Chimichurri sauce is having a moment—and it’s going mainstream.
This tangy, traditional Argentinian herb sauce-turned-marinade—made from a base of finely chopped parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil—has popped up on restaurant menus 83% more between 2015 and 2019 than in past years, the Nation’s Restaurant News found.
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.
Just What The Doctor Ordered
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.)
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 as a marinade, coat meats, veggies or tofu with chimichurri 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.