Chimichurri Sauce – healthy, natural, herby Argentinian-inspired sauce jam-packed with fresh bold garden flavors. The best accompaniment to all your grilled meats!
Now that it’s officially summer season, let’s talk more about sauce! In all honesty, summer would be a bit boring if sauces and dips surprisingly disappeared in just a snap (think of Thanos’ snap). I mean, could you imagine eating your chips, fresh veggies and grilled meat without a vibrant sauce/dip? Or how about a summer dip that also doubles up as a dressing. See what I mean?
Today’s post features one of summer’s favorite condiments – Chimichurri Sauce – which has its origin in Uruguay and Argentina. But ours closely resemble the Argentinian version. Wanna take your grilled meat dinner to another level? Let’s dig in.
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’ll be able to serve this no-fuss sauce with no cooking whatsoever.
As for the vinegar, some recipes uses 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.
For those who are curious if there’s another type of chimichurri, well, there is. The red chimichurri sauce variation features the additional flavors of tomatoes and red bell peppers (thus the name red) and is just as delicious as this green version.
Our version is a fusion of both as I also decided to add some diced red bell peppers for that hint of sweetness to balance out the flavors.
What’s the Difference Between Pesto and Chimichurri?
Actually, there are tons of other green sauces that could take your cooking skills to the next level. Among these two, perhaps, pesto and chimichurri are the gems yet the most interchangeable pair – they’re both green, herb-based and no-cook sauces. Well, they actually have their differences, though…
First, Pesto is of Italian origin while Chimichurri is of Argentinian descent.
Second, Chimichurri is a blend of finely chopped parsley and oregano, while traditional Pesto are made with basil, lots of basil.
Third, Pesto calls for an olive oil to bind all the ingredients, while Chimichurri, aside from a little olive oil, adds in red or white wine vinegar for that signature puckery tang.
And lastly, Chimichurri makes a good marinade too for grilled meat, while pesto is more like the topping kind of sauce. (This part needs some debate though.)
Some of My Other Favorite Green Sauces
What Does Chimichurri Sauce Taste Like?
With all those fresh ingredients going on in this sauce, it’s safe to say that it’s the herby vibrant kind of condiment, with that tanginess that cuts through the richness of any meat. Moreover, that little bit of crushed red pepper gives it a little kick. It’s up to you if you want to take the spiciness up a notch. I recommend starting with a just a bit of it and adjust to taste.
Why is my chimichurri sauce bitter?
There are a few reasons that can explain why your sauce was bitter.
- Bitter Parsley. Parsley is naturally bitter. But if you’re using the darker and mature parsley, it can be more bitter compared to using its younger counterpart.
- Garlic or Oregano. Using too much of this can make your sauce bitter. You may start with two garlic cloves and adjust according to your taste. But 3-4 cloves works best for this recipe.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO is an unrefined oil which means it contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives and apparently its true taste. So go for the regular olive oil (also called as Pure Olive Oil or Light Olive Oil). See the difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil HERE.
How Long Can You Keep Chimichurri 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 the time, but it doesn’t make it better or worse.
Can I Make It Ahead?
Yes, you can make them a day ahead and just let the flavors mellow for 24 hours in the fridge prior to serving. Fresh chimichurri is great!
Can I Freeze It?
Absolutely! What I would do is pour them over in an ice cube tray and place them in the freezer. Once they’re hard enough, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and store them for about a month. Once ready to use, simply defrost the cubes needed.
Uses for Chimichurri Sauce
I could make a longer list for you on 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
- top it on steaks (like this Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak with chimichurri sauce)
- drizzle it on your favorite vegetable side dishes (like this roasted red potatoes)
- marinate your steaks and chicken in this
- use this to baste meats while grilling
- easy topping or spread for your crusty bread
- as a pesto-style pasta sauce
- as a salad dressing
- spice up your rice with a bit of this
- as a taco condiment
- as a dip by adding in Greek yogurt or sour cream
- makes a good alternative to tomato sauce on pizzas
How To Make Chimichurri Sauce
Wash and finely chop the parsley, garlic, onions and red bell pepper (or process in a food processor on several pulses), add red pepper and salt and place in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, pour olive oil, wine vinegar, black pepper and oregano and stir thoroughly. Pour the olive oil mixture to 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 to the oil before serving, most preferably 2 hours. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.
- 1 cup (60 g) (packed) fresh Italian parsley
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- ½ medium red onion
- ½ medium red bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) dried crushed red pepper
- ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon (1.5 g) dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) kosher salt
- Wash and finely chop the parsley, garlic, onions and red bell pepper (or process in a food processor on several pulses), add red pepper and salt and place in a small bowl.
- In another small bowl, pour olive oil, wine vinegar, black pepper and oregano and stir thoroughly.
- Pour the olive oil mixture to 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 to the oil before serving, most preferably 2 hours. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.
Tips & Notes:
- Sauce tastes better when served fresh, if covered well can last for about 2 days in the refrigerator.
- In case the olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator, allow it to warm up at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Red wine vinegar is the best for chimichurri, but if you don't have one handy, you may 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 greatly based on products used.