A traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce is heavy on garlic and light on spice. This version is heavy on garlic and heavy on spice.
The kick from the chili powder and cayenne will work wonders when you are serving it with some homemade empanadas, but of course you can always dial back on the spice if you want a milder version.
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
Chimichurri is a popular accompaniment for grilled meats in Argentina and other parts of South America. It was served with the beef empanadas I would get in Cozumel and I’ve been looking forward to experimenting with a more fiery version.
Get in the habit of buying parsley and you’ll always have the option of whipping up a quick chimichurri. It only takes a few minutes to make and you probably already have all the other ingredients you need.
Give the parsley a good rinse and then twist off the thicker, bottom portion of the stems and discard.
Dice it up fine and you’ll end up with about 1 cup of finely chopped parsley.
Combine with 5 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly cracked pepper, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
Give it a good stir and just like that you’ve already arrived at Chimichurri Station.
Take a taste for seasoning; I was happy with the salt level for this batch and didn’t add any more.
While this traditional version of chimichurri is already a keeper, I find it hard to resist adding a bit of heat to it; 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes would work but I am using a combo of ground New Mexican chili and cayenne to fire it up a little bit.
Start small and add gradually if you are using cayenne as it is potent. I used 1/2 teaspoon of the ground New Mexican chili and a small pinch of cayenne, probably less than 1/8 teaspoon.
You’re left with a vibrant, fiery, garlicky sauce that will work wonders on an assortment of dishes, with a special nod to our recent Beef Empanadas.
If you’re guilty of limiting parsley to the garnish realm then give this chimichurri sauce a try. It’s a classic sauce to have in your repertoire and is surprisingly easy to make.
Fiery Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 bunch parsley (1 cup chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch of cayenne (1/8 teaspoon or less)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- Give the parsley a good rinse and then twist off the thicker, bottom portion of the stems and discard. Finely dice the parsley, you'll end up with approximately 1 cup of chopped parsley.
- Combine the parsley with 5 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly cracked pepper, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Mix well and take a taste for seasoning. This is the traditional version of chimichurri; adding spice is optional.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and a pinch of cayenne. Combine well and take a taste, adding more heat if necessary.
- Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
This sauce will also go well with our Spicy Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Empanadas.