Cilantro chimichurri takes your tacos to the next level. This herbaceous spread is loaded with cilantro, onions, garlic, paprika, red wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
It comes together in no time flat but adds a lot of zip drizzled over roasted potatoes.
Thank you to Herbivorous Butcher for sponsoring today’s post! The contents, photos, and opinions expressed are fully my own.
Chimichurri (pronounced chim-ee-chur-ee) is a savory sauce that works great as a topping, dressing, or marinade. It adds a bit of brightness to everything it touches.
If you’ve ever made pesto, then you can definitely make chimichurri. Think of it as Argentinean pesto. Except instead of having a base of fresh basil, you use parsley, or in my case, cilantro.
Parsley is the standard leafy green for chimichurri. But parsley is not my favorite. So I like to make chimichurri without parsley and swap it out for cilantro instead.
How to make cilantro chimichurri
Put the following into a food processor:
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Red wine vinegar
Cover & turn the food processor to low. While the blade is running, add extra virgin olive oil.
Then move the chimichurri to a covered container, and pop it into the refrigerator.
Let it sit for at least three hours or even better, overnight. The garlic intertwines with everything, and the onion & cilantro mellows. So it’s best not to make any recipe adjustments until after the flavors have had a chance to fuse.
Once you’re ready to use the cilantro chimichurri sauce, taste for any adjustments you might want to make.
Make it your own
You can make this sauce your own by varying the ingredients and amounts.
- Make it with parsley instead of cilantro or do a 50/50 mix
- Replace some of the cilantro with fresh oregano
- Add diced fresh jalapeño or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick
- Add a little more red wine vinegar or lemon juice for tang
- If the sauce is thicker than you’d prefer, add a Tablespoon of water or an extra Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Ways to use it
One taste of this sauce, and you’ll be looking for any excuse to use it. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Smother it on top of roasted cauliflower steaks
- Sprinkle it over a batch of baked french fries or roasted potatoes
- Stir it into cooked rice (like vegan pesto rice)
- Use a light drizzle as a finishing sauce for vegan tortilla soup
- Use it as a dressing for pasta salad or Southwest salad
- Spoon it on top of a tofu scramble
- Use it as a marinade for tofu slabs or seitan skewers before throwing them on the grill. I recommend pressing the tofu first or using the vacuum-packed variety. Marinate for about an hour.
- Use it as a topping on breakfast tacos, veggie fajitas, or vegan steak tacos
How to use it on vegan steak tacos
Cilantro chimichurri gives a photo finish to vegan steak tacos, made with seitan from the Herbivorous Butcher. (Note that the steak itself is not gluten-free.)
To grill the Herbivorous Butcher steak on an outdoor grill, I recommend leaving it whole. Bring the grill to around 500 degrees, and grill on both sides until you get nice, dark grill marks. Then remove the steak from the grill, and cut it into slices.
To grill indoors on a grill pan, bring the pan to a medium high heat with a spritz of oil. Cut the steak into slices, and lay them out across the skillet.
Grill for about 3 minutes on one side, until you get dark grill marks. Flip and grill for about 3 more minutes, until that side has nice grill marks too.
Finally, warm some corn tortillas one by one in a skillet or on the grill to make them pliable. Then fill them up with your favorite toppings & a drizzle of cilantro chimichurri!
Can chimichurri be frozen?
Yes, it freezes nicely.
To freeze, pour the sauce into an ice cube tray. Let the cubes freeze fully. Then pop them into a plastic freezer bag.
When you’re ready to use, defrost individual cubes in the refrigerator.
Can it be made ahead of time?
Chimichurri is best when made at least a few hours ahead of serving, so that the flavors have a chance to meld. You can make it several days before you plan on serving it.
How long does it last?
Chimichurri will last a couple of weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it longer than that, I recommend freezing it.
Cilantro chimichurri sauce
- Put cilantro, chopped onion, minced garlic, 1 ½ Tablespoons red wine vinegar, paprika, and salt into food processor.
- Put on the cover & turn the food processor to low. While the blade is running, pour 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil through the chute. Stop to scrape down the sides once, so that everything is evenly incorporated.
- Move the cilantro chimichurri to a covered container. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and preferably overnight, so that the flavors have a chance to fuse.
- Once you are ready to serve the cilantro chimichurri, taste for any adjustments. If you'd like more tang, add ½ Tablespoon more of red wine vinegar. If you'd prefer a thinner sauce, add a Tablespoon of water or an additional Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe video music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music
This is a sponsored post with a brand that I use in my own home. Posts like these help me keep fresh recipes coming your way!
Content and photos updated October 2020. Originally posted August 2019.