Cilantro adds a unique burst of flavor to this cilantro chimichurri recipe which is a twist on the traditional chimichurri sauce. It's zesty, refreshing, and slightly spicy.
Chimichurri sauce, which is similar to pesto originated in Argentina; authentic chimichurri recipe is made with parsley as the only herb and is served with grilled meats. I added a few more fresh herbs; cilantro and oregano to bump up the flavor.
In addition to grilled meat, we like cilantro chimichurri as a condiment to air-fried baby potatoes.
Why you will love this recipe
- Cilantro chimichurri sauce is a simple sauce, made with simple ingredients!
- It's a quick recipe to make and comes together quickly.
Here is what you will need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh oregano
- Red wine vinegar
- Red chili pepper or jalapeno pepper
How to make cilantro chimichurri sauce
Prepare the ingredients: Rinse and pat dry the pepper and fresh herbs, and measure the olive oil and vinegar.
Step 1. Chop the herbs
Use a sharp knife to chop the herbs and place them into a bowl.
Step 2. Mince the garlic
Mince the garlic and hot pepper and add it to the bowl with the cilantro, parsley and oregano.
Step 3. Add the liquid
Stir in olive oil, and vinegar.
Tip! For best results, allow the chimichurri sauce to sit for at least 30 minutes to lock in the flavor before serving it.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this cilantro chimichurri sauce recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.
Red wine vinegar adds zest to the sauce, and it can be replaced with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Fresh Garlic Fresh garlic adds the most flavor to this fresh sauce and can be replaced with ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 ½ teaspoons of minced garlic.
Extra virgin olive oil has more flavor than regular olive oil, but the two are interchangeable in recipes. I prefer the light flavor of an extra virgin olive oil in foods that aren't cooked like this sauce.
Red jalapeno pepper can be replaced with a teaspoon or two (to taste) of red pepper flakes
Chimichurri sauce variations & uses
This is such a versatile sauce that has many uses, here are some suggestions:
- Add onions - Dice a tablespoon of red onion or green onions to add more flavor to the sauce.
- Add citrus - brighten up the sauce and add up to a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or lime juice.
- Chimichurri marinade - Mix together 2 to 3 tablespoons of chimichurri sauce with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and add up to a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Salad dressing - Stir chimichurri sauce into your favorite salad dressing.
- Chimichurri dip - Add a tablespoon or two of chimichurri sauce to 1 cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream for a tasty dip.
- Chimichurri spread - Add chimichurri sauce with mayonnaise and use it as a sandwich spread.
- Chimichurri hummus - stir in a tablespoon or two (to taste) to a cup of plain hummus.
How to store leftover sauce
Store leftover chimichurri sauce in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Freeze leftover sauce for up to three months.
Recipe Tips & Questions
- A knife is an easy way to chop the herbs for chimichurri, especially if you prefer more texture, and it only takes minutes to make.
- Freeze leftover sauce in an ice cube tray for individual portions.
You can make chimichurri sauce in a small food processor. Add the garlic, pepper, and herbs to a mini food processor and pulse the herbs into small pieces. Transfer the chopped herbs to a small bowl and add the oil and vinegar. A blender is not recommended for making chimichurri sauce, it will turn the sauce into a paste.
Chimichurri sauce tastes best served at room temperature or chilled. If you serve it straight from the refrigerator, it should sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
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