Chimichurri is an incredibly versatile, flavorful sauce! It’s bursting with fresh parsley, oregano, pepper, and garlic! Traditionally served with grilled meats, it also makes an amazing marinade for vegetables, a condiment for cauliflower steaks, or served on a salad! You’ll love this bright, punchy homemade herb sauce!
If it’s wrong to put chimichurri sauce on everything, then I don’t want to be right. It’s been going on my cauliflower steaks, over salads, with eggs and toast in the morning… there hasn’t been a combination I haven’t enjoyed.
This bright, punchy herb sauce is bursting with flavor from fresh herbs, pepper, and garlic. It’s an absolutely irresistible homemade sauce recipe!
What is Chimichurri Sauce?
Chimichurri Sauce is associated most with Argentina and Uruguay, as it is commonly used in both cuisines typically to accompany grilled meats. It’s an incredibly versatile mixture of herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar, and chili pepper. It’s definitely not a pesto, as there is more texture to it, and the herb mixture is usually steeped in the oil, not pureed together.
This version is an easy, homemade method inspired by traditional Argentina Chimichurri. I’m definitely not claiming it is the be-all authentic chimichurri, but it’s damn delicious and what I’ve been able to replicate based on my own experiences.
You, too, can easily adapt this recipe depending on your preferred garlic and spice levels. That’s the beautiful thing about homemade sauces – you can make them what you want! Here are the ingredients that go into my Argentinian-Inspired Chimichurri:
- Parsley – it’s bright, earthy, and fresh! It’s the perfect base for this sauce.
- Oregano – it has this balance between sweet and a little spicy with an earthy element, too, making it the perfect addition with the rest of our flavors!
- Chili Pepper – I like using fresno peppers the best, especially for the bright color contrast the red provides. However, as you can see I photographed with a jalapeno. Use the pepper that matches your preferred spiciness level (or what your grocery store has available ;)). If you don’t want to use a fresh pepper, you can also substitute red pepper flakes.
- Garlic – an absolute must! You basically can’t have an herb sauce without garlic, can you?
- Red Wine Vinegar – adds the tang!
- Lime Juice – for a little more brightness and acidity!
- Oil – traditinoally, sunflower seed oil is used to make chimichurri. However, I’m a fan of using what you have on hand because we’re here to celebrate and enjoy food and not stress over specific oils, so use what you’ve got and enjoy the flavor of. The flavor will come through, so use something more mild.
- Salt – of course, add to your desired preference (be sure there’s enough to bring out the other flavors!)
Let’s make it!
As I mentioned, we’re not going for a pesto-type sauce here. Chimichurri sauce has visible herb and aromatic pieces that are then steeped in oil.
Traditionally a motor and pestle are used to make it, but we’re going with (IMO) a less labor-intensive, easier route and using a mini food processor (or whatever you’ve got on hand!).
Start by processing the garlic and chili pepper you’re using until roughly chopped. Because they are the densest ingredient, we are chopping them first so the other herbs don’t become too fine in the process.
Once those are roughly chopped, add the parsley and oregano, and red pepper flakes if you’re using them. Also, add in the vinegar and lime juice. Pulse them all together until a coarse mixture forms, or to your desired texture.
Transfer the herb mixture to a small bowl and pour the oil over, mixing together until combined.
I recommend letting chimichurri rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together before using, as the flavor will improve over time.
Ways to Use Chimichurri
There’s no wrong way to use chimichurri. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this spicy herb sauce. I would love to hear yours, too! Leave a comment below and let us know!
- Serve with grilled meats – this is the most authentic use of chimichurri! I also enjoy it with grilled seafood, spreading it over fish or shrimp skewers.
- Breakfast tacos or over eggs with toast.
- Use it as a marinade for meats, tofu, or veggies!
- Turn it into a dipping sauce for veggies, or a bright punchy addition to a cheese board.
- Serve it over potatoes – smashed potatoes, crispy potatoes, there’s no potato that doens’t love chimichurri sauce.
- With tortilla chips for a fun twist on salsa.
Argentinian-Inspired Chimichurri Herb Sauce
- 3-5 Garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoon fresno chili pepper, or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tablespoon Oregano
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup Neutral Oil
- 1/4 tsp Fine sea salt, more or less to taste
- In the bowl of a mini food processor, add garlic and pepper. Pulse until roughly chopped.
- Then, add parsley, oregano, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and red pepper flakes (if using instead of a whole pepper). Pulse until roughly chopped and combined; you're looking for a uniform mixture but not a pureed one.
- Transfer the herb mixture to a bowl and cover with oil. Let seep for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld before using. Serve over grilled meats, veggies, or as a marinade (or however else you desire!). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of savory homemade sauce recipes. Check it out!