Healthy Herbs and Spices
The green base of the chimichurri sauce is made using oregano, parsley, and minced garlic cloves. Each of these ingredients offer some incredible health benefits for paleo enthusiasts. Best of all, they’re probably already sitting in your pantry right now.
Oregano is a herb that’s not only used to increase the flavoring in many classic dishes, but it also contains certain antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it quite useful for medicinal purposes as well. (1) Not only that, but oregano is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to prevent free radical damage. The health properties of oregano are so potent that researchers even believe that it could one day be used to help cure cancer. (2) Fortunately, oregano pairs well with chicken, beef, and fish depending on the overall flavor profile you’re going for.
We love using leafy greens in our paleo dishes and parsley is no exception. Much like oregano, parsley is often used to boost the flavor and appearance of meals, giving off a greenish hue to sauces and marinades. On its own, it’s full of many great nutritional benefits. Parsley is a great source of vitamin A, C, and K. In addition, the antioxidants in parsley such as myricetin have been demonstrated to be effective in protecting against certain forms of cancer, like breast and skin cancer. (3)
Garlic is the other staple ingredient used to make this chimichurri sauce, and it’s long been known to be a potent food that is helpful for boosting the immune system. The sulfur compound allicin gives garlic its distinct and powerful smell while also providing most of its health benefits. In addition to keeping your immune system functioning properly, garlic can also help to reduce blood pressure, which in turn lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. (4) Raw garlic has a bit of spice to it, which is appropriate for this dish since we’ll be adding a bit of chili later on.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This chimichurri sauce recipe also calls for two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is truly one of the best superfoods that you could add into your diet thanks to the wide range of impressive health benefits it can provide. It can greatly improve your gut health by eliminating the bad bacteria while helping to foster the growth of the good bacteria necessary for proper gut functioning.
Apple cider vinegar adds some freshness and sharpness to the dish, making it appropriate for summer and spring. However, the combination of herbs, chili flakes and olive oil make this chimichurri chicken recipe great to have all-year-round.
Boneless Chicken Breast
The recipe calls for boneless chicken breast to help keep the fat content down, but you could also use boneless chicken thighs depending on your preference. We love a good chicken thigh recipe, and this one is no exception. Just reduce the olive oil slightly to compensate for the added fat from the chicken thighs.
There’s nothing like delicious homemade paleo-friendly sauces to elevate and add more dimension to a meal. This chimichurri chicken sauce is one of our favorites as it’s very easy to make (only 6 ingredients!) and comes packed with great health benefits. It also has a distinct flavor that elevates your lean protein of choice thanks to the mixture of spices and herbs.
P.S. – Paleo condiments, dressings and sauces taste best when made from scratch. Try these homemade paleo BBQ sauces the next time you’re in the mood for some outdoor grilling. Or, you could also whip up a batch of herbed paleo mayonnaise and store it in your fridge for some sandwiches or wraps.
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 tsp olive oil
- For the sauce
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley,
- 2 tbsp oregano leaves
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt, black pepper to taste
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly to about 1/2-inch thick.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat the pan with 2 tsp of olive oil.
- Add the chicken and grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165ºF.
- Remove from the heat and leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
- To make the sauce, in a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients until pureed.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with your favorite side dish or salad.
Want more paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 categories, it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.