This Chimichurri Chicken can be made in a skillet, the oven or on the grill. The parsley-based sauce is a taste of summer all year long!
How to make chimichurri chicken
This easy chicken recipe is perfect for summer and tastes best when cooked on the grill, but I've given instructions for sauteeing and cooking in the oven so you have options to enjoy it all year round!
Here's how to make chimichurri chicken using 3 cooking methods:
First up, make the chimichurri sauce:
Add ingredients for chimichurri to a blender or food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped and blended. Alternatively, you can chop all ingredients very finely and mix together.
Season chicken thighs with salt & pepper then bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from oven and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side.
Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken to skillet once skillet is hot, seasoning with salt & pepper and sauteeing for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove chicken from skillet and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side.
Season chicken with salt & pepper. Once BBQ is hot, grill chicken thighs for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from grill and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side. Enjoy!
Ingredients in this recipe
You don't need too many ingredients to make this chimichurri chicken! In a pinch, you can choose to use just one herb (either parsley or cilantro) so you have options to switch it up!
Here's what you need:
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- fresh parsley
- fresh cilantro
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- garlic, minced
- red chili
What does chimichurri taste like?
This condiment is full of fresh herbs and garlic, so it has a bold fresh flavour. Although some people think the flavour reminds them of fresh grass, the taste is very refreshing. If you love fresh herbs, you'll love this easy, summery sauce.
- Chicken – I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but if you prefer white meat, breasts can be used. I suggest using chicken cutlets or cutting the breasts in half lengthwise so they are thinner and cook within 12-15 minutes just as the thighs do.
- Fresh herbs – My recipe uses fresh parsley and cilantro. Other chimichurris sometimes uses fresh oregano instead of cilantro, or oregano in addition to the parsley and cilantro. For the sake of keeping things simple, I use two herbs only.
- Olive oil – Good substitutes for olive oil are avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- red wine vinegar – Vinegar adds some tang to balance with the garlic and fresh herbs. You could use apple cider vinegar if you prefer.
- red chili pepper – There’s just one small chili needed but it can be left out if you prefer, or you can use a milder pepper such as diced jalapeno or green chiles.
Can you marinate chicken in chimichurri sauce?
Absolutely! You can use chimichurri as a marinade and/or as a condiment.
Feel free to make the chimichurri sauce up to a day in advance. However, keep in mind that the chicken really just needs 20-30 minutes of marinating time.
Side dish ideas
Because this meal is so flavourful, any sides you serve along with it should be lightly seasoned. Here are a few side dish ideas:
- roasted or boiled baby potatoes
- rice or rice pilaf
- roasted cherry or grape tomatoes, or a fresh tomato salad
- garden salad with a light vinaigrette or a drizzle of chimichurri sauce
I've also listed a separate optional side dish idea in the recipe card. Here's what you need to make my easy potatoes. You'll mix all the ingredients together then roast in the oven for about half an hour.
- golden baby potatoes, sliced in half
- red pepper, sliced
- red onion, sliced
- a seasoning of olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder and salt & pepper
Storing and reheating
Chimichurri sauce is best eaten fresh and it doesn’t taste as good when it’s warmed. Because of this, some people prefer to serve it separately from the chicken.
As a result, any leftover chicken can be reheated without worrying about having to heat up the sauce.
Any leftover chimichurri sauce should be kept in the refrigerator in a tightly covered jar or airtight container. Leftover chicken should be placed into an airtight container or plastic storage bag and refrigerated as well. You can reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, sprinkling some water overtop of the chicken first to ensure it doesn't dry out.
The chicken will stay fresh this way for up to 5 days.
How long does chimichurri last?
Fresh herbs start to lose their flavour and will become brown in colour after about 3-4 days. If you want to store it for longer than that, it can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Freezing the cooked chicken
Because cooked chicken freezes so well, you can use this recipe for easy meal prep during the week. Or, freeze it for later use. It can be kept frozen for up to 4 months.
Just be sure to let the chicken cool to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe plastic storage bag or airtight container.
Freezing the marinated raw chicken
If you prefer to freeze the chicken while it’s raw, that is also easy to do. You can freeze it right in the chimichurri marinade!
Twenty four hours before you want to cook the meal, transfer the frozen chicken to the refrigerator to thaw. If you’re ready to cook but the chicken isn’t completely thaw, that’s not a problem.
Just transfer the frozen chicken into a zip top storage bag and make sure the bag is sealed completely. Place the bag into a bowl in your sink and let cool tap water run over the bag until the chicken is thawed.
More chicken recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into leftovers
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked through
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red chili, deseeded
- 1 pinch each salt & pepper
Baby potatoes - optional side dish
- 2 cups golden baby potatoes, sliced in half
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- Add ingredients for chimichurri to a blender or food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped and blended. Alternatively, you can chop all ingredients very finely and mix together.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Add chicken to a parchment-lined baking sheet and season with salt & pepper. Bake chicken thighs for 12-15 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from oven and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side. Enjoy!
- Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken to skillet once skillet is hot, seasoning with salt & pepper and sauteeing for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove chicken from skillet and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side. Enjoy!
- Preheat BBQ to 450 F. Season chicken with salt & pepper. Once BBQ is hot, grill chicken thighs for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from grill and serve with chimichurri sauce and choice of side. Enjoy!
Roasted baby potatoes - optional side dish
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss potatoes, red pepper and red onion with olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder and salt & pepper.
- Add mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or add to a foil pouch and grill for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time. Serve with chicken and enjoy!