This Dietitian-Favorite Sauce Has Just 4 Ingredients & I Put It on Basically Everything

It helps me use up herbs that are on their way out and cut down on food waste, too.

chimichurri chicken

Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where nutrition editor and registered dietitian Jessica Ball keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two, and make Earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life.

I've learned from cooking more at home that foods like herbs and spices can seriously up the flavor (and even the nutrition) of your meals without added salt, sugar or fat. However, herbs, in particular, can have a pretty short shelf life in the fridge—and they come in large bunches making them harder to get through. A few weeks ago, I had a bunch of parsley that was starting to wilt. Instead of composting it or throwing it into my stock veggie scraps bag in the freezer, I decided to use it for this simple 4-ingredient sauce. And I've been making it on repeat ever since. Here are the details of why I love it, and how you can recreate it at home.

Pictured Recipe: Chimichurri Chicken

This is the sauce I lean on when I'm in a pinch and want to bring any meal together (from eggs at breakfast to proteins, sides or salads at dinner). It includes olive oil, lemon juice, finely diced shallots, minced herbs, salt and pepper. You can either whisk the mixture together by hand for a chunkier, more textured sauce or blitz it all together in a food processor for something more smooth. And don't forget to taste and adjust along the way until you find something utterly delicious.

The sauce I make is almost like a pared-down version of our Easy Chimichurri Sauce recipe. But one of the reasons I love this sauce so much is because it's incredibly customizable. Don't have shallots? Try using sliced scallions, finely chopped onions or minced garlic instead. Out of lemons? Swap in any type of vinegar you like; just be mindful that it has a more potent flavor than lemon juice. You can also use basically any herbs that you have, and it's a great way to use up a large amount of herbs that are on their way out. Sometimes I'll even make a big batch so it's ready to use throughout the week.

There are several ways to elevate your meals at home without adding excessive amounts of added sugar, salt or fat, and this sauce is proof. It works just as well as a salad dressing as it does on roasted vegetables or grilled chicken. I can't wait to try it next over our Chimichurri Noodle Bowls and Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri. For more budget- and beginner-friendly cooking tips and recipes, check out Thrifty.

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