Cilantro chimichurri sauce has a pleasantly fresh flavor with plenty of kick from the red pepper flakes and vinegar. Traditionally a parsley-based sauce, it makes an excellent marinade for meats, a sauce for vegetables, or a zesty topping for tacos.
Chimichurri is a traditional parsley-based sauce with roots in Argentinean cuisine. You could very well call it an Argentine version of an Italian pesto, with an herb, garlic and olive oil base, although the addition of vinegar makes it much bolder and brighter in flavor.
While the sauce is traditionally parsley-based, our cilantro version has a pleasantly fresh, herbal flavor, with plenty of kick from the red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. If you happen to be a cilantro hater, feel free to substitute the cilantro with more parsley, another mild herb like basil, or even another leafy green like arugula for flavor.
Chimichurri is incredibly versatile and will impart its bold flavor on whatever it is drizzled, doused, or smothered on. It is most commonly used as a marinade or seasoning for steak, chicken, or fish, but we like to use it as a sauce for vegetables like green beans or potatoes, a quick and flavorful salad dressing, or a zesty topping for tacos (even better: marinate or brush your steak, chicken, or fish with chimichurri first, then top the final tacos with a dollop or two for double the flavor).
Like pesto, this recipe gets a lot of its flavor from the olive oil, so don’t use pure or light olive oil which are made from second pressings and not as flavorful. At the same time, since it does use a full 1/2 cup of it, so don’t waste your super premium stuff either.
Once prepared, the sauce will keep decently well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, though do note it may lose some of its color and flavor overnight.