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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.

What you’ll need to make a chimichurri

The ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves, packed
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

The gear you’ll need

  • a food processor
  • a small bowl
  • an airtight container

Originally made in Uruguay and Argentina, chimichurri is usually made up of a combination of green herbs (like parsley and oregano), garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.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: You can try it on beans and roasted cauliflower and eggs and everything else. It’s great for dipping grilled or toasted bread, too.

We give you a classic chimichurri recipe (with video), as well as six twists on this sauce so you’ll never have a boring bite.

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.

  1. Place everything except the oil in a food processor bowl and make sure it has a blade attachment.
  2. Process until finely chopped. Be sure to stop the chop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as often as you need, about 1 minute total.
  3. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. This lets the flavors blend.
  5. Before serving, stir and season as needed. The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

And feel free to add a few more cloves of garlic if you want a knock-out sauce that pairs well with anything grilled.

Get our Argentine Chimichurri recipe.

The zingy, flavorful original rarely gets tiresome, but you can always mix it up. Here are some exciting chimichurri twists.

Adding basil to the parsley base adds an interesting twist that you could use instead of pesto in any dish, from chicken and shrimp to pasta and pizza.

You’ll need:

  • red onion
  • fresh basil leaves
  • flat leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • garlic cloves
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper flakes

Get the Basil Chimichurri recipe.

Jalapeños add a little spice to chimichurri (even more so if you leave some seeds in).

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Get the Jalapeño Chimichurri recipe.

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.

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Get the Rosemary Chimichurri recipe.

This recipe includes an entire bunch of fresh ramps (leek-like wild onions) in place of the herbs. But you can blend it with parsley if you prefer less of a punch.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bunch of roughly 10–12 ramps
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Get the Ramp Chimichurri recipe.

Adding some kale to the parsley and oregano packs this sauce with even more antioxidants and a fantastic dark green color. Fresh lime juice and lime zest add a kick.

  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley, tightly packed
  • 1 cup green kale leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves, loosely packed
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 cup olive oil

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.

  • 4 mild red peppers, roasted
  • 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped and packed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

Get the Smoky Red Chimichurri recipe.