This chimichurri sauce recipe is ready in just 5-minutes, so you can quickly enhance the flavor of your favorite grilled meats and vegetables.
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This healthy, vibrant green chimichurri sauce packs a flavor punch with minimal effort! Fresh herbs combined with aromatic vinegar, savory seasonings, and spicy pepper come together in minutes. Just grab a food processor or blender to do the hard chopping.
The key is to break down the leaves first, then create an emulsified sauce by gradually incorporating olive oil until smooth. This process helps the sauce cling to the food with ease. With just a push of a button, you can spruce up boring pieces of meat or brighten up fresh vegetables with this easy-to-make condiment.
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce traditionally used in Argentinian cuisine as a condiment for grilled meat. Green chimichurri is made with fresh herbs, tangy vinegar, garlic, olive oil for richness, and red chili pepper flakes for heat. Red chimichurri may also include smoked paprika for color and cayenne or dried red chilies for heat.
This recipe is a green chimichurri, using fresh cilantro and parsley leaves as the base. Washing the produce is essential. The leaves can collect dirt and debris during harvesting. Handpick the leaves off the stem, or use a chef’s knife to trim them off.
Chimichurri sauce is prized for its herbaceous and spicy notes. My top choice is fermented red wine vinegar. The acidity heightens the sauce taste while adding depth with a lingering tanginess.
You can use other types of vinegar like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a milder flavor. Avoid distilled white vinegar because it will be too sharp.
Add in seasonings
It’s all about fresh ingredients combined with intense aromatics and spices to make this sauce shine. I use earthy ground cumin, spicy red pepper flakes, and fresh garlic cloves to balance the herbs and vinegar. Extra-virgin olive oil provides a fruity taste while adding richness to the sauce.
How to make chimichurri sauce
You can use a high-speed blender or food processor to make the sauce. Break down the leafy and chunky components with red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, chili flakes, and salt. This combination helps to coat the leaves with the dried seasoning evenly.
Process until the leaves and garlic look coarsely chopped. Slowly drizzle the olive oil, breaking down the fat droplets to create a smooth emulsion. If you like a chunky texture, just pulse the leaves a few times to chop before adding the oil.
Serve this with
- Grilled chicken breast
- Grilled strip steak
- Grilled flat iron steak
- Grilled shrimp
- Grilled portobello mushrooms
It is fresh and herbaceous from the cilantro and parsley with a slight hint of spice from the red chili peppers and savory flavors from the garlic and cumin. The surprising taste is just the right amount of tanginess from the red wine vinegar. The olive oil makes the sauce smooth and creamy.
Yes! Use a chef’s knife to chop the herbs and mince the garlic finely. Mix with the vinegar, spices, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until an emulsion forms. The sauce will be coarse in texture and less of bright green color without a blender or food processor.
Try it on barbecued meats like the classic pairing of grilled flat iron steak, chicken, or sauteed shrimp. It’s an excellent dip for fresh raw vegetables as an appetizer. I even top it on my eggs and potatoes in the morning.
How the texture gets so smooth
The mechanical shear of the blades works diligently to break down all of the ingredients into tiny particles. Then an emulsion is created with the oil and vinegar. This is when two immiscible components combine to create a consistent and smooth mixture like a sauce.
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Five Minute Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, firmly packed
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves, firmly packed
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons roughly chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Process the Ingredients – Using a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, cumin, and crushed red pepper. Mix for 20 seconds to break down the leaves, stopping to scrape the sides of the cup as needed.
- Add the Oil – With the machine running on low speed, slowly add the olive oil in a thin steady stream in the lid or feed tube opening. Cover and process on medium-high speed until smooth and slightly thickened, with some small herb pieces, for about 60 to 90 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Recipe Yield: About ¾ cup
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- For a Chunkier Texture: Process for less time
- Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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