Chimichurri sauce is having a moment—and it’s going mainstream. In fact, chimichurri sauce has popped up on restaurant menus 83% more between 2015 and 2019 than in past years, the Nation’s Restaurant News found.
What is chimichurri?
There’s a good reason this tangy, traditional Argentinian herb sauce-turned-marinade is more popular than ever before. Simply put, chimichurri sauce, which is made from a base of finely chopped parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil, is packed with flavor.
Traditionally served as a condiment and spooned over grilled steaks, newfound uses for this versatile Argentinian culinary creation extend far beyond meat. It’s being used to give vegetable and grain dishes a major flavor kick, from grilled cauliflower steaks and roasted sweet potatoes to quinoa.
Chimichurri ingredients are seriously healthy
Packed with flavor and prepared with simple ingredients, chimichurri is a delicious and easy way to season food without extra salt or sugar (which are often dumped into other sauces).
It also helps incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your meals: Parsley, a main component of chimichurri, contains a myriad of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and an abundance of phytonutrients: health-protective chemicals that help protect people and plants from diseases. Plus, it’s in peak season during the summer!
Chimichurri’s other all-star ingredient, garlic, has long been recognized as beneficial to health thanks to the sulfur compounds that are activated when the garlic clove is crushed or chopped. (Pro tip: Crush or chop garlic 10-15 minutes before cooking to allow these compounds to form.)
The basic chimichurri recipe is versatile
There’s no one method for how to make chimichurri, which opens up an array of delicious possibilities. You can riff endlessly on chimichurri’s base components. For instance, add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicier version that’s popular in Uruguay. Argentinians also came up with a red variation with dried red chili and red bell peppers or chipotle peppers.
Since it’s summer, step away from the oven and turn on the grill: Chimichurri’s bright, piquant flavor makes it a natural complement to grilled foods like seafood, poultry, eggplant and root veggies. To use a chimichurri marinade, coat meats, veggies or tofu with the sauce and let them sit for an hour before grilling. Serve with extra on the side for dipping.
For a new spin on classic ingredients, you can add chimichurri sauce to plain Greek yogurt and use in place of sour cream for tacos, use it as dressing to top a salad or grain bowl, and drizzle it on top of eggs and serve with a side of beans for a savory breakfast. Pretty soon, you’ll be asking for a side of chimichurri sauce with everything.
Chimichurri sauce can be found in our latest Freshly meal: Chicken Chimichurri.
Freshly delivers healthy, chef-developed meals weekly to make eating well easy and delicious. Check out our rotating menu.