Chimichurri is a fresh and flavorful sauce packed with herbs and spices! Perfect served over your choice of grilled meats and vegetables!
If you’re looking for a way to spice up any dish, then look no further than this fresh chimichurri sauce! It’s packed with flavor thanks to fresh herbs and spices and the possibilities for serving it are endless. Spoon it over grilled meats, shrimp and seafood, or even your favorite roasted vegetables!
What is chimichurri sauce?
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce or marinade that’s made with fresh herbs, onion, garlic, spices, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. It’s typically served with grilled meat, but can be used in a variety of other ways.
What’s the difference between chimichurri and pesto?
Chimichurri and pesto are both uncooked herb sauces that contain olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, but the similarities end there. Chimichurri is an Argentinian made with parsley and vinegar. Pesto is an Italian sauce made with basil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.
- Herbs: Parsley and Cilantro – chimichurri is traditionally made with just parsley and sometimes with oregano, but I like the addition of cilantro, because I prefer the taste of cilantro. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, simply replace with additional parsley.
- Green Onion – adds a mild onion flavor. Shallots may also be used at a 1:1 ratio, because it also has a mild flavor.
- Garlic – fresh garlic or jarred minced garlic may be used. I use pre-minced garlic, because that’s what I always have on hand. You’ll need 1 tablespoon minced garlic or about 4 large cloves.
- Spices: Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Black Pepper – red pepper flakes add spice, salt enhances the flavors of the herbs, and black pepper adds a touch of heat. Season with all, to taste. If you want a more mild sauce omit or lessen the red pepper flakes. If you enjoy spicy food, try adding in additional red pepper flakes.
- Olive Oil – or any oil (other than coconut oil) you have on hand should be fine. The oil is what thins out the other ingredients to create a spoonable sauce. Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil are the most common. Olive oil will have a more mild flavor than extra virgin olive oil. Avocado oil would be a good substitute.
- Red Wine Vinegar and Lemon Juice – both work together to brighten up the sauce with a tangy, acidic flavor. I like the combination of both, but feel free to use one or the other. Red wine vinegar has a stronger flavor, so keep that in mind, so if just vinegar is being used, start with less and add more to taste.
How to make
Traditionally, chimichurri is made by chopping the herbs with a knife, then using a spoon to stir the remaining ingredients together. If that is the preferred method of choice, that’s fine! Today, we’re using a food processor to keep things quick and easy.
- Place parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until combined.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
How to serve
Chimichurri is incredibly versatile and can be served with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables! Most commonly, chimichurri is served with grilled steak. Spoon this sauce over any of the following dishes to brighten them up!
- Steak Sandwich
- Easy Roasted Vegetables
- Baked Salmon
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Carne Asada or Slow Cooker Carne Asada
- Roasted Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Use immediately or make ahead for later. This sauce can be used immediately or if you’re making it in advance, be sure to let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- Make a double batch. Use half as a marinade for your protein, then reserve the other half for serving.
- Make it thinner or thicker, chunkier or smoother. Throw everything together in the food processor at the same time for a thinner, chunkier sauce. Pulse the herbs, onion, and garlic first, then drizzle in the olive oil for a thicker, smoother sauce.
How to store
Leftovers will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge, if frozen, then allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup packed parsley
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro
- 1 bunch green onions scant 1/2 cup sliced (white and light green part only)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Place parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a food processor* and pulse until combined.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, then serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.