Chimichurri sauce is a great sauce for grilled steak or chicken. It's quick and easy to put together. And it's gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo.
Chimichurri sauce is a great sauce for grilled meat or chicken. It's quick and easy to put together. And it's one of my favorite ways to use fresh summer herbs. I made this batch with Italian flat leaf parsley, but it would be wonderful with some cilantro mixed in as well.
With olive oil, garlic, lemon and herbs, this sauce is bright and fresh — perfect for summer grilling. You can just throw everything in the food processor. A couple of quick pulses is all it takes to chop and blend the ingredients. As with any recipe using fresh ingredients, it's important to taste as you go. Once you pulse the ingredients, taste and add more garlic, lemon or salt if needed.
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What Is Chimichurri Sauce?
It's hard to believe something as simple as combining a few fresh herbs, garlic, oil and an acidic component could render such a versatile condiment that can be used in a myriad of ways. However, chimichurri, an easy-to-make sauce that originated in Argentina, has become a favorite with professional chefs as well as casual foodies for its intense herbal flavors that pair well with meats, seafood and vegetables.
Traditionally used as a marinade for red meat, chimichurri sauce has also become a popular condiment that can be used as a dip, dressing, or a drizzling sauce for whatever you're wanting to up-level with a dash of flavor.
What Does Chimichurri Taste Like?
Chimichurri sauce has a dominant bright and grassy note due to the fresh herbs of parsley and oregano. Garlic adds a punch of spiciness and lemon juice and red wine vinegar add an acidic tang.
Chipotle chili flakes or red pepper flakes add a little heat while the olive oil absorbs and is infused with all the flavors, making it a deliciously vibrant sauce.
- Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley - You'll need 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed. Be sure and remove the leaves from the stems as much as you can. The stems tend to be bitter, so separate the leaves from the thick part of the stems as much as you can.
- Olive oil - Extra virgin will give the best flavor.
- Lemon juice - Adds brightness and acidity.
- Red wine vinegar - Adds acidity and a punch of flavor.
- Garlic - You'll need 3 cloves for added flavor and spice.
- Dried oregano - I used dried, but you can certainly use fresh oregano.
- Chipotle chili flakes - Adds a hint of spicy warmth.
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper - Seasonings to amplify all the flavors.
How To Make Chimichurri
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until parsley and garlic are finely chopped. Be sure to not over process - you don't want the chimichurri to turn liquid. You want it somewhat chunky.
- Taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed.
What if I don't have a food processor or blender?
No worries! In fact, the traditional way to make chimichurri is to finely chop all the ingredients by hand.
Just gather the fresh parsley and garlic and chop them finely. Add all the recipe ingredients to a medium bowl and stir until well combined.
Variations To The Recipe
The classic recipe calls for fresh parsley, which, in my opinion, should always be included.
- Cilantro: That said, a common variation includes substituting half of the fresh parsley with fresh cilantro and omitting the oregano.
- Mint: Another variation is to substitute half of the fresh parsley with fresh mint and omit the oregano.
How To Serve Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is an amazingly versatile condiment that can be used in countless ways. There's almost no wrong way to use it to add a savory punch to meats and vegetables.
Here are a few suggestions on how to use and serve this homemade chimichurri sauce.
- Marinate any meat in it before cooking.
- Use it as a sauce to serve drizzled over meatloaf, ribs or burgers.
- Serve it over any fish.
- Serve it over grilled chicken.
- Drizzle it on as a sauce for tacos.
- Use it as a savory topping for sweet potatoes.
- Stir it into cauliflower rice or mashed potatoes.
- Use it in place of pesto with your zucchini pasta meal.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for smoked shrimp.
- Pair it with chicken wings.
- Use it as a sauce over practically any roasted or air fried vegetable.
- Use it as a salad dressing.
- Serve a dollop on top of scrambled or hard boiled eggs.
How To Store Leftover Chimichurri Sauce
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight jar or container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Chimichurri sauce is best served at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge before you intend to use it and let it come to room temp on your countertop.
Can I Freeze Leftover Chimichurri Sauce?
Yes, leftovers may be frozen and will keep for up to two months.
I suggest freezing leftovers in small increments, such as in mini freezer bags or even covered ice cube trays. That way, you can remove just the portion you need to thaw. Thaw in the fridge overnight or let come to room temperature on your countertop and use immediately.
More easy sauce recipes
- Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto
- Peach Barbecue Sauce
- Crock Pot Turkey Bolognese Sauce
- Easy Paleo Gravy
- Asparagus with Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until parsley and garlic are finely chopped.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.