Authentic chimichurri is a traditional Argentinean sauce that has become beloved worldwide for its bold and bright flavors. This sauce enhances the taste of grilled meats, characterized by its blend of fresh herbs and tangy vinegar.
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Table of Contents
What is Chimichurri?
At its core, classic chimichurri is made from fresh parsley, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. These ingredients are finely chopped or minced, then combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt to create a bright green sauce that is tangy and slightly spicy.
I made this recipe with fresh red pepper rather than dried red pepper flakes.
What makes this recipe authentic chimichurri?
This authentic chimichurri recipe from Argentina has all of the classic ingredients; parsley, garlic, fresh oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Traditionally served with grilled steak, the herbaceous and tangy sauce cuts through the fatty steak.
- Remove the parsley stems after cleaning them in baking soda and vinegar, and rinse well.
- Clean the parsley and allow it to air dry before making the chimichurri.
- Use fresh garlic rather than frozen or granulated garlic. It gives the chimichurri a fresh garlic flavor.
- Fresh oregano rather than dried oregano.
- Shortcut to a quick recipe, chop the parsley and garlic in a food processor for 10-20 seconds.
Try these Chimichurri Steak Tacos.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Fresh Red Chili Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes
One thing that sets classic chimichurri apart is the use of fresh herbs. The parsley adds a crisp, clean flavor to the sauce, while the oregano hints of earthiness. The garlic adds depth and complexity, while the red pepper flakes bring a subtle heat that makes the sauce sing.
I incorporated a red chili pepper in this classic chimichurri recipe, which was perfectly spicy and fresh.
Fresh Garlic vs. Frozen Garlic
I have both frozen and fresh garlic in the fridge. So I made this classic chimichurri with fresh garlic rather than frozen garlic.
Flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley
Flat-leaf or Italian parsley has a more robust and slightly bitter flavor than curly. It has flat, smooth leaves that are dark green and have a more pronounced aroma. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine as a garnish and in salads, soups, stews, and sauces.
Curly parsley, on the other hand, has a milder taste and a more delicate texture. It has curly, frilly leaves that are lighter in color than flat-leaf parsley and has a less distinct aroma. It is often used as a decorative garnish but can also be used in salads and cooked dishes. Curly parsley is commonly found in traditional Latin American dishes such as ceviche and empanadas.
Regarding cooking, both flat-leaf and curly parsley can be used interchangeably, depending on personal preference and the specific dish being prepared. However, if a recipe specifically calls for one type of parsley, it is best to use that variety to achieve the intended flavor and presentation.
Is Chimichurri only for steak?
Classic chimichurri isn’t just for meat lovers. This versatile sauce can dress up various dishes, from roasted vegetables to grilled seafood. It’s also delicious as a dip for crusty bread or a marinade for chicken or tofu.
Is Chimichurri Spicy?
Chimichurri doesn’t have to be spicy, and you can adjust the spice level based on the amount of chili pepper or red pepper flakes added to the recipe. I prefer a mild or medium spice level if you’re anything like me. When I’m preparing this recipe for guests who are not fans of spicy food, I remove it altogether.
Store in a glass jar/container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Before serving, let it sit at room temperature.
Try these chimichurri steak tacos
and this chimichurri rice.
Authentic Chimichurri Recipe
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Chef Knife
- 1 Mesh Strainer
- 1 Food processor
- 1 bunch Flat Parsley
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano
- 1 pinch Salt Or to taste
- 1/2 Whole Chili Pepper
- Step 1Rinse the parsley and pat dry. Remove the stems, pluck the leaves, and place them in the food processor.
- Step 2Make it easy, add all ingredients to the food processor, and chop for 5-10 seconds.
- Step 3Ideally, keep the chimichurri in the fridge for 24 hours before drizzling the chimichurri on a skirt steak or roasted chicken.