An herbal but bright take on chimichurri sauce, perfect for roasted veggies and meat.
Sometimes a sauce or topping can take a dish to the next level. That topping is cranberry chimichurri, and you can pair it with everything from steak to roasted veggies. Thanks to bright and tart fresh cranberries mixed with vinegar and herbs, this “chimichurri” sauce is a great recipe to have on hand to take dinner to the next level.
Chimichurri by definition is a sauce or marinade that’s traditionally used on grilled meat in South American and Mexican cooking. It typically contains parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and chili pepper. The green version, chock full of parsley, is what many of us are familiar with. But today we’re building it with America’s Original Superfruit® for this #FreshCranFriday.
Thanks to the magic of food science, something amazing happens with our cranberry version of the chimichurri: it turns a glorious pink and red color. Vinegar interacts with the red onion to turn it bright pink, while the red cranberry skin (packed with unique polyphenols) keeps its color and the white insides soak up the pink. It’s pretty spectacular against basic grilled meat. And thanks to the structure of cranberries themselves (perfect for food processing and holding their shape), the chimichurri never loses “body” and doesn’t feel mushy a few minutes after completing. It also strikes the perfect balance and is not overwhelmingly herbal. I love pesto and traditional chimichurri, but there’s a part of me that wants a boost of the tangy flavors like lemon juice or vinegar. Cranberries do just that in this twist on tradition.
Cranberry “Chimichurri Rojo“ Sauce
Serving size: 12, 2-tablespoon servings (1 ½ cup total yield)
Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped in a food processer
- ½ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ medium red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- pepper, to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Add fresh cranberries to the food processor. Pulse 4-6 times to chop.
- Add pulsed cranberries to a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat on the stove. Sauté five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, diced onion, salt and pepper to medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Wash parsley and remove stems. Finely chop parsley leaves. Add to the bowl with oil and vinegar mixture and stir.
- Add sautéed cranberries to the bowl and mix. Add red pepper flakes and stir.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, as preferred.
- Serve with grilled or roasted meat or veggies.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.