Bright, herbaceous, tangy, and fresh. Whether you dip it, top it, or spread it, Arugula Chimichurri is going to be your new favorite addition to everything from your grilled chicken to piled high sandwiches.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect easy condiment to serve alongside your Sheet Pan Flank Steak Fajitas or an easy way to dress up a panini, this verdant spin on the Argentian classic will find its way to the center of your table. Go ahead and double the recipe because you will find yourself using it on everything.
What is Chimichurri?
This Arugula Chimichurri is a twist on the South American classic. Chimichurri is a traditional table sauce of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. It is often served with grilled meats such as beef, sausages, chicken, and fish. You can find this colorful sauce served at every asado.
Chimichurri is similar to pesto, using fresh herbs and garlic as key components of this uncooked sauce. However, unlike pesto there are no nuts or cheese. Traditional chimichurri includes parsley, sometime cilantro and oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, and sometimes lemon juice. Some variations will include red pepper flakes, shallots, or onions.
Not only is this versatile condiment delicious on everything, but it also only requires a few simple ingredients. With the peppery flavored arugula taking center stage the rest of the ingredients are mostly pantry staples that add to this bright and zesty sauce.
- Arugula – Arugula is a spicy and peppery green. It has a tender texture making it perfect for a sauce such as this chimichurri recipe.
- Red Wine Vinegar – Wakes up all of the flavors and adds a bright pop. Makes this an ideal condiment to serve with rich ingredients like red meat.
- Garlic – Sharp, spicy, savory, and pungent, this adds a zesty bite to this raw sauce.
- Lemon Juice – Sunny and fresh, this not only makes this sauce bright but also balances the peppery bite of the arugula.
- Salt – Enhances all of the flavors of the ingredients.
- Chili Flakes – Add a little or add a lot. Crushed red pepper flakes give a hint of heat without overpowering any of the other flavors.
- Olive Oil – Fruity and rich, this brings the sauce together. Pick a good quality olive oil.
How to Make Arugula Chimichurri
Unlike many chimichurri recipes that require chopping herbs into a fine confetti, this easy chimichurri recipe uses a food processor, making it come together even faster. With absolutely no cooking required, this is a versatile sauce that anyone can make!
Time needed: 15 minutes
Peppery and spicy arugula is combined with a bright burst of red wine vinegar and lemon juice for fresh sauce that goes with everything!
- Mise en Place
Measure out all of your ingredients. Roughly chop your garlic so this comes together faster.
Add the arugula and garlic to your food processor. Pulse it until it is roughly chopped.
Add the seasoning, vinegar, and lemon juice and pulse for a couple more minutes.
Drizzle in the olive oil with the food processor running until it’s incorporated, and you have reached your desired consistency.
Transfer your chimichurri sauce to an airtight container and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely hand chop your garlic and arugula. Add it to a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients, minus the olive oil. Stir to combine. Once everything is combined stream in the olive oil while you are stirring.
To make this chimichurri a little spicier, add additional crushed red pepper flakes. You can also add a finely diced jalapeno if desired.
How to Use Arugula Chimichurri
This tangy and fresh sauce is the ultimate condiment, requiring minimal ingredients and prep yet going with almost anything. Here are just a few ideas on how and what to serve this arugula chimi with and how to use it.
- Grilled Meats – Serve this alongside steaks, chicken, sausages, or seafood.
- Marinade – Use this to marinate everything from your favorite proteins to fresh vegetables such as zucchini and portobello mushrooms.
- Tacos – Skip the salsa and add this herbaceous sauce to your next Taco Tuesday table,
- Chicken Wings – Add your hot, cooked chicken wings to a bowl and toss them with this sauce.
- Sandwich Spread – Either spread the chimichurri directly on the bread or mix it with mayo for a delicious way to wake up your sandwiches.
- Basting Sauce – Brush this on chicken, fish, or vegetables while grilling.
- Potatoes – Use this as the base for potato salad or toss warm, freshly roasted potatoes in this sauce.
Chimichurri, just like pesto is a great dish to make once and then use all week. You will want to keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will keep for a week.
In addition, you can also freeze chimichurri. Fill the sections of an ice cube tray 3/4 full. Allow it to freeze overnight up to 24 hours. Once the chimichurri is frozen divide the cubes into freezer safe bags. They will last for up to three months.
Top Tip for Arugula Chimichurri
Whether you’re making pesto or chimichurri, it’s never quite as bright green as the day you first make it. Just like avocados, apples, and bananas oxidize and turn brown so do fresh herbs and greens. An easy way to keep these types of sauces brighter green longer is by adding an ice cube or two into the food processor. This shocks the greens and locks in that vibrant color, slowing down the oxidation process.
- 1 food processor
- 3 cups arugula
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of chili flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Add the arugula and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
- Add the seasonings, lemon juice, and vinegar to the food processor. Pulse for a couple of minutes.
- With the food processor running slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined and you have reached your desired consistency.
- Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated. It will last for a week.