the sauce rather than drying it first?

      • Karen says:

        Boleyn, You don’t have to dry the bread or soak it as a matter of fact. Just put slices of your fresh bread (crust and all if it isn’t hard) in your processor and pulse until you have bread crumbs. This is how I do it all the time. I sometimes use a whole loaf of fresh bread and make crumbs and store them in plastic bags in the freezer. If a recipe specifically calls for dried or toasted crumbs, I will put some of the frozen crumbs in a skillet and lightly toast. It is a real timesaver and you save money. I’m always happy to answer your questions or be more specific on a recipe…I hope this helps.

      • A_Boleyn says:

        Thank you for the clarification.

  19. I adore Spanish food and this is RIGHT up my street!

  20. Barbara says:

    What a marvelous recipe for Romesco Sauce, Karen. And dipping some lovely rustic bread in it sounds divine.
    (also cannot wait to make your mushrooms!)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Barbara, for your nice compliment. I loved it on the bread…it is hard to stop eating it. I hope you will enjoy the stuffed mushrooms.

  21. Nicole says:

    Hi Karen,
    All my trips to Barcelona and the coast and I’ve never had this sauce! Glad to be able to make it so simply in my own kitchen. Sometimes it’s the Spanish food that I miss the most, so rich with garlic and olive oil and that Spanish flair that’s just inimitable! Looks lovely.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole, I’m happy that I brought back memories of your trips to Spain. I think you will enjoy the recipe…it is very flavorful. Thanks for your nice comment and enjoy!

  22. twbarritt says:

    That beautiful red color makes such a bright splash on the plate!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you TW, I love when something adds such a vibrant color to a plate, especially when it contributes so much flavor. Thanks for your comment.

  23. Bonnie says:

    This is one of our favorite sauces! Your recipe looks delicious and has inspired me to defrost some chicken breasts and give them an appearance on our dinner table very soon.


  24. Another food treat Karen, I haven’t tasted Romesco Sauce before, but now I know about it that will soon be remidied!

  25. cookinghaven says:

    I love romesco sauce and it has been so long since I have made it. Thanks for reminding about all these great Spanish flavors.

  26. Purely.. Kay says:

    My mouth is drooling.. I will not lie. I mean I am just in love with this dish, especially since the pollo looks so moist and delicious. Karen, you know how to make a girl hungry lol

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kay, The chicken was very moist because it is cooked so quickly and then the herb sauce adds to the juiciness. Sorry to have made you hungry but I’m sure you will have something delicious for dinner. Enjoy.

  27. CaroleBristol says:

    Nice! This reminds me that I should make Romesco sauce more often.

  28. Larry says:

    Ah yes, the Catalonia region of Spain, I go there often :-). Obviously I’ve never been and appreciate you taking me there via your blog – this dish sounds incredibly good.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, I love your sense of humor! I thought maybe you did travel to Catalonia. I love to eat food from countries all over the world. This is a dish that anyone would love whether you have been to Spain or not. My husband has been raving about the romesco every since I made it. Use it as a dip, spread on a sandwich like mayonnaise or like salsa. I hope you will try it…I think you will like it as much as my husband does.

      • Larry says:

        I’m glad you like my humor, sometimes it gets too dry. My SIL just got back Sun from a tour of Spain and was in Barcelona. She said she didn’t rememder anything with this sauce, but there were many fields of artichokes. I’ve bookmarked this to try.

      • Karen says:

        Larry, you are a piece of cake next to what my father’s sense of humor was. Fields of artichokes…yum. I do hope you try the sauce. If you are anything like my husband, you will have to be restrained from eating it by the spoonful.

  29. We really reap the benefits of your travels!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, I always appreciate your nice comment. This is a great sauce and condiment that I really think you and Katherine would like.

  30. That sauce looks and sounds amazing!

  31. cabinet stew says:

    I have always wanted to try this and now I can make it !! thanks for posting

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Carol, for your comment. This is probably one of the best sauces/condiments that I have ever made. It is so easy to make…will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week and freezes well. I think this is a perfect cabinetstew item to keep on hand.

  32. Michelle says:

    Looks wonderful!

  33. Looks absolutely terrific. So yummy!

  34. Eva Taylor says:

    I’ve always wondered what a romesco sauce was, thank you for the nice clear explanation Karen.

  35. Karen, this is such a beautiful, rich and lush looking sauce. I love that it is Spanish as well. You’ve got me thinking that I need to make more of this sort of thing to take my everyday dinners to a new level. This is really lovely!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Smidge, It really is easy to take one of your everyday dishes and add something like a new sauce to take it up a notch. This romesco sauce really did that.

  36. I wasn’t familiar with even the word Romesco…nor the sauce. Lovely! The herbs must be so aromatic in this dish…I can almost smell it. Wonderful combinations, Karen! Debra

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, Thank you for your comment. The herb sauce as well as the romesco sauce are delicious additions for a simple piece of chicken or fish.

  37. The roasted red bell peppers substitution sounds like a great and helpful idea!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chunklet, Sometimes ingredients are hard to find and the roasted red bell peppers work really well in this sauce and are available to most readers.

  38. Joanne says:

    Romesco is one of my absolute favorite sauces! The sweet nuttiness is just so delicious.

  39. Katerina says:

    I love using nuts in my meals. This sauce looks really delicious and the flavors are very familiar to me! Very appropriate for this season!

  40. Razel Rull-Navarro says:

    Sounds sooooo good! Definitely trying these. Thanks for sharing the recipes.:)

  41. spree says:

    A gorgeous looking dish, I’d love to try, Karen! Thank you! I’m pinning this one!

  42. I would want to make bread just to dip it in your yummy sauce. I would double the recipe and freeze some of that sauce for later.

  43. Mad Dog says:

    Fantastic – I’m counting the days until return to Spain – it’s not long…
    My favourite cheap cafe/restaurant is called Romesco 😉

  44. Susan says:

    Romesco sauce sounds wonderful and the chicken, light and flavorful for spring.

  45. Cucina49 says:

    This dinner looks absolutely perfect. I have tasted romesco a number of times, but never actually made it. I’m going to borrow this recipe!

  46. this is such a marvelous sauce, beautiful in color, and delicious on so many things.
    I also made it with a combination of almonds and hazelnuts, which is nice too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy, Thank you for your nice comment. This is truly a great sauce that I hope everyone will try. I know that many recipes use a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts and I’m sure the flavor is great.

  47. I keep seeing recipes for romesco sauce and still haven’t made it. Your herbed chicken breast served with this sauce is REALLY making me want to make some now!

  48. This is one of my favorite sauces and your recipe is perfect. Can’t wait to try it out. I have only eaten in restaurants and until now never thought of making it at home. Thanks for your visual encouragement.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Teresa, I know you will enjoy making your own romesca sauce. It is so easy and you know how great it tastes. Thank you for your nice comment.

  49. Romesco sauce is one of the things I am always meaning to try but haven’t tried yet.

  50. Gorgeous Karen , I love Romesco sauce it is really delicious. I like this

  51. Some day, I hope to find nyora peppers to use for Romesco. I love how versatile the sauce is. It looks delicious with the chicken!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa, Thank you for your visit and nice compliment. I’m hoping to find nyora peppers on the internet. I think the roasted red bell peppers were great in the sauce.

  52. I’m really hoping to travel to Spain within the next year – I’ve been told the food is amazing. Can’t wait to try this romesco sauce!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pumpkin, I know you will have a wonderful time visiting Spain. I haven’t been in a long time but want to go sometime soon as well. I think you will enjoy the romesco sauce.

  53. Oh, what a wonderful dish! Yum, yum, yum! 😀 I make/can a similar sauce with red peppers and eggplant, without almond though. It is a traditional Bosnian sauce – ajvar: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/vegetables/r/ajvar.htm

  54. This sounds delicious! And the results look fantastic. And it seems really easy to make too!

    • Karen says:

      Ducky, This was one of the easiest meals I have put together and oh so good. Thank you for your compliment. I hope you will give it a try.

  55. cjdelgrosso says:

    Great shots Karen! That Romesco sounds delicious! I am going to have to add that to my list of sauces!

  56. it looks amazing. the perfect chicken dish!

  57. Charles says:

    Hrmmm, another sauce I’ve never heard of – would you say the taste of nyora chillies is authentically copied by the bell peppers? It sounds absolutely delicious, and you’ve inspired me to try it, though I am eager to try and go for the “authentic experience” – I wonder if I can get these chillies online. It looks like a delicious meal Karen – I’d say I’m jealous but I’m kind of stuffed full of pizza right now 😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, We are both giving each other new ideas and ingredients. I wish I could tell you if the bell peppers would be similar in taste to nyora peppers. If I had to guess, I would think that they would be different in this recipe because you use dried nyora that are reconstituted. I used the roasted peppers after finding them in so many of the recipes and they are readily available in so many parts of the world. All I can say is that the sauce made with the roasted bell peppers is absolutely delicious.

  58. Pat says:

    I love romesco sauce, Karen, and also the ajvar sauce that Sibella mentioned in her comment above. They are both very delicious and versatile condiments that make everything taste better, plus they are healthy.

    Thank you so much for you kind comment on my blog post. I do love both my city and history –they go well together.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pat, Thank you for stopping by and your nice comment. The romesco sauce is delicious and now I have to try Sibella’s as well.

  59. This Romesco Sauce falls under my aisle. I would rather have some spice on my meal. A healthy one too.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. This does add wonderful flavor to a meal and indeed is a healthy recipe.

  60. Karen,
    I’d like to make your Romesco sauce for a tapas dinner party that I’m hosting on the weekend. Do you think it would affect the outcome if I used store-bought bread crumbs?

    • Karen says:

      Hi BJ, Store bought breadcrumbs will definitely effect the amount you use because they are dry and fine. If you go with store bought, start out with a little less…you can always add more. I think you would be happier with fresh breadcrumbs. You can make homemade breadcrumbs in a matter of minutes. I make mine from sourdough bread as well as plain white sandwich bread that includes the crusts. I just put the bread in the processor and pulse until I have rough crumbs. I’ll be interested in what you end up using and how you like the Romesco sauce. I’m sure you will have a great party…I can’t wait to hear all about it.

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    • Karen says:

      Thank you for trying my recipes and letting me know that you enjoyed them both. It is always nice when someone gets back to you saying that they made one of your recipes.

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