Spicy Chimichurri Sauce is a delicious, verdant condiment that's perfect on steak, chicken, and fish. This chimichurri recipe makes extra sauce for storing in the freezer.
What is chimichurri sauce?
You probably know what chimichurri sauce is if:
(a) you're from South America and/or
(b) you've ever been to a South American Churrascaria.
You know, those Brazilian steakhouses with gauchos serving selections of sword-skewered meats and carving them table-side with scary looking knives.
My local churrascaria has an enormous vat of chimichurri sauce that guests ladle out into ramekins.
Chimichurri sauce is no-cook. You simply blend the ingredients in a food processor.
CAVEAT: for my spicy chimichurri sauce recipe, I do add roasted garlic, which I keep in my refrigerator most of the time for just such an occasion!
The basic chimichurri sauce recipe
Chimichurri sauce is very much like pesto in that it contains bright, fresh herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Also like pesto, there are a gazillion variations on the basic chimichurri recipe.
The most simple version involves only parsley, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, garlic or shallot, and salt and pepper.
Most recipes add oregano, and many crushed red pepper.
I blitz these ingredients thoroughly in a food processor.
Then the sauce is good to go as a condiment for meats and fish, as a marinade, or even as a salad dressing.
It's amazingly easy to make, but don't let that fool you: it's delicious.
If you love tangy marinades and sauces, you will love my Greek Marinated Lamb Chops. The Greek marinade has tremendous mediterranean flavor and complements the lamb perfectly.
My spicy chimichurri sauce recipe
For my spicy chimichurri sauce, I like a mix of about 3 parts parsley : 1 part cilantro : ½ part oregano.
Instead of crushed red pepper, I use two seeded jalapeños.
Then I add in several cloves of roasted garlic.
I prefer the tang of rice vinegar, but you can use the more traditional red wine vinegar if you'd prefer.
I blitz these ingredients in a food processor until smooth or a bit less if I want a chunky consistency.
By the time Fall hits, my garden is producing a veritable bush of parsley, so I make extra chimichurri sauce to store for later (see below).
About the roasted garlic...
Roasted garlic is a wonderful thing to have on hand.
I take an entire head of garlic, make a clean slice across the root end to reveal the cloves.
Then I set the head of garlic cut-side down onto some foil coated with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Then wrap the foil up over the garlic head and give it a twist (so it looks like a giant Hershey's kiss) and roast it at 350º until fragrant (15–20 minutes).
I keep the roasted garlic in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I love adding it to sauces, using it to make garlic toast, and mixing it with mashed potatoes.
And, of course, it's fantastic in spicy chimichurri sauce.
To blend or not to blend chimichurri
Authentic chimichurri sauce is not a smooth, pesto-like sauce.
Traditionally, the herbs are processed into a coarse paste and then the olive oil is poured over the top.
I like it both ways, although I have to admit that the fully blended sauce is really, really pretty!
I will leave that choice up to you.
Storing chimichurri sauce
I prefer to freeze chimichurri sauce.
I pour the extra sauce into small-portion freezer containers or bags, squeeze the air out and put in the freezer.
However, my personal preference is to freeze portions of the sauce in an ice cube tray, then pop them out after they're frozen and put them in freezer bags.
I wrap each cube with plastic wrap first to prevent freezer burn.
Then it's a simple matter of popping out a portion or two of the spicy chimichurri sauce to eat over your favorite grilled meat.
For example, I've done that here with a tri-tip roast that I grilled and then sliced into steaks (check out my recipe for Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce!).
That's it! A sauce to deliciously brighten your grilled meats.
I hope you love it! Be sure to check out my Mexican-Inspired Recipes for Cinco de Mayo for more Latin American cuisine.
I'm linking my Spicy Chimichurri Sauce recipe up with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Recipes Made Easy.
- #CookOnceEatTwice, for recipes that are just as good left-over as they are when you made them, hosted by Searching for Spice.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
Spicy Chimichurri Sauce
Spicy Chimichurri Sauce is a verdant condiment that’s perfect on steak, chicken, and fish. It's also great as a marinade, a salad dressing, or a garnish on soups and stews. This version makes extra for storing in the freezer.
- 4 cups flat leaf parsley, fresh, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cups rice vinegar
- 12 roasted garlic cloves
- ¼ cup oregano leaves, fresh, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, fresh, coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, (or to taste)
- 2 cups olive oil, extra virgin
- Combine the first 8 ingredients (through black pepper) in a food processor and blend until smooth. Drizzle the olive oil through the lid of your food processor or blender and pulse until smooth (see Recipe Notes #1 and #2).
- Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 2 days.
- If your food processor can't handle such large amounts, divide the ingredients into smaller batches to blend and mix together later.
- Alternatively, pour the olive oil over the top of the roughly chopped herb mixture in a mixing bowl.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
looks amazing! Ive never tried this but it sounds good. Do you think it would work with pork?
Thanks for sharing
Thank you, Jason! I would absolutely use this with pork! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder says
I've heard of chimichurri sauce before but have never had it. I love its vibrant colour and can imagine how fantastic it is with variety of different meats and fish and you included my favourite roasted garlic in it too! 🙂 I will definitely be trying your recipe out Michelle as sauce like this will be absolutely fabulous to have handy in the freezer.
Thank you, Jo!! I hadn't made this sauce in years, and I couldn't believe it once I reminded myself of the taste! And pulling out a cube of it from the freezer is a happy reminder of summer weather when it's ice cold outside!
never had it but it sounds great, so you can use it on any ,meats then really ? I presume the herbs need to be fresh and not dried
Hi, Karl! Thank you! I have eaten this sauce with just about every meat you can think of, from fish and chicken to lamb and beef heart, and it always works like a charm. This recipe is written for fresh herbs, although it is very likely that the originators of chimichurri sauce—the gauchos, who are the South American equivalent of "cowboys"—would have used dried herbs due to the fact that they had no refrigeration out in the fields. If you were to try dried herbs, you'd have to use far less. Thanks for stopping by!
Jacqui Bellefontaine says
Ohh Lots of lovely help tips in this post. I am pinning for myself to try later as well as to the #CookBlogShare board, thank you for linking up
Thanks so much, Jacqui!!
Corina Blum says
This is a brilliant recipe Michelle! My husband and I absolutely love chimichurri sauce but it's something I haven't made for a while - I'll have to put it back on the menu soon and make extra to freeze! Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice
Thank you, Corina!! It's very versatile, so I love having it around. Have a fantastic weekend! 🙂
Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies says
Lovely vibrant recipe, thanks. And great advice on the roasted garlic - which I love - but never thought of keeping in the fridge to use in so many ways xx
Thank you, Maria! My husband is addicted to the roasted garlic. 😉