Authentic Argentine Chimichurri Recipe

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This authentic chimichurri recipe is the best accompaniment to grilled meats. Made with fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, the incredibly bright flavors will have your taste buds doing the tango.

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What is Argentine Chimichurri Sauce?

Authentic Argentine Chimichurri sauce by Authentic Food Quest
Freshly made and flavor-packed Argentine chimichurri sauce

When it comes to grilling, Argentinians have mastered the art of the perfect barbecue.

Accompanying grilled meats is the ubiquitous chimichurri sauce. This popular sauce is made with parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper give it an additional punch.

Contrary to what some may think, Argentine chimichurri sauce never includes cilantro, only parsley. It’s a versatile condiment used mostly with grilled meats, and can also be used as a marinade.

Chimichurri sauce is also found in Uruguay, a top beef producing country that rivals Argentina.

Discovering Chimichurri Sauce in Argentina

Rosemary and Claire at an Argentina asado for chimichuri sauce by Authentic Food Quest
Rosemary and Claire grilling at an asado in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Learning the secrets of Argentine grilling was our mission, on our food travels to Argentina. We wanted to learn more about Argentine grilling in a country that prides itself on its beef.

During our three month stay in the country, we shared and enjoyed many asados or barbecues.

We connected with locals and ate at several parrillas or steakhouses where grilling was at the forefront.

It was through these experiences we discovered the famous Argentine chimichurri sauce.

Unlike grilling in the US, where barbecue sauce is a favorite, most meats in Argentina are simply salted before grilling.

Once cooked, the final touch is added. Chimichurri sauce is served alongside the grilled meats and the feast begins.

We fell in love with the bright and fresh flavors of this delightful sauce and even learned how to make the chimichurri sauce.

When you make this authentic chimichurri recipe and pair it with grilled meat, you’ll be singing its praises too.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: To ground ourselves deeper into the Argentinian grilling culture, we had the pleasure of meeting Argentine top chef, Francis Mallmann. Known for his techniques of ‘cooking with fire’, he shared fascinating insights about grilling in Argentina In his book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, Francis Mallmann shares grilling recipes and techniques adapted for the home cook. Make your summer grilling fun and tasty.

Origins and History of Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce by Authentic Food Quest for Chimichurri sauce recipe
Zesty and flavorful Argentine chimichurri sauce

No one really knows the origin of this Argentina’s grilling staple. There are several explanations and the most common one is attributed to its inventor, Jimmy McCurry.

Alongside indigenous troops, Jimmy McCurry, an Irish or English soldier, fought for Argentine independence in the 19th century.

 His name “Jimmy McCurry” was difficult for locals to pronounce, so they are said to have called him ‘Chimichurri’.

Other stories credit Basque settlers who came to Argentina in the 19th century. They are said to have called the sauce tximitxurri, which means jumble or mixture.

My favorite story is attributed to gauchos or Argentine cowboys. Chimichurri sauce is said to have been concocted and used for flavoring meat cooked in open fires in the pampas.

Regardless of the origin story, a bowl of chimichurri sauce is indispensable in Argentina, especially where meat is being served.

RELATED: Argentina Food Guide – Top 15 Authentic Foods You Must Try

How to Use Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

Argentine Chimichurri sauce at Argentina restaurant in Buenos Aires by Authentic Food Quest
Chimichurri sauce with steak and fries in Buenos Aires

Chimichurri  Argentina’s Versatile Sauce

In Argentina, ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauces are never found at any asado. The only acceptable sauce for grilling is chimichurri sauce. And, the sauce is added to the meat as a final touch.

Typically, at an asado, there is a wooden bowl of chimichurri sauce that is passed around to flavor the meats.

Besides grilled meats, chimichurri sauce is a versatile sauce that has other uses. While it matches the richness of the beef, it is also a tasty sauce for grilled chicken or fish.

You can also lightly grill thick crusty bread and slather it with chimichurri sauce.

Also tasty is chimichurri sauce with roasted vegetables. 

And, you can also mix it in with boiled potatoes for a side dish with a bite.

READ MORE: Argentines love adding chimichurri sauce to grilled meats. Get the Argentine barbecue tips with these 9 Argentinian grilling techniques

Argentina Chimichurri Recipe Pairing with Steak & Malbec Wine

Argentina chimichurri sauce steak and malbec wine for chimichurri recipe by Authentic Food Quest
Chimichurri sauce paired with steak and Malbec wine

Argentine chimichurri sauce is the perfect complement to a piece of great grass-fed beef.

Equally delicious is a full-bodied Malbec wine, which makes a great partner to grilled beef topped with chimichurri sauce.

RELATED: 12 of The Best Argentine Grills For Sale – A Full Review

How To Make Chimichurri Sauce At Home

Authentic Chimichurri recipe ingredients by Authentic Food Quest
Ingredients for how to make chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce accompanies grilled meats in Argentina. The main ingredient is fresh parsley and it elevates your meat dishes to incredible heights. 

Argentine chimichurri gets better with age, and as they say in Argentina, “today it is good, tomorrow, it’s even better.”

There are two ways of making this authentic chimichurri recipe. One uses fresh herbs while the other uses dried herbs. Both use oil as the medium.

Chimichurri sauce is bright and zesty. The fresh herbs are fragrant and the garlic and vinegar cut through the richness of the meat. Argentine chimichurri sauce is generally not spicy but rather, herbaceous.

Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients 

  • Fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Garlic cloves peeled
  • Fresh oregano leaves (or dried oregano)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • High-quality extra-virgin olive oil

Authentic Chimichurri Recipe Tips

Fresh parlsey for authentic chimichurri sauce by Authentic Food Quest
Fresh parsley for the chimichurri sauce

Authentic Chimichurri Recipe with High-Quality Ingredients

We recommend using fresh herbs for a flavor-packed chimichurri sauce. Equally important is the use of high-quality olive oil, which goes a long way to enhance the flavors.

One often overlooked and important component is the quality of the salt. Choose kosher salt versus iodized salt.

Kosher salt has a coarse and flat grain size, making it pinchable and easy to crumble. It is ideal for crumbling over dishes and meats.

How to Make Chimichurri Sauce Using Boiling Method

Many in Argentina, including chef Francis Mallmann, like to add an extra step to their chimichurri sauce preparation.

This step involves bringing one cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.

Once cooled, add this mixture to the rest of the ingredients just before adding the olive oil.

This process helps tame the pungency of the garlic and parsley yielding a more mild and smooth chimichurri sauce.

Try this if you are short on time and want a well-balanced chimichurri sauce. This method works if you don’t have time to let it sit for at least 24 hours before serving.

Argentine Chimichurri Recipe Step by Step Instructions

Chop up the garlic into fine pieces. Clean the fresh parsley by rinsing it under cold running water.  Shake the parsley to remove the excess water and chop.

Add in clean and chopped oregano. Mix the three together and then add in red pepper flakes.

Now, move into the liquids phase and begin by adding red wine vinegar.

Mix thoroughly with garlic and fresh herbs. 

Next, add the olive oil slowly, mixing as you go along.

Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. 

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce by Authentic Food Quest for Chimichurri sauce recipe

Argentine Chimichurri Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

This authentic chimichurri recipe is the best accompaniment to grilled meats. Bright, tangy and flavorful, it will have your taste buds doing the tango.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

    1. Mince the garlic very finely, and put in a medium bowl
    2. Mince the parsley and oregano, and add to the garlic, along with red pepper flakes.
    3. Whisk in the red wine vinegar, then the olive oil. 
    4. Transfer into a bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, and place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend.
    5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. 
    6. Chimichurri sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks

Notes

Chimichurri sauce can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. In Argentina, many keep a jar of chimichurri sauce in the refrigerator. As it ages, it’s vibrant color mellows, but it is still good. Argentine chimichurri sauce does not need to be made fresh at each serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information is generated by an online API and makes calculations based on serving sizes. These figures are only estimates and results may vary.

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20 thoughts on “Authentic Argentine Chimichurri Recipe”

  1. This easy delicious recipe really captures the flavors of our favorite Argentinan restaurant. We love it over steak and with beef and cheese empanadas.

    Reply
  2. This easy delicious recipe really captures the flavors of our favorite Argentinan restaurant. We love it over steak and with beef and cheese empanadas.

    Reply
  3. I love reading your post and where the recipes originated! Such a fun and very tasty experience! We just loved this sauce on our steak the other night and it added so much more flavor! I’ll definitely be making this sauce again!

    Reply
  4. I love reading your post and where the recipes originated! Such a fun and very tasty experience! We just loved this sauce on our steak the other night and it added so much more flavor! I’ll definitely be making this sauce again!

    Reply
  5. I actually just got a whole bunch of parsley and didn’t know what to do with it, so this came at the most perfect time!! Bookmarked to make later this week, thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

    Reply
  6. I actually just got a whole bunch of parsley and didn’t know what to do with it, so this came at the most perfect time!! Bookmarked to make later this week, thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

    Reply
  7. I made this last night for the second time! It’s always a crowd-pleaser. I served it with steak and also with our roasted potatoes. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

    Reply
  8. I made this last night for the second time! It’s always a crowd-pleaser. I served it with steak and also with our roasted potatoes. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

    Reply
  9. Lovely reading how the name originated – and that it is debated. I liked the first version, that it took the name of an actual person whose name was too difficult to pronounce. I haven’t been to Argentina, but my husband has been several times and he still praises the chimichurri he used to get there. I’m curious to check if I make him your version if he’ll finally be happy to finally get to taste the original, as he’s pretty disappointed in the chimichurri he gets served at steakhouses here in Sweden.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Eva and so glad you enjoyed the article. Who knows the true origins of the name ?? What’s most important is “that taste” your husband craves. Do give this recipe a try and let us know how it turns out. Can’t wait to hear. Cheers.

      Reply

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