Cilantro Chimichurri is an herbaceous Argentine sauce with endless versatility. Enjoy over grilled meat, roasted veggies or potatoes, grains, or fried eggs.
Featuring fresh cilantro, parsley, and oregano with a generous pour of rice vinegar, this punchy sauce abounds with versatility.
- Pour it over roasted fish, seared tofu or skirt steak, or drizzle it over a bowl of grains, lentils, and/or roasted veggies.
- Drizzle over fried eggs and roasted potatoes for a dynamite brunch.
- Turn it into a dip or spread by mixing a big spoonful with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise.
How to Make Cilantro Chimichurri
One of the secrets to making a good chimichurri is to chop everything by hand. This way, you get a more textured sauce that doesn't run the risk of turning into a paste if you were to blend it.
Another trick is to allow the aromatics to sit with the vinegar for 10 minutes before adding the herbs. This helps soften the sting of the shallots, and tames the heat of the chile.
Cilantro Chimichurri is best served about 1 hour after it's made, which gives the flavors time to marry. You can even prepare it 1 to 2 days ahead for a more boldly flavored condiment.
- Cilantro: The predominant herb in this chimichurri is cilantro, which adds a tangy, citrusy backbone. Make sure to measure all of the herbs AFTER finely chopping.
- Parsley: Parsley adds a clean, peppery punch and subtle earthiness to the chimichurri.
- Oregano: A little oregano goes a long way due to its pungent, sharp flavor. Oregano is a classic contender in chimichurri sauces, and balances the other two herbs beautifully.
- Vinegar: While many chimichurri recipes call for red wine vinegar, I prefer a less sharp variety, such as rice vinegar.
- Shallots: Soaking the shallots in rice vinegar for 10 minutes helps soften their sting.
- Garlic: 1 garlic clove goes a long way, especially after it has a chance to soak and marinate the herbs.
- Chile: Look for a Fresno chile, which adds bright specks of red to the sauce. For less heat, remove the seeds and ribs.
- Olive Oil: It's important to use a good quality olive oil for chimichurri. Aim for something that's bright, as opposed to bitter, with a clean, not-too-grassy finish.
Step 1: Soak Aromatics
Combine shallots, garlic, chile, and salt in a medium bowl. Add vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add Herbs
Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in olive oil until combined.
What do you Serve Chimichurri with?
This punchy sauce abounds with versatility. Spoon it over grilled meat or fish, drizzle it over a bowl of lentils or grains, or serve a spoonful over fried eggs and roasted potatoes for brunch.
It's also delicious turned into a dip or spread by mixing a big spoonful with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise.
Here are a few of my personal favorite uses:
- Meat or Fish Topper: Spoon cilantro chimichurri over grilled skirt steak, tofu, or a meaty white fish, such as halibut.
- Grain Bowl Sauce: Drizzle chimichurri over a bowl of cooked grains or lentils with roasted veggies for a hearty vegetarian meal.
- Roasted Veggie Garnish: I love drizzling this chimichurri over roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes.
- Fried Egg Finisher: Spoon sauce over fried eggs and serve alongside roasted potatoes for a dynamite breakfast or brunch.
- Creamy Condiment: Mix 2 to 3 Tbsp. of chimichurri with a mix of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise and use a sauce or spread. This is especially delicious on roasted veggie sammies, burgers, and wraps.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: Cilantro chimichurri is best made 1 hour in advance. This allows the flavors of the herbs and aromatics time to really develop and marry.
- Store: Refrigerate leftover chimichurri in a sealed jar or Tupperware container for up to 5 days. The flavor will continue to develop, which I personally love after 2 to 3 days.
- Chef's knife
- Medium bowl
- 3 Tbsp. minced shallots
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 small Fresno chile, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (measured after chopping)
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
- ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Note: Chimichurri is best made 1 hour in advance. This allows time for the flavors of the herbs and aromatics to really develop and marry.Combine shallots, garlic, chile, and salt in a medium bowl. Add rice vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in olive oil until combined.