Chimichurri is an incredibly versatile herb-based sauce that is fantastic on top of grilled meats or used as a marinade—and the sauce itself is vegan, so it’s also great for jazzing up roasted or grilled veggies and plant-based protein like tofu. With these seven chimichurri recipe variations from classic to unconventional, you’ll never have a boring bite.
Originally made in Uruguay and Argentina, chimichurri is usually made up of a combination of green herbs (like parsley and oregano), garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. But you can put endless twists on the usual formula, as you’ll see below.
No matter how you make it, chimichurri is a great addition to any summer meal. And seriously, don’t just stick to steak, chicken, and seafood—try it on beans and roasted cauliflower and eggs and everything else. It’s great for dipping grilled or toasted bread too!
Fresh parsley is a must, and fresh oregano instead of dried really kicks this sauce up a notch—but you can replace it with cilantro (as in the video), or try a mix of all three. If you don’t have fresh citrus, red wine vinegar will provide all the acid you need, but you can bump it up with lime or lemon juice too. And feel free to add a few more cloves of garlic if you really want a knock-out sauce that pairs well with anything grilled. Get our Argentine Chimichurri recipe.
Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini Prep Plus Food Processor, $39.95 from Sur La Table
This size is great for smaller jobs like sauce.
Adding basil to the parsley base adds an interesting twist that you could use anywhere you would pesto—from chicken and shrimp to pasta and pizza (try grilling that too). Get the Basil Chimichurri recipe.
Jalapeños add a little spice to chimichurri—more so if you leave some seeds in. Get the Jalapeño Chimichurri recipe. (Or try Ted Allen’s Roasted Jalapeño Chimichurri recipe for another nuance of smoky flavor.)
A little bit of chopped rosemary adds a ton of flavor to a classic parsley and oregano chimichurri, and is great on steak and potatoes—but try it on grilled salmon too. Get the Rosemary Chimichurri recipe.
This recipe includes an entire bunch of fresh ramps in place of the herbs, but you can blend it with parsley if you prefer less of a punch. Get the Ramp Chimichurri recipe. (And while you have a glut of spring produce at your fingertips, try Garlic Scape Chimichurri too.)
Adding some additional greens to the parsley and oregano makes this sauce even more packed with antioxidants and a fantastic dark green color. Fresh lime juice and lime zest add a kick. Get the Kale Chimichurri recipe.
Piquillo peppers and smoked paprika will have you seeing red—in the best way possible. But you’ll still find parsley, garlic, oil, and vinegar in the mix for the best of both worlds, and yet another sauce that’s great on everything. Get the Smoky Red Chimichurri recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.