Chimichurri chicken is one of my family’s absolute favorite meals, it’s hard to express in words how much they love it! This mouthwatering recipe is completely packed full of fresh, delicious flavor and the polar opposite of bland. It features a heavenly sauce over juicy chicken thighs and will totally make your taste buds dance for joy.
For this recipe, you’ll make your chimichurri sauce a couple hours ahead of time (or even a few days in advance) so everything can marinate. Then, once it’s ready, you’ll be able to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect on a busy weeknight!
Lately, I’ve been serving this chicken with fresh Garlic Bread some crispy Roasted Cauliflower and a simple Arugula Salad with parmesan cheese and pistachios. Of course, you can serve yours with any side you like and use up whatever’s on hand! This meal is fabulously versatile and goes with endless sides.
Fair warning, if this is your first experience with chimichurri sauce, you’re probably going to want more immediately. Thankfully you can add it to just about anything for an explosion of flavor.
Definitely be sure to check out my Chimichurri Shrimp Broccoli Skillet and Chimichurri Chicken Chopped Salad. If it’s warm and you’d rather cook outside, try this Grilled Chicken Chimichurri or Grilled Lambchops With Chimichurri Sauce. You can also make extra sauce and spoon it over my grilled Cedar Plank Salmon!
How To Make Chimichurri Chicken
- Oil — I always use extra virgin olive oil.
- Chicken thighs — You could also use chicken breasts for this recipe, but I like using boneless skinless chicken thighs because they’re extra juicy and flavorful.
- Seasonings and herbs — kosher salt, ground black pepper, fresh oregano (or dried oregano if this is the only one you can access) and crushed red pepper flakes or red chili.
- Cilantro — You can also substitute parsley, if desired.
- Red onion — Shallots are comparable to red onion and the two can be used interchangeably for this recipe.
- Garlic — You will need two whole, fresh cloves. Jarred, minced garlic can work in a pinch, but I definitely prefer fresh.
- Red wine vinegar — For some serious flavor and zing! Or you can replace it for lemon juice.
Make chimichurri sauce:
- Rinse cilantro and fresh oregano, then pat both dry with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towel) and set aside. Next, peel your red onion and garlic cloves.
- Mince everything up into very small pieces, you can choose to do this in a food processor, but be mindful and don’t over-blend. Avoid reducing the chimichurri down to paste status, it should have some rustic texture.
- Place all minced ingredients in a small bowl. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, olive oil and vinegar.
- Stir until well combined, then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can also let it marinate/chill overnight, and this sauce can even be make 1-2 weeks in advance! It will serve as a delicious marinade for your chicken breast, drumsticks, chicken wings, fish or steak.
- When sauce is ready, add your chicken thighs to a large mixing bowl. Season them with salt and pepper, then pour half of the chimichurri over chicken and set aside the leftover chimichurri sauce.
- Stir until each piece of chicken is coated in sauce, then cover and marinate for 15 minutes (or overnight if making in advance).
- Add olive oil to a large skillet on the stovetop and place on medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add chicken. Sauté for 3-4 minutes per side, or it’s tender and until the internal temp of chicken reads 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp.
- Drizzle chicken with remaining sauce and serve it with all of your favorite sides. Enjoy!
- I recommend using fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor, though jarred minced garlic works if that’s what you have available.
- Chicken thighs are so yummy in this recipe, but you can also use chicken breasts if that’s your preference!
- You can also make this recipe on a grill at medium-high heat.
- You can also make this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs.
- You can use a food processor to chop up your cilantro, onion, oregano and garlic. Just be careful not to over-puree. Chimichurri is a nice, textured sauce and shouldn’t be a completely smooth paste.
- I love making extra chimichurri sauce because it goes great on so many things. Plus, it can stay good for 1-2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
- You can absolutely make this recipe ahead of time. When doing this, allow the chicken to marinate overnight and cook it the next day.
- You can also add paprika and garlic powder to your chimichurri sauce if you prefer.
How To Store Leftovers
To Store: Allow Chimichurri Chicken leftovers to cool and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Extra chimichurri chicken can also be frozen, simply transfer leftovers to an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight (if reheating from frozen). Add some olive oil to a skillet and sear chicken for a few minutes on each side, until warmed through. You can also reheat chicken in the microwave, if desired!
Want More Flavorful Chicken Recipes?
If you’ve got lots of chicken to use up, there are so many things you can make! Give these recipes a try:
- Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad
- Roasted Lemon Chicken Leg
- Creamy Parmesan Chicken Skillet
- Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
- Spicy Chicken Meal-Prep Bowls
- Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Frequently Asked Questions
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce that originated in Argentina! It’s made with ingredients like fresh parsley (or cilantro), oregano, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, oil and vinegar.
Chimichurri is super tasty! It’s got herby undertones since it’s largely made with parsley or cilantro and oregano. These herbs marinate in oil and vinegar along with garlic and spices so they become totally infused with zesty flavor.
Not quite! Pesto is made with a base of fresh basil and therefore has a different flavor profile overall, because chimichurri is generally made with parsley or cilantro. Also, pesto often has a smoother texture whereas chimichurri is chunkier and more rustic.
Watch the Chicken Chimichurri Web Story here.
For the Chimichurri Sauce
For the Chimichurri
- To prepare the Chimichurri sauce, combine all the listed ingredients in a bowl in the given order, stir well, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
For the Chicken
- Place chicken into a mixing bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Then, add half of the prepared chimichurri sauce. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes or refrigerate overnight if making ahead.
- Add olive oil to a skillet and place the chicken thighs in it. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- To serve it, arrange the chicken on a platter, spoon the remaining chimichurri sauce over it, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Fresh garlic cloves offer the best flavor, though jarred/minced garlic will work fine.
- Feel free to swap the chicken thighs for chicken breasts.
- You can use a food processor to chop ingredients, just be careful not to over-puree as chimichurri should have texture.
- Make some extra chimichurri sauce! It goes great on so many things.
- To make this recipe ahead of time, simply marinate chicken overnight.
- To store: Store leftover chimichurri chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- To reheat: You can reheat chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to eat.
- To freeze: Freeze the cooked chicken in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
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