I have to admit, I’m a bit embarrassed. Up until last year, I had never tasted Chimichurri. Fortunately, I stumbled across an easy chimichurri sauce recipe with cilantro and well quite frankly… I FELL IN LOVE.
Boy, did I fall hard.
For the next two weeks, we had chimichurri sauce on everything! We had it with chicken, pork, steak, shrimp, tacos, eggs, potatoes, tossed into salads, and even mixed into rice.
Chimichurri sauce is a loose oil based condiment that traditionally accompanies meat, especially flank or skirt steak. It has a bright, fresh, clean flavor thanks to a base of parsley, a little bite of heat and good punch of zing!
This bright green sauce packs a TON of flavor. You can make it in minutes, it only calls for a few ingredients and NO special equipment is required! Plus this sauce is wonderful for both meat lovers and veggie lovers alike.
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Easy Chimichurri Recipe (with Cilantro)
This is the first way I learned how to make chimichurri. The cilantro, lime, and cumin give it a zesty Mexican flair, which I’m partial to. Try both and maybe they’ll both end up as favorites!
- Finely chop a large bunch of fresh cilantro finely, stems and leaves, until you have 1 cup.
- Mince 2 cloves garlic and zest 1 lime.
- Mix together cilantro, garlic, lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoons of red pepper flakes*, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1/2 cup light olive oil and mix together.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.
*If red pepper flakes give you too much heat, use 2 tablespoons minced red onion instead.
Authentic Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce Recipe (with Parsley)
- Finely chop a large bunch of fresh parsley, leaves only, until you have 1 cup.
- Mince 2-3 cloves garlic and zest 1 lemon.
- Wearing gloves, take the seeds and veins out of a red chili and finely chop it.*
- Mix together parsley, garlic, lemon zest, the juice from the lemon, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), 1 teaspoon salt, red chili pepper, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1/2 cup light olive oil and mix together.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.
* If you don’t have gloves or red chilis handy, substitute 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar works really well in place of lemon juice & zest.
Simple Prep Tips & Variations
- Don’t use a blender or food processor. This is a loose condiment, not a paste. Think bonfire beach party, not a crowded downtown happy hour.
- Double the recipe and keep on hand in the refrigerator. It will keep easily for a week.
- Try adding 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano) to either recipe.
- For the chimichurri sauce recipe with cilantro, try switching out the red pepper flakes for a minced habanero. Don’t forget to take out the veins and seeds & please wear gloves when you do!
Ways to Use your Chimichurri
The fresh herbs in these recipes really shine through. I think that’s why they’re so good on all of the following dishes. Let me know what you think!
- Grilled Meats – This is the classic use for this sauce. Use it with your favorite steak recipe, baked fish, roasted chicken, shrimp, and pork.
- Tacos – Love this sauce spooned over any type of taco.
- Marinade – Marinade your meat or vegetables in it for at least 1/2 hour before grilling or roasting.
- Basting – I love to baste both chicken and steaks with this sauce while grilling.
- Roasted vegetables – Toss a variety of chopped veggies (try cauliflower, broccoli, and/or carrots) in a generous amount of chimichurri sauce. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
- Roasted baby potatoes – Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, toss with sauce, spread on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in 400 degree oven.
- Salad dressing – Use this zesty fresh condiment as your dressing in your favorite garden salad or Budda bowl.
Chimichurri Sauce Video Recipe
Dishes You Might Like to go with your Chimichurri Sauce
Restaurant Style Steak: Pairing this sauce with a steak like this is a home run. Use it to marinate the meat as you bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes. You’ll love it!
Oven Roasted Chicken (or pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home!)
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe with Cilantro or Parsley
This Chimichurri sauce recipe with cilantro or parsley is a loose oil based condiment that has a bright fresh flavor, a bit of heat and good punch of zing!
- 1 cup cilantro or parsley finely chopped
- 1 lime or lemon zested & juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil light
Mix all ingredients together.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
NOTES: If you're making chimichurri with cilantro, try using lime juice instead of lemon juice. And pair lemon juice with parsley. When I make it with a little of both, I tend to favor lime juice over lemon, but that comes down to personal preference. Let me know what you like best!
Switch out the red pepper flakes for 1 of the following
- 1 finely chopped red chili pepper (seeded and deveined)
- 1 finely chopped habanero pepper (seeded and deveined)
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
When working with pepper ALWAYS wear protective gloves. Do NOT rub your face with your hands.