This Chimichurri Sauce Recipe is our take on the classic herb packed sauce that is popular all over South America and is a staple of Argentinian cuisine. Once you try this authentic chimichurri sauce full of fresh herbs, studded with garlic and red onion and hot pepper in red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, you’ll be hooked forever.
Is it a sauce or a marinade or a relish? Yes, it most certainly is each of those things. And it is the best at all of those jobs.
What makes homemade chimichurri sauce so special? There’s an alchemy that happens when you combine scandalous amounts of chopped fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, and fresh oregano with a hearty portion of minced garlic and onion, fresh hot pepper, a little salt and pepper, and set them a-swim in red wine vinegar and good extra virgin olive oil.
You let the sauce sit at room temperature while you turn your attention to what will accompany it, because -make no mistake- that batch of chimichurri sauce is going to be the star of the show. It’s undoubtedly faster for me to tell you what this authentic recipe classic chimichurri doesn’t go with than what it does go with, but that’d be bad food blogging, so here’s a brief list of what it can do to get you started.
Serve this unbelievably flavourful sauce drizzled over pretty much any cut of beef or grilled pork tenderloin, sausage, fish, or chicken breast. Use it as a marinade for any of the aforementioned items or for portabella mushrooms. Basically, it’s amazing on any cut of meat or faux meat in just about any way you could possibly prepare it.
Use it as a dipping sauce for roasted or grilled potatoes or vegetables or meatballs. Spread it on a burger or stir it into plain yogurt for one fantastic creamy dip. Heck, you can put it on grilled or fried cheese or use it as a salad dressing. If it’s savoury, there’s a great chance it’ll be improved by chimichurri.
Best Chimichurri Recipe
There are as many ways to make chimichurri as there are people and everyone is convinced that they have the best, most traditional chimichurri sauce in existence. And mercy, everyone has a different method and “secret ingredient” that makes theirs the best.
But we’re talking about my chimichurri sauce recipe today, and I have a not-at-all-secret list of ingredients and equipment for you so you can get on the chimichurri train, too. The ingredient list might look long, but none of it is hard to source or exotic and aside from the fresh produce, it’s all pantry staples!
Ingredients for This Recipe:
- Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Oregano
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh red hot pepper
- Red or White onion
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Did you note the theme is Fresh? Fresh herbs, onions, and garlic are what make this chimichurri sauce recipe so incredible.)
Equipment Needed to Make This Recipe:
How to Make Chimichurri Sauce
You might notice that I do not suggest using a food processor or blender to make your chimichurri sauce recipe. This is because -at the risk of sounding hoity-toity- it’s just plain better when you chop your herbs by hand.
Nobody would ever accuse chimichurri of being subtle whether it’s made by hand or machine, but there’s a more delicate quality to the sauce when you hand chop the ingredients.
Somehow the garlic and onions are less assertive but more flavourful. The herbs have a better texture when hand-minced, too.
If knife skills aren’t your thing, don’t panic. You do not have to be surgically precise in chopping your ingredients; just make sure you mince everything pretty well so all the flavours can mix and mingle and marry and get happy together.
And if you categorically refuse to take part in the contemplative joy that is chopping a bunch of herbs by hand (yes, that was passive aggressive), you can certainly pulse all this stuff in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Just remember not to obliterate everything into a paste. You want to be able to recognize bits of all of the ingredients.
Chimichurri Recipes FAQ
- My recipe calls for red wine vinegar because it is the classic choice, but you can substitute in any multitude of vinegars from white wine to apple cider to white vinegar. Be aware that each of those will yield a slightly different tasting chimichurri.
- Ditto the juice of limes or lemons. Either of those can be used in place of the vinegar, but will create a different sauce.
- If there are slim pickings in your produce department, you can use curly in place of flat-leaf, but curly parsley tastes a little more brassy and grassy so it’s not my preference.
- No red peppers available from your store or garden? Pop in a jalapeño pepper or some crushed pepper flakes to taste.
- You can thin our chimichurri sauce recipe by adding extra olive oil and red wine vinegar, if desired. That makes it easier to spoon over things.
- You most definitely do not need to eat this all the same day you make it, but you should refrigerate any unused sauce in a container with a tight fitting lid and consume it within 5 days making it.
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
Toss together the garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar and salt in a mixing bowl. Let it stand for 10 minutes while chopping your parsley, cilantro, and oregano.
Stir in the parsley, cilantro, and oregano. Add in ½ cup of your extra virgin olive oil.
If you’d like your sauce to be thinner, stir more olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
Serve this chimichurri sauce recipe immediately if you desire to, but it improves greatly by resting for at least an hour tightly covered in the refrigerator before serving. Store leftovers in a canning jar or other tightly covered container or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Eat it within 5 days of making it.
Chimichurri Sauce RecipeRate Recipe
- 1 chef's knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 mixing spoon
- 3 to 6 cloves garlic minced or pressed, to taste
- ½ red onion (or white or sweet onion) peeled and finely diced
- 1 fresno pepper or jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, finely diced, see notes
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups fresh flat leaf parsley firmly packed, roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro firmly packed, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves roughly chopped, see notes
- ½ to ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil
- Toss together the garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar and salt in a mixing bowl. Let it stand for 10 minutes while chopping your parsley, cilantro, and oregano.
- Stir in the parsley, cilantro, and oregano. Add in ½ cup of your extra virgin olive oil.
- If you’d like your sauce to be thinner, stir more olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
- This chimichurri sauce recipe can be served immediately, but is greatly improved by resting for at least an hour tightly covered in the refrigerator before serving. Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days but it is best eaten before 3 days.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.