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Chimichurri, aka Magic Sauce
In case you’ve been unlucky in life so far and are unfamiliar with the intoxicating flavor of chimichurri sauce, let me tell you about it. It originated in Argentina, and I’ll admit, it sounds pretty simple: minced parsley, oregano, and garlic are blended with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper. But some kind of alchemy happens when those simple ingredients are mixed together in the right proportions, and the result is a dripping/drizzling sauce that makes grilled meat something really special.
Here’s my take on it. I encourage you to drizzle onto grilled meats and vegetables, scramble it into eggs, and use it as a marinade. It’s also pretty great as a salad dressing on butter lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and red onion.
Makes 1/2 cup | Prep 5 minutes | Whole30 compliant
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1/4 cup)
In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Inhale and rejoice that you have a nose.
Gradually whisk in the oil, then stir in the fresh parsley. Taste and adjust salt/pepper, if necessary. This tastes best at room temperature, but store it covered in the refrigerator. Keeps for 3-4 days.
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I love Chimichurri, having parents that hail from Argentina, mum always made chimichurri whenever we had a bbq, cause it’s da bomb.
I’ll have to make this and see if it comes close to how my mum makes it.
I discovered the lovely green sauce while living in Nicaragua. It makes steak taste like heaven! I am so glad to hear it is whole30 compliant as I am in the midst of my first attempt and this will make day 25 special.
I was married to a man from Argentina and his family came up – and showed me some ‘tricks of the trade’ in their cooking. We actually add cilantro to it and it must be broad leaf Italian parsley. Ours are all equal parts parsley and garlic, just a bit oregano and a bit more cilantro and twice that in red pepper flakes. Usually now I just leave the oregano out. But as they say, this sauce is deeply personal, and you can modify it a number of ways! 🙂
Melissa, I just purchased the first Well Fed book and all I can say is THANK YOU!!!!! I came across your site when I was doing a google search for healthy moroccan meatballs (strange, I know lol) and I’ve been in love ever since. I’ve made the mayo (even an adaptation of cilantro-lime mayo using your mayo recipe as a base), stir-fry sauce, best chicken and several other recipes and they are all the bomb.com. I’m doing the Whole30 starting this week because of this site. Thank you sooooo much 🙂
I’m so glad you found me! And doubly glad that you’re enjoying the recipes. Have an AWESOME Whole30!
OMG! This stuff is the bomb dot com. Since I cannot cook, I am surprised it turned out, but I am so happy that it did. I am even happier I made a double batch because I literally want to eat this on everything for the rest of my life. 🙂 Thank you so much for this recipe!!
Making a double batch was very smart. Good move!
Thanks for posting this recipe again! I lent my WellFed 1 to a friend and she hasn’t returned it yet and I will only make this chimichurri sauce. As everyone else says, its da bomb!
The health and wellness guy that my company deals with recommended your books. I was just checking them out online and came across your awesome blog. Is the chimichurri sauce in one of your books? I can’t decide which book to start with. Thanks for all the info you provide. Great blog!
Glad you found me! The chimichurri is in the original Well Fed — but Well Fed 2 also includes lots of amazing sauces. They’re both packed with great recipes 🙂
When you marinated skirt steak in this chimichurri, how long did you let it marinate??
I let it sit overnight in the fridge, but 2-3 hours should be enough.
Perfect. Thank you!
Starting my first Whole30 today and was wondering this morning – so, red/white wine vinegar is compliant? The “wine” part threw me off and I wasn’t sure.
Happy Whole30-ing! ALL vinegars EXCEPT malt vinegar (gluten) are Whole30 approved. (http://whole30.com/2013/06/the-official-can-i-have-guide-to-the-whole30/)
So Tasty! I only did a tiny bit of olive oil (like 1/8 cup) and made it into more of a paste to put on top of steaks…wow. Yes, it was so good I may have turned it into a veggie seasoning, salad dressing and meat topping!
I did my first whole 30 not knowing about this…will not make that mistake again!
Glad you liked it! It really is good on just about everything savory.
I’m one of those people who use recipes as a guide, rather than to follow them. It’s a blessing and a curse to be that way, but mostly a blessing. 🙂 I doubled the recipe, but instead of a second cup of parsley, I used fresh cilantro (both cups were packed and overflowing). Thank you so much for creating this! It will be my new regular everything sauce. Tonight I used it for a dipping sauce for a bacon Dubliner grilled cheese sandwich. (Made paleo/scd-friendly bread). Life is awesome. Thanks again! Off to try your pesto recipes. :))
how long can i store it in the refrigerator.
Can i freeze it?
I don’t recommend you freeze it; the herbs won’t survive the defrosting process. Vinaigrettes like chimichurri are, in theory, timeless—but they start to lose their zing after about 10 days, and might being to grow mold after that.
My husband is Argentine and your recipe is very close to his..but he uses more parsley(no cilantro!). One comment is that the sauce improves after time in the refrigerator..just put it in a jar and make sure there is always oil floating at the top..this protects the sauce from the air. It will turn more of a brown color, but the taste will improve – even up to one year in the fridge..
Could you use the stick blender to make this smooth? Or would that ruin the sauce?
You can, but I think it will make it a purée… which is fine. It’s a texture issue. Totally personal choice.