Chimichurri Sauce is one of my favorite sauces ever. It is packed with so much amazing and unique flavors, it’s unreal!
Chimichurri is made with finely chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, oregano, and red chili pepper. The ingredients are very simple, yet they make a super delicious sauce. You can put it on anything: steak, chicken, shrimp, fish, vegetables…the possibilities are endless!
I always make a big batch and use it throughout the week. My favorite way of serving it? With a juicy steak.
Chimichurri sauce is my weakness. Because it takes less than 10 minutes to make, I always make it on a whim and put it on everything: steak, chicken, shrimp, pasta, stews, salads…and the list goes on!
The flavors from the fresh parsley and the garlic go really well with the acidity from the red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Plus, the addition of olive oil, oregano and red chili pepper flakes add even more flavors that I absolutely love in a good chimichurri.
This no-cook sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make, and there’s no food processor required. Plus, the flavors really come together the longer it sits, meaning it’s a great make-ahead recipe. It doesn’t get any better than this!
This quick and easy chimichurri will truly elevate your dishes. Let me show you how to make it!
What is Chimichurri Sauce?
Chimichurri sauce is of Argentinean origin, and it’s most commonly served with steak. It’s also a beloved sauce in other South American cuisines, such as Uruguay.
It’s made primarily of fresh parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, oregano, and red chili pepper. No food processor involved in the authentic way of making it – just finely chopped. That’s how you do it. In fact, I would say that it tastes better this way because you can taste the fresh parsley even more!
I tasted the true and authentic version during a family trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina a while back. I had a delicious churrasco with a generous side of fresh chimichurri at a restaurant, and it was seriously the best thing ever! After that day, it has become one of my favorite sauces ever, and I love making it at home!
Perfect for Steak, Chicken, Shrimp and More
I use chimichurri like an all-purpose sauce. I put it on steak, primarily, but it also goes so well on grilled chicken, grilled shrimp skewers (yum!), salmon, smoked ribs, grilled vegetables, mushrooms…literally everything! I love it.
Here are my favorite ways to serve it:
- Grilled steak or chicken (perfect for summer grilling!)
- Shrimp skewers
- Grilled vegetables
- Roasted cauliflower (my fave!)
You can also serve it along these recipes:
- Pan-seared Chicken Breasts
- Spatchcocked Chicken
- Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Steak Tacos
You only need a few ingredients to make this easy and delicious chimichurri. Ingredient quantities are included in the recipe card below.
To give you an idea of what goes into it:
- Italian parsley: Use Italian parsley and not curly parsley. Curly parsley isn’t very flavorful. Make sure to finely chop the parsley, but no need to overdo it. It’s okay if it’s a bit rustic-looking.
- Fresh garlic: To maximize the release of garlicky flavors, crush each garlic clove with the flat side of your knife first, and then mince.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Make sure it’s good olive oil, it’s a main component of the sauce so you’ll be able to taste it.
- Red wine vinegar: About 2 tablespoons is what I use. If you like it less acidic, you can add 1 tablespoon first and then adjust to taste.
- Fresh lemon juice: Adds extra acidity with a touch of freshness!
- Dried oregano: For more flavor.
- Red pepper chili flakes: For a slight kick, adjust to taste.
- Salt and pepper to taste
There is no need to make this in the food processor. The authentic way of making chimichurri is by hand, and in fact, I think it’s even better this way because you can taste the parsley better, which is amazing. It’s supposed to be rustic-looking, and not a smooth sauce.
However, if you want to, you can go ahead and use a food processor, but give it only a few pulses. Don’t over-process it, otherwise it would be more of a pesto instead.
You can give this sauce a twist and customize it. Here are some ideas!
Sometimes I like to add some cilantro or basil, but just a little. The main herbs here should be fresh parsley. Try not to use curly parsley because curly parsley isn’t very flavorful.
I almost always use dried red pepper flakes, but you can also use finely diced fresh red chili peppers.
Takes Less Than 10 Minutes to Make
This no-cook sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make. Here’s how easy it is:
- Finely chop the parsley
- Finely mince the garlic
- Combine everything and adjust to taste!
That’s it, so easy and quick!
It tastes even better if you let it sit on the counter for like 1-2 hours. This will really allow the flavors to come together. It’s totally optional but highly recommended.
The Perfect Make-Ahead Recipe
If you’re planning to make it a day or more in advance, I’d recommend storing it in the fridge in a sealed container.
How to Store It: Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks. I’d recommend using a mason jar.
If you refrigerate it, you’ll notice that the oil will solidify a little bit. That’s normal. You can just pop it in the microwave oven for a few seconds.
Ready to make it at home?! It’s a quick and easy sauce that makes everything so much better.
It’s packed with so much flavor, and you can also make it ahead! I love serving it on my steak and grilled chicken. Sauces really elevate any dish, and this one is one of my absolute favorites.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Tips for Success
- Use Italian parsley: Don’t use curly parsley because it isn’t as flavorful as Italian parsley.
- Garlic: To maximize the flavor, first crush each garlic clove with the flat side of your knife. Then mince it. This method really releases the true flavors in garlic.
- Finely chop the parsley, but no need to overdo it. In fact, it’s even better if it’s a bit rustic-looking!
- I’d highly recommend letting the prepared chimichurri sit on the counter for 2 hours or so. This will really bring all the ingredients and flavors together.
- If desired, use fresh red chili peppers. I use dried red pepper flakes because it’s easier.
Easy Chimichurri Sauce
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley (loosely packed)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 medium cloves fresh garlic, crushed and then minced (plus more to taste)
- Red pepper chili flakes, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix with a spoon. Serve with steak, grilled chicken, shrimp, vegetables, etc. Enjoy! Tip: If you prefer less acidity, add the vinegar one tablespoon at a time and adjust to taste.
- Optional: For better flavors, let the prepared sauce sit on the counter for 2 hours or so before serving.
- Use flat leaf Italian parsley, not curly parsley. Curly parsley isn’t as flavorful, and the distinct Italian parsley flavor is essential for this sauce.
- Crush the garlic: Crushing or smashing the garlic releases more garlicky flavors. Be sure to crush each garlic clove before mincing. Highly recommended!
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The oils may solidify a bit in the fridge, so before using just microwave it for a few seconds.
- If desired, you can use fresh red chili peppers (finely chopped) to taste.