Home / friendly / processed / condiments / Is Chimichurri Keto-Friendly?

Is Chimichurri Keto-Friendly?

Chimichurri on a kitchen counter

The allure of chimichurri, with its vibrant flavors and tangy punch, is hard to resist.

But if you're adhering to a strict ketogenic diet, you might be wondering, 'Is Chimichurri Keto-Friendly?' The simple answer is yes, but with a significant caveat - it's all about portion control.

Over the course of this article, we've delved into the carbohydrate content of chimichurri, its impact on ketosis, the potential health implications on a keto diet, and the importance of limiting its intake.

We've also explored keto-compatible alternatives and presented some practical tips and unique ideas for those who wish to keep chimichurri in their keto diet while maintaining ketosis.

The ultimate takeaway is that, while chimichurri can be enjoyed on a keto diet, it should be limited and consumed with careful consideration.


  • Chimichurri can be included in a keto diet, but strict portion control is crucial due to its carb content.
  • Overindulging in chimichurri could disrupt ketosis and potentially lead to symptoms of keto flu.
  • There are several delicious, keto-friendly alternatives to chimichurri, such as pesto, herb-infused olive oil, and salsa verde.

Is Chimichurri Keto-Friendly?

So, is chimichurri keto-friendly? The short answer is yes, but with a caveat - it must be consumed in moderation.

Let's take a closer look at the nutritional details to understand why. Chimichurri, while packed with flavor, contains 6.67 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams. Now, that may not seem like a lot at first glance, but when you consider that a typical ketogenic diet recommends a daily net carb intake between 20 to 50 grams, you begin to see why this flavorful Argentinian sauce must be consumed sparingly.

This is because the core goal of the keto diet is to keep your body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Consuming more carbs than your set limit can potentially disrupt this process, taking your body out of ketosis. That's where the need for portion control comes into play with chimichurri.

While chimichurri does contain carbs, it's also worth noting that it has other macro-nutrients. It's rich in healthy fats from the olive oil, which is a plus point for a keto diet centered around high-fat intake. It also has a modest amount of protein, derived primarily from the garlic and parsley. However, these benefits do not negate the need for moderation due to its carb content.

Can Chimichurri be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Incorporating chimichurri into a strict keto diet can indeed be challenging due to its relatively high carb content. While it's true that chimichurri brings a burst of flavor to any dish, we must consider its 6.67g of net carbs per 100g. In a strict keto diet where daily carb intake is limited to about 20g, even a small serving of chimichurri can quickly eat into your carb budget for the day.

This is where the concept of portion control becomes crucial. It is key to enjoy the tangy delight that is chimichurri without disrupting your keto regimen. But what does portion control look like in the context of a keto diet? The idea is not to eliminate foods that you love, such as chimichurri, but to consume them in moderation.

You might be wondering how to keep track of the carbs in chimichurri and other foods. A food diary or a digital food tracking app can be a helpful tool in this regard. By logging what and how much you eat, you can maintain a better grip on your carb intake, helping you to accommodate your chimichurri indulgence without breaking ketosis.

However, it's important to remember that it's not just about managing your carb intake. A keto diet is also about maintaining a balance with other dietary components, such as fats and proteins. Thus, while chimichurri's healthy fats and modest protein content can be a bonus, we must remember that it's the carb content that takes precedence when following a strict keto diet.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Chimichurri

When it comes to the carbohydrate content of chimichurri, a detailed analysis reveals why portion control is so essential for those following a keto diet. Chimichurri contains 6.67 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. But what exactly does 'net carbs' mean?

Net carbs are the total carbohydrates in a food minus the dietary fiber. This number is significant for individuals on a keto diet as net carbs are the carbs that your body can actually digest and use for energy, and it is these carbs that can affect your state of ketosis.

Now, let's break this down with real-world examples. A typical serving size of chimichurri might be around 15 grams, roughly equivalent to one tablespoon. In this case, the net carbs in your serving of chimichurri would be around 1 gram.

On the other hand, if you were to use chimichurri more liberally, say with 50 grams or roughly three and a half tablespoons, you'd be looking at a little over 3 grams of net carbs.

These numbers might not seem significant, but for someone on a strict keto diet with a daily net carb limit of 20 grams, even these small amounts can quickly add up. This is why understanding the carb content of chimichurri, and indeed all foods, is so vital for maintaining a successful keto diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Chimichurri

The Chimichurri sauce, an Argentinian specialty, carries a unique nutritional profile that is worth exploring. A 100g sample of this flavorful condiment delivers 6.67g of carbohydrates, 13.33g of total fats, and 133.0kcal. While these macro nutrients play vital roles in energy production, the fat content also aids in nutrient absorption.

Chimichurri's sodium content stands at an impressive 700.0mg per 100g. While sodium often draws concern for its association with high blood pressure, it is actually an essential mineral. It helps maintain fluid balance, supports nerve function, and plays a role in muscle contraction.

It's worth noting that the total fats in Chimichurri are not just any fats. Given its main ingredients of olive oil and parsley, these are largely mono unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health when consumed in moderation.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 6.67g
Total fats 13.33g
Sodium, Na 700.0mg
Calories 133.0kcal
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Chimichurri' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'GREEN CHIMICHURRI SAUCE, GREEN CHIMICHURRI ' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Chimichurri on a Keto Diet

When considering the health implications of chimichurri on a keto diet, the key lies in its carbohydrate content. As we've discussed, chimichurri contains 6.67 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. Consuming too much could potentially disrupt ketosis, the metabolic state that the keto diet aims to achieve.

Staying in ketosis is a delicate balance, and even a slight increase in carbs can potentially disrupt this balance. This is one of the main challenges of including chimichurri in a keto diet. A single indulgence with a generous serving of chimichurri might be enough to tip the scales and push you out of ketosis. This is why portion control is imperative.

However, it's not all about the carbs. Chimichurri also has certain properties that can contribute to overall health and wellness. It is rich in antioxidants from its main ingredients like parsley and garlic, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. It is also a good source of healthy fats from olive oil, which is beneficial for heart health.

On the flip side, chimichurri can be high in sodium, depending on how it's prepared. Excess sodium can lead to water retention and high blood pressure, so it's another factor to consider in the context of overall health.

Importance of Limiting Chimichurri in Your Keto Meal Plan

As we've discussed, while chimichurri can bring a burst of flavor to your meals, it's crucial to limit its consumption in a keto meal plan. This is primarily due to its carb content, which, if not closely monitored, can disrupt your state of ketosis and might even lead to keto flu - a group of symptoms that can occur in the initial stages when your body is adjusting to a new, low-carb lifestyle.

So how can we enjoy the tangy delight that is chimichurri without compromising our keto diet? Here are some practical tips and methods:

  1. Portion Control: Remember, moderation is key. A small serving, around one tablespoon, is generally safe and can give your meal a flavor boost without significantly impacting your carb intake.
  2. Pair with Low-Carb Foods: When using chimichurri, pair it with foods that have low or no carbs to balance out your meal. For instance, a grilled chicken or beef steak with a small dollop of chimichurri can be a delicious and keto-friendly meal.
  3. Use it as a Flavor Enhancer: Instead of using chimichurri as a main sauce, you can use it sparingly as a flavor enhancer in your dishes. A small amount can go a long way in terms of flavor.
  4. Homemade is Best: Making chimichurri at home allows you to control what goes in it. You can adjust the ingredients to fit your keto diet better.
  5. Here are a few keto recipe ideas that include small portions of chimichurri:

  6. Chimichurri Keto Deviled Eggs: Replace the traditional mayo with a teaspoon of chimichurri for a tangy twist on this classic appetizer.
  7. Grilled Salmon with Chimichurri: A small drizzle of chimichurri over a perfectly grilled salmon fillet can make for a satisfying, keto-friendly dinner.
  8. Chimichurri Cauliflower Steak: For a vegetarian option, try roasting thick slices of cauliflower and topping them with a little chimichurri.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Chimichurri

If you're following a keto diet and are looking for lower-carb alternatives to chimichurri, there are several creative options you might want to consider. Here are a few substitutes that can still add a delightful flavor to your keto dishes, without the higher carb content of chimichurri:

  1. Pesto: Made primarily with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto is a delightful Italian sauce that can be a superb substitute for chimichurri in many dishes. It offers a rich, aromatic flavor and has only about 1.5 grams of net carbs per tablespoon. You can use it as a flavor-infusing marinade for chicken or fish before grilling, or stir a spoonful into a bowl of zucchini noodles for a quick, keto-friendly meal.
  2. Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Infuse olive oil with your choice of fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, or rosemary, to create a flavorful oil that can be used in a variety of ways. With virtually no carbs, this can be an excellent alternative to chimichurri. Drizzle it over salads, or use it as a dipping oil for keto bread.
  3. Salsa Verde: This tangy green sauce made from tomatillos, onions, garlic, and chili peppers is relatively low in carbs, with around 3 grams of net carbs per 100 grams. It can be a refreshing change from chimichurri, especially in Mexican-inspired keto dishes.

Concluding Thoughts on Chimichurri and Keto

Throughout our exploration of chimichurri's compatibility with a keto diet, we've established some key insights. Most notably, due to its relatively high carb content, chimichurri can pose challenges for individuals following a strict keto diet. Staying in ketosis, a sought-after state in the keto world, requires careful control of carb intake. Even a small indulgence in chimichurri can tip the balance, possibly disrupting ketosis and potentially leading to symptoms of the keto flu.

While chimichurri is a flavorful addition to many dishes, its use in a keto diet should be limited. Practical methods for doing so include strict portion control, pairing chimichurri with low or no-carb foods, using it as a flavor enhancer rather than a primary sauce, and opting for a homemade version where you can control the ingredients.

However, if limiting chimichurri proves difficult, there are many exciting and keto-friendly alternatives available. Pesto, herb-infused olive oil, and salsa verde are just a few examples that can offer a wealth of flavor with significantly fewer carbs.

As a fresh perspective, consider experimenting with different herbs and spices in your diet. A diverse range of flavors can keep your meals exciting and satisfying, reducing the temptation to reach for higher-carb options like chimichurri. For example, a mix of fresh basil, rosemary, and a hint of chili can create a unique flavor profile that's both keto-friendly and delicious.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Mango Chutney Keto-Friendly
Is Homemade Mango Pickle Keto-Friendly
Is Biber Salcasi Keto-Friendly
Is Ljutenica Keto-Friendly
Are Condiments Keto Friendly
Is Sweet And Sour Sauce Keto-Friendly
Is Barbecue Sauce Dip Keto-Friendly
Is French Onion Dip Keto-Friendly
Are Dips Keto Friendly
Is Salsa Keto-Friendly
Is Ketchup Keto-Friendly
Is Chocolate Gravy Keto-Friendly
Are Sauces Keto Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can, but it's important to limit your portion size due to chimichurri's carb content. A small serving, around one tablespoon, is generally safe and won't significantly impact your carb intake.

Consuming too much chimichurri could disrupt your state of ketosis due to the higher carb content, potentially leading to symptoms of the keto flu. Therefore, it's crucial to monitor your chimichurri intake closely.