If you need a quick and easy sauce to serve with meats like beef and chicken, Chimichurri Sauce is a great choice. This simple Argentinian sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make, and has a fresh, bold flavor. No cooking required!
If you’re a fan of bold flavors, Chimichurri Sauce is one of the best foods out there.
I fell in love with it in my early 20s after trying it at a restaurant, and it has been a favorite of mine to make on steak night. Fresh ingredients really sing when you combine them in the right ways.
What is Chimichurri?
Chimichurri Sauce is an Argentinian uncooked sauce and table condiment that is most often served at room temperature with grilled meats.
It is an olive oil-rich sauce with bright flavors like red wine vinegar, fresh cloves of garlic, pepper flakes, and fresh parsley. It tastes very bold, with vibrant flavor notes.
Because it’s so simple, making the best chimichurri recipe is more about making sure you don’t overchop the ingredients or botch the prep. Here are my top tips for doing this sauce from South America right.
Tips for the Best Results
Use the freshest ingredients – As ingredients get old, they tend to lose their flavor. So for the most vibrant sauce, try to get the freshest ingredients you can. When you buy the ingredients at the store, try to prepare the Chimichurri Sauce the very same day.
Don’t substitute dried herbs – What really makes chimichurri shine is the fresh herbs. I so rarely see fresh oregano leaves used in cooking outside of Greek dishes, and it really makes the flavor of the chimichurri unique. Make sure not to substitute dried oregano!
Use a food processor for speed and consistency – People often act like using a food processor instead of chopping by hand makes things worse or less authentic, and I couldn’t disagree more. So long as you’re using the food processor responsibly and not over-processing the food, it will give a more consistent result. Don’t over-puree the ingredients, and you will have a wonderful homemade chimichurri.
Make sure the herbs aren’t wet – After washing your herbs, make sure to dry them thoroughly. Excess water will make the sauce watery and less flavorful, and the oil and water won’t mix.
Once you try making this once, you may find yourself making this often as a fallback way to jazz up any weeknight dinner. It’s really easy, but elevates so many different types of foods.
Ways to Use The Sauce
Anytime you want to add flavor to a dish, keep this Chimichurri Recipe in your back pocket for adding instant brightness and flavor. This green sauce takes well to virtually all meats, whether beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, and also takes well to most roasted vegetables.
- Drizzle over a Grilled Ribeye, Seared Steak or any other grilled cut of beef. Flank steak and skirt steak are especially great pairings.
- Serve as a condiment for Spatchcock Chicken.
- Stir it into a batch of Rice Pilaf.
- Drizzle over vegetables like Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
- Pair with a Roasted Leg of Lamb.
Step by Step Overview:
In a small food processor, combine flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt:
Pulse the ingredients together to chop well, taking care not to puree the mixture and break it down too much:
Transfer the herbs to a bowl, then add a great-quality extra virgin olive oil:
If you’re wondering why we mix this part in a bowl instead of in the food processor, it’s to keep the chimichurri from getting cloudy.
But it’s purely aesthetic, so if you find it easier, you can pulse in the food processor.
Then add a high-quality red wine vinegar:
Using vinegar is recommended and typical for a classic chimichurri, but you may also use fresh lemon juice instead for the acidity.
Mix that all together to combine:
I like my chimichurri a bit heavy on the olive oil so it’s more of a dressing than something with a thick pesto-like consistency, but I have a range that I specify in the recipe, so you can make it to your liking.
You can always add more olive oil as needed, to suit your preference.
Once the chimichurri is done, keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
This is also wonderful as a dressing for pasta salad, paired with cooked chicken breast, fresh tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion. Enjoy!
It’s best made at least a few hours ahead, to allow the flavors to meld. Feel free to make it a day or two ahead.
Up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container.
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. The herbs will go dark and not have as nice of a flavor.
Yes, try swapping black pepper for the crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 3 medium garlic cloves roughly chopped (1 tbsp)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil*
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar*
- Combine the parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small food processor, and pulse several times until well-chopped, but not pureed.
- Transfer the chopped herbs to a bowl, and whisk in the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Ideally, let the chimichurri rest in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. Then serve and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.