Lightened Up Chimichurri

So I used to do this dinner group with two other friends that was amazing.  We’d each cook 3 family sized batches of one meal, and trade at the beginning of the week.  This way, you had one crazy day of cooking and meal prep but then easy riding the rest of the week.  We’d make sure to make things that kept well, coordinating seafood at the beginning of the week etc..  so nothing ever seemed like leftovers.  It was amazing.

But maybe even better than the freed up time, was the PUSH it gave me to try new recipes and expand my skills and taste buds.  My friends are good cooks!  And no body wants to be the weak link.  Lots of yummy recipes were born in our home during those years… and one I fell IN LOVE with was a brown sugar flank steak with chimichurri sauce from How Sweet It Is.  OBSESSED.  I think it may have been the first time I’d made chimichurri and IT WAS NOT THE LAST.  Garlic, fresh herbs, vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes… so zippy and fresh and full of flavor. I could eat this on ANTHING savory.  Seriously.. I’ve done that test. Try me. Anything. Chicken, shrimp, rice, pasta, potatoes, salad…. tacos…. chips…. so good.

Lightened Up Chimichurri

BUUUT…. like a lot of things.. “then I started counting macros” and anything that’s swimming in olive oil is most likely gonna use up my daily budget of fat if I’m throwing it on my eggs at breakfast, sandwich at lunch… and salad for dinner.  (And finding random things during the day to dip in it.)

In the amounts I WANT to eat it, it would use it up on the eggs. I’d be out of fat by 9. It’s sad. It’s true.

SO, I’ve been determined to make a macro-friendly version of this acidic herby heart-stopping spread.  And I’ll admit I’ve tried several times and NONE have been bad because really… how wrong can you go with herbs and garlic… but this has been the best yet so it’s making it’s debut, soo I won’t forget it… and so I can convert someone else to eating green, vinegary, herby goodness on everything but dessert.

If you don’t watch your fat, go use the real recipe at How Sweet it Is because it will never be a secret that fat tastes really good. Like really good.  But if you DO watch your fat, try this one… low cost for SO much flavor.

Lightened Up Chimichurri

Over the years I’ve learned it’s definitely one of those recipes where you can kind of eyeball everything and totally switch out herbs.  It’s like pesto where it can be whatever you want.  Remember when pesto was just basil and pine nuts? Was that just me? Now it’s kale, almonds… vegan…  I think the rules are gone! So use whatever you love in this if you don’t love the herbs I used. I think the classic flavors are the parsley and cilantro… but this time I added arugula and chives and it was a hit.

My girls obsess over this stuff as much as me, but since they don’t need to be watching their fat, I split the finished batch in half and whisked in a little extra olive oil to theirs just to make it more drizzle-able.  So it’s easy to add more later if you decide you want it!

Lightened Up Chimichurri

Lightened Up Chimichurri

This is more of a pinch of all the herbs… more of the ones you really love… but I tried to assign some real measurements.  But feel free to mix it up using what you love.
Author Lillie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 -10
Calories 31 kcal


  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbs fresh oregano
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro if you hate cilantro, take it out or trade amounts with parsley!
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 chives 1-2 tbs chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed arugula
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  • Pulse all ingredients in a small food processor until just slightly chunky and blended.
  • Put it on everything!  Especially flank steak, grilled chicken, shrimp, and fish….


  • If you’re not watching your fat, add up to as much as 2/3 cup olive oil.
  • Fresh lemon juice can be added in place of the vinegar, or just in addition!


Serving: 1tbs (15g)Calories: 31kcalCarbohydrates: 1gFat: 3g

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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