This traditional chimichurri sauce recipe includes parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, red pepper, vinegar and oil. I realized that I haven’t shared my recipe for a classic chimichurri sauce yet. I previously posted a recipe for a quick version that uses fresh basil and also a balsamic chimichurri recipe, which has a higher ratio of oregano.
Traditional or authentic Argentinean chimichurri sauce is usually made in a mortar and pestle or by chopping the herbs very finely. Sometimes (like in the quick recipe) you can take a shortcut by chopping the ingredients in the food processor. For this version I prefer to chop the ingredients by hand. Of course, if you need it quickly or don’t have patience (or a sharp knife) then you can obviously use a small food processor.
Traditional chimichurri sauce
- ½ cup parsley (finely chopped; represents about 1/2 a bunch of parsley)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ cup green onions finely diced or minced
- 1 small red chili pepper (red Fresno or red Korean, deveined, seeds removed and finely diced ( can be replaced with 1-2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes or paprika for non spicy) – adjust more or less based on your preference and heat tolerance)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup oil (I prefer to use olive oil even though some say it's not the traditional Argentinean choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional herbs based on your taste: thyme, basil, cilantro, etc
- Combine all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and mix well.
- The chimichurri can be made ahead of time, but should be kept refrigerated and is best if used within 24-48 hours.
I used fresh oregano and fresh hot pepper in this recipe. You can also use dried oregano and dried red pepper flakes if you don’t have the fresh ones available. During the summer months I recommend trying it with the fresh ingredients. I love fresh oregano and it’s so easy to grow – regardless of if you have a large garden or just a small container herb garden.
You can also adjust the amount of red wine vinegar suited to your preference. Personally I like just a hint of acidity in a classic chimichurri so I added just a bit of vinegar and lemon juice. Chimichurri sauce typically accompanies meat and poultry dishes – especially when grilled. It also makes a great dipping sauce for empanadas and bread; you can also sprinkle it on top of veggies (steamed, roasted or grilled). The sauce makes a great dip and tasty addition to parties, people often come back to eating more. I love to use it as a marinade for chicken/meat.
Step by step photos of how to make chimichurri sauce: