Making a red chimichurri is so easy, quick and versatile, plus it brings such a deliciously bright and fresh flavor to your meal. Made with tons of fresh herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and the star ingredient: roasted red peppers. Perfect bold-in-flavor condiment to add more character to rice dishes, vegetables, protein, bowls and much more. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Red chimichurri is a bright, garlicky, tangy and bold-in-flavor fresh sauce you can make within 5 minutes without any cooking or resting time required. It can be used to flavor any protein, bowls, vegetables, sandwiches or be used as a dipping sauce. It is one of the most versatile condiments we know!
This Argentinian red chimichurri sauce is actually a super healthy sauce, condiment or marinade that's filled with TONS of antioxidants and fiber.
Traditional chimichurri is typically served over steak or shrimp, so my obsession with chimichurri sauce started back in the days when I was still eating meat, which seems like ages away now.
But chimichurri is naturally plant-based and gluten-free though, meaning that everyone can eat it, no matter their diet. I make a classic green chimichurri often and showcased it in my chimichurri bowl recipe, but this time, I tweaked the recipe slightly to make a chimichurri rojo instead.
And omg, what a huge discovery. The addition of roasted red peppers to a traditional green chimichurri recipe really enhances its flavor even more and adds a smoky and sweet component that I find helps the sauce be smoother in taste and texture.
Also, I try using less olive oil in the kitchen if possible, which works out well here since the red pepper helps create a saucy texture when blending the ingredients together. This means that you will need less olive oil to reach that rich texture typical of a chimichurri.
But what I love the most about this red pepper chimichurri sauce is how easy and versatile it is to make. You can change up the ingredients or add more to it every time you make this recipe to create a sauce that's smokier, spicy, packed with even more herbs, sweeter, etc. Just adjust the ingredients as you blend + taste and make it your own!
I hope you give it a try! ❤️
Chimichurri verde VS chimichurri rojo
Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian oil-based sauce that has a good punch of flavor and is used for dipping, as a marinade, for garnishing dishes, etc.
A green chimichurri (verde) is the classic version of a chimichurri sauce made primarily of lots of fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro), garlic, dried herbs, red pepper flakes, high-quality olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt.
A red chimichurri is made using very similar ingredients such as herbs, vinegar, garlic and olive oil, but also includes roasted red pepper. It adds such a perfect balance to this sauce and smooths out the overall taste. Plus, it turns the sauce to a beautiful bright red color.
The acidic ingredients used in a red chimichurri also more often include a mix of vinegar and lemon juice and the sauce is usually a little less herby compared to a green version.
Why you should try this recipe
- Easy and quick recipe done within 5 minutes
- Flavorful sauce that's ultra-fresh and bold flavors
- Beautiful color that's very appetizing
- Very versatile sauce that's easy to tweak to your taste
- Endless ways to serve this recipe
- Speedy recipe you can make in the food processor, you don't have to hand chop the ingredients!
- Great for meal-prep and stores well
- Naturally vegan, plant-based and gluten-free
Ingredients you will need
- Fresh herbs: you can make your chimichurri using 100% parsley or a mix of parsley + cilantro (I like using a mix). Fresh herbs are a huge part of making a chimichurri, you cannot swap for dried herbs!
- Roasted red pepper: the star of this recipe! It adds a mild smoky and sweet flavor and creates a smooth texture to this condiment. I used roasted red peppers from a jar to make this recipe more convenient, although it is super easy to roast your own red bell peppers yourself. I show you how I make them in the oven in my Mexican buddha bowl recipe. If you have piquillo peppers, then you can use these instead!
- Garlic: use as much as you wish. A chimichurri is meant to be garlicky, so I like adding 2 large cloves, but start with only one if you prefer.
- Red wine vinegar: best choice of vinegar for making a chimichurri, although you can also use white wine vinegar if that's all you have.
- Fresh lemon juice: brightens up the whole condiment. You can swap for lime juice also.
- Dried oregano: also often included in a classic chimichurri recipe alongside the fresh herbs to add more flavor.
- Olive oil: use high-quality extra virgin olive oil with a flavor that you really love. I use less oil than a classic chimichurri, but you can add more if you were looking for a more oily result.
- Salt: add to taste.
How to make a red chimichurri sauce
This delicious condiment recipe should be done within 5 minutes, making it a great condiment you can make last minute to boost your meal.
In a food processor, add the roasted red peppers, garlic, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, fresh parsley and fresh cilantro (or just parsley) and a pinch of salt.
Then pulse the food processor until combined, but still chunky.
Open up the food processor and scrape the walls using a spatula.
Add olive oil
Then, process again while pouring the olive oil through the "feed tube" of the food processor.
Taste and adjust salt, acidity and garlic.
You can serve it right away or store it in the fridge to use later. The flavor tends to enhance while resting, so making it ahead is actually recommended!
- When picking your herbs, look for fresh leaves with a vibrant green color that has a strong aromatic smell for best result. Also, when cleaning and preparing the herbs, remove the thicker stems and use only the tender leaves.
- If using jarred red pepper, then drain them as well as you can. I even pat dry them using paper towels to remove the briny flavor as much as I can.
- This sauce is actually great when a little chunky, so I recommend pulsing the ingredients in the food processor as opposed to doing a constant blend.
- I also recommend to pre-chop the garlic before adding it to the food processor to ensure it is well broken down and combined in the red sauce.
- Chimichurri is an oil-based condiment that can be quite oily in texture. If this is what you are looking for, then add more oil as you wish.
Red chimichurri uses
Chimichurri is so versatile you can use it with so many dishes! Our favorite way is shown in the pictures over roasted tofu or tempeh, but here are our best ways to serve it:
- Bowls: one of my favorite ways to serve this condiment as well. You can check out my vegetable chimichurri bowl for inspiration! It would also go well over this Greek tofu bowl and this chickpea quinoa bowl.
- Sandwiches: drizzle a good amount in sandwiches to bring them to the next level! Try drizzling some in this roasted vegetable sandwich or this tofu vegetable wrap.
- Vegetables: next time you roast vegetables in the oven, make this red chimichurri for a nice boost in flavor and freshness. It would go great over corn on the cob, roasted potato and broccoli, miso potatoes, roasted cauliflower, roasted zucchini, harissa potatoes, etc.
- Pasta: yes, chimichurri goes great over pasta! Especially simple vegetable pasta dishes, such as this mushroom aglio olio or this pasta al pesto, to give them more character and a nice added heat.
- Tacos: for a fun change to your usual taco Tuesday night, you can add a few dollops of this sauce over your tacos and make your meal full of flavor.
- Salads: we love chimichurri over salads too, especially a grain salad like this zesty quinoa salad or this Southwestern quinoa rice salad. You can also turn this recipe into a salad dressing! To do this, simply add more water/vinegar/olive oil until you reach a thinner consistency and then toss in salads.
- Tofu scramble: use the leftover condiment the next morning over a curry tofu scramble or a silken tofu scramble!
Variations to the recipe
Feel free to change up the recipe and tweak the ingredients as you wish, this is a versatile sauce that's very easy to adjust to your taste.
Here are a few ways you can modify the recipe:
- Smoky: the roasted red peppers do bring a mild smoky flavor, but for a stronger punch of smokiness, then add a pinch of smoked paprika to the food processor (sweet paprika is great too, but less smoky).
- Spicy: add some red pepper flakes for a little heat or a small hot pepper.
- Tangy: add more lemon juice or red wine vinegar. If your roasted red peppers were in a jar, then they will also come with a mild briny flavor, which in that case you might want to taste carefully before adding more acidity to your sauce.
- Onion-y: you can or not add some onion flavor to your chimichurri, this depends on what you are looking for. I usually don't add any, but if you want, you can try including a small shallot, 1-2 green onions or even a few slices of red onion to the food processor. I would consider making the sauce ahead of time to allow the onion flavor to be less pronounced before serving.
Also, be sure to adjust the consistency to your taste by adding more olive oil if you want.
Keep the sauce in an airtight container (I like using a mason jar for that) in the fridge for up to one week. Stir well before serving.
You can also freeze it! Use ice cube trays to freeze so you can thaw individual portions and use 1 cube at a time for future recipes. Once completely frozen, then transfer the cubes in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Also, don't hesitate to make it ahead of time! While resting in the fridge, all the ingredients will marinate together to boost the flavor of the sauce. I like to make it one day before I need it, although I have made chimichurri last minute many times and it was great too.
Yes, you can. In that case, you can adjust the acidity by adding more lemon juice to taste.
Not necessarily. This red version of a chimichurri sauce is actually a little sweeter, thanks to the red bell peppers, and if you don't add any red pepper flakes, then it will not be spicy. The color red does not come from spicy red peppers but sweet red peppers instead. That being said, you can easily make a spicy chimichurri sauce simply by adding some red pepper flakes or spicy peppers!
Yes! Try pulsing using your blender for a chunkier result.
I don't recommend it since the flavor would be too raw and the texture not smooth enough. Jarred red peppers are easy to find in any grocery store!
More recipes like this
- Green chimichurri bowl
- Roasted mango habanero salsa
- Spicy jalapeño peach salsa
- Pineapple pico de gallo
- Cucumber pico de gallo
I hope you like this red chimichurri recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Red Chimichurri (Chimichurri Rojo)
- Food processor or blender
- 1 cup roasted red pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh cilantro (or more parsley)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil - or to taste, see notes
- salt to taste
- Drain and pat dry very well the roasted red peppers.
- To a food processor, add the roasted red peppers, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, dried oregano, fresh herbs and a pinch of salt. Then, pulse to combine while keeping the texture chunky.
- Use a spatula to scrape the walls of the food processor and then, pulse again while pouring the olive oil through the "feed tube".
- Taste and then, adjust flavors (garlic, salt, acidity, etc) and texture (you can add more olive oil to taste if needed).
- Serve right away or store in the fridge to use later.
- Storage: this condiment stores well in an airtight glass container for up to a week in the fridge. You can also freeze it: use an ice cube tray to have convenient individual portions!
- You can also add a small shallot or 2 green onions to the food processor.
- Serving suggestions: buddha bowls, sandwiches, roasted vegetables, roasted tofu or tempeh, salads, pasta, etc.
- For a spicy chimichurri: add fresh spicy pepper to the food processor or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- For a smoky chimichurri: add some smoked paprika.