Chimichurri is a bold, herbaceous green sauce that originated in Argentina and Uruguay. It’s often used as a marinade or topping for grilled meats. The combination of fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil packs a tangy, refreshing punch of flavor.
But like any sauce made with fresh ingredients, chimichurri only lasts for so long in the fridge. So how long exactly can you store chimichurri before it goes bad?
Below you’ll find a complete guide to maximizing the shelf life and freshness of chimichurri sauce.
How Long Does Chimichurri Last Refrigerated?
When stored properly in the refrigerator, chimichurri will keep well for 2-3 weeks.
The fresh herbs, vinegar, and lemon juice help prevent bacterial growth. As long as you keep it chilled in an airtight container, chimichurri can maintain peak freshness and flavor for up to 21 days.
Here are some tips for storing chimichurri in the fridge:
- Let chimichurri cool completely before refrigerating.
- Transfer to an airtight container, mason jar, or resealable plastic bag.
- Push out excess air and seal the container.
- Store in the back of the fridge away from the door.
- Use clean utensils each time to avoid contamination.
- Never return used chimichurri back into the storage container.
When stored properly, chimichurri will retain its bright green color and won’t smell or taste unpleasant. Discard any chimichurri that’s darkened in color or gives off a sour odor, as this indicates spoilage.
How To Tell If Refrigerated Chimichurri Has Gone Bad
Here are some signs that refrigerated chimichurri has spoiled and should be thrown out:
- Change in color: Fading from bright green to dull brownish green.
- Mold growth: Fuzzy mold visible on the surface.
- Strong sour smell: Unpleasant sour or “off” odor.
- Texture changes: Becomes slimy instead of smooth.
- Watery appearance: Liquid separating out.
- Foaming/bubbling: Gas bubbles or foamy texture.
If you notice any of these changes, don’t taste the chimichurri. Simply discard it and make a fresh batch.
Does Chimichurri Last Longer In The Freezer?
While chimichurri only lasts 2-3 weeks in the fridge, you can get 2-3 months of shelf life by freezing it.
The low temperature prevents bacteria growth and slows down flavor deterioration. Frozen chimichurri won’t be exactly the same as fresh, but it works great in cooked dishes.
Follow these tips for freezing chimichurri:
Freeze chimichurri in recipe-sized portions in freezer bags or airtight containers. This prevents thawing more than you need.
Press out as much air as possible before sealing and freeze flat for efficient storage.
Label bags/containers with the date and chimichurri variety (green, red, etc).
Use within 2-3 months for best quality.
Thaw chimichurri overnight in the fridge before using.
Once thawed, chimichurri may be a bit duller in color but the flavor remains quite robust. Give it a stir before using.
How To Make Chimichurri Last Longer
You can maximize chimichurri’s shelf life by following proper storage methods. Here are some extra tips:
Use fresh herbs: Don’t use wilted herbs or chimichurri will spoil faster.
Store in small batches: Only make as much chimichurri as you’ll use within 2-3 weeks.
Use clean utensils: Always use a clean spoon each time to prevent contamination. Never double-dip.
Add more vinegar: The acidity helps preservation, so add some extra vinegar if storing for over 2 weeks.
Keep chilled: Refrigerate chimichurri immediately after making, never leaving it at room temperature.
Freeze for long-term storage: Freezing prevents bacteria growth for 2-3 months of shelf life.
Use sterilized jars: If canning chimichurri, sterilize jars first to kill any bacteria.
Following the refrigeration, freezing, and food safety tips in this article will help prolong the shelf life. But ultimately the freshness will start declining after 2-3 weeks. For the best flavor, use chimichurri as soon as possible.
Can You Store Chimichurri At Room Temperature?
It’s best to refrigerate chimichurri right away instead of leaving it out at room temperature. Here’s why:
The fresh herbs provide a breeding ground for bacteria if left unchilled.
The olive oil can turn rancid after several hours at room temperature.
The lemon juice and vinegar only provide so much acidity to prevent bacterial growth.
Potential mold spores are more likely to multiply in warmer temperatures.
For food safety, chimichurri should not sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours maximum before chilling or using.
If you won’t be able to refrigerate chimichurri within 2 hours of making it, consider freezing individual serving portions for longer freshness.
Does Chimichurri Last Longer When Canned?
Canning chimichurri in sterilized jars is an option for longer term storage, potentially lasting up to 1 year unopened.
However, the canning process tends to dull the vibrant green color somewhat. Canned chimichurri also loses some brightness and herbaceous notes as it sits.
For peak flavor and texture, chimichurri is best used within 2-3 weeks. But if you want to make larger batches for pantry storage, proper canning methods can extend the shelf life significantly.
Be sure to:
- Use clean equipment and sterilized jars.
- Seal jars tightly and process fully.
- Check seals before storing to ensure no air got in.
- Refrigerate after opening for up to 3 weeks.
Storing Chimichurri For The Best Flavor
Chimichurri contains fresh ingredients that eventually start losing their punch over time. For the most flavorful chimichurri, follow these guidelines:
Use within 3 days for maximum brightness and herb flavor.
Use within 1 week for excellent freshness and tang.
Use within 2 weeks for very good flavor and texture.
Use within 3 weeks for good but diminishing quality.
Freeze for up to 3 months for retained vibrancy.
The freshest chimichurri will always be what you’ve just freshly made. But you can maximize the quality by quick refrigeration and proper food safety methods.
FAQ About Chimichurri Storage
Here are some common questions about how long chimichurri lasts:
How long does chimichurri last in the fridge?
Properly stored, chimichurri will last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator before quality and freshness start to decline. Keep it sealed in an airtight container.
Can you freeze chimichurri?
Yes, chimichurri can be frozen for 2-3 months. Freeze it flat in freezer bags or airtight containers for best results. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Can I store chimichurri at room temperature?
It’s best to refrigerate chimichurri within 2 hours of making it. Leaving it out too long risks bacteria growth in the fresh ingredients.
How long does canned chimichurri last unopened?
Home-canned chimichurri can keep for up to 1 year if processed and sealed properly. Refrigerate after opening.
Do herbs keep chimichurri from spoiling quickly?
The fresh herbs in chimichurri also introduce more opportunities for bacteria if left at room temperature too long. Quick refrigeration is still needed.
What happens if I eat spoiled chimichurri?
Consuming spoiled chimichurri could potentially cause foodborne illness. If chimichurri smells or tastes unpleasant, discard it right away.
Keeping Chimichurri Fresh
Chimichurri’s delicious flavor comes from fresh, vibrant ingredients. With proper refrigeration and air-tight storage, an herbaceous chimichurri sauce can retain quality for 2-3 weeks after making it. For longer term preservation, freeze chimichurri in recipe-ready portions.
Be diligent against contamination by using clean utensils each time. And discard any chimichurri that smells unpleasant or changes texture, color, or consistency – these are signs it has spoiled.
Following the storage, freezing, and food safety tips in this article will help you keep chimichurri fresh as long as possible. Then you can continue enjoying its tangy, flavorful