Fresh, herbaceous, and just begging to be served on top of grilled proteins, this Roasted Garlic Chimichurri is a lovely twist on classic chimichurri sauce. AND! This is a parsley chimichurri - no cilantro!
Chee-mee-CHOO-ree! It’s as fun to say as it is delicious to eat. And if I do say so myself, this Roasted Garlic Chimichurri (without cilantro!) is AMAZING. It strays from authentic versions that use fresh garlic, replacing it with roasted instead. The result is a chimichurri sauce that's less aggressive in the garlic department, a fresh, earthy, almost buttery chimichurri.
What is Chimichurri?
When people ask me what the heck chimichurri is, I describe it as an Argentinean pesto (sans nuts). Because, like pesto, chimichurri is fresh and herbaceous.
Chimichurri is a condiment with Argentinean origins that typically contains parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and flakes of chili pepper. It usually accompanies grilled meats, like steak.
What is the difference between Pesto and Chimichurri?
These delicious and herbaceous condiments may look similar but they differ in a few important ways. Pesto has its roots in Italy, whereas Chimichurri is of Argentinian descent. Pesto is made with basil, while chimichurri is made with parsley and oregano, and occasionally cilantro. I think of pesto as an herb and nut condiment, as recipes usually call for pine nuts, though you can substitute in other types of nuts like pepitas (try this Pepita Pesto!). Chimichurri is an herb and vinegar condiment, as white vinegar is where it gets its signature tang. Despite their differences, they both make some seriously tasty sauces.
After much research, experimentation, and sampling, I’ve created a chimichurri I’m pretty damn pleased with. And it’s all thanks to my secret (not-so-secret because it's in the title) ingredient...
Why Roasted Garlic?
While traditional recipes call for the use of raw garlic, sometimes the results can be overly pungent. Garlic can be unpredictable; like eating the overly browned potato chip at the bottom of the bag. Nine times out of ten it’s acrid, and you chastise yourself for eating it because damn it, you knew better.
Roasted garlic removes the undesirable element of pungent surprise (and garlic breath), and replaces it with a more subtle garlic flavor, one that is sweet, savory, and buttery. Mmmmm.
PLUS, the smell of roasted garlic is better than any commercial air freshener. And it's super satisfying to squeeze individual roasted cloves of garlic from the bulb.
How do you make Roasted Garlic Chimichurri?
Homemade chimichurri sauce is super easy to make because a food processor does the bulk of the work for you. This recipe contains no cilantro because I hate it, but I suppose you could add some in if you'd like. For this Roasted Garlic Chimichurri recipe you will need the following ingredients.
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1 bunch fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley (around 1 to 1 ½ cups, packed)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor, and puree until smooth.
For best results, wait at least 2 hours (at room temperature) before use to let the flavors develop.
Note: Don't taste it right away. I personally think this chimichurri sauce taste like grass clippings immediately after making. It NEEDS time to sit before it tastes truly awesome.
Chimichurri Sauce Substitutions
You're at home and really want to make this awesome Roasted Garlic Chimichurri but you're missing an ingredient. I get, you don't want to go to the grocery store. Stay home and try one of these substitutions.
- Roasted garlic - Swap in one (1) fresh garlic clove if you don't have time to spend roasting garlic. Or if you'd prefer more of a garlic punch.
- Italian (flat leaf) parsley - I don't recommend replacing the parsley in it's entirety, but you can do a 50/50 split of parsley and cilantro if you'd like.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Any neutral oil really will work here, like canola or vegetable oil.
- Apple cider vinegar - It'll be a little different but you can use white vinegar instead. White vinegar has a higher acedic acid content, so it's more sour and pungent than apple cider vinegar.
- Red pepper flakes - Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead. Or you could also toss in ½ of a fresh jalapeno.
What is Chimichurri good with?
Roasted Garlic Chimichurri is seriously AH-mazing paired with grilled foods like steak, chicken (try it on Grilled Chicken Thighs!), and potatoes. And if you’re looking for a good way to use up any leftover chimichurri, I highly recommend trying it on scrambled eggs (try these tasty Chimichurri Scrambled Eggs!) or slathering it on a grilled cheese sandwich (or really almost any type of sandwich). And of course, use it on tacos and burritos!
How long does homemade Chimichurri last?
Homemade chimichurri sauce lasts about a week in the refrigerator; store in a lidded container like a Mason jar. Bring to room temperature before use.
If you like this chimichurri sauce, try these other tasty condiments:
- Easy Chipotle Mayo Sauce with Roasted Garlic
- Roasted Green Tomato Salsa
- Easy Honey Chipotle Sauce
- Creamy Green Sauce (with Jalapeno and Spring Onion)
- Roasted Pepper Dip
Roasted Garlic Chimichurri
- Add all ingredients to a food processor, and puree until smooth.
- For best results, wait at least 2 hours (at room temperature) before use to let the flavors develop.
- Drizzle it over mains or sides, like grilled steak or chicken, or roasted potatoes.