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This chimichurri recipe is full of bright, garlicky flavor! This classic Argentinian sauce is ideal with steak, fish, vegetables and more.

Chimichurri
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Want an easy way to take a meal from meh to stunning? Try Chimichurri! This Argentinian sauce is simple to whip up and adds bright, garlicky flavor to grilled meats, chicken, fish or vegetables. It takes grilled salmon to new heights, and makes grilled or roasted vegetables sing. Really, there’s nothing this sparkling green sauce can’t do. Here’s a bit more about the background on this classic sauce and a recipe inspired by an Argentine chef.

What is chimichurri?

Chimichurri is a classic Argentinian sauce often served with grilled meats, chicken or fish. It’s made of chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar. Per Francis Mallman, Argentine celebrity chef and restaurateur, every home cook and chef in Argentina has their own version of this classic sauce, which is served everywhere from gaucho campfires to weddings. But the main ingredients stay constant: parsley, olive oil and oregano.

Ingredients in this chimichurri recipe

This chimichurri recipe takes inspiration from Argentine chef Francis Mallman himself (who you may remember from the documentary Chef’s Table). His classic method uses a salmuera or brine to bring flavor and body to the sauce. It may sound counterintuitive to add water to oil, but it makes a lovely silky body. This sauce is rustic and hand chopped: no blenders or food processors required! Here’s what you’ll need for this chimichurri recipe:

  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • Fresh oregano
  • Garlic
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Kosher salt

The basic idea? Make the brine by dissolving the salt into the water on the stovetop, then let the water cool. Meanwhile chop the fresh herbs and mince the garlic. Mix everything together with red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and the brine water. The brine brings a punch of flavor and luxurious body to the sauce.

Chimichurri recipe

A few ingredient notes

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you make a chimichurri sauce:

  • Parsley and oregano are traditional. That’s right, not cilantro! If you can’t find enough fresh oregano, you can substitute more parsley and a bit of dried oregano (see the notes below). The oregano adds a depth in flavor and it shouldn’t be omitted.
  • Add more red pepper flakes for more heat. We prefer this sauce mild, but if you’d like a spicy version, add more red pepper flakes to taste.
  • The sauce has a chunky, rustic texture. Don’t expect it to be fully pureed and smooth (like some versions of this sauce). The traditional rustic method is hand-chopped.
Chimichurri sauce

Ways to serve chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce is traditionally serve with grilled meat (asados), but the applications for this sauce are infinite! We love it with seafood and vegetables. Here are a few great ways to serve chimichurri:

Chimichurri

Another idea: salad dressing

While draping this green sauce over meat or fish is the most common way to use it, you can also add it into recipes. For example, we used it to make a creamy salad dressing. Add a dollop of chimichurri to Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayo, and Dijon mustard and it makes a killer dressing.

More sauce recipes

A great sauce can transform a meal! Here are a few great sauce recipes to try:

This chimichurri recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Chimichurri

Chimichurri Sauce


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x

Description

This chimichurri recipe is full of bright, garlicky flavor! This classic Argentinian sauce is ideal with steak, fish, vegetables and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup very finely chopped Italian parsley (1 bunch)
  • ½ cup finely chopped loosely-packed fresh oregano leaves*
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine water and kosher salt in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the minced garlic, Italian parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes. Whisk in red wine vinegar, followed by olive oil and then the salt water. Taste and add additional red pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately. Store refrigerated for 2 to 3 weeks.

Notes

*Or substitute ¼ cup more Italian parsley and use ½ teaspoon dried oregano.

Recipe inspired by Francis Mallman in Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.

  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Argentinian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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11 Comments

  1. Traci J says:

    Flavor bomb!!! I got a ton of parsley from my CSA this week, found this recipe and wow!!! So easy and delicious!!! Will be putting this on everything!! Confession: I didn’t chop my parsley fine enough and so threw everything in my blender for a minutes and OMG so good!! My husband wants to eat it as is… yum!!!






  2. Helen Lees says:

    I bought a BIG bunch of parsley by mistake shopping in a hurry for coriander (cilantro). When I stopped cursing myself, I looked up what to do with it and found this recipe. Wow, it is so simple to make and yet the most amazing flavour. I can’t wait to serve it and i’m sure it will become a regular and a favourite. I never usually leave comments but I wanted to thank you for coming to the rescue and turning a disaster into a triumph!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Sara says:

    We loved your old chimichurri recipe! The one that you didn’t have to cook. Could you please repost?

      1. Sara Gregersen says:

        Thank you!!!!

  4. Sally shields says:

    Can you use fresh chilli rather than flakes?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes! Just add to taste.

  5. Traci Holdeman says:

    Is there any way to freeze or store the chimichurri sauce longer than 2-3 weeks?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! Yes, you can freeze it.

  6. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!