This decadent parsley-based sauce is perfect for marinating steaks and helping tenderize tough cuts. Or you can serve it fresh on your favorite grilled meat, from chicken and steak to seafood and more!
Chimichurri is sometimes considered the ultimate steak marinade, as it has simple, clean flavors that pair incredibly well with a great steak.
Made from only really simple ingredients, chimichurri is one of those sauces that is a lot more than its constituent parts. Mostly made up of parsley and oil, it works perfectly as a marinade or as a dipping sauce for steak or bread and feels fresh, fruity, and absolutely delicious all on its own.
Chimichurri Recipe Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Flat leaf parsley
• Red pepper flakes
• Black pepper
• Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
• Extra virgin olive oil
How To Make Chimichurri
• With the food processor turned on, add the garlic cloves through the food chute, processing until it is coarsely chopped
• Add in the parsley, oregano, red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar and process until the mixture is finely chopped
• Taste test and add more salt, red pepper, and vinegar to taste
• Remove and place into a small lidded container and then whisk in the olive oil
• Place the lid on top and let marinate for a few hours, if possible, so as to let the flavors blend together and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days
What Type Of Vinegar is Best For This Recipe
While only a little bit of vinegar is used in this recipe, it has a surprising amount of effect on the final flavor. That little bit of acidity pairs well with the olive oil and helps to provide a contrast with any fatty meats you choose to serve your chimichurri with.
One thing to keep in mind is that you have a lot of choices when it comes to your vinegar, and each type of vinegar is going to have a pretty significant effect on the flavor of your chimichurri.
For example, sherry vinegar has a lot more complex, subtle flavors, but it is also a lot sweeter than other types of vinegar, so you might find the final sauce cloying if you don’t enjoy too much sweetness.
However, red wine vinegar is that little bit more tart, and that gentle tartness might help contrast with the rich meat – it all depends on what kind of flavors you are looking for in your chimichurri.
You could also skip the more flavored vinegars and just use any kind of acid instead. Some simple lemon or lime juice would work perfectly fine in this recipe or any other kind of acid you happen to have on hand. The key is that you pick something you like and think tastes good!
Should You Use Flat Or Curly Leaf Parsley For This Recipe?
A lot of recipes will ask for specific types of parsley, either flat or curly leaf, but most supermarkets don’t tend to stock both flat and curly leaf in their herb sections.
So which is the right parsley for this recipe?
The thing to remember when it comes to choosing parsley types is that flat-leaf is designed for more parsley flavor, whereas curly leaf is more about appearance.
If you are looking to use parsley as a decoration to help top your food, then you should reach for curly leaf parsley. However, if what you are looking for is your food actually to taste like parsley, then you should try and get flat-leaf instead.
Flat-leaf parsley just tastes a lot more like parsley, and it keeps its flavor a lot longer when cooked. Conversely, curly leaf parsley is great for decoration because it not only looks really good, but it maintains its shape and its color even after cooking as well.
Since a lot of the flavor in chimichurri comes specifically from the parsley, you want to make sure only to get the most flavorful type you can get!
If you absolutely can only get a hold of regular curly leaf parsley, though, you should still make this recipe. Just make sure to really finely chop up and dice the curly leaf parsley to help ensure it mixes in properly with the rest of the ingredients.
Looking for more delicious Marinade recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley (packed, and leaves only remove stems)
- 8 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (add another teaspoon if you like it hotter)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (add more for tangier taste)
- 1 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- With the food processor turned on, add the garlic cloves through the food chute; process until coarsely chopped.
- Add in the parsley, oregano, red pepper, salt, black pepper and vinegar and process until the mixture is finely chopped. Don't over-chop it, you want some chunks! Taste test and add more salt, red pepper and vinegar to taste at this point.
- Remove and place into a small lidded container, then whisk in the olive oil.
- Place the lid on top and let marinate for a few hours if possible to let the flavors blend together.
- Refrigerate 1 to 2 days.
- sherry vinegar will have a slightly sweeter taste than red wine vinegar, use whichever you prefer
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.