This chimichurri salmon recipe is extremely flavorful, healthy, and easy to make. Put the chimichurri sauce on salmon and just about anything you serve with it!
Baked salmon with a vegetable and grain is one of my go-to easy meals when I’m lacking dinner inspiration. It’s always satisfying, filling, easy to make, and nutritious.
I upped the ante this time by adding the most flavorful chimichurri sauce to my baked salmon, and it’s a KEEPER. Chimichurri is one of my favorite sauces to make, because it tastes good on everything. Fish, vegetables, salads, sandwiches – it is so versatile!
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is a green sauce used for cooking and as a condiment, originating from Argentina. It is made from finely chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. It has a delicious herby, garlicky, fresh, and zesty flavor.
Chimichurri is traditionally served with grilled meats, but it’s also wonderful with fish, poultry, vegetables, and even tofu! In addition to the traditional chimichurri ingredients, my version also includes cilantro, lemon juice, red onion, and a few more ingredients. Make a big batch and spoon it over everything!
Ingredients in chimichurri salmon
Here are the ingredients you need to make this chimichurri salmon recipe:
Red wine vinegar
Red pepper flakes
I love the combination of cilantro and parsley in chimichurri, but you can always use one or the other based on preference. This recipe is quite forgiving, so you can throw in other fresh herbs you have around like basil, dill, or mint.
Is chimichurri healthy?
Chimichurri is a nutrient dense sauce made with healthy ingredients:
Olive oil is rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fat. This type of fat lowers the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Garlic and onion are part of the allium family. Alliums are used for cooking, but also for medicinal purposes, in several cultures. They contain a sulfur compound called allicin, which may help prevent illness and lower blood pressure.
Cilantro and parsley are fresh herbs that are packed with nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and antioxidants.
Another health benefit of this chimichurri: when you make homemade sauces instead of buying pre-made ones, you eliminate any excess sodium, sugar, or preservatives that are often found in store bought options.
Salmon nutritional benefits
Salmon is one of the healthiest foods to enjoy if you eat fish. It is considered a fatty fish, because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Other fatty fish include tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in our diet, because our bodies cannot produce them. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, important for brain growth and development, and lower blood triglyceride levels.
The best way to get enough omega-3s in your diet is to eat fatty fish two times a week, or about 8 ounces per week. Omega-3s are also found in plant-based foods like flax seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and walnuts – but the omega-3s from these sources are not absorbed as efficiently.
How to make chimichurri salmon
First, prepare the salmon by marinating it in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish lined with parchment paper, and bake in the oven.
While the salmon cooks, prepare the chimichurri. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Process until ingredients are chopped but still textural.
Add the olive oil to the food processor, and pulse several times until well incorporated. You want the sauce to be smooth but still chunky from the fresh herbs, garlic, and onion.
Spread each piece of salmon with a generous spoonful of chimichurri. Serve with your favorite sides – I did Brussels sprouts and brown rice!