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This chimichurri sauce recipe is a bold, bright, and versatile sauce that will liven up your meals. Our version features fresh parsley, sherry vinegar, olive oil, a generous amount of garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. It's simple to make with mostly pantry ingredients, and it's ready in just 5 minutes!
Chimichurri is a delicious and quick sauce that will brighten up even the most simple meal. It's an uncooked sauce similar to pesto that's filled with fresh herb flavor that will compliment any dinner. The base is parsley, a bitter herb with a range of health benefits that brings balance to savory dishes and makes them taste better!
We love using this chimichurri sauce recipe as a marinade for meat (especially steak), with seafood, or served as a condiment alongside simply seasoned dishes. We also love it with grilled or roasted veggies, stirred into yogurt as a dip, or mixed into mayo as a spread for sandwiches. We've even turned it into an appetizer in our chimichurri steak bites recipe!
It's so tasty and simple to prepare that you'll be making this recipe again and again. There are a lot of ways to put your own spin on it, so be sure to check out our variation ideas, too!
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is an uncooked, loose, oil-based sauce traditionally made with parsley, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. It's traditional to Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine and originated as a compliment to grass-fed beef that is common in the region.
While it's a versatile sauce with many applications, it's most often used as a marinade and condiment for meats like steak, fish, chicken, and lamb. It comes in both green and red varieties and common variations include using lemon juice, shallot, or onion.
Why you'll love this chimichurri sauce recipe
We love the fresh taste of chimichurri sauce, and we know you will, too! Here's why:
- It's made with fresh ingredients
- It's herby and flavorful
- It's easy to make
- It's versatile – use it as a marinade, serve it as a condiment, or turn it into a spread!
What you'll need to make chimichurri sauce
You're likely to have most of the ingredients for this chimichurri sauce recipe in your pantry. Here's what you'll need to make it at home:
- Parsley – fresh flat-leaf parsley is the key ingredient for making authentic chimichurri.
- Olive oil – any extra-virgin olive oil you have on hand.
- Sherry vinegar – this Spanish vinegar is lovely and balanced with a softer flavor than red wine vinegar.
- Oregano – we use dried oregano as we always have some on hand, but fresh oregano is wonderful, too.
- Red pepper flakes – to add a little heat.
- Garlic – for its pungent flavor and a bit of kick.
- Salt + pepper – to enhance all the other flavors.
How to make chimichurri sauce
This fresh herby sauce takes only 5 minutes to make! We chop the parsley by hand because we love the uneven texture, but you could use a food processor to do the chopping if you prefer. Either way, it's easy to prepare by following a few simple steps:
- Start by adding the parsley, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, chili flakes, and garlic to a medium-sized bowl.
- Mix it all well then season it with salt and pepper to taste – we like about ¼ teaspoon of each.
- Either use it right away or store it in your fridge for up to five days.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Tips for making the best chimichurri
- Chop the parsley by hand. This is the old-school way of doing it that gives the sauce a great texture.
- If you like bold flavors, add more garlic (up to four cloves.) Some garlic is milder than others, so taste and adjust the amount to your liking.
- Adjust all the quantities to your taste preferences by adding more salt, less pepper, and more chili flakes – you get the idea! While we love the combination and quantities in this recipe as it's written, feel free to play around.
- Serve it at room temperature.
- Ideally, use it right away for the best flavor.
- Leftover chimichurri sauce will keep for a few days in a sealed jar in your fridge. If you're taking it out of the fridge, allow it to sit on the counter for about a half-hour to come to room temperature. The oil should be fully liquid before serving.
Is chimichurri spicy?
No, a classic chimichurri isn't spicy. Many recipes add minced red chilis or extra dried red chili flakes for a bit of heat and added flavor.
Is this chimichurri recipe spicy? It has just the slightest amount of heat from a small pinch of dried chili flakes, but feel free to adjust the quantity to your taste preference.
Chimichurri variations to try
The wonderful thing about making your own homemade sauces is the flexibility of switching up the ingredients and flavors. Here are a few ways to mix up the classic chimichurri: sauce recipe.
- Add fresh lemon or lime juice (and zest) for a bright citrus spin.
- Use finely minced shallot for a subtle onion flavor.
- Add basil or rosemary to the parsley base for an interesting twist.
- Use jalapeño to add a little spice and flavor.
- Add finely minced kale for added texture, color, and health benefits.
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe: FAQS
Can I substitute the sherry vinegar?
Yes! Red wine vinegar is the best substitute for sherry vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works too, but avoid using white vinegar as the flavor is too strong.
How long does it keep in the fridge?
Chimichurri is best served right away but you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Ideas for serving chimichurri
Chimichurri is a delicious and incredibly versatile sauce. Spoon it all over your grilled dishes this summer. Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve this chimichurri sauce recipe as a condiment alongside meat and seafood dishes:
- Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb
- Chimichurri Steak Bites Appetizer
- Best Grilled Chicken Breast
- Grilled Chimichurri Chicken
- Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
- Blackened Ribs with Caramelized Carrots
But the fun doesn't stop there. Chimichurri sauce is delicious with just about everything. Here are some more ways we love using this chimichurri sauce:
- Mixed into the yogurt sauce with this simple baked salmon recipe
- Used as a marinade for meat and seafood
- Drizzled over grilled or roasted veggies such as our grilled mini peppers, quick garlic roasted carrots, or roasted asparagus
- Stirred into yogurt or guacamole as a dip
- Mixed into mayo as a spread for sandwiches like this porchetta sandwich
- Served with eggs like our Spanish baked eggs
- Spooned over store-bought items like hummus to make them look more fresh and fancy (or make your own easy hummus)
Popular sauce recipes
- 1 cup parsley (minced)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Add the parsley, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, chili flakes, and garlic to a medium-sized bowl.1 cup parsley, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 3 cloves garlic
- Mix well then season to taste with salt and pepper. We like about ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper.salt and pepper
- Either use the chimichurri sauce right away or store it in your fridge for up to 5 days.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.