Full of flavor and freshness, this parsley and cilantro chimichurri screams summer! Use this classic south american condiment on your marinated steak, tacos, and eggs. It truly is an incredibly versatile sauce and is sure to take any dish to the next level! It is naturally gluten free and vegan as well!
The first time I smelled fresh made chimichurri, I could not help but break out into a huge smile. If you make this recipe, you will see why. It's similar to this Spicy Cilantro Lime Marinade in that it is just so fresh.
This argentinian condiment is so fragrant and mouth watering to the senses. As soon as all of the herbs, onions, garlic, and lime juice get pulverized in the food processor, you are immediately hit with a delicious complex scent that is so appetizing you will want to put this as a garnish on everything!
After I made this, we had south and central american style food for a straight week because I was putting chimichurri on EVERYTHING. Right down breakfast in the morning on top of my eggs. This sauce is a hit.
What is chimichurri?
Made popular in brazilian steakhouses, chimichurri is actually an argentinian condiment. It is often seen as an accompaniment to grilled meats like skirt steak or flank steak. Chimichurri can vary in texture from more oily, liquidy, or herby and thick, depending on the recipe.
Authentic chimichurri sauce actually has no cilantro in it. It is most often made with fresh parsley, fresh oregano, garlic, and olive oil. I love adding a little spice from jalapeno and acidity from lime juice!
Italian Parsley vs Cilantro
So are parsley and coriander (or cilantro) the same? Though they look similar, italian (or flat leaf) parsley and cilantro are different herbs with different flavors. Here are some ways to differentiate between the two herbs. The best way to test is to taste and smell the leaves!
- slightly woodier stems and heartier leaves
- parsley has a mild, fresh scent and taste
- used often in italian and middle eastern cooking
Cilantro (sometimes called coriander)
- very delicate leaves and softer stems
- strong citrusy aroma and taste
- some people find it tastes like soap (it's genetic!)
- a main ingredient in mexican, asian, and indian cooking
What You'll Need
- fresh cilantro
- fresh parsley
- red onion
- fresh garlic
- fresh lime juice
- red wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
How to make cilantro chimichurri sauce
Gather ingredients and trim off any stems, skins, etc.
For the onions and jalapeno, cut them in halves or fourths so they will more easily blend.
Place ingredients in the food processor, along with the squeezed fresh lime juice and red wine vinegar, and pulse until everything is consistent in size, about 20-30 seconds. Add additional oil if necessary.
Allow to sit for about 30 minutes to give the chimichurri ingredients time to all jive together and be the most flavorful possible!
My biggest tip is to use a food processor or blender if you have one available to you. It makes prep time a breeze and ensures everything is uniform in size. You can certainly mince everything up yourself to be finely chopped, but the food processor made this recipe come together so quickly!
What to serve chimichurri on
Chimichurri is most commonly served on marinated, grilled steak as a condiment.
Other ways to use this delicious cilantro chimichurri sauce recipe include:
- on tacos
- on eggs
- spooned over soups
- as a burger condiment
- as a dipping sauce for grilled kabobs made with chicken, steak, or shrimp
- paired with grilled veggies
- as a chimichurri marinade
- as a chimichurri spread on wraps or sandwiches
This sauce is truly incredibly versatile and will pair well with loads of dishes. Try it as a garnish on Instant Pot Refried Beans.
Variations and substitutions
- Don't like cilantro? Use all parsley.
- Don't like parsley? Use all cilantro.
- If you don't like things too spicy, leave out the membranes and seeds of the jalapeno because adding them to the food processor. Alternatively, red pepper flakes could be used instead of jalapeno. Start with a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes, taste, and add more if desired.
- All red wine vinegar can be used in place of the lime juice and vice versa.
Because it is made with fresh herbs, chimichurri is going to look and taste its freshest within a day or two of making. After that, the green color will fade a bit and it won't be as crisp.
That being said, chimichurri will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and still be delicious. Just make sure to keep it covered in an airtight container.
Can you freeze chimichurri sauce?
Yes, chimichurri keeps quite well in the freeze and can be kept for 3-4 months. Freeze in ice cube trays or small airtight containers.
To thaw, do not apply any heat. Simply thaw in the refrigerator until the sauce returns to its original texture.
Check out this article for more tips on freezing fresh herbs.
Parsley Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 jalapeno
- ½ medium red onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 limes juiced
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- Gather ingredients and trim off any stems, skins, etc.
- For the onions and jalapeno, cut them in halves or fourths so they will more easily blend.
- Place ingredients in the food processor, along with the squeezed fresh lime juice and red wine vinegar, and pulse until everything is consistent in size, about 20-30 seconds. Add additional oil if necessary.
- Allow to sit for about 30 minutes to give the chimichurri ingredients time to all jive together and be the most flavorful possible!