Herb Sauce in 5 minutes

This 5-minute fresh herb sauce is my go-to super versatile condiment. Herb-y, spicy as you like, zesty and garlic-y. Use it for anything that pairs with fresh herbs.

It’s a great way to take advantage of fragrant patio herbs growing in the garden or to use up leftover herbs going limp in your fridge.

small white dish of herb sauce with spoon

Ways to use this lemon-herb sauce recipe

I call it a sauce, but it’s also a topping, dip and dressing that is zippy, vibrant and pairs beautifully with so many things.

Bottom line: it’s just a simple all purpose condiment for anything that works with fresh herbs such as:

  • a tasty sauce for grilled meat and chicken (amazing with flank steak)
  • tossed with shrimp, gnocchi, pasta
  • a bread dip
  • a topping for burgers and
  • a dressing for potato or pasta salads

Here are a few of our recipes using the green herb sauce or variations of it.

Tailor To Your Taste

It might be useful to check out which herbs work best with various foods when you’re choosing your herbs. We also have several substitutes you can use.

  • Adjust the spice levels with more or less red pepper flakes and the zesty-ness with more or less lemon.
  • Use whatever herbs you like, have on hand and go with your recipe:
    • Tender herbs go well with shrimp and fish: parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, fresh basil leaves, tarragon.
    • More robust, woody herbs go well with meat, potatoes, tofu and chicken: thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano. Also chives, parsley and cilantro.
  • Substitutes:
    • use lime juice instead of lemon juice or zest
    • try to use at least 1-2 fresh herbs for the recipe. If there is a particular herby flavor you’re looking for and don’t have that fresh herb, you can use a dried herb. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon dried for 3 teaspoons fresh.
    • substitute olive oil with vegetable oil
mixed herbs, olive oil, chili flakes, garlic, salt, green onion, pepper
Ingredients: fresh herbs (use a mix of what you like, what you have and what goes well with your dish), olive oil, lemon, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt.
herb sauce in food processor bowl top view
Put all ingredients in food processor bowl and process for a minute until well blended. You can also use an immersion blender or chop herbs and garlic finely with a knife. Taste and adjust seasonings.
herb sauce in dish on a plate 3
herb sauce on spoon over dish

Shortcut

  • I use a processor or immersion blender to save time. If you don’t have one, finely chop the garlic and herbs with a knife.

Make Ahead

  • The herby sauce will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week. The vibrant green color will fade a bit though. I find the color stays greener using lemon zest instead of lemon juice.

Are chimichurri and salsa verde similar to the herb sauce?

The herb sauce is pretty close to a chimichurri sauce which uses red wine vinegar (I use lemon) and oregano leaves (I use a combination of fresh herbs).

Salsa verde is also a green sauce but a bit different – made with tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and cilantro. Can you turn the herb sauce into a salsa verde? Sure – if you add a pound or so of cooked tomatillos!

Herb Basics

Check out our article on Herb Basics (for cooking purposes). It’s a short and sweet 101 about cooking with herbs, focusing on:

  • how to keep herbs fresh for weeks
  • rules of thumb when cooking with herbs
  • substituting dried for fresh herbs, and
  • how to freeze herbs
small white dish of herb sauce with spoon
Print Recipe Pin Save Recipe

Rate this recipe here

5 from 10 votes

Herb Sauce in 5 Minutes

This 5-minute fresh herb sauce is my go-to super versatile condiment. Herb-y, spicy as you like, zesty and garlic-y. Use it for anything that pairs with fresh herbs.
 
Total Time5 mins
Course: Condiments, sauces and spreads
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup/118 ml total))
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • food processor, mini food processor or immersion blender You can also chop herbs and garlic with a knife.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup herbs Note 1
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions
  • zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon -1/2 tsp red pepper flakes for medium heat adjust to your taste
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • MAKE HERBS SAUCE: Finely chop herbs and green onions. Stir together with other dressing ingredients except oil. Slowly whisk in oil. Alternatively (I do this): put all herb dressing ingredients in a processor and pulse to blend well. Or use an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Herbs: Use whatever herbs you like, have on hand and go with your recipe:
    • Tender herbs go well with shrimp and fish: fresh parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, basil, tarragon.
    • More robust, woody herbs go well with meat, potatoes, tofu and chicken: thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano. Also chives, parsley and cilantro.
  2. Substitutes:
    • use lime juice instead of lemon juice or zest
    • try to use at least 1-2 fresh herbs for the recipe. If there is a particular herby flavor you’re looking for and don’t have that fresh herb, you can use a dried herb. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon dried for 3 teaspoons fresh.
    • substitute olive oil with vegetable oil
  3. Make Ahead: The herb sauce will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week. The vibrant green color will fade a bit though. I find the color stays greener using lemon zest only without adding lemon juice.
 
Nutrition values are estimates for 1 tbsp/3 tsp/15 ml of herb sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just came from the market with some new batches of herbs and made it. Truly could eat it with almost anything. So good. Going to check the herb potato salad as well.