This easy Argentinian chimichurri sauce is a fresh parsley and cilantro salsa that gives grilled steak, chicken, fish and vegetables a garlicky kick.
Firing up the grill is a summer habit I’ll never get enough of. The smokey flavor and char of any protein or veg is something I crave all year long. But I also crave the tangy ying to grilling’s savory yang, which is why I totally dig a zesty, herb-infused chimichurri sauce.
Adding flavor to foods that hit the hot grill grates is usually accomplished with marinades like this versatile Greek marinade or adding a simple spiced dry rub. But when I want to keep things super simple, my secret to the best flavor bomb is adding loads of that favorite vinegar/garlic/herb flavor AFTER simply grilling my steak, chicken, pork, fish or vegetables.
And that’s when I am very generous with spoonfuls of classic chimichurri sauce to this grilled skirt steak with fresh tomatoes and onion, and drizzle grilled vegetables with chimichurri too.
What Does Chimichurri Sauce Taste Like?
Chimichurri is a South American sauce made with a variety of herbs and garlic. The name and color changes depending on the herbs and spices used.
Most known in Argentinian cooking as salsa verde, chimichurri sauce tastes bright and zippy, and cuts through the savory, fatty flavors of Argentina’s world-renowned grilled cuts of flank steak or most any cut of beef. Chimichurri is served at room temperature over hot or warm meats, or can be served on room-temperature grilled veggies.
But fear not. Chimichurri isn’t just for steak. It’s sauced gold when draping grilled chicken, fish, vegetables and even pork.
Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients
Similar in how they’re made, the difference between pesto and chimichurri is chimichurri’s main herbed ingredient is flat-leaf parsley for freshness, and the addition of vinegar and lemon juice for a more acidic bite.
Personally, my cooking tendency is usually more herbs, more better so in this recipe I’ve also added cilantro and fresh oregano. Hey! Use ’em if you got ’em. But, if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, or don’t have fresh oregano on hand, just make up the amount called for with flat-leaf parsley and you will be good to go.
The bright flavors of chimichurri ingredients include:
- Flat-leaf parsley
- Cilantro (optional)
- Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- Red or green onion
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
If you like more heat to your chimichurri, add 1/2 seeded jalapeño when chopping. Not traditional, but it is good.
How to Make Chimichurri
Chimichurri is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, where the herbs, salt and garlic are mashed together to form a paste, and later liquids are whisked or drizzled in.
If you’re not feeling the authentic chimichurri method, a whiz in a food processor or high powered blender will get you on your way in a hurry.
To get the best chimichurri consistency, add the herbs, garlic and onion to a food processor or high speed blender and chop finely before stirring in the liquid. This will keep the herbs bright and green. Whizzing both the herbs and liquids together at once won’t chop the herbs fine enough and turns the sauce into more of a golden olive oil dressing. Or, feel free to work on your mincing skills and use a sharp chef’s knife to do the job.
How Long Does Chimichurri Last In the Fridge?
You can make the chimichurri a day or two ahead, and refrigerate before serving. Like salad dressing with a high acid content, I’ve found the sauce keeps in the refrigerator for quite a while. When I make a batch of chimichurri sauce I usually keep the leftovers in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks and have found it’s still good to go. But as always, use your discretion.
Ways to Use and What to Put Chimichurri On
- Mix into pasta salads as a simple dressing, or use as a green salad dressing on butter lettuce
- Use it as a flavor-builder on scrambled eggs
- Spread on pizza dough with roasted veggies and cheese for flat bread pizzas
- Slather on crostini toasts and top with mozzarella cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes
- Mix into Greek yogurt or cottage cheese to create a quick veggie dip
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make THE BEST Chimichurri Sauce
Fresh parsley and garlic give this easy Argentinian chimichurri sauce a bright and zippy flavor and is the perfect compliment to lighten up grilled steak, chicken or vegetables.
- 1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves only, stems removed
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves only, stems removed
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves only, stems removed
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped red onion or shallots
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
To the container of a blender or food processor, add the parsley, oregano, cilantro, onion, and garlic and pulse to mince. Add the red pepper flakes, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and pulse 2-3 times to mix. Season with kosher salt and add more to taste. Or, finely mince all of the ingredients with a sharp knife, then whisk with the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice in a bowl or shake in a covered glass jar. Make ahead and store in the refrigerator 1-3 days or until ready to serve.
Make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate for 1-3 days before serving.
Feel free to omit the cilantro or oregano, and make up the amount by using the Italian parsley instead.
More Recipe Ideas with Chimichurri Sauce
- Grilled Skirt Steak With Chimichurri
- Grilled Vegetables with Chimichurri
- Quinoa And Avocado Chimichurri Salad
- Marinated Flank Steak With Asian Chimichurri Sauce
- Portobello Mushroom Burger With Avocado Chimichurri
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