Chimichurri Chicken

This simple chimichurri chicken is seasoned and seared with fresh lemon and garlic. A homemade chimichurri sauce is drizzled on top for a finishing touch.

Serve it with cilantro lime rice or on its own and you’ll be amazed just how good this homemade Southern American dish is. The homemade sauce is delicious and just as good as the restaurant’s version.

   Chimichurri chicken with sauce on plate

Quick + Easy Dinner Idea

Ok friends, who is on the hunt for quick and easy dinner ideas? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Today’s chimichurri chicken is a total game changer. It’s so simple yet so vibrant and flavorful – plus the kids loved it!! Win-win.

We served ours over leftover homemade pilaf and a it was absolutely delicious.

Homemade chimichurri sauce in bowl

What is Chimichurri?

Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used in cooking and as a sauce for grilled meat.

Yes, it may look like pesto, but it’s not. Pesto is made primarily with basil and chimichurri is made with chopped parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano and red wine vinegar.

It originated in Uruguay and comes in a green and red version, and today we are sharing our favorite green version.

Have you had it before? It literally takes a minute to make. So if it seems like a lot of work, it’s not, trust me. Grab everything, toss it into your food processor and pulse away. It could not get any easier than that.

Chicken with lemon slices cooking in pan

Cooking Chicken Tips

Meanwhile your chicken should be cooking away. We typically use chicken breast, tenderloin or thighs when serving with chimichurri because they’re easy to work with and juicy.

We don’t MARINATE our chicken in the chimichurri, but you definitely can. Just place it in a bag with the chicken for a few hours and grill, pan fry or bake it.

To pan fry it, we season, tenderize, then toss the chicken into a hot oiled skillet. (Be sure to check out my post on how to cook perfect juicy, flavorful chicken for even more tips).

After you flip the chicken, add the lemon slices around the pan. You want them to cook and release their juices before placing them on top of the chicken.

After about 5 minutes or so, you can toss them up while the chicken finishes cooking (it should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees before you remove it from the skillet).

Tent the chicken on a cutting board with a piece of foil to trap in all of that juice. Don’t skip this step!!

Chimichurri chicken with sauce in pan

Chicken + Chimichurri

We shared how to cook up your chicken in the skillet but you can also bake it. To do that, just place your chicken in a foil lined pan with seasoning and lemon slices at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Grilling can also be done, whether you marinate it in the sauce or not. Just make sure it reaches that 160 internal temp.

No matter how you make it, we serve it up with a big spoonful of chimichurri sauce and enjoy!

Even though the sauce is room temp, it gets warm when served on top of the chicken.

It can also be STORED in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be served cold as a dip or back on your meat which will warm it up.

SERVE IT WITH:

Chimichurri Chicken is great for busy weeknights and can be made all year round. It’s juicy, tender and insanely flavorful!

For more recipes, check out:

Chimichurri Chicken

This simple chimichurri  chicken is seasoned and seared with fresh lemon and garlic. A homemade chimichurri sauce is drizzled on top for a finishing touch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 1/4″ thick slices

For the chimichurri  sauce:

  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 c. packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 scallion (white & light green part only) OR 1 tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1½ tsp. dry oregano
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (up to 1 tsp. if you prefer more heat)
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat, when hot, add oil. In a small mixing bowl, combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, parsley and minced garlic. Rub both sides of the chicken. Tenderize with a cake tester (poke each piece about 10 times), if desired.
  2. Place chicken into the hot skillet. Cook for 8-10 minutes on one side, then flip, and cook for 8-10 minutes on the other side. Add the lemon slices around the chicken in the skillet right after flipping. About 5 minutes later, place them on top of each piece of chicken and continue cooking.
  3. Let the chicken reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a cutting board. Tent with foil for 5 minutes.
  4. For the chimichurri sauce: place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse/blend until just until a chunky sauce forms. Serve on top of the cooked chicken.

– I only used 1 lemon for this recipe. I cut in in half, got enough juice out for the sauce, then sliced it up.

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