Chimichurri Sauce – A healthy, natural, herby Argentinian-inspired sauce jam-packed with fresh, bold garden flavors. The best accompaniment to all your grilled meats adding an intense and delicious taste every time! You can also use it as a garnish, dip, spread, and marinade.
Now that it’s officially summer let’s get into the sauce! In all honesty, summer would be boring if sauces and dips surprisingly disappeared in just a snap (think of Thanos’ snap). Can you imagine eating your chips, fresh veggies, and grilled meat all by themselves? See what I mean?
Today’s post features one of the summer’s favorite condiments – Chimichurri Sauce – originally from Uruguay and Argentina. But this recipe closely resembles the Argentinian version.
What Is It?
What is Chimichurri Sauce?
Chimichurri is a super easy condiment made primarily of finely chopped parsley, garlic, onion, vinegar, oregano, and other spices. In just 10 minutes, you can serve this no-fuss sauce with no cooking whatsoever. Some people like to add cilantro for more flavor.
And you can make a red variation featuring the flavors of tomatoes and red bell peppers (thus the name red) which is just as delicious as this green version. My version is a fusion of both, as I decided to add some diced red bell peppers for a hint of sweetness to balance out the flavors.
You won’t believe how simple it is to make this homemade sauce. It comes together quickly, even without using any techie kitchen tools. You just need your handy dandy bowl and mixing spoon (or whisk!), and you’re all set. 😉
- Aromatics – This sauce wouldn’t be complete without garlic and onion. Their exceptional flavor brings out natural savory goodness to our sauce. I also added red bell peppers to add a hint of sweetness.
- Vinegar – Some recipes use white wine vinegar, while others use red wine vinegar. Actually, you can choose either of the two. But I really prefer using my personal favorite – red wine vinegar.
- Herbs – Aside from adding a refreshing herby vibe, the parsley and oregano also give our sauce its bright and vibrant green color. You can also add cilantro to add a more robust and bolder flavor.
- Spices – Let’s spice up our sauce with dried crushed red pepper and black pepper. It will give our sauce the right amount of heat without being too overpowering. But feel free to add more red pepper or pepper flakes to amp up the heat. 😉
How to Make Chimichurri Sauce
Prep the Ingredients
- Wash and Chop – Wash and finely chop the parsley, garlic, onions, and red bell pepper (or process in a food processor with several pulses), add red pepper and salt, and place them in a small bowl. This will be our parsley mixture.
- Make the Dressing – Pour olive oil, wine vinegar, black pepper, and oregano into another small bowl and stir thoroughly.
- Combine Everything – Pour the olive oil mixture into the parsley mixture and mix until it is well blended. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Rest – Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to release all the flavors to the oil before serving, preferably for 2 hours. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.
- Herb Swap – Feel free to experiment with the herbs. Cilantro is a common addition, and basil gives it an Italian twist.
- Red Chimichurri Sauce – Add tomatoes, paprika, and red peppers for a bright chimichurri. It tastes almost the same as the green version, only spicier.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t blend too much if you use a food processor or blender, as the sauce should be on the chunkier side.
- Olive oil will solidify in the fridge, so allow it to warm up at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Red wine vinegar is typical for chimichurri, but you may use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any on hand.
You can make chimichurri sauce a day ahead and let the flavors mellow in the fridge before serving. But fresh chimichurri is excellent, too!
Serving and Storage Instructions
I could make a longer list of ways to use this chimichurri sauce, but I’ll leave you to your imagination on how to make the most out of this delicious sauce.
- Drizzle it on your steak or favorite vegetable side dishes
- Marinate your steaks and chicken
- Baste the meat while grilling
- Easy spread for your crusty bread
- Pesto-style pasta sauce
- Salad dressing
- Spice up your rice
- Taco topping
- Mix with Greek yogurt or sour cream for an awesome dip
- Pizza sauce
The presence of red wine vinegar in this sauce preserves it pretty well. You can store this chimichurri sauce in the fridge for as long as two weeks, provided that it’s well-covered. Keep in mind that the sauce can get darker over time, but it doesn’t make it better or worse.
You can freeze it for 3 months to make it last longer. Just pour the sauce into an ice cube tray for easy storing and let it freeze. Once they’ve frozen, transfer the ice cubes to a freezer-safe resealable bag, then place it back in the freezer. Don’t forget to label it.
Tip: I don’t recommend storing this sauce in a plastic container since it has an acidic component. Store the sauce in a glass container instead. However, if freezing, using a plastic ice cube tray and freezer-safe resealable plastic bag is okay.
These two sauces are actually quite different.
First, pesto is an Italian sauce, while chimichurri is Argentine.
Second, chimichurri is a blend of finely chopped parsley and oregano, while traditional pesto is made with lots of basil.
Third, pesto calls for olive oil to bind all the ingredients, while chimichurri adds red or white wine vinegar for that signature puckery tang aside from a little olive oil.
With all those fresh ingredients in this sauce, it’s safe to say that the vibrant herby condiment is the perfect complement to the richness of any meat. The herbs are balanced with a little oil and vinegar, and that little bit of crushed red pepper gives it a little kick. If you want to take the spiciness up a notch, it’s up to you.
There are a few reasons why your sauce was bitter.
First, parsley can get bitter if picked too late or if the weather was too hot. Second, too much garlic or oregano can make your sauce bitter. And third, olive oil can get bitter with age, so taste test your olive oil to make sure it’s still fresh.
What to Serve with Chimichurri Sauce
Take your cooking skills to the next level by serving these mouthwatering recipes below with our delicious homemade sauce.
- Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak
- Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
- Baked Crispy Chicken Legs
- Smoked Pork Chops
- Steak Burrito
More Fantastic Homemade Sauces to Try
It’s amazing how a simple chimichurri sauce can instantly fancy up any dish, grilled steak, your favorite roasted veggies, or salad dressing. Are you hungry for more incredible recipes for your weekly rotation? Then subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date. ❤️
Watch How to Make It
This blog post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.
- 1 cup (60g) fresh Italian parsley, packed
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- ½ medium red onion
- ½ medium red bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon (1g) dried crushed red pepper
- ½ cup (125ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon (1g) black pepper, freshly ground
- ½ tablespoon (1.5g) dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
- Wash and finely chop the parsley, garlic, onions, and red bell pepper (or process in a food processor with several pulses), add red pepper and salt, and place in a small bowl.
- Pour olive oil, red wine vinegar, black pepper, and oregano into another small bowl, and stir thoroughly.
- Pour the olive oil mixture into the parsley mixture and mix until it is well blended. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to release all the flavors into the oil before serving, preferably for 2 hours. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.
Tips & Notes:
- The sauce tastes better when served fresh, but if covered can last for about 2 days in the refrigerator.
- If the olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator, allow the sauce to warm up to room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Red wine vinegar is the best for chimichurri, but if you don’t have an on hand, you can use lemon juice. I don’t recommend using balsamic or white vinegar.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used.