Chimichurri sauce is super easy to make and extremely versatile to cook with. Use it as a marinade for tofu, a sauce for seitan, or a condiment for any dish that could use a little boost of flavor. It’s made with parsley, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and a spicy chile pepper. This easy recipe comes together in a matter of minutes. It’s vegan and gluten-free.
I first discovered chimichurri several years ago when having dinner at the (sadly) now-closed Candle West in New York City. It was a little late in life to discover something so yummy. I had heard of it before then, but since I wasn’t sure what it was, I was never inclined to try it.
Candle West served chimichurri on their incredible grilled seitan skewers, which I attempted to recreate a few years ago while I was taking the Rouxbe Plant-Based Professional course.
Chimichurri is an Argentinian green sauce that’s used both in cooking and as a condiment. It’s frequently served with grilled meat, but I like to use it with seitan and tofu. Traditionally, it’s made with chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. I like to think of it as a spicy pesto.
How to Make Chimichurri Sauce
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you remove the stems from your parsley. It would take hours to get rid of all of them, so you just need to get rid of the bulk of them. I like to cut the bottoms of the stems from the bunch with one giant chop. I leave the bits of stems that are attached to the leafy bits at the top.
- Then you mince your garlic and chile pepper. Scrape out the seeds from the pepper, so they don't end up in your sauce.
- Finally, you just throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until everything is chopped and mixed together well.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix everything by hand. You’ll need to finely chop the parsley, and make sure your garlic and chile are finely minced, too.
How to Customize Your Chimichurri
- This sauce is spicy by nature, but if you’re sensitive to heat, you can cut back on the amount of chile. Or, if you prefer, you can eliminate it all together.
- You can also control the heat by the type of pepper you use. I like to use a red scotch bonnet pepper, which is pretty spicy. You can use a milder chile, like jalapeno or serrano.
- Red pepper flakes can also be used in your chimichurri, rather than a chile, if you prefer.
- Traditionally, chimichurri is made with parsley, but you can swap some of it for cilantro, if you like.
Serving Your Sauce
- Chimichurri can be served as a condiment. You can use it as a spicy topper for just about anything from tacos and veggie burgers to pizza or grilled tofu.
- You can spread your sauce on cauliflower steaks.
- It can be mixed with mayo for a spicy sandwich spread.
- You can mix a little into a summer pasta salad or potato salad to give it a little kick.
- It can also be used as marinade. Use it for tofu, tempeh, or even veggies!
Be sure to check out my Seitan Skewers with Chimichurri and Jalapeno Lime Aioli and Seitan Chimichurri Tacos recipes.
- 1 bunch parsley large stems removed (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 red chile pepper seeds removed and minced (or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mix together the ingredients in a food processor until they’re finely chopped and mixed together.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the parsley with a sharp knife and mix it with the rest of the ingredients by hand in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure your garlic and chile pepper are finely minced.