Chimichurri sauce is a deliciously fresh, herb-infused dish originating from Argentina and Uruguay. It goes great on almost everything (especially grilled steak). It’s loaded with fresh herbs and has a punch of garlic and a nice tang from vinegar. You’ll want to save this one!
What Is Chimichurri Sauce?
Authentic chimichurri sauce originated from Argentina and Uruguay. It’s kind of like pesto sauce minus the basil leaves. Parsley is the main herb used along with oregano. Plus, it’s chopped by hand, not blended to keep the authenticity of the loose, light not thick texture.
Did I mention it goes on almost everything? You’ll usually find it paired with grilled steak but your options are endless. You can use it on top of chicken, shrimp, fish, with pasta, or simply enjoy as a dip with crunchy French bread or focaccia.
One thing to note ⎯ many chimichurri sauce recipes call for cilantro. Although I personally love this fresh herb, it’s not authentic to this green summery sauce. In fact, if you travel to South America, you’ll find that chimichurri contains five main ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).
You learn how to make authentic chimichurri sauce in a matter of minutes. I’ll share with you the main ingredients and simple steps.
5-Ingredient Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri sauce is made using only five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper). For the freshest version of this recipe, use fresh (not dried) ingredients. However, I will share the dried ingredient equivalents in case you’re short on one.
- Fresh Herbs- The bulk of the sauce is made with parsley. You’ll need 1/2 cup packed of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves. This is one I wouldn’t substitute for dried as fresh parsley leaves give this sauce a certain texture. You’ll also need oregano. This you can use either fresh or dried. Because we grow this in our herb garden, I used one tablespoon of fresh oregano. However, you can use 1 teaspoon dried.
- Red Chili Pepper- Again if you’re going for fresh, one tablespoon of freshly chopped red chili pepper will suffice. I found one red chili pepper did the job. You can also use 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes.
- Garlic- Fresh garlic gives this sauce a nice kick. Use between 3-4 cloves of minced garlic. This comes down to personal preference. You can substitute with garlic powder (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons), however be warned that it won’t have the same taste as fresh.
- Olive Oil- One of my all time favorite healthy fats. Olive oil makes up the base of this sauce soaking up the wonderful flavors from the fresh herbs and garlic. You’ll use 1/2 cup.
- Red Wine Vinegar- Another favorite of mine as it’s commonly found in many Greek dishes. Red wine vinegar provides the perfect acidic balance and a nice tangy taste. This recipe calls for two tablespoons.
These make up the main five ingredients with salt and pepper added to taste. I usually use 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Once you have the ingredients you need, it’s time for chopping and combining.
How To Make The Best Chimichurri Sauce
A simple, easy sauce to make ahead of time or on the spot. Chop the herbs, garlic, and red chili pepper, and add olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- Chopped (not blended)– To keep with the authentic texture of this sauce it’s important to chop the parsley leaves, garlic, and red chili pepper by hand. Using a food processor will create a thicker sauce that’s not like the original loose, light version.
- Stir Together- Once everything is chopped, you’ll add the chopped ingredients, olive oil, and red wine vinegar to a small bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
- Allow Time For Infusion Of Flavors- You can serve this right away. But if you have time, let the sauce sit out for an hour or overnight. The more time it has to meld together the better it tastes!
Ways To Use Chimichurri Sauce
You can use chimichurri sauce in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas on how to use this green summery sauce…
- Cooked meats and seafood- Drizzle on top of grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, or fish to give these dishes a fresh, savory herb flavor.
- Roasted or Sauteed Veggies- Give your cooked vegetables a nice kick by mixing them with chimichurri. Create a healthier version of potato salad by roasting some red or yellow potatoes and mixing with chimichurri sauce. Or drizzling on roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Pasta- Fresh pasta salad? Why not! Cook your favorite pasta and mix in chimichurri sauce for a nice finish.
- Sandwiches or Burgers- Use chimichurri on sandwiches or burgers in place of or alongside your favorite sauces. Watch how your meal is transformed!
- Dip- Chimichurri sauce also pairs well with crisp French bread or focaccia. Use it as a dip and enjoy!
More Healthy Sauce & Dip Ideas
Want more easy, healthy sauce recipes to dress up your meat and vegetables? Give these a try:
- Antioxidant-Rich Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Easy Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- Homemade Recipe for Ranch Dip (Plain Yogurt)
- Easy Poblano Dip (Pan-Seared)
Fresh Chimichurri Sauce (Authentic)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped, flat-leaf parsley
- 3-4 cloves, finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red chili pepper (Can substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried red chili pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh oregano (Can use 1 teaspoon of dried oregano)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste (I use Redmond's Real Salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Finely chop the parsley leaves, oregano, garlic, and red chili pepper. Then place the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Stir everything together. Serve right away or allow the flavors to meld together on the counter for an hour or overnight. You can also store it in the fridge for later use.