A simple recipe for Gremolata, a zesty Italian herb sauce that gives a flavorful boost to fish, chicken, pasta, soups and stews.  Made with straightforward ingredients, in just 5 minutes, this version is made into a “sauce” with an olive oil base and keeps for 7 days in the fridge.  Video!

Gremolita

Many of you are probably already familiar with Gremolata-  but if not, this could be the difference between a bland and unexciting dish to something alive and truly bursting with flavor!  And the best thing is it only takes FIVE  minutes to make, and I’m pretty sure you already have the simple ingredients on hand.  Gremolata is like a breath of fresh air, enlivening and brightening up even the most somber of dishes. Plus it adds a bit of color which always makes dishes more appealing.

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian condiment- one of my “go-to” flavor boosters at home and in my catering business. Traditionally it is a dry sprinkling of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. But this version of Gremolata is different.  It is made with olive oil as a base and turned into an herby “sauce” – a little catering trick we’ve used for years that helps preserve the flavor a little longer.

Think of Gremolata as an Italian-style “chimichurri”, a great alternative for those who dislike cilantro or chilies.

Watch How to make Gremolata | video!

Ingredients in Gremolata

  • Flat leaf Parsley
  • Lemon- you’ll use the zest and juice!
  • Garlic- fresh is best!
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil– choose one that smooth and not bitter.
Ingredients in Gremolata

How to make Gremolata (two easy ways!):

Option 1 (BY HAND): Place chopped parsley, garlic, zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Give a stir. Taste. Add more lemon juice if you like. (You want this salty and lemony.) If you want a looser consistency, add a little more oil.

mixing gremolata in a bowl

Simply stir the ingredients together.

gremolata in a bowl with a fork.

Option 2 (FOOD PROCESSOR): When making big batches of Gremolata, I’ll opt for the food processor. Place unchopped parsley, garlic and zest in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add oil, salt & pepper and lemon juice. Pulse again, until uniformly combined but not too smooth. Add chili flakes for a touch of heat if you like.

Gremolata  in a food processor

In catering, we would often serve Gremolata with grilled beef or slow-braised meats to give them a bit of brightness. At home, I use it on practically everything.

Gremolata in a jar

This recipe makes a 1-cup jar that keeps in the fridge for 7-10 days. I promise…  it won’t last that long, though!

Ways to use Gremolata:

  1. Use Gremolita to swirl into soups, spoon over fish, or chicken or eggs, over roasted veggies or avocado toast.
  2. Use it in side salads: Toss with potatoes or pasta or chickpeas
  3. Swirl it into a simple pot of beans, warm pasta, risotto or polenta.
  4. Serve with hearty, meaty dishes like braised shanks, grilled beef or lamb.
Gremolata in a jar

Spoon Gremolata over Ribolita or Tuscan Eggs or this Black Cod.  Or try it over this Spring Polenta.  Or over simple baked chicken breast!

I’m so excited for you to try Gremolata and can’t wait to hear what creative ways you will use it!

xoxo

More Green Sauces!

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gremolata in a white bowl

Gremolata Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 2/3 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauces, condiments
  • Method: blend
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A delicious recipe for Gremolata, a zesty Italian herb sauce that brightens and enlivens fish, chicken, pasta, soups and stews. This version is made into a sauce and keeps for 7-10 days in the fridge.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  1. 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (1 cup packed, tender stems OK)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  3. Zest of one lemon
  4. 2 teaspoons lemon juice (Meyer Lemon is especially nice)
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil
  6. 1/81/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
  8. pinch chili flakes – optional

Instructions

BY HAND:  Place chopped parsley, garlic, zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small  bowl. Give a stir. Taste. Add more lemon juice if you like. (You want this salty and lemony.) If you want a looser consistency add a little more oil. Add a pinch of chili flakes for heat.

FOOD PROCESSOR: Place unchopped parsley, garlic and zest in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add oil, salt & pepper and lemon juice. Pulse again, until uniformly combined but not too smooth. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice. Add chili flakes for a touch of heat if you like. Add more oil for a looser consistency.


Notes

  1. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  2. TIP: make sure olive oil is not bitter or rancid (taste before using).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 49
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 18.3 mg
  • Fat: 5.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: gremolata, gremolata recipe, gremolata recipes, herb sauce, how to make gremolata, what is gremolata? Gremolata for fish, gremolata for chicken

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia,

    I am planning to make your white bean soup and wonder if this gremolata can be made with less or no olive oil, as I am on a low oil diet.

    Thanks,
    Sita

    1. Hi Sita- you could actually make the gremolata more like an herb sprinkle- and sprinkle over the top if you like. Just pulse everything very finely in a food processer, leave out the oil, and most of the salt. Basically finely chopped herbs, zest and garlic. This is traditional Gremolata – I tweak it here and add the oil to make it more sauce-like. 🙂

    2. Hi Sita, I’m also planning to make this. For the gremolata, I was thinking of using a little mashed avocado and a few drops of water instead of the oil…

  2. I didn’t have fresh parsley so I substituted basil. Mitch might not have been true gremalota, but we enjoyed it with our steak.

  3. I poured it over roasted asparagus and buratta cheese for a wedding. Delish

  4. Lovely! This Gremolata was the perfect addition to my seared scallops on a bed of pureed peas.

    1. Traditional Gremolata is made without oil- it is more of a herb “sprinkle” than a drizzle. You could try that? Finely chop everything and just sprinkle.

  5. This gremolata is amazing! I add it to almost everything. I especially love it on avo toast in the mornings. I’ve been making a big batch weekly. It even freezes and defrosts well.
    Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  6. This was quick, easy and delicious. Make sure that the parsley is PACKED or the gremolata will be runny.

    1. Hi Claudia, yes ok to freeze! Make sure to add a layer of lemon juice to the top before freezing, to help keep the sauce green.

  7. I had extra parsley. The sauce tasted great on the baked chicken breast and was so colourful. I spooned a tablespoon over the chicken and served with sweet potatoes baked in olive oil and fresh corn on the cob. Presentation was colourful and very tasty!

  8. This was the first time i made shortribs.. I could not find rhubarb so I substituted cranberries and IT WAS DIVINE! SO SUPER TENDER!

    1. My boyfriend and I love putting this sauce on top of some seared salmon. It is an amazing combo and very fresh tasting sauce

  9. lovely gremolata! very nice, however I attest chimichurri has neither cilantro nor chilies… fyi

  10. I disagree with the inclusion of parsley stems mostly because growing up in Trieste we were told to use only the tender leaves. I believe it makes a better gremolata. You can always use the stems to make broth.

  11. absolutely perfect. this helped me recreate one of my favorite pasta dishes from a now closed restaurant we used to frequent. Love your options to batch up with respective portions. thank you!

  12. This is great! I like a little bit of extra garlic, personally. Can you use dried lemon zest in place of fresh?

  13. Hello, I make Chimichurri a lot, and this is very similar obviously but without the heat and there’s the addition of lemons here which I love. My question is, in your professional opinion, how do you think this would be with a coffee rubbed steak? I’m not sure the bitterness from the lemons would pair with the bitterness of the coffee rub, although the coffee rub is sweet as well from the brown sugar! …I guess there’s only one way to find out! Thanks for your time and I’d love to hear your thoughts

    1. Great question! My guess is I bet it would be fine, but haven’t tried it! Let me know what you think~!

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