Chimichurri Grilled Chicken is fresh, flavorful and perfect for summer grilling! Seasoned chicken breasts are topped with a sauce made with parsley, cilantro, garlic, red chiles, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.
Whenever I grill chicken for dinner I like to make some sort of sauce or salsa to serve with it. This chipotle lime grilled chicken with mango salsa and this grilled honey lime chicken with watermelon salsa are my go-to’s when I want summer Southwest flavors.
Pairing a salsa or some sort of fresh sauce or topping with grilled protein really boosts the flavor. There’s endless options when it comes to the things you can make, but today I’m sharing something herbaceous and super fresh, Chimichurri Grilled Chicken!
What is Chimichurri
Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce similar to pesto that originated in the Argentine Republic. It’s used for both cooking and as a condiment. Traditionally it’s made with parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
There’s lots of variations of chimichurri. Some recipes use red pepper flakes or chiles, lemon juice, and onion or shallots. I put a Southwest spin on a recipe I shared a few years ago for these steak fajita skewers with cilantro chimichurri.
Chimichurri is often an accompaniment to grilled meat, which is how I’m sharing it in the recipe today. Grilled steak, fish, pork tenderloin, pork chops or for a vegan option, grilled tofu, would all be excellent choices to serve with chimichurri.
Ingredients Needed for Chimichurri Grilled Chicken
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ground cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika
- flat leaf parsley
- cilantro (optional)
- red onion
- red chili pepper
- red wine vinegar
- olive oil
How to Make Chimichurri Grilled Chicken
Start by combining the spices for the chicken. Sprinkle the spice rub on all sides of the chicken and let it sit while you make the chimichurri and let the grill pre-heat.
You can make the chimichurri one of two ways. Finely chop all the ingredients by hand or add them to a food processor and let it do the work. If you choose to use a food processor your sauce won’t be as vibrant green as it will be if you hand chop all the ingredients.
Once the chimichurri is made, set it aside while you grill the chicken. Depending on the size of your chicken breasts it will take anywhere from 5-8 minutes per side. The most accurate way to ensure that you don’t over or under cook chicken is to use a meat thermometer.
Chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature is 165° F. I usually pull mine off when it’s 160° F. as it will continue to cook once removed from the grill. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it so you don’t lose all those flavorful juices.
Tips for Making Chimichurri
- Use good quality ingredients. Pick herbs and vegetables that look fresh. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil, the flavor is far more superior. Since this is an uncooked sauce you want the flavors to be the best they can be.
- If the vibrant green color is important to you, finely chop the ingredients rather than pulse them in the food processor. The food processor is much more aggressive and will muddy the color of the chimicurri.
- The amount of garlic you use is dependent on your taste. I’m not a big fan of raw garlic, so I only used one clove. If you like lots of garlic go with 2-3 cloves depending on the size of them.
- Taste the sauce and adjust as needed. Tasting what you make is so important. You may find that it needs more lemon juice for acidity or more olive oil or salt to balance the acidity.
What to Serve with Chimichurri Grilled Chicken
- Blueberry Corn Feta Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Chimichurri Potato Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro (or more parsley)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1-3 cloves grated or minced garlic, depending on your taste
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Combine the spices for the chicken in a small bowl. Run the chicken breasts with a little bit of olive oil and then sprinkle and rub the seasoning mix onto all sides of the chicken.
- Set the chicken aside and make the chimichurri. If using a food processor, add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to the bowl. Pulse until finely chopped and then drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning as needed. If making the sauce by hand, finely chop all of the ingredients and then stir in the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Again, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Preheat grill to 400° F. Oil the grates and then place the chicken on them. Grill for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness and then flip them and grill another 5-7 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking. Chicken is 165° F. when it is cooked through.
- Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it. Spoon some of the chimichurri over the top of the chicken and serve the rest on the side.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 93mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g