Chimichurri Chicken

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One of our favorite healthy and easy dinner recipes is Chimichurri Chicken! An addictive green herb sauce drizzled over simple spice-rubbed boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) makes for a flavor-packed meal.

We love pairing this delicious Chimichurri Chicken with this light and refreshing Cucumber Salad, easy Bruschetta, or Roasted Carrots.

Overhead shot of Chimichurri Chicken on a bed of rice.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, it’s probably no surprise to you how much I like sauces. I think they add so much flavor and complexity to dishes! And nothing beats a sauce that’s homemade.

This chimichurri sauce is no exception to my love of sauces! While it’s not 100% authentic to Argentina chimichurri, it’s my favorite take on the famous herb sauce.

Chimichurri

If you aren’t familiar with chimichurri, it’s an uncooked sauce that’s typically paired with grilled meat (often as a marinade and/or sauce).

Chimichurri sauce originated in Argentina and Uruguay and comes in green and red versions. Over time, chimichurri has spread, and most Latin American countries have their own version. Typically, the sauce is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. The dominant flavors are usually parsley and garlic. My chimichurri has a few more flavors added: cilantro, lime juice, and a little bit of honey to balance the acidity.

Chopping up parsley for chimichurri.

Many uses for chimichurri

This Chimichurri Sauce is SO versatile– I add it to so many things! Chimichurri Sauce is generally served as a condiment, but it is wonderful as a flavor booster for protein marinades, grains, and salad. Below are some of my favorite ways to use this sauce:

  • Tossed in couscous (try this shrimp couscous!), cooked quinoa, or cooked rice
  • Added to grilled vegetables or roasted vegetables
  • In a salad (as the dressing) with avocado, tomato, and red onions
  • Over every type of grilled protein you can imagine
  • Added to cooked beans 
  • Folded into mayo to create a delicious herb spread for sandwiches or wraps
  • Stirred into sour cream or Greek yogurt for a taco cream sauce

Chimichurri as a marinade

Chimichurri is a great marinade for meats, veggies, or tofu. To use as a marinade, combine the following: 1/4 cup chimichurri, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and a hearty pinch of salt. Stir together and add to your protein, veggies, or tofu.

You can use this marinade recipe for this chimichurri chicken, but it’s completely optional. The 4-ingredient rub adds a lot of flavor to the chicken.

Chopped parsley being mixed with liquids for Chimichurri Sauce.

Tips for Chimichurri Chicken

  • Chop the herbs: While this sauce can be prepared in a food processor, I think it’s best with hand-chopped herbs. Doing this creates a more textured and coarse sauce. However, if you’re looking to save some time, here’s how to make chimichurri in a food processor (step by step photo guide here):
    • Add all the ingredients except the parsley, cilantro, and olive oil to a food processor; use a mini-prep processor if possible. I use and love this one.
    • Pulse to chop — you want ingredients pretty finely minced here.
    • Add herbs — again, pulse to chop, but this time you want the herbs to be a little coarser (they’ll soften as they sit).
    • Drizzle in oil — while the processor is running, drizzle in the oil to help thicken the sauce and chop the herbs a little more. You don’t want this sauce to be smooth; it’s best with some texture.
  • Make the chimichurri ahead of timeIf you’re planning meals for the week (or meal prepping), I recommend making the sauce a day or two ahead. You might even want to double it and add it to whatever else you’re eating during the week (see ideas above). This herb sauce just gets more and more flavorful as it sits!
  • Adjust red pepper flakes: If you don’t like any heat to the sauce, leave the pepper flakes out. On the flip side, add more red pepper flakes for additional heat.

Chimichurri Chicken served over rice.

Great side dishes

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Chimichurri Chicken

5 from 2 votes
One of our favorite healthy and easy dinner recipes is Chimichurri Chicken! An addictive green herb sauce drizzled over simple spice-rubbed boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) makes for a flavor-packed meal.
Print Recipe

Chimichurri Chicken

5 from 2 votes
One of our favorite healthy and easy dinner recipes is Chimichurri Chicken! An addictive green herb sauce drizzled over simple spice-rubbed boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) makes for a flavor-packed meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chimichurri Chicken
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 505kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Chimichurri

  • 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 large lime (2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped (~1 full bunch)
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley finely chopped (~1 full bunch)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Chicken

  • 1.3 pounds (~2 large) chicken breasts boneless, skinless (you can substitute thighs)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Optional: 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice

Instructions

  • CHIMICHURRI SAUCE: In a large Mason jar (See Note 1), add the finely chopped garlic cloves, (2-3 cloves if sensitive to garlic, or 4 cloves for garlic lover!) red wine vinegar and freshly squeezed lime juice. Stir and set aside. Finely chop a bunch of parsley to get a full 1/2 cup (you should use most if not all of a good-sized bunch; some stems are fine -- I just chop off the bulk of large stems and then chop the rest). Finely chop the cilantro and measure to get 1/2 cup. Add the olive oil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and honey to the Mason jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine. Add the 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley and cilantro to the jar and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight or let stand at room temperature while preparing everything else.
  • CHICKEN: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F.) (See Note 2.) Generously oil the grill or ridges of grill pan (I drench a rolled-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates.) Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts. Slice the breasts in half horizontally, cover with plastic wrap (to avoid splatter), and pound halves to an even thickness using a meat mallet or the bottom of your frying pan. (This helps them cook evenly.) Using a pastry brush, brush olive oil over all sides of chicken. In a small bowl whisk together cumin, coriander, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper (or add salt/pepper to taste; if not using kosher salt (and using table salt) you'll need to reduce the amount of salt.) Sprinkle this seasoning mix over all sides of the chicken. Press in but don't rub into the chicken.
  • COOK: Place the halved and pounded chicken onto the grill or grill pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through (registers 165 degrees F on a food thermometer and juices run clear). Remove the chicken from the grill/grill pan and let rest for 5 minutes, tented with foil. Slice chicken against the grain.
  • ASSEMBLE: If desired, serve cooked chicken over a grain of choice. We like white rice or couscous best! I like to stir about 1/3 cup chimichurri sauce into the cooked grain. Add chicken on top and spoon generous amounts of sauce over top. For storing leftover chimichurri, see directions in the blog post.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you prefer to use a mini food prep food processor, read the post for directions.
Note 2:  You can also use a regular pan! Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add (horizontally halved) chicken breast and cook for 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and loosely cover with foil. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 646mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 845IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you Chelsea!!!!! (:
    I love Chimichurri Sauce!!!!!
    Another great recipe, but all of your recipes always are!!!!! (:
    So don’t stop!!!!!
    Have a Wonderful Day!!!!! (:

  2. 5 stars
    Another chicken recipe. My next assignment is to cook this recipe. I love the way it cooks. It is easy to prepare. I will think some ingredients to add to make it tastier and delicious. Thank you.

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