This fabulous Chimichurri Sauce will take grilled entrees, roasted veggies, seafood, eggs, potatoes, you name it, from ordinary to extraordinarily delicious! You can also use it as a salad dressing, a base for pizza, a dipping sauce for bread...
I made this chimichurri sauce for the first time a few weeks ago to pair with some grilled pork tenderloin. It was so fresh and vibrant, I made a double batch a few days later and we’ve been enjoying it with grilled entrees, drizzled over eggs, as a spread for wraps, on roasted potatoes, as a salad dressing… I wouldn’t be surprised if I looked in the mirror one morning and my skin had a greenish hue. But what a delicious way to go!
What is chimichurri sauce?
So what exactly is chimichurri sauce? Chimichurri is a condiment that has its roots in Argentina and is often served with grilled meats. It traditionally includes fresh herbs (usually a high percentage of parsley), garlic, vinegar, oil and sometimes spicy chile peppers.
We’ve shared a number of fresh green sauce recipes in the past. There’s a Peruvian Green Sauce, our Sweet Basil Vinaigrette, a Yemenese spicy herb sauce called Zhoug, a mint pesto and a wonderful fresh basil oil. All of these vibrant sauces have fresh herbs and a beautiful verdant color as a common denominator however that’s where the similarities end. Each is uniquely delicious and this Chimichurri sauce is no exception.
To make things confusing, here in the States, you’ll find chimichurri is commonly served at Brazilian steak houses. I'm not sure that it's a common staple in Brazil but we've definitely adopted it in these popular steak restaurants!
As usual, I’ve created my own version of chimichurri sauce with a basil-forward, instead of a parsley-forward flavor profile. Mine version includes parsley as well as cilantro in addition to the basil and though it's not completely authentic, it's addictingly delicious!
How do you make this chimichurri sauce?
This is a super simple recipe that's easily made in a food processor. Just combine all the ingredients except olive oil in the bowl and pulse, pulse, pulse until everything is finely chopped (but not pureed). Then it's simply a matter of adding the olive oil, giving it all a few more pulses and you're done!
No food processor? No problem! You can make this sauce by hand but you will need to make sure all the herbs are very finely chopped. A mezzaluna works well for quickly chopping herbs nice and fine.
What to do with chimichurri sauce?
There are so many things to do with chimichurri sauce. The sky's really the limit!
- Drizzle it over beef, pork, chicken or seafood.
- Serve it with eggs to add some delicious pizzazz
- Drizzle it over pizza or use it as a base.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for crusty bread.
- Serve it with boiled or steamed shrimp as a lovely appetizer.
- Thin it out with a little more lemon juice and olive oil and transform it into a wonderful salad dressing.
- Combine it with pasta for a vibrant, delicious side.
- Use it as a spread for sandwiches, paninis and wraps.
- Combine with mayo for a fabulous aioli.
- Drizzle over roasted potatoes.
- Combine with steamed or boiled potatoes for a lovely potato salad.
- Add a scoop to soups for some fresh flavor.
- Use as a fresh dressing for a bean salad.
Honestly, it's almost infinite as far as what you can do with this chimichurri sauce. Grab a scissors and make a visit to your garden or pick up some fresh herbs asap and make this fresh, vibrant sauce. It will definitely add some delicious pizzazz to everyday breakfasts, lunches and dinners! Buen provecho!
Cafe Tips for making this 15-Minute Chimichurri Sauce
- Feel free to adjust the herb proportions in this chimichurri sauce. If you don't care for cilantro, use more basil or parsley.
- You can also adjust the spiciness but omitting the crushed red pepper or adding more or less.
- If you're in the market for a food processor or you have someone on your gift list who loves to cook, I have this Cuisinart model and really like it. This one is also really nice.
- It's important to pulse the food processor with this recipe as you don't want a smooth puree but rather a sauce with a nice texture.
- This sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. It can also be frozen. I like to freeze it in small containers so it can quickly and easily be thawed.
- Basil, cilantro and parsley differ regarding their stems. While cilantro stems and leaves are fully edible (even the roots!) and taste delicious, it's better to pick the leaves and tender stems from basil and parsley and discard the thicker stems as they can be bitter and can mar the flavor or this chimichurri sauce.
Thought for the day:
I write these things to you who believe
in the name of the Son of God
that you may know
that you have eternal life.
And this is the confidence
that we have toward Him,
that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 5:13-14
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems packed
- 1½ cups fresh basil leaves packed
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves packed
- ¼ cup roughly chopped red onion about ½ of a small red onion, about a quarter of a medium size onion
- 2 medim cloves garlic fresh cloves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
Roughly chop the cilantro (just enough to break up the steam a bit) and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil leaves, parsley leaves, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt. On and off pulse for 10-second intervals until herbs are finely chopped but still have a bit of texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times so that everything is evenly chopped.
Transfer to a medium-size bowl and stir in the olive oil and crushed red pepper (if using) until well combined. Serve and enjoy or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Stir again before serving.
Chimichurri sauce can also be frozen in an airtight storage container or in several small containers. Thaw and stir before serving.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can also make this chimichurri sauce by hand. Finely chop all of the herbs (a mezzaluna works well for this) then add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success with this recipe.
The recipe makes about 1½ cups of chimichurri sauce.
Lily Malet says
Lily here from Chamonix, I tried your recipe yesterday as the weather here is still warm enough to have barbecues. We had your sauce with koftas, the sauce was delicious and so easy to make. Hope you and Scott are keeping well.
Chris Scheuer says
So nice to hear from you, Lily! It’s funny, even though we just met you that one time, I feel like we are "kindred spirits” and I pray that we will be able to connect again in the future. Hopefully next year in the French Alps!
So happy you enjoyed the Chimichurri! It does tend to freshen up any meal!