French Rouille Sauce

French Rouille Sauce Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
207 Calories
21g Fat
3g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 42mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

French rouille sauce is a thick, bread-enriched sauce that gets much of its flavor and color from saffron. This beautiful, spicy garlic sauce goes well with cold steamed shrimp, and any fried fish or seafood, or as a sauce with firm grilled fish such as swordfish, sturgeon, or Pacific white sea bass. Perhaps the most notable pairing for rouille is with bouillabaisse, a famous French seafood soup; spoon a bit onto a piece of toasted bread and place it on top of the stew. You can enjoy the sauce at room temperature or cold.

This simple recipe calls for vinegar, saffron, white bread, garlic, egg yolks, chili powder, and olive oil. A few seconds in the microwave and a quick blend in the food processor will have you making authentic, delicious rouille in just minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • Pinch of saffron

  • 2 to 3 slices white bread, crusts removed

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    French rouille sauce recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Heat the water, vinegar, and saffron in the microwave for 30 seconds. Mix well until you have a very yellow liquid.

    Heat the water, vinegar, and saffron
    The Spruce 
  3. Cut the white bread into chunks, place in a large bowl, and pour the saffron mixture over. Mix well.

    Bread with saffron mixture poured over
     The Spruce
  4. Put the bread mixture in a food processor and add the garlic, egg yolks, and chili powder. Blend for about 30 seconds; scrape down the sides.

    The bread mixture in a food processor
     The Spruce
  5. While slowly drizzling in the olive oil, blend on low power just until mixed. Season with salt.

    Drizzling in the olive oil, blend on low power
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  6. Spoon the sauce, which should be like thick mayonnaise, into a bowl and serve immediately. You can also refrigerate until chilled if you prefer it cold. 

    Spoon the sauce into a bowl
    The Spruce 
  7. Serve alongside fish and enjoy.

    French rouille sauce recipe
     The Spruce

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.


  • The sauce can be made a few days before; it will hold up fairly well for three to four days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • If the rouille is stiff before serving, you can thin it by adding a few drops of boiling water and stirring it into the mixture.

Ways to Serve Rouille

  • Spread on toasted slices of baguette and serve alongside a big bowl of steamed mussels.
  • Serve with whole fish; spoon a bit on the side and enjoy a little sauce with each forkful.
  • Turn a simple fried fish into something special by placing a small bowl of rouille alongside for dipping.
  • Swap out the cocktail sauce for some rouille next time you serve shrimp cocktail.
  • Dress up some salmon patties with a spoonful of rouille.
  • Use the sauce to dress a fresh crab salad.