This Spicy Smoky Red Chimichurri Sauce is bold a spin on the classic Argentinian sauce. Made from roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and chili peppers, just one dollop adds bold flavors to steak, chicken, fish, vegetables, and more!Jump to Recipe
Homemade red pepper chimichurri
A dollop of chimichurri sauce is the best way to add some pizzazz to all of your grilled meats, chicken, fish, and more. When you’re really craving some big and bold flavors, turn to this Spicy Smoky Red Chimichurri Sauce instead of the original.
Red chimichurri is still a loose, oil-based sauce, just like the classic green chimichurri. In this spicy version, we’re swapping the fresh green herbs and tangy capers for roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and spicy chili peppers. Just one dollop on a grilled steak, roasted vegetables, or tacos will liven up each bite!
The flavors in this sauce aren’t overly spicy and are easily adjustable. Add more garlic for savoriness, switch up the hot peppers, or add fresh herbs and lemon juice for brightness. Have fun and play around with the recipe!
What is chimichurri sauce?
Chimichurri is a green, loose, oil-based sauce made from fresh herbs, spices, garlic, and vinegar. It’s a classic Argentinian recipe that can be used as a garnish, marinade, or glaze. It’s especially delicious drizzled on a grilled steak, but you can use on just about anything, like chicken, shrimp, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and more.
Red vs. green chimichurri
Both red and green chimichurri are oil-based sauces made from spices, herbs, and vinegar (or acid). Green chimichurri has a base made from finely chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro, and oregano. It’s a versatile recipe and welcomes a variety of herbs, spicy peppers, and tangy veggies.
Red chimichurri is a smoky, spicy take on the classic. It’s made with similar ingredients but features roasted red peppers as the base instead of herbs. Spicy peppers, like fresno, jalapenos, or serranos, can be added in for lots of heat.
Red chimichurri ingredients
Almost all chimichurri recipes are different. Take these ingredients as a suggestion and feel free to add more or take some away to achieve the flavors you love. Fresh parsley, basil, or capers would all be delicious additions.
- Roasted red pepper – You can easily find jarred roasted red peppers at most grocery stores or roast them yourself at home!
- Garlic and shallot – Both are a must for balance and savoriness.
- Chili pepper – Feel free to get creative here. I used a fresno pepper because it has a medium heat level but if you like more spice (and a pop of color), jalapeno or serrano peppers would be great. Chipotle peppers are best for the ultimate smoky flavor.
- Red wine vinegar – This is the best kind of vinegar to use in chimichurri. I don’t recommend replacing it with white or apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have red wine vinegar at home, use lemon juice as a substitute.
- Olive oil – Because this sauce is oil-based, I recommend using a high quality olive oil.
- Paprika – If you can, use smoked paprika to make the sauce extra rich and smoky.
How to make red chimichurri from scratch
- Prep the ingredients: Finely chop the roasted red pepper, chili pepper, shallot, and garlic. Chop them small enough so the sauce will have texture but isn’t a paste.
- Mix to combine: Add all of the ingredients to a bowl or jar. Mix well to combine, then store it for later or use it right away.
How to use red chimichurri sauce
Chimichurri is seriously the best because you can use it on practically anything! Try these ideas to give your meals a boost of flavor:
- Brush it onto grilled skirt steak, salmon, or shrimp
- As a finishing touch on roasted vegetables
- Add a scoop to each serving of polenta
- A little on your morning eggs adds a nice touch of spice
- Drizzle some on your appetizers, like tostones or crostini
- A scoop on top of any cut of steak would be delicious
- Drizzle a little on a bowl of soup
- It’s a must for taco Tuesday
- Double the batch and use it as a marinade for shrimp
- Place the jar on a charcuterie board for dipping and drizzling
- Keep it simple by drizzling some on toasted bread with cheese
Frequently asked questions
Is red chimichurri spicy?
This recipe gets its mild spice from a fresno chili pepper. With the veins and seeds removed, the spice level of the pepper is lowered. If you’re a fan of spice, you can leave the peppers’ veins and seeds intact or use a serrano or jalapeno pepper instead.
What does it taste like?
Red chimichurri tastes smoky, slightly spicy, and bright. There aren’t many strict rules when it comes to chimichurri, so feel free to add more or fewer ingredients to play with the flavors.
How long does it last?
Once the sauce is ready, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 weeks. The flavors get even better as it sits so feel free to make it well ahead of time!
Is it freezer-friendly?
It is! You can your the finished sauce into ice cube trays and let them freeze completely. Once they’re frozen solid, transfer the chimichurri cubes to a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
More homemade sauces to brighten up your meals
Did you try this Spicy Smoky Red Chimichurri Sauce? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or share a picture on Instagram! I love to share all of your recreations on my page.
Spicy Smoky Red Chimichurri Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 small shallot finely minced
- ½ small red chili finely minced or sub with jalapeño
- 12 oz roasted red bell pepper drained and finely diced
- 4 tsp red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Finely chop the roasted pepper, Fresno chile (de-seeded), shallot, and garlic cloves.
- Add to a bowl and add the olive oil, salt, vinegar, and smoked paprika. Mix well to combine.
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