What exactly is Chimichurri? Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinean condiment, similar to pesto, a sauce that is popular throughout South America. The flavor variations are endless and all the possible uses are as well. Learn how to make this basic version of Chimichurri Sauce plus all the ways you can use it.
Sauces are my love language. How can you not love a fresh, savory, fragrant homemade sauce? Chimichurri is one of those sauces that I constantly have in rotation during the warmer months. Chimichurri can take a steak, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, an arepa sandwich to the next level! I kid you not, this sauce is almost drinkable in my opinion. The fresh herbs also have your kitchen smelling like an outdoor restaurant. This is truly a recipe that once you make, you will always come back to.
So I know in a lot of our recipes we say if you don’t have fresh herbs you can substitute dried herbs….well in this recipe you need to use fresh herbs. It’s what makes chimichurri, chimichurri. Plus it’s also a fun word to say.
Chimichurri is made a variety of ways, cilantro isn’t always included but we find it’s a really nice addition. If you are one of the folks who doesn’t love cilantro, no worries, leave it out and add additional parsley.
This is a simple recipe and can be made the day before and will stay fresh in an airtight container up to 5 days. I usually like to make this the morning that I plan to use it because it gives all the herbs, shallots, onions, salt and red pepper time to marry together. It is also great right away or the next day so don’t worry too much about timing with this sauce, it is very forgiving.
Grilling season is upon us and this chimichurri will be a great addition to any protein, especially grilled or smoked proteins. Usually when the weather changes, we go all out with the grilled chicken. And then suddenly it’s like…. “please anything but chicken!” The best way to combat food fatigue or boredom is by using a delicious, fresh sauce. There are many variations of chimichurri and this is ours. I have a feeling as you continue to make this simple sauce, you will come up with your own variations.
Take 1.5 cups of fresh parsley. You want to chop it nice and fine, and don’t worry about getting some of the stems in there. They can add a nice bite as well. Next you want to chop ½ cup of fresh cilantro. Again I don’t mind chopping a little bit of the stems in with my sauce. If you don’t like cilantro you can swap it for basil. The last fresh herb that we use is oregano. There is truly nothing like the smell of fresh oregano. It reminds me of summer in Europe, which surprisingly enough is where I started to find my love of simple yet flavorful sauces. Now on to the rest of the ingredients. We use ¼ cup of finely chopped red onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 2-3 tablespoons of chopped shallots. We zest half of a lemon and add that to the bowl and then juice the whole lemon. Then we add in 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (this is optional), ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, and finally ¾ cup of a good quality olive oil.
If you want to save some time, give everything a rough chop and then through it in the food processor for a few pulses. I actually enjoy chopping it because I like the different textures and sizes when hand chopping and dicing herbs. Not going to lie, we had some fresh sourdough that was nice and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside when I was testing for measurements and this also makes for a fantastic dipping sauce!
Well there ya have it! A very, herby, zesty, delicious sauce that you should add to your lineup. It is real ingredients. Very affordable to make, and I haven’t served this to anyone who hasn’t been shocked to find out how simple it was to make. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do and don’t forget to share your photos and let us know what you think!
How to Use Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri in Argentina is used both a sauce and as a marinade for grilled steak, and while chimichurri is especially delicious on anything grilled it can also be used with chicken, lamb, fish, veggies, on roasted potatoes or pasta or grains.
Check Out Some of These Other Recipes for Sauces and Condiments to Flavor Boost Your Meals:
- 1.5 cups fresh chopped parsley
- ½ c fresh chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh chopped oregano
- ½ lemon zested
- 1 lemon juiced
- ¼ c red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons minced shallots
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- *optional but highly recommended -1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- If using a food processor, rough chop the parsley, cilantro, and oregano then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse about 10 -12 times or until the consistency that you prefer.
- Cut most of the stems off the parsley. Finely chop the parsley. Place in a medium size bowl.
- Cut most of the stems off the cilantro. Finely chop the cilantro. Add to the bowl.
- Pull the oregano leaves off the stems. Finely chop the oregano. Add to the bowl.
- Finely dice the red onion. Add to the bowl.
- Mince the garlic cloves and shallot. Add to the bowl.
- Zest half of the lemon and add to the bowl. Slice the lemon in half and juice both sides into the bowl.
- Add salt and red pepper if using that.
- Add in red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Mix and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
- Drizzle on top of steak, chicken, seafood, salad, or even dip some bread in it and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.