Chimichurri Chicken

Chimichurri Chicken marries the vibrant and herbaceous flavors of traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce with juicy, perfectly cooked chicken. This dish brings a burst of freshness to your table, combining parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil to create a sauce that’s both a marinade and a topping for the chicken. Ideal for grilling season or any time you crave a flavor-packed meal, Chimichurri Chicken is a testament to the simplicity and beauty of using fresh ingredients to elevate a classic protein.

Selecting Your Chicken

Choosing the right cut of chicken is crucial for maximizing flavor and tenderness. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are the most popular choices, with thighs offering a juicier and more flavorful option due to their higher fat content. Regardless of your choice, ensuring the chicken is fresh and properly prepared sets the foundation for a delicious Chimichurri Chicken.

Crafting the Perfect Chimichurri

The heart of this dish lies in its chimichurri sauce, a no-cook herb sauce that’s quick and easy to prepare. In a food processor, combine fresh parsley, cilantro, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, a dash of red pepper flakes for heat, salt, and pepper. Pulse until you achieve a sauce with a coarse but pourable consistency. The balance of acidity, heat, and herbal flavors is key to creating a vibrant and versatile chimichurri.

Chimichurri Chicken

Marinating for Maximum Flavor

Marinating the chicken in some of the chimichurri sauce infuses it with depth and complexity. Place your chicken in a shallow dish or a zip-lock bag, and pour over enough chimichurri to coat. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, though a few hours or overnight is ideal for more intensified flavors.

Grilling to Perfection

Grilling is the preferred method for cooking Chimichurri Chicken, offering a smoky char that complements the fresh, tangy sauce. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Grill the chicken, turning once, until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and is charred in spots — about 6-8 minutes per side for breasts, slightly longer for thighs.

Serving Suggestions

Once cooked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with a generous drizzle of the reserved chimichurri sauce for an extra layer of flavor. Chimichurri Chicken pairs wonderfully with grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, or a light salad, making it a versatile choice for any meal. Whether enjoyed at a summer barbecue or a cozy winter dinner, this dish is sure to impress with its bold flavors and simple elegance.

Enhancing with Additional Accompaniments

To elevate your Chimichurri Chicken meal further, consider adding a variety of accompaniments that complement the flavors of the dish. A side of grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant can add color and nutrition. For a heartier meal, serve alongside quinoa or a rustic loaf of bread to soak up the delicious chimichurri sauce. Adding a simple side salad dressed with lemon and olive oil can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich, herbaceous chicken.

Customizing the Chimichurri

While the traditional chimichurri recipe is a great starting point, feel free to customize the sauce to suit your taste preferences. Adding or reducing the amount of garlic, vinegar, or red pepper flakes allows you to control the sauce’s boldness and heat level. Incorporating additional herbs such as oregano or mint can introduce new dimensions of flavor, making your chimichurri uniquely yours.

Tips for Perfect Grilling

Achieving perfectly grilled chicken involves more than just timing. Ensuring your grill is properly preheated and cleaned prevents sticking and achieves those desirable grill marks. Additionally, resisting the urge to frequently move or flip the chicken helps it cook evenly and retain moisture. Using a meat thermometer to check for doneness ensures your chicken is perfectly cooked every time, without guesswork.

Chimichurri Chicken

Making Ahead for Convenience

One of the beauties of Chimichurri Chicken is its suitability for making ahead, ideal for meal prep or entertaining. The chimichurri sauce can be prepared several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, its flavors melding and deepening over time. Similarly, marinating the chicken overnight not only enhances its taste but also makes for a quick and easy cooking process the next day.

Exploring Chimichurri Beyond Chicken

While chicken is a delicious vehicle for chimichurri, the sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used with a variety of other proteins. Experiment with marinating and serving grilled steak, fish, or even tofu with chimichurri for different flavor experiences. This adaptability makes chimichurri a valuable addition to your culinary repertoire, ready to transform any simple grilled dish into something special.

Storing Leftover Chimichurri Chicken

Proper storage of leftover Chimichurri Chicken ensures that you can enjoy this flavorful dish even after the day it’s cooked. Place any leftover chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The chimichurri sauce, kept separately in a jar or bottle, can last in the refrigerator for about a week. When ready to eat, gently reheat the chicken without overcooking it to maintain its tenderness and juiciness. A splash of fresh chimichurri sauce on reheated chicken can revive its vibrant flavors.

Incorporating Chimichurri into Other Dishes

Beyond serving as a marinade or sauce for proteins, chimichurri can be creatively used in various other dishes to infuse them with its distinctive herby and tangy profile. Consider stirring some chimichurri into cooked rice or pasta for an instant flavor boost. It also makes an excellent dressing for potato or pasta salads, adding a fresh twist to these classic sides. Alternatively, use it as a vibrant topping for baked potatoes or as a dip for crusty bread.

Hosting a Chimichurri-Themed Meal

For a fun and flavorful dining experience, consider hosting a chimichurri-themed meal. Offer a selection of proteins, such as chicken, steak, and tofu, each accompanied by its own version of chimichurri sauce. Complement these with sides that highlight the sauce’s flavors, like chimichurri-roasted vegetables or chimichurri-infused mashed potatoes. This theme not only showcases the versatility of chimichurri but also encourages guests to explore and compare different flavor combinations.

Learning About Chimichurri’s Cultural Significance

Understanding the origins and cultural significance of chimichurri adds depth to the cooking and dining experience. Originating from Argentina and Uruguay, chimichurri is a staple of South American cuisine, traditionally served with grilled meats. Its history is rich with various theories about its inception, reflecting the culinary traditions and influences of the region. Sharing these stories and traditions with guests or family members as you enjoy Chimichurri Chicken can turn a meal into an educational and culinary journey.

Experimenting with Regional Variants of Chimichurri

While the classic green chimichurri is widely known, there are regional variants worth exploring. For instance, some versions incorporate ripe tomatoes or red bell peppers, resulting in a red chimichurri with a slightly different flavor profile. Each variant offers unique combinations of herbs and spices, reflecting local tastes and traditions. Experimenting with these different recipes can introduce new dimensions to your Chimichurri Chicken, allowing you to travel through your taste buds to different parts of South America.

Pairing Wines with Chimichurri Chicken

Selecting the right wine can elevate your Chimichurri Chicken meal into a more refined dining experience. The vibrant flavors of chimichurri pair well with wines that can complement its herbaceous and tangy profile. For white wine lovers, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a zesty Pinot Grigio can balance the sauce’s acidity. If you prefer red wine, opt for a Malbec or a young Tempranillo, whose fruitiness and moderate tannins harmonize beautifully with the richness of the chicken and the boldness of the chimichurri.

Chimichurri Chicken

Maximizing Flavor with High-Quality Ingredients

The quality of ingredients plays a pivotal role in the final taste of your Chimichurri Chicken. Opting for organic, free-range chicken can enhance the dish’s flavor and texture, providing a better canvas for the chimichurri. Similarly, using fresh herbs picked at their peak, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and a good vinegar can make a noticeable difference in the chimichurri sauce, leading to a more aromatic and flavorful result.

Creating a Chimichurri Chicken Salad for Lighter Fare

For a lighter take on Chimichurri Chicken, consider using the grilled chicken and chimichurri sauce to craft a refreshing salad. Slice the grilled chicken and toss it with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and avocado. Drizzle with additional chimichurri sauce as a vibrant dressing. This salad option offers a healthful, yet still flavorful, alternative that’s perfect for warmer weather or when you’re seeking a lighter meal.

Engaging Guests in the Cooking Process

Turning the preparation of Chimichurri Chicken into an interactive culinary activity can make for an engaging and memorable dining experience. Invite guests to participate in making the chimichurri sauce, grilling the chicken, or assembling side dishes. This hands-on approach not only demystifies the cooking process but also fosters a sense of community and accomplishment as everyone contributes to the meal’s creation.

Exploring Chimichurri as a Marinade for Vegetarian Options

While traditionally paired with meats, chimichurri also serves as an excellent marinade for vegetarian and vegan dishes. Grilled portobello mushrooms, tofu, or cauliflower steaks can be marinated in chimichurri, then grilled or roasted to perfection. These plant-based alternatives absorb the sauce’s flavors beautifully, offering a satisfying option for those seeking meat-free dishes without compromising on taste.

FAQs about Chimichurri Chicken

Q1: Can I use dried herbs for the chimichurri sauce? A1: Fresh herbs are preferred for their vibrant flavor, but if unavailable, you can use dried herbs. Remember, dried herbs are more potent, so use about one-third the amount.

Q2: How long can I store leftover chimichurri sauce? A2: Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, homemade chimichurri sauce can last up to two weeks. Its flavor may even improve after a few days.

Q3: Is it possible to over-marinate the chicken in chimichurri? A3: Yes, while a longer marination time deepens the flavor, marinating chicken, especially if it’s cut into smaller pieces, for too long can make it mushy. Overnight is usually sufficient.

Q4: Can Chimichurri Chicken be cooked in the oven instead of grilled? A4: Absolutely! If grilling isn’t an option, you can bake the marinated chicken in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), usually about 25-30 minutes for breasts.

Q5: What makes chimichurri sauce turn bitter? A5: Overprocessing the herbs or using olive oil that’s too robust can result in bitterness. Pulse the herbs gently and taste your oil first; if it’s very peppery, mix it with a milder oil.


Chimichurri Chicken offers a delightful blend of fresh, tangy, and savory flavors, making it a standout dish for any occasion. By following the key steps of selecting quality ingredients, properly marinating the chicken, and pairing the meal with complementary sides or wines, you can elevate your dining experience. The flexibility of the dish allows for various cooking methods and dietary adaptations, ensuring that everyone can enjoy this Argentinian-inspired delight. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a culinary novice, Chimichurri Chicken is a testament to the power of simple ingredients coming together to create a flavorful, satisfying meal that’s sure to impress.

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Chimichurri Chicken

  • Author: recipstep
  • Total Time: 31 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Chimichurri Chicken is a vibrant and flavorful dish that combines the juiciness of grilled chicken with the fresh, herby zing of Argentinian chimichurri sauce. This recipe is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create a meal that’s bursting with flavor, perfect for any occasion that calls for a touch of culinary flair.



2 lbs chicken thighs, about 8 pieces, boneless and skinless
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 medium tomato, cubed
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped

For the Chimichurri Sauce:
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped from 1 bunch
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano, or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Prepare Chimichurri Sauce:

Combine all ingredients for the chimichurri sauce in a bowl in the order listed.
Stir together, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight to let flavors meld.
Marinate the Chicken:

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken thighs, 1/2 tsp salt, cubed tomato, finely chopped red onion, and half of the prepared chimichurri sauce.
Toss until chicken is evenly coated. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight if preparing ahead.
Grilling the Chicken:

Preheat the grill over medium/high heat.
Place chicken smooth-side-down on the hot grates, cover, and grill for 5-7 minutes per side.
Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165˚F at the thickest point with an instant-read thermometer.
Sautéing the Chicken:

Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil.
Add chicken smooth-side-down and sauté for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165˚F at the thickest point.

Arrange the cooked chicken on a platter.
Spoon the remaining chimichurri sauce over the chicken.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Enhance your Chimichurri Chicken with the vibrant flavors of tomato and red onion! 🌿🍅


  • Reserve half of the chimichurri sauce for serving to avoid cross-contamination.
  • For best flavor, use fresh herbs in the chimichurri.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (+30 minutes marinating)
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Argentinian


  • Calories: 450
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 40g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg

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