Lemon chimichurri sauce is a simple, versatile option to add a flavor boost to nearly any recipe. Try this on salads, beef, poultry, or fish – it’s so easy! Trust me when I say you’ll want to put this sauce on everything!
Labor Day Weekend has come and gone and I am keeping my fingers crossed that some cooler weather is heading our way! We’ve had a few teasers of what’s to come, there have been a handful of cooler mornings and crisp evenings with a little hint of chill in the air. But I want more!
I generally do want more of everything…more time, more sleep, more food, more money, and so on. It’s not always possible to have it all. Such is life. But when it comes to flavor, it is absolutely possible to have it all. Enter: lemon chimichurri sauce. This little concoction is basically a formula for flavor that has no rules. THERE ARE NO RULES!
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What Is Chimichurri?
Chimichurri is part of traditional cuisines in South American countries, particularly Argentina and Uruguay. Sadly, I have not traveled to either of those places. Add that to the bucket list!
The primary flavors found in chimichurri sauce are fresh parsley and oregano, garlic, and white vinegar. Other versions include fresh basil or cilantro, red pepper flakes or jalapenos for spice, red wine vinegar, and spices like cumin or paprika. There’s also a red chimichurri sauce that adds tomatoes and red bell peppers. So you can see there’s a lot of variety in how these flavors can be mixed and matched.
For me, this is a perfect “template” style recipe. Similar to a formula for pesto sauce, the ingredients are interchangeable without totally scrapping the overall vibe of the recipe. This is the first year I’ve been successfully able to grow container herbs – so thankful to be out of our apartment! We had a nice porch there but absolutely no sun. After the first summer’s sad attempt to grow herbs in hanging baskets over the side, I pretty much gave up that idea until we moved. My basil, mint, oregano, and rosemary have been thriving all summer. It’s so satisfying to be able to walk out the door and grab what I need, whenever I need it!
How To Make Lemon Chimichurri Sauce
All ingredients simply get tossed into the bowl of a food processor and blitzed until a smooth consistency begins to form. If you want to make a more traditional version, use a chef’s knife to finely dice the herbs. This gives it a chunkier consistency, which I personally prefer, but it can be more time-consuming or tiring for the wrists.
Once finished, this lemon chimichurri sauce is ready for whatever you want to use it for…again, NO RULES! I love it as a thick dressing for salads and bowls, but it’s also tasty as a marinade for beef, poultry, or fish. It is also delicious in my Chimichurri Shrimp Summer Salad, Summer Salmon Salad with Grilled Peaches and Chimichurri and Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chimichurri Rice and Chorizo. It’s original use was as a topping for steaks or beef kabobs so if you’re doing any grilling you can slap some meat on the grill and whip this up before your steak is medium rare! Or you know, however you want your steak cooked….
Here’s the recipe for Lemon Chimichurri Sauce:
Lemon Chimichurri Sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh mint
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- Zest of one lemon
- Prepare the onion and garlic by finely chopping with a chef's knife. Add to a small mixing bowl.
- Wash and dry the fresh herbs, remove stems, and finely chop. Add to the mixing bowl, along with all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, then allow to sit 15 to 20 minutes to allow flavors to mix. Serve with salads, grilled meat or vegetables, or use as a dressing or marinade.
- Refrigerate leftovers, then bring to room temperature before re-serving.
This lemon chimichurri sauce will store well in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also toss it in the freezer if you can’t use it right away. I seem to rarely have that problem – stay tuned for the next post to see what I combine with this batch! Do you have a favorite version of Chimichurri Sauce?
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