Churrasco Sauce: A Culinary Symphony of Herbs, Spices, and Zest

Churrasco, a delectable grilled meat dish originating from Latin America, is renowned for its succulent texture and smoky flavor. While the meat itself takes center stage, the accompanying sauce plays a pivotal role in elevating the dining experience. Churrasco sauce, a vibrant and herbaceous condiment, adds a burst of freshness and complexity to the grilled masterpiece.

Unveiling the Secrets of Churrasco Sauce

The foundation of churrasco sauce lies in chimichurri, a traditional Argentinean sauce brimming with vibrant flavors. This versatile sauce is crafted from a medley of fresh herbs, including parsley, cilantro, and oregano, which lend their aromatic essence. Garlic and red chili peppers add a touch of pungency, while olive oil provides a rich, velvety texture. A hint of vinegar or lemon juice imparts a refreshing acidity, balancing the robust flavors. Coarse salt adds a savory depth, completing the symphony of tastes.


  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh oregano
  • Garlic
  • Red chili peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Coarse salt


While the core ingredients remain consistent, variations of churrasco sauce exist, reflecting regional preferences and culinary creativity. Some variations incorporate additional herbs, such as basil or mint, while others add a touch of sweetness with honey or sugar. Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar can be used instead of white vinegar, imparting a richer, more complex flavor profile.


Traditionally, churrasco sauce is prepared by finely chopping the herbs, garlic, and chili peppers. These ingredients are then combined with olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. The mixture is allowed to marinate for a period of time, allowing the flavors to meld and harmonize.

Serving Suggestions:

Churrasco sauce is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, particularly churrasco steak. Its herbaceous freshness complements the smoky, charred flavors of the meat, creating a tantalizing culinary experience. The sauce can also be used as a marinade for meats, infusing them with its vibrant flavors before grilling. Additionally, churrasco sauce can be drizzled over salads, vegetables, or empanadas, adding a burst of flavor to various dishes.

Health Benefits:

Beyond its culinary appeal, churrasco sauce offers an array of health benefits. Its abundance of fresh herbs provides a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Garlic, a key ingredient, has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Olive oil, another essential component, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.

Churrasco sauce is an indispensable culinary creation that elevates the churrasco experience to new heights. Its vibrant flavors, versatility, and health benefits make it a cherished condiment in Latin American cuisine and beyond. Whether used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or flavorful addition to other dishes, churrasco sauce adds a touch of culinary magic to every meal.

How to Make Churrasco

Churrasco is made up of three main steps: marinating the steak, making the chimichurri, and grilling the meat. Marinate the steak overnight and make the chimichurri sauce the night before for optimal flavor.

what is churrasco sauce made of

  • Prepare the marinade. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine all the marinade ingredients. Pour the marinade over the steak and place it in a baking dish or a gallon-sized resealable bag.
  • Marinate in the fridge. Put it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes, covered or sealed. It takes between six and twenty-four hours to achieve the optimal flavor after marinating.

what is churrasco sauce made of

  • Make the chimichurri. In a food processor, combine all the chimichurri ingredients and pulse until finely chopped, but not paste-like. Transfer the ingredients into a jar or bowl and let the flavors mingle for half an hour or overnight.
  • Grill the steak. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (if you’re using a grill plate, preheat the plate over medium-high heat) and remove the steak’s marinade. Pat the steak dry and season with salt and pepper. Note: cut the piece of meat into three or four equal-sized pieces to make this a true churrasco steak. If you want a rare steak, grill it for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F for a well-done steak.
  • Serve. With chimichurri on top, slice the steak against the grain and serve.

what is churrasco sauce made of

Why This Recipe Works

  • Great for entertaining. Whether the steak is sliced or cooked on skewers, it presents beautifully and tastes deliciously for guests.
  • Easy to make. This churrasco recipe can be prepared in less than 40 minutes, including the time needed to marinate the steak.
  • Healthy. Chimichurri sauce on churrasco is a flavorful dish that is also packed with nutritious ingredients. Nutrient-dense oils, herbs, and spices make up this recipe.

what is churrasco sauce made of

  • Garlic Cloves: If you plan to peel and mince the garlic yourself, it could take a minute to achieve the 1/3 cup of minced garlic needed for this recipe. To save time I prefer to buy jarred minced garlic.
  • Minced Onion: you can use dried or fresh minced onion, but as I already mentioned, I like to buy dried minced onion to save time.
  • Olive Oil: To get the greatest flavor out of the olive oil used in the chimichurri, use a premium variety. I recommend using an organic Italian-made one.

Pro Tip: The Brazilian way of seasoning the steaks after they have marinated is to pat the meat dry and then season it with Rock Salt. This salt is not shown in the of the ingredients but I highly recommend using it to season the steak versus table salt. If you can’t find rock salt you can use Maldon Sea Salt.

How to make delicious Chimichurri


What is churrasco made of?

Churrasco is made from skirt steak, which comes from the section of the cow known as the beef plate primal cut. A very tasty cut of beef, yet it is known to be a tougher cut, as it has a lot of connective tissue.

Is churrasco the same as skirt steak?

Churrasco (Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak)

What is churrasco in english?

In Brazil, churrasco is the term for a barbecue (similar to the Argentine and Uruguayan asado) which originated in southern Brazil. It uses a variety of meats, pork, sausage and chicken which may be cooked on a purpose-built churrasqueira, a barbecue grill, often with supports for spits or skewers.

Which country food is churrasco con chimichurri?

Epicurious’ Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Argentina, with a demonstration of a recipe for Churrasco con Chimichurri (flank steak with herb sauce), prepared by Chef Lynne Gigliotti of The Culinary Institute of America.

What is churrasco steak made of?

Tender, juicy steak that’s dressed in a chimichurri sauce, consisting of olive oil, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, with a touch of spices and herbs. Just delightful! Churrasco is made from skirt steak, which comes from the section of the cow known as the beef plate primal cut .

Where did churrasco come from?

In Equador, the grilled steak is seasoned with chimichurri sauce and served with avocados and fries. The dish churrasco shown here was brought to the US through Nicaraguan immigrants who came to Miami in the 1950’s, served with chimichurri sauce.

What is the best churrasco sauce?

As you can see, the preferred churrasco sauce is chimichurri. Chimichurri sauce is a bright, herbaceous sauce originating in Argentina, made with parsley and other herbs, olive oil, garlic, red chilis, a little vinegar or lemon juice, some coarse salt, and other ingredients.

How is churrasco seasoned?

This allows the server the ability to select Well, Medium, and even Rare slices all from the same skewer. Traditionally Churrasco is seasoned by using a specific salt called Sal Grosso (Thick Salt) easily found for sale on The next most popular method of seasoning churrasco meat is using a marinade called Chimichurri.

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