Chimichurri

This chimichurri, a classic Argentine sauce, is based on the authentic and traditional recipe. Vinegar, olive oil, parsley, oregano, garlic, and pepper flakes are whisked together in minutes. Tweak slightly to taste. Bring on the steak.

A glass full of chimichurri--an Argentine steak sauce--made with vinegar, olive oil, parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes

We’re keen on dousing, drizzling, and otherwise acquaint this emerald elixir with grilled steak, chicken, chops, seafood, or heck, just about anything. While some traditional chimichurris call for a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to oil, this one dares to tilt things in favor of being more acidic. The line you choose to walk with regard to how much vinegar to add depends in part on your tolerance for tang and in part on whether you intend to use it as a marinade or drizzling sauce (opt for more vinegar for the former, less for the latter). So try it as-is. Then, if need be, tweak it ever so slightly and try, try again. We find it to be the perfect basis for just about any use. Originally published August 2, 2011. Renee Schettler Rossi

How Do You Say Chimichurri?

We’re going to be snarky for a second. Chimichurri is, by definition, a sauce. So to say “chimichurri sauce” is a little redundant. Sort of like saying “Tuna Melt Sandwich” or “Frosted Flakes cereal.” Imagine the time you’ll save in your life 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!

Chimichurri

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes about 1 cup
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
  • 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, if desired, gently 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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David Says

David Leite caricature

I made this recipe in the worst 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 it, including potatoes, bread, even our fingers.

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

Comments

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

    1. 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…

      1. 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. 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.

    1. 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 rib eyes 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.

    1. 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. 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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