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Bravas Sauce Recipe
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4.84 from 6 votes

Bravas Sauce Recipe (Salsa Brava)

This bravas sauce recipe, or salsa brava, is a Spanish spicy tomato sauce made with hot paprika, perfect for topping the popular tapas dish, patatas bravas. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, sauce
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: sauce, spicy, tomato sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 35kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red chili pepper chopped (mild or hot - see recipe notes)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or more to taste - cayenne pepper is a good substitute
  • 14 ounce diced tomatoes 1 can, or use fresh
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar use white wine, sherry, or red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey optional, for sweetness


  • Heat the oil in a pot or saucepan to medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Add the smoked paprika, hot paprika (or cayenne), diced tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar if using. Stir.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  • Transfer the bravas sauce to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Serve!


Makes about 1.5 cups bravas sauce.
For the Chili Peppers: For a milder bravas sauce, use a bell pepper or Spanish piquillo pepper. For a bit of heat, Fresno peppers are a great option, or even a red jalapeno pepper. For a hotter version, use cayenne peppers or even hotter. Yes, you can make this with superhots, my crazy chilihead friends.


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 551IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg