The Shelf Life of Chimichurri Sauce: A Comprehensive Guide

How long does chimichurri keep?

Chimichurri sauce is a popular condiment that originated in Argentina and is known for its tangy flavor and versatility. Whether used as a marinade or a sauce, chimichurri can enhance any dish, especially grilled meats. But if you’re wondering how long chimichurri will keep and how to store it properly, this article will give you all the information you need.

Shelf life of store-bought chimichurri sauce

Store-bought chimichurri sauce is typically sold in jars or bottles and often contains preservatives to extend its shelf life. When unopened, commercially produced chimichurri sauce is considered shelf stable and can be safely stored at room temperature. The expiration date on unopened store-bought chimichurri sauce is usually about six months from the date of purchase.
However, once opened, chimichurri sauce, whether homemade or store-bought, should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness. Opened bottles of chimichurri sauce must be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within three weeks to ensure optimal quality and flavor.

Shelf life of homemade chimichurri sauce

Homemade chimichurri sauce, on the other hand, does not contain preservatives. Therefore, its shelf life is relatively shorter than store-bought varieties. However, the unique characteristic of chimichurri sauce is that it is often preferred to be aged for a short period of time before use, allowing the ingredients to ferment and develop a distinct flavor profile.
Once you’ve made a fresh batch of homemade chimichurri sauce, it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within about a week. The vinegar in homemade chimichurri sauce acts as a natural preservative, helping to extend its shelf life for a limited time.

Signs of spoilage

Like any food product, chimichurri sauce can spoil if not stored or handled properly. It’s important to know the signs of spoilage to ensure food safety. Here are some indicators that chimichurri sauce has gone bad and should be discarded:

  1. Appearance: Fresh chimichurri sauce has a bright green color, but over time the herbs may lose their freshness and turn darker. While a slightly darker shade is generally acceptable, any mold spots or significant color changes indicate spoilage and should be avoided.
  2. Smell: A batch of fresh chimichurri sauce should have a pleasant aroma of fresh herbs and vinegar. If you notice a musty or moldy smell, it is a clear sign that the sauce has gone bad and should not be consumed.
  3. Taste: Chimichurri sauce should taste herby, earthy and fresh. If you notice any unusual or off flavors, it is an indication that the sauce has gone bad and should not be consumed.

It’s important to note that consuming tainted chimichurri sauce is unlikely to cause significant health problems, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming tainted food.

Proper storage of chimichurri sauce

To maximize the shelf life and maintain the quality of chimichurri sauce, proper storage is critical. Here are some guidelines for storing both store-bought and homemade chimichurri sauce:

  1. Store-bought chimichurri sauce: Unopened store-bought chimichurri sauce can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place away from fluctuating temperatures and bright lights. Once opened, it should be tightly sealed and refrigerated to ensure that it is consumed within three weeks.
  2. Homemade Chimichurri Sauce: Homemade chimichurri sauce should be transferred to a container with an airtight lid before refrigeration. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids are recommended to prevent any transfer of flavors or odors. It’s also important to label the jar with the date the sauce was made to keep track of its freshness.

Freezing Chimichurri Sauce

If you want to extend the shelf life of your chimichurri sauce, freezing it is an excellent option. Freezing chimichurri sauce is especially useful if you have a large batch or want to preserve the sauce for future use. Here’s how to freeze chimichurri sauce:

  1. Portioning: Divide the chimichurri sauce into individual portions as needed. You can use ice cube trays or small plastic containers for convenient portion sizes.
  2. Freezing: Place individual portions of chimichurri sauce in the freezer until completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer the portions to a larger airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag. Don’t forget to label the container or bag with the contents and date of freezing.
  3. Shelf life of frozen chimichurri sauce: When properly stored in the freezer, Chimichurri Sauce can maintain its quality for up to 6 months. However, for the best flavor and texture, it is recommended that frozen chimichurri sauce be consumed within 3 months.
  4. Thawing: To thaw frozen Chimichurri Sauce, remove the desired portion from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature as this can encourage bacterial growth. Once thawed, stir the sauce well to recombine any separated ingredients before using.

Tips for Using and Enjoying Chimichurri Sauce

Now that you know how long chimichurri sauce will keep and how to store it properly, here are some tips for using and enjoying this flavorful condiment:

  1. Marinate: Chimichurri sauce is excellent for marinating various meats, such as steak, chicken, or lamb. Coat the meat with the sauce and marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to infuse.
  2. Grilling: When grilling meats, baste them with chimichurri sauce while cooking to add extra flavor and moisture. Reserve some fresh sauce to serve with the grilled meat for a burst of freshness.
  3. Pasta Sauce: Use Chimichurri Sauce as a delicious alternative to traditional pasta sauces. Toss cooked pasta with the sauce and add some grated Parmesan cheese for a quick and flavorful meal.
  4. Sandwiches and wraps: Spread chimichurri sauce on sandwiches or wraps for an extra kick of flavor. It works especially well with grilled vegetables, chicken or steak.
  5. Dip sauce: Serve Chimichurri Sauce as a dipping sauce for appetizers such as bread, grilled shrimp or vegetable sticks. Its vibrant flavors complement a variety of snacks.
  6. Salad Dressing: Mix chimichurri sauce with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to make a tangy, herby salad dressing. Drizzle over mixed greens or use as a marinade for grilled vegetable salads.
  7. Customize to taste: Feel free to customize your chimichurri sauce by adjusting the ingredient ratios to your liking. For a spicier version, add extra red pepper flakes, or for a milder flavor, reduce the amount of garlic.

Remember to always use clean utensils when handling chimichurri sauce and avoid cross-contamination with other foods to prevent spoilage.


Chimichurri sauce is a versatile and flavorful condiment that can enhance the flavor of many dishes. While store-bought chimichurri sauce has a longer shelf life, homemade versions offer the opportunity to experiment with fresh ingredients and unique flavors. By following proper storage guidelines and watching for signs of spoilage, you can enjoy chimichurri sauce at its best. Whether used as a marinade, on the grill, or as a dip, chimichurri sauce adds a delicious kick to your culinary creations.


Can I eat store-bought chimichurri sauce after the expiration date?

It is generally recommended to consume store-bought chimichurri sauce before the expiration date for optimal quality and flavor. However, if the sauce looks and smells normal, it may be safe to consume a short time after the expiration date. Use your best judgment and check for any signs of spoilage before consuming.

Can I freeze homemade chimichurri sauce?

Yes, you can freeze homemade chimichurri sauce to extend its shelf life. Portion the sauce into individual servings, freeze, and store in an airtight container or freezer bag. Frozen chimichurri sauce will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.

How do I know if Chimichurri Sauce has gone bad?

Signs of spoilage in chimichurri sauce include color changes, such as darkening, or the presence of mold. A musty or moldy odor and off-flavors are also indicators of spoilage. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to discard the sauce.

Can I store chimichurri sauce at room temperature?

Once opened, chimichurri sauce should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness. Leaving it at room temperature for an extended period of time can promote bacterial growth and spoilage. Store the sauce in the refrigerator to ensure its longevity.

How long does homemade chimichurri sauce need to age for optimal flavor?

While it is not necessary, some people prefer to age homemade chimichurri sauce in the refrigerator for a few days to a week before using it. This allows the flavors to meld and develop a more robust flavor profile. However, it is still safe to eat immediately after preparation.

Can I use expired chimichurri sauce as an ingredient in a cooked dish?

It is recommended that you avoid using expired chimichurri sauce as it may affect the taste and quality of your cooked dishes. Using fresh, properly stored chimichurri sauce will ensure the best results in terms of flavor and food safety.