Chimichurri is a delightfully tangy and fresh sauce that’s perfect for the summer grilling season. Traditionally from Argentina and often used as a condiment for grilled meats, it is incredibly versatile and adds a freshness to every dish.
This condiment is often made with fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, red chilies (optional if you’re not a fan of spice), olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sea salt.
There are different variations you can create depending on preference and what you have available.
It’s simple to make but often creates a rather large batch, which begs the question of what to do with the leftovers.
So, can you freeze chimichurri? Yes, you can! You will want to portion it out into your desired serving sizes, make sure your container has an airtight seal, and leave enough space for it to expand once frozen.
Read on for the best tips for freezing your chimichurri!
Can Chimichurri Be Frozen?
While chimichurri is best when it’s fresh, there are a couple of great options for storing leftovers. One way to preserve the freshness is by freezing any leftover chimichurri sauce the day that you make it.
There are a couple of options you can go with depending on what you have on hand and the size of the portions you want to freeze. Once you freeze your chimichurri it will last about 6 months if it is properly sealed and stored.
Freezing Chimichurri In Ice Cube Trays
1. Clean and dry your ice cube tray.
2. Fill the tray about 3/4 of the way with chimichurri.
3. Place it in the freezer overnight to set.
4. Once your chimichurri is set, you can transfer the cubes to an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
5. Label your bag with the date and contents and use your chimichurri within 3-6 months for optimal freshness.
Freezing Chimichurri In Containers
If you prefer to freeze your chimichurri sauce in larger portion sizes you can use plastic containers or glass jars.
1. Choose the appropriate sized container for storage. You will generally want to choose a size that holds the amount of chimichurri you will use at one time.
2. Fill your container 3/4 of the way with your chimichurri.
3. Place a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of the sauce and press it down so the chimichurri is fully covered.
4. Seal your container.
5. Take a piece of masking tape and write the date and contents on it. Stick it to your container.
6. Place in the freezer and use within 3-6 months.
Freezing Chimichurri In Freezer Bags
A final choice for freezing chimichurri is to use a freezer bag. This method is perfect if you have limited space in your freezer since they can be flattened and stacked for easy storage.
1. Make sure you have bags designed for the freezer. They will have a stronger seal to prevent freezer burn.
2. Fill the bags about halfway with chimichurri.
3. Zip the bag about 3/4 closed then place the bag on its side. Very gently press the chimichurri flat and seal the bag the rest of the way, ensuring there is no air left inside.
4. You can either write directly on the bag with a marker or use a piece of masking tape to write down the date and contents.
5. Place the bag in the freezer and make sure to use your chimichurri within 3-6 months.
How Long Can You Keep Chimichurri For?
Cooking with fresh herbs and spices always means that the shelf life isn’t going to be quite as long as it would be if you purchase a packaged option that containers preservatives.
Nothing quite beats the flavor of fresh made condiments, so learning how to preserve them and how long they last can help you enjoy them without wasting any of your beautiful kitchen creation.
If you make a batch of chimichurri you can safely store it in the fridge for about 4 or 5 days. Since it is made with fresh herbs, it may lose some brightness after a couple of days as the herbs begin to wilt.
If you don’t think you will be able to eat all your sauce within a few days then your best bet for preservation is to follow one of the freezing methods above.
While it will be at its best if you use your chimichurri within 3 months, it will still be delicious up to 6 months after freezing.
How Do You Tell If Your Chimichurri Has Gone Bad?
If you are storing your chimichurri in the fridge, you will notice that after a few days it starts to darken as the herbs break down.
The oil may also start to go a little bit bad and turn rancid. If these things happen, your sauce will start to taste bitter.
It may also spoil if you aren’t using clean utensils to remove it from the container.
This can cause contamination, which can lead to mold and bacteria growth. If you notice any pungent odors that aren’t from the garlic and herbs or mold, throw your sauce away to keep from getting sick.
How Do You Defrost Chimichurri?
Now that you’ve properly frozen your chimichurri, it’s time to learn how to defrost it to preserve as much flavor and texture as you possibly can.
Defrosting chimichurri should be a gentle process. It is made with fresh herbs so you don’t want to apply any heat to it while it thaws.
I recommend taking your chimichurri out of the freezer and letting it thaw in the fridge overnight for best results.
If you’re in a bit of a rush, then you can fill a bowl with cool (never hot) water. Place the container of chimichurri in the bowl and allow it to cool on the counter for a few hours.
Is Chimichurri Supposed To Be Sour?
Chimichurri is made with red wine vinegar, which gives it a deliciously sour flavor. Combined with the fresh herbs and garlic it has a slightly spicy, sour, herbaceous taste.
It is similar to pesto, but without the creamy cheese element or crunchy pine nuts.
Remember that a great chimichurri should still have a noticeable separation of herbs and oil, so if you are making it from scratch you don’t want to completely puree it in your food processor.
If you find the taste to be a little too strong, you can add some extra olive oil or even balance out the bitterness or sourness with a touch of sweetener. I like to add a little maple syrup or honey to round out the flavor profile.
Is Chimichurri Better Made In Advance?
Whether you’re hosting friends for dinner or serving it up for yourself or your family, you want your chimichurri to have the best possible flavor. I recommend preparing your chimichurri at least a few hours before you plan on eating it.
If you prepare your sauce a few hours in advance, it allows the flavors to fully meld together and mellows some of the harshness of the fresh herbs and garlic.
Make sure to store it in the fridge while it’s sitting to keep it as fresh as possible.
It can even be a good idea to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It will still be super fresh, but the flavors will really have time to come together.
What Can I Do With Leftover Chimichurri?
If you prefer to use your chimichurri fresh rather than freezing it, then you have a few delicious options of what to do with it.
1. Since summer is coming, you can use it as an interesting alternative dressing for a pasta salad for your next barbecue.
2. You can use it as a sandwich spread. I like to mix it with a bit of mayonnaise for a creamier spread, but feel free to use it as is.
3. Roasted potatoes are one of my favorite foods and dipping them in chimichurri takes them to the next level of deliciousness.
4. Stir some sauce into your scrambled eggs after they’re cooked for an extra hit of flavor.
5. Spread some chimichurri on slices of baguette, top with your favorite cheese, and broil for a couple of minutes for a new take on garlic bread.
6. Drizzle it over your pizza once you take it out of the oven for a fresh, herbaceous kick to an old standby.
7. Mix chimichurri with mayo to make a cold potato salad. It adds a lot of fresh flavor to what can often be a very heavy dish.
These suggestions are just a starting point. Chimichurri is such a versatile sauce that its uses are virtually limitless.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and add it to your favorite dishes. And don’t forget to let us know in the comments how it worked out!
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