Chimichurri

Chimichurri Recipe

Like most great and simple dishes, a delicious chimichurri recipe depends on quality ingredients and careful seasoning, so be selective and look for crisp, dark green flat-leaf parsley with a peppery fragrance, and choose garlic that is firm, tightly formed, and unblemished.–Denis Kelly

LC Grammar Glitch Note

We’re going to be snarky for a second. Chimichurri is, by definition, a sauce. So to say “chimichurri sauce” is sort of like saying “Tuna Melt Sandwich” or “Frosted Flakes cereal.” Imagine the time you’ll save not adding those extra five letters each time you say “chimichurri” in conjunction with grilled steak, chicken, salmon, pork, shrimp, or anything else you can drizzle or douse with this fetching green sauce. What’s more subjective than the naming convention of this traditional sauce is the ingredient list. Or rather, the proportions of said ingredients in this chimichurri recipe. While some chimichurris call for a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to oil, others, like this one, dare to tilt things in favor of being more acidic. The line you choose to walk depends in part on whether you intend to use it as a marinade or drizzling sauce as well as your tolerance for tang. So try it as-is. Then, if need be, tweak it and try, try again. And then let us know what you think.

Chimichurri Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • 1. In a large, nonreactive bowl or a glass jar, combine the vinegar, oil, parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Taste and adjust the amount of vinegar, oil, and salt accordingly.
  • 2. Serve the chimichurri immediately or refrigerate in a covered container. If chilled, allow the sauce to return to room temperature before serving. It can be kept in the fridge for a week, but we doubt it will last that long.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
David Leite

Aug 02, 2011

I made this recipe in the worse of all possible scenarios: for a friend who spends half the year in Uruguay in South America, and who’s addicted to chimichurri. In short, she loved it. As we said above, this particular version is definitely tangy with vinegar. It’s also thin. So I added more olive oil (about 1/2 cup) and it balanced out the vinegar and made it a bit more viscous. By the end of the meal we were dipping everything into–potatoes, bread, our fingers.

One note: Refuse to use the food processor. This needs the rough chop of a knife.

Testers Choice
Leanne Abe

Aug 02, 2011

I think chimichurri is one of those sauces that has many variations, and people prefer slight differences — more garlic, less pepper, thicker sauce, looser marinade. This is a looser sauce, with an emphasis on the vinegar, which I feel works well when marinating steak. It also makes a lot, again due to its use as a marinade here. It comes together really quickly (I suspect you could even throw everything into a food processor for a couple of whirls) and gives the steak a bright, fresh flavor. I’d recommend reserving more than just 1/3 cup, though, for drizzling. We dipped bread into it, drizzled it over grilled corn, even spooned it on eggs the next morning.

Testers Choice
Tamiko Lagerwaard

Aug 02, 2011

I really liked this recipe as written. I kept the ratio of oil to vinegar as-is, as I didn’t find it too vinegary, BUT I make my vinaigrettes more to a half and half ratio, which many might consider too tart. I really appreciated this vinegary, parsleyed, garlicky marinade and sauce with the charred smokiness of the steak, and wouldn’t change a thing. Very easy and simple and works perfectly with beef.

Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

Aug 02, 2011

Sherry vinegar is one of my favorite vinegars ever, and I’m happy to use it whenever I can. Its flavor really came through for me — in a good way. Sometimes chimichurri (and other marinades and sauces) can be assertively vinegary, but this combination was a great ratio. The recipe calls for 2/3 cup, but I used 3/4 cup, and I also increased the 1/4 cup of olive oil to 1/2 cup. Perhaps next time I’ll try cider vinegar out of curiosity. Recipes that require fresh herbs appeal to me as I grow many of our own. Fresh oregano has sort of a mustiness to it, but when teamed up with the remaining ingredients it was subtle yet added that flavour so traditional in chimichurri. The red pepper flakes and garlic make this really sing! The chimichurri tasted good, even before adding flank steak to the equation, which is telling. Chimichurri + flank steak = delicious.

Comments
Comments
  1. Ellen says:

    What’s the closest to sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, plain old vinegar or balsamic vinegar? Thanks.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Depends on how acerbic you like things, Ellen. You could use an apple cider vinegar if you like a slight tang, but I’d recommend balsamic. If you have it, a white balsamic could be really quite nice, not just because it keeps the chimichurri from turning a rather drab brown but because it has a slightly less slam-you-in-the-face-with-a-baseball-bat vinegar effect. Let us know what you decide…

      • Rick Casner says:

        I’ve been using this recipe for a while now, not knowing I was a closet Argentinian. I’ve been substituting balsamic for sherry vinegar, adding a solid slug of bourbon (natch) & a dash of dark brown sugar. I’ve also used the concotion as a marinade, adding thin sliced onions (sometimes orange zest) and then letting steaks, chops, chicken swim around in the goop for times ranging from 2 hours up to 24 depending on type of meat & state of organization. Grilled with some good grilled sausage along side…must be why those Argentinian cowboys alway look so damned frisky.

  2. Beth Dunlop says:

    just wordsmithing here (once an editor, always an editor): do you really mean acerbic, or do you mean acidic? Both words work, but they actually describe different flavor profiles, actually –I should say–taste profiles.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      that’s a very good question, beth. you’re right, acerbic leans more toward sour or bitter, acidic more towards, well, acidic, yes? i shouldn’t have relied on a single word and instead taken a few more words to explain that some testers simply felt the higher dose of vinegar was just too vinegary for their tastes. i guess this can fall under either camp, but more towards acidic, yes? many thanks for helping ensure we’re as clear as can be…

  3. I’ve had several Chimichurri sauce disasters and tonight I had some special ribeyes from a rancher friend and figured that I could put my faith in David Leite–so I made this recipe with a few adaptations. I didn’t have red pepper flakes so I used some fresh cayenne. I didn’t have sherry vinegar so I used brown rice vinegar. I did about 25% more parsley and garlic than called for, but my garlic was elephant garlic and a little less intense. The sauce was amazing! Oh, and I think that doing all the chopping by hand makes a huge difference.

    • David Leite says:

      Robin, thank you for your confidence in me–and us! This sauce is a winner, and we have Costa Rican friend who visits Argentina often, and she swears by it. And I think your version sounds incredible.

  4. Linda M. Davidson says:

    We love this. I never have sherry vinegar, so I use sherry and balsamic vinegar. I marinate my meats then i usually reduce the sauce and serve it with the steak.

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