Grilled Churrasco Recipe

Visit a South American churrascaria, and you'll be pleased to discover a restaurant where meat is grilled and sliced directly off of the skewers onto your plate. Served with an herbed chimichurri sauce, it's a delightful specialty enjoyed in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and elsewhere. 

To recreate the experience at home, recipe developer Kate Shungu of Gift of Hospitality prepares grilled churrasco and serves it with homemade chimichurri made with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon. Says Shungu, "It's easy enough for a weeknight dinner yet impressive enough for a dinner party."

Since you already have the grill lit for the steaks, consider grilling your side dishes, too. Asparagus, corn on the cob, or even tomatoes will pair wonderfully with these steaks. Shungu also makes a quick pot of rice inside while everything cooks up on the grill. An added bonus, according to our recipe developer? When pretty much your whole dinner is made on the barbecue, you "have minimal clean-up at the end of the meal."

Gather the ingredients for the grilled churrasco

To make this grilled churrasco at home, you will, of course, need steak. Shungu prefers inside skirt steaks for their texture and flavor.

"Several years ago, a butcher at my local grocery store mentioned that he prefers inside skirt steak over outside skirt steak because it's more tender," she recalls. "I've been buying it ever since, and I agree!"

In addition to the steak, for the chimichurri accompaniment, you'll need a combo of flat-leaf parsley, dried oregano, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. A touch of salt, and we're ready to get cooking.

Make the chimichurri for the churrasco

The chimichurri that serves as an accompaniment to this grilled churrasco gets better when it sits out for a few minutes, giving the bright, aromatic flavors time to marry. So before you even turn your attention to the steak, start by combining the chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, and half teaspoon of salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and vinegar, and stir to combine. Leave the chimichurri to sit for 15 minutes while you move on to the steak. 

With its bright, vibrant flavors, we'd be surprised if you end up with any extra chimichurri at the meal's end. That said, any leftovers are delicious with a crusty baguette or scrambled eggs, according to Shungu.

Season the steak for the churrasco

Time to tackle the meat for this grilled churrasco recipe! We're looking for a medium-high heat for steaks with a nice char that remain juicy and tender on the inside. And if you don't have a grill, never fear. "You can use an indoor grill pan or even cook the steak under the broiler," suggests Shungu.

Whether your grill is indoors or outdoors, take advantage of the time it takes to heat up to pat the steaks dry with paper towels. This ensures that they'll sear rather than steaming on the outside, giving you those gorgeous char marks. Season the steaks on both sides with salt, and it's time to cook!

Fire up the grill for your grilled churrasco

Place the steaks on the grill, and cook for between two and three minutes per side — two minutes will yield medium-rare steaks, while three minutes per side will get you closer to medium-well. However you cook your steaks, be sure that once they've reached your desired doneness, you remove them from the heat and — essentially! — let them rest.

"If you cut into the steak immediately after taking it off the grill, the juices will run out, and you'll lose a lot of flavor," explains Shungu. "By waiting, it allows the liquid inside the meat to redistribute, which keeps the steak juicy." So cover with foil and ignore them for ten minutes.

Slice your grilled churrasco

Once the steaks have rested, it's time to slice your grilled churrasco. Skirt steaks have lots of fibers and connective tissue, which makes them ultra-flavorful but can also mean they tend to be chewy and fibrous. To keep from forcing your guests to chew each bite for twenty minutes, it's essential to slice them properly into half-inch pieces at a 45-degree angle against the grain. This, Shungu explains, "ensures that you'll have a tender piece of meat."

With the steak sliced, it's time to serve! Transfer to a serving platter and top with several spoonfuls of the chimichurri. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side, and enjoy!

Grilled Churrasco Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Who doesn't love skirt steak transformed into grilled churrasco? Served with an herbed chimichurri sauce, it's a delightful specialty enjoyed in Brazil.
Prep Time
Cook Time
grilled churrasco served
Total time: 21 minutes
  • 2 (1-pound) inside skirt steaks
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the chopped parsley, oregano, garlic cloves, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour in the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine and let the chimichurri sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
  2. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. While the grill is heating, pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season the skirt steaks on both sides with 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  3. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until your desired doneness is reached.
  4. Remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, cut the steaks at a 45-degree angle against the grain into ½ inch pieces.
  5. Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and top with several spoonfuls of the chimichurri. Serve with additional chimichurri on the side.
Calories per Serving 694
Total Fat 55.9 g
Saturated Fat 15.1 g
Trans Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 145.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 694.1 mg
Protein 45.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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