This traditional style chimichurri sauce recipe is made with parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, red pepper, vinegar and oil. I realized that I haven’t shared my recipe for a classic chimichurri sauce yet, even though I’ve 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 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, but for the traditional 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 recipe made with parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, red pepper, vinegar and oil. Use to accompany empanadas and grilled meats.
- ½ bunch of parsley, about ½ cup finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup finely diced or minced green onions
- 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) – adjust more or less based on your preference and heat tolerance
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup of oil (I prefer to use olive oil even though it's not the traditional Argentinean choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 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, but 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 based on your preference. Personally I like just a hint of acidity in a classic chimichurri so I used just a bit of vinegar and lemon juice. Chimichurri sauce is typically used to accompany meat and poultry dishes – especially when grilled. It also makes a great dipping sauce for empanadas and bread; it can also be sprinkled on top of veggies (steamed, roasted or grilled). I love to use it as a marinade for chicken/meat.
Step by step photos of how to make chimichurri sauce: