Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce

Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce

A Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce made parsley, cilantro, dark balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and pumpkin seeds and 100% vegan, dairy-free, nut-free and oil-free! Perfect served over fries, buddha bowls, burritos or even pasta!

Get those taste buds ready, I'm back with another bold-flavored recipe today, just in time for the weekend!

I originally was going to call this strictly Chimichurri Sauce, but since it's not exactly chimichurri, I didn't want to upset anybody by calling it that. Classic chimichurri uses solely parsley (no cilantro), red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and oil and is also not pureed into a 100% smooth sauce.

Since I use parsley, cilantro, dark balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and pumpkin seeds and no oil, it is definitely not chimichurri. However, it definitely is a close cousin in terms of flavor. I know I recreate classics with completely different ingredients all the time, but that is usually in terms of standard basic recipes like cakes, ice cream or something, but not something so specific as a chimichurri, I didn't want to disrespect anybody by calling it that and be respectful to different cultures. This is also the same reason why I didn't name this Gazpacho.

To make a bold sauce, we need some amazing fresh bold-flavored ingredients:

1st herb: fresh parsley

2nd herb: fresh cilantro

Remaining ingredients: fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dark balsamic vinegar, garlic, dried oregano and the surprising ingredient, pumpkin seeds! NO OIL!

Chimichurri is very bold in flavor and known for the heavy herb flavor, tart from acidity and is typically used as a marinade or spooned over beef or other meats sometimes. So, basically, a very strong sauce to be used in smaller amounts. The same applies here with this recipe.

Since I don't eat meat, I have used this as a dipping sauce for french fries and holy moly, it's fabulous and my favorite way to eat it! It is also good on pasta, as I'm sharing that here over these amazing pappardelle pasta. However, since it is such a strong sauce, a little goes a long way. It's basically similar to a pesto in flavor, just more of an acidic punch and of course, not basil, but stronger herbs of cilantro and parsley.

This sauce would also be delicious to "bring alive" buddha bowls drizzled on top. Yum! You can find many ways to use it.

If you are not a fan of bold, wake-you-up sauces, then you may want to sit this one out. It is strong, herb-y, tart, garlicky and strong, but sooooo delicious! It's right up my alley because I absolutely cannot stand bland food. I've noticed the older I get the more I like strong flavors greater than ever!

Yields about 1 cup

Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce

A Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce made parsley, cilantro, dark balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and pumpkin seeds and 100% vegan, dairy-free, nut-free and oil-free! Perfect served over fries, buddha bowls, burritos or even pasta!

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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5 based on 3 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 1 lightly packed cup (22g) fresh parsley
  • 3/4 lightly packed cup (15g) fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) dark balsamic vinegar (really gives depth of flavor!)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (9g)
  • 1/4 cup (40g) raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional but highly recommended for flavor depth and a kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend, starting slow and increasing speed, until smooth. You will need to scrape the sides a couple of times, as it will spatter up the sides. Blend until completely smooth. Add and adjust cayenne as needed. I found 1/8 teaspoon to be perfect, a nice kick of heat without being too spicy, but just delicious.
  2. Chimichurri is very bold in flavor and known for the heavy herb flavor, tart from acidity and is typically used as a marinade or spooned over beef or other meats sometimes. So, basically, a very strong sauce to be used in smaller amounts. The same applies here with this recipe.
  3. I have used this as a dipping sauce for french fries and it's fabulous and my favorite way to eat it! It is also good on pasta, but since it is such a strong sauce, a little goes a long way. It's basically similar to a pesto in flavor, but more acidic and a punch. It can be used in many ways and as a drizzle to bring alive any type of buddha bowl!
  4. To make the cherry tomatoes over pasta, just add as many tomatoes as you like, cut in half, to a parchment-paper lined pan and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes until juicy and blistered!
7.8.1.2
1972

13 Comments

  1. Brandi-- curious what brand of Balsamic you use? Cannot wait to try this!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Wendy, there is actually a picture of it above in the post :) It is the Pompeian brand. My favorite!
  2. Hi Brandi, This looks absolutely amazing!!! I'm dealing with Type 2 and have gotten my A1c down from 13.3 last May to 6.6 this May using just food and walking AND my own form of stress release - so I'm thrilled! Still, I'm very sensitive to carbs - yet I'm doing a vegan eating plan. So, your sauce seems like just the thing for me to put on bowls - a normal Buddha Bowl on Rice / Quinoa sends my blood sugar up to 11.3 or higher! So, broccoli and kale are my replacement for rice, quinoa, bread - and now to have a great sauce that looks to be able to keep my blood sugar down is a HUGE gift. My question is - what could I use to replace the cilantro, please? Cilantro, raddichio and goat anything all taste like soap in my mouth ;-)). I usually replace cilantro with parsley - but you've already got parsley in the recipe. Any and all suggestions would be MUCH APPRECIATED. Yours in Gratitude, WendyHT
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Wendy! That is such awesome news! I would just sub with spinach, try using the same weight amount, OR you could try all parsley. If you don't mind a stronger parsley flavor. Traditional chimichurri is made with all parsley anyways, so it should work. Or spinach is a very mild flavor and could possibly work too!
  3. Hi Brandi, this sounds great and can't wait to try it on some grilled fish. Helen good to hear you are doing great. About the Cilantro, try using a little green onion. I make a version of chimichurri using just flat leaf parsley aka Italian parsley, green onion, extra virgin olive oil, salt n pepper. I would bet the green onion would be a great replacement. You could also try using a little bit of fennel and dill in small increments. Hope this helps.
  4. Made this Friday night - almost exactly like Brandi's recipe - except I used buccatini instead of parpadelle & it was delish! I'm little spice shy, so I put in less cayenne in the recipe, tasted is and decided to add in the rest and it was great. Just the right amount of 'kick'. It was also very easy to make - had almost everything in the cupboard or fridge. Five stars!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So awesome to hear that Beth! Thank you so much for the awesome review!!
  5. This looks SO good! I love love chimichurri, make different variations over here too but I love the added balsamic vinegar. I bet it gives it an amazing flavor! And for sure the kick of spice, I like crushed red pepper but I bet the cayenne is great!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks girl, it is amazing!! So bold and full of flavor! Yes, I love crushed red pepper too but seems everybody does that in their chimichurri and I wanted to try the cayenne to see the difference since I've tried it before with red pepper flakes and I really loved the depth that the cayenne gave, it turned out so darn yummy!
  6. Looks fabulous. How long will it keep? Seems a little will go a long way :). Might it be good after freezing?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      It will keep probably less than a week, so you could freeze it if you don't eat it right away. It doesn't make a huge amount though. I did that intentionally because it's so bold and it's best eaten within a few days because of the fresh herbs used :)
  7. Made this on a whim tonite. Was absolutely delicious as is every recipe on your site! There were so many flavors in this sauce, no one believed me that it was raw and oil free. I unfortunately had small cloves of garlic and ended up over garlicking...but who doesnt love garlic! I sprinkled some English peas on top because I had them already cooked and it just came together perfectly. You are such an amazing chef! NEED YOUR COOKBOOK stat!!! Lol. Im so looking forward to going through recipe by recipe!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay! Thank you so much Stacey for this wonderful feedback! So glad everybody loved it! And thank you very much for your kind words, you’re too sweet. English peas sound like a really yummy addition!!

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