Basil Chimichurri

Add basil to classic chimichurri for more complex flavor that will have dinner guests asking for your secret ingredient.

Basil Chimichurri
Photo: Carson Downing
Total Time:
15 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
1 cup

Even purists appreciate another spoonful of flavor. Whip up this chimichurri recipe in just 15 minutes and add this twist on basic chimichurri to just about any protein of your choosing. The bright flavors of the combined herbs will pair well with the hearty, savory flavors of your choice of meat for a delectable result.

Top grilled and roasted foods with this flavorful South American-style sauce. Made with a handful of herbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and zesty spices, chimichurri (chim-eeCHURR-eh) is the ideal accompaniment to fish and seafood, burgers, rotisserie chicken, pork and lamb chops, and eggs. It is truly that versatile! The featured ingredients, a generous handful of basil and parsley, give the thick sauce its dark green color and distinctive taste.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper

  • 1 ¾ cup packed fresh basil

  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro

  • ¼ cup packed fresh Italian parsley

  • ¼ cup chopped shallot

Directions

  1. In a food processor, process 1/2 cup of olive oil, 3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.

    Test Kitchen Tip: To add more of a kick to the sauce, add more crushed red pepper to taste.

  2. Add 1 3/4 cups packed fresh basil, 1/4 cup each packed fresh cilantro, Italian parsley, cilantro, and chopped shallot; process. Chill up to 5 days.

Let flavors meld: After blending or processing, cover and refrigerate the chimichurri for at least two hours to allow flavors to meld. To bring to room temperature for serving, let the sauce stand a few minutes or warm it in a microwave a few seconds.

Basic Chimichurri

Use the same recipe as above without basil. Add 1/2 tsp. ground cumin and blend with the rest of the ingredients.

Cilantro-Lime Variation

Substitute 1 3/4 cups cilantro for parsley and cilantro, 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger), add an equal amount of lime juice for the vinegar.

Store fresh herbs: When you don’t grow herbs, buy them fresh from a market. To store fresh herbs for up to one week, cut 1/2 inch from stems, stand in a jar with a small amount of water, cover the bunch with a loose-fitting plastic bag, and refrigerate. An exception is fresh basil, which is stored at room temperature. 

Oregano-Orange Variation

Substitute 1 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves for the cilantro, and add 1 1/2 tsp. shredded orange peel. 

Mint-Lemon Variation

Substitute 1 1/2 cups fresh mint for the parsley, an equal amount of fresh lemon juice for the vinegar, 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard, and add 1 1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel.

Storage: Chimichurri sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

64 Calories
7g Fat
1g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 64
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Vitamin C 2.5mg 13%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0.3mg 2%
Potassium 31mg 1%
Folate, total 5.6mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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