Dreena Burton’s Romesc-oat Recipe

Dreena Burton’s Romesc-oat Recipe
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Dreena Burton’s Romesc-oat Sauce is a fantastically simple and delicious pasta sauce – or you can make it thick like a dip.

The recipe is from her newest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!, which is full of healthy vegan recipes for the whole family.

Seeing as she has three little girls at home, she’s the master of healthy cookies, veggie burgers, soups, salads, sauces and dips, and yummy (but also pretty darn healthy) desserts.

Dreena Burton’s Romes-oat Recipe

Prep time:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Those just happen to be some of my favorite things! Her style of cooking is very similar to mine – mostly whole foods, with lots of flavors – and easy to put together.

Dreena was lovely enough to allow me to share this recipe with you today!

I love the base of toasted rolled oats for this creamy sauce, it’s so easy and so much tastier than a flour-based roux sauce or the white bread Dreena says is traditionally used for romesco sauce.

Plus, it makes good use of the smoked paprika that I’d been eyeing for a long time now and finally bought because of all the amazing recipes Dreena has in the book that use it.

While you can use regular paprika in this recipe, I highly recommend splurging on the smoked kind – it is sooo wonderful.

Dreena Burton’s Romesc-oat Sauce

This recipe is wheat-free, (optionally) gluten-free, soy-free.

“This is my version of the classic romesco sauce that originates from Spain, which can be thick enough to be called a dip or spread. There are plenty of variations on the recipe, though most include white bread to add structure. My adaptation uses healthier rolled oats that are lightly toasted until golden to give an earthier flavor to this sauce, along with just a hint of smoked paprika. It is versatile and delicious kept thick, or thinned as a sauce.”


  • 1/2 cup toasted oats (use certified gf for gluten-free version, see note)
  • 1 1/4 cups roasted red pepper (about 1 1/2 medium/large red peppers, see note)
  • 1 medium-large clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (see note about peppers)
  • 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional, can omit for an oil-free version)
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2-4 tbsp water, or more to thin as desired (see note)


  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients, starting with about 2 tablespoons of the water, and puree until smooth, adding more water to thin as desired.
  2. Season to taste with additional salt and/or pepper (if using the sauce straight as a dip or spread or to top vegetables, and so forth, you probably won’t need extra seasoning, but if tossing into pasta, you may want to add extra salt to the sauce or add it when mixing with the pasta).

If This Apron Could Talk: When thinning, add the water about a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency. Keep in mind that when using for pasta, you can thin later by adding some pasta cooking water, rather than dilute the sauce when first pureeing it. If you chill the sauce, it will thicken more as it refrigerates, as the oats continue to absorb any moisture.

Ingredients 411: Place the oats on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden, tossing once or twice. Watch closely, as the oats can burn quickly. You can use roasted red peppers from a jar, or roast them yourself; see “Plant-Powered Pantry,” page xxxviii. If using jarred peppers, check the ingredients for vinegar. If they are marinated in vinegar, you may want to omit the vinegar altogether, or reduce, adjusting to taste.

Serving Suggestions: Kept thick, this sauce can be used as a spread or dip. It is like a roasted red pepper dip but with more texture and a deeper flavor profile. Try it as a base for your next pizza! It can also be thinned slightly to use as a sauce to kick up unseasoned tofu or beans, and of course, to toss with pasta.

From the book Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

Alright guys, I hope you enjoy Dreena’s Romesc-oat Sauce! I had mine tossed with spaghetti squash and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, topped off with some fresh chopped chives. So delicious.

Be sure to check out some more of her recipes on her site or in one of her many amazing cookbooks!


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