Prepare a batch of homemade Chimichurri Sauce to instantly upgrade the flavor profile of any meal! This vibrant green sauce packs a punch with its unique combination of fresh herbs, citrus, and a hint of saltiness from capers. Perfect for grilled meats, seafood, veggies, and more.Jump to Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Versatile: This chimichurri sauce is an incredible complement to grilled meat, veggies, tofu, or flatbread, boosting their flavors beautifully.
- Simple preparation: All you need to do is chop and combine the ingredients — no cooking involved! You can say goodbye to store-bought chimichurri sauce forever.
- Personalize it: This recipe is easily adaptable to your palate. You can try adding more or less spice, using different acids, or substituting the herbs.
Fresh Chimichurri Sauce
Originating from Argentina and Uruguay, chimichurri sauce is a vibrant and refreshing condiment that typically accompanies grilled meats like picanha steak, pork, and chicken. Its bright green color comes from fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro, while garlic cloves and shallots add a spicy edge.
A squeeze of lemon juice lends a sweet-tart note that perfectly balances the richness of olive oil. To achieve an authentic chimichurri, it’s best to hand-chop the ingredients as this results in a chunky texture and well-balanced flavor.
With easy-to-find, affordable ingredients and about 15 minutes of prep time, you can whip up an incredibly tasty condiment in your own kitchen. Use it as a sauce over eggs, incorporate it into dips, or drizzle it over your favorite grilled steak!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cilantro: Gives the sauce a fresh, slightly citrusy flavor. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can use more parsley or fresh oregano instead.
- Parsley: Provides a slightly bitter, peppery flavor that balances out the other ingredients. If parsley is not available, fresh oregano or more cilantro can be used as a substitute.
- Green onions: Add a subtle, mild onion flavor. Chives will also work if green onions are unavailable.
- Shallot: Imparts a delicately sweet and bitter flavor. A small amount of red onion can be used as a substitute, but it is more intense.
- Garlic: Gives the sauce its pungent, savory kick. If you’re not a fan of raw garlic, you can reduce the overall amount.
- Capers: Both whole capers and their brine add a salty, vinegary punch. If you don’t have capers, try green olives.
- Lemon: The zest and juice of lemon provide a fresh, citrusy note. No lemons on hand? Use red wine vinegar or limes as a substitute.
- Sea salt: Naturally brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Olive oil: Ties all the flavors together and adds a silky-smooth texture. For a different flavor profile, avocado oil can be used instead.
How to Make Chimichurri Sauce
- Chop the herbs: Finely chop your cilantro, parsley, and green onions. The finer the better as it helps to release their flavors.
- Prepare the other ingredients: Finely chop the shallot and grate the garlic cloves. Roughly chop the capers.
- Mix: Transfer all of the chopped ingredients into a bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice. For more tang, feel free to add more juice.
- Season and dress: Add sea salt to taste and drizzle in the olive oil. You can start with ¼ cup of olive oil and add more if you prefer your sauce to be more runny.
- Taste and adjust: Taste your chimichurri sauce to see if you need any more olive oil or salt before serving it.
Chimichurri sauce is highly versatile and works with a variety of dishes. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Brushed onto grilled skirt steak, salmon, or shrimp
- Served over roasted cauliflower steaks or vegetables
- As a topping on polenta
- On top of avocado sweet potato toast, tostones, or crostini
- With your morning scrambled eggs
- As a condiment on sandwiches, wraps, and tacos
- Stirred into soups or stews
- Drizzld on a slice of toasted bread with toppings of your choice
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, authentic chimichurri sauce is vegan-friendly since it’s made completely from plant-based ingredients.
Yes, you can make chimichurri with dried herbs if fresh ones aren’t available. Just keep in mind that your final result won’t be near as vibrant and flavorful.
Although you don’t have to let chimichurri rest, keeping it in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving allows time for the flavors to meld together. So if you have the time, definitely use it!
My favorite part about chimichurri sauce is that it can last for quite a while if stored properly. Follow these tips to keep it fresh:
- Fridge: Store chimichurri sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks. Keep it covered and check on it regularly to if it’s spoiled.
- Freezer: If you won’t use your chimichurri sauce within a few weeks, I suggest keeping it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it again, thaw frozen chimichurri in the fridge overnight and serve at room temperature.
- Herbs: Try replacing parsley with oregano or mint for a different flavor profile.
- Creamy: Mix in Greek yogurt for a creamy chimichurri sauce consistency.
- Dry chimichurri: Make it without the liquids and use the dry ingredients as a rub.
- Butter: Mix chimichurri with softened butter for a flavorful spread to use on bread or melt over grilled meats.
- Spicy: Add a kick by adding Fresno chili, jalapeno, or red pepper flakes.
- Use quality olive oil: A quality extra-virgin olive oil will significantly impact the flavor of the sauce as it’s one of the primary ingredients.
- Zest the lemon: Remember to zest the lemon before juicing it. It’s much easier this way!
- Keep it chunky: Try to keep some texture in your chimichurri. It shouldn’t be puréed.
- Add the sauce last: If you’ll be using chimichurri on grilled meats, add it at the last minute so it retains its flavor.
Looking for More Savory Sauce Recipes?
If you enjoyed this chimichurri sauce recipe, be sure to check out some more of my favorites like these:
If you try this Chimichurri Sauce, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Authentic Chimichurri Sauce
- Make the chimichurri sauce about an hour in advance to let the flavors meld together.
- Finely chop all the herbs and add to a bowl. Add chopped shallot, grated garlic, roughly chopped capers, caper brine, lemon zest, and juice (start with 1/2 lemon, if you want more tang, add the whole lemon).
- Add sea salt and olive oil. Taste and see if you need any more olive oil or salt. I start with 1/4 cup of olive oil (up to 1/2 cup) and add more if I want the sauce to be more runny.
- The sauce keeps in the fridge for about a week. Use on eggs, meat, fish, sweet potato avocado toast and more.