Can chimichurri be frozen?
Chimichurri is a deliciously tangy and fresh sauce, perfect for the summer barbecue season. Traditional from Argentina and often used as a seasoning for grilled meats, it is incredibly versatile and adds freshness to all dishes.
This seasoning is usually made with fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, red chilies (optional if you don’t like spiciness), olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sea salt.
There are different variations you can create depending on your preferences and what you have available.
It’s easy to make, but often creates quite a large batch, raising the question of what to do with the leftovers.
So can chimichurri be frozen? If possible. You’ll need to divide it into portion sizes as desired, make sure the container has an airtight seal, and leave enough room for it to expand once frozen.
Read on for the best tips for freezing chimichurri.
Can chimichurri be frozen?
Although chimichurri is best when fresh, there are a couple of great options for storing leftovers. One way to preserve freshness is to freeze leftover chimichurri sauce the same day you make it.
There are a couple of options you can choose from based 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 well sealed and stored.
Freeze the chimichurri in ice cube trays
- Clean and dry your ice cube tray.
- Fill the tray with the chimichurri up to 3/4 of its capacity .
- Place it in the freezer overnight to set.
- When the chimichurri is set, you can transfer the cubes to an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the bag with the date and contents and use the chimichurri within 3-6 months for optimal preservation.
Freeze the chimichurri in containers
If you prefer to freeze your chimichurri sauce in larger portions, you can use plastic containers or glass jars.
- Choose a container that is the right size for storage. In general, you will want to choose a size that contains the amount of chimichurri that you will use at one time.
- Fill the container with the chimichurri up to 3/4 of its capacity .
- Place a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of the sauce and press down so that the chimichurri is completely covered.
- Close the container.
- Take a piece of tape and write the date and content on it. Stick it in your container.
- Place it in the freezer and use it within 3-6 months.
Freeze the chimichurri in freezer bags
One last option for freezing the chimichurri is to use a freezer bag. This method is perfect if you’re short on freezer space, as they can be flattened and stacked for easy storage.
- Make sure you have bags designed for the freezer. They will have a stronger seal to prevent freezer burn.
- Fill the bags about halfway with chimichurri.
- Close the bag 3/4 full and set it on its side. Press down very gently on the chimichurri and seal the bag all the way, making sure that no air remains inside.
- You can write directly on the bag with a marker or use a piece of tape to note the date and contents.
- Place the bag in the freezer and be sure to use your chimichurri within 3-6 months .
How long can chimichurri be kept?
Cooking with fresh herbs and spices always means that the shelf life is not going to be as long as if you buy a packaged option that contains preservatives.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly made condiments, so learning how to keep them and how long they last can help you enjoy them without wasting any of your beautiful culinary creations.
If you make a batch of chimichurri, you can safely store it in the fridge for about 4-5 days . Since it’s made with fresh herbs, it may lose some of its shine after a couple of days as the herbs start to wilt.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat all of the sauce in a few days, your best option for preserving it is to follow one of the freezing methods above.
Although it will be at its best if you use the chimichurri within 3 months , it will still be delicious for up to 6 months after freezing.
How do you know if the chimichurri has gone bad?
If you keep the chimichurri in the fridge, you will notice that after a few days it starts to darken as the herbs break down.
The oil can also start to go a bit bad and go rancid. If this happens, your sauce will start to taste bitter.
It can also go bad if you don’t use clean utensils to remove it from the container.
This can cause contamination, which can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. If you notice any pungent odors other than garlic and herbs or mold, throw the sauce away so you don’t get sick.
How do you defrost chimichurri?
Now that you’ve frozen your chimichurri well, it’s time to learn how to thaw it to preserve as much flavor and texture as possible.
Defrosting the chimichurri should be a gentle process. It’s made with fresh herbs, so you don’t want to apply heat to it while it thaws.
I recommend taking the chimichurri out of the freezer and letting it thaw in the fridge overnight for the best results.
If you’re in a bit of a hurry, you can fill a container with cold ( 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 tangy flavor. Combined with the fresh herbs and garlic, it has a slightly spicy, sour, and herbaceous flavor.
It’s 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’re making it from scratch you don’t want to completely puree it in your food processor.
If the flavor seems too strong, you can add a little more olive oil or even balance the bitterness or acidity with a touch of sweetener. I like to add a bit of maple syrup or honey to round out the flavor profile.
Is it better to make the chimichurri in advance?
Whether you’re hosting friends for dinner or serving it to yourself or your family, you want your chimichurri to taste as good as possible. I recommend that you prepare your chimichurri at least a few hours before you plan to eat it.
Making the sauce a few hours in advance allows the flavors to fully meld and softens some of the harshness of the fresh herbs and garlic.
Be sure to store it in the fridge while it is chilling to keep it as fresh as possible.
It might even be a good idea to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It will still be very fresh, but the flavors will have time to come together.
What can I do with leftover chimichurri?
If you prefer to use your chimichurri fresh rather than frozen, you have a few delicious options for what to do with it.
- As summer approaches, you can use it as an interesting alternative dressing for a pasta salad at your next barbecue.
- You can use it as a spread on sandwiches . I like to mix it with a little mayonnaise to make it creamier, but you can use it as is.
- Roast potatoes are one of my favorite foods, and dipping them in chimichurri takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness.
- Add a little sauce to your scrambled eggs once they are cooked to give them an extra touch of flavor.
- Spread some chimichurri on baguette slices , top with your favorite cheese, and broil for a couple of minutes for a fresh take on garlic bread.
- Drizzle it over pizza right out of the oven for a fresh, herbaceous twist on an old classic.
- Mix chimichurri with mayonnaise 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 tell us in the comments how it turned out!