Italian green sauce recipe

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A bowl of green sauce: a vegan, whole sauce of Italian green parsley.

Italian green sauce is a spicy green sauce, full of herbs and one of my favorite condiments. I spread it on a grilled steak, drizzle it over the eggs and use it as a salad dressing. You will find endless uses for this easy and versatile sauce!

Italian salsa verde verde sauce in a white bowl with a spoon on a cement background.

I am. So. Ready. By. Spring. Who's with me?

Let's celebrate the imminent arrival of spring with this recipe for Italian green sauce. This herby green sauce is basically spring on a spoon: bright, green, cheery, and full of promise. Awesome sauce.

Part of the dressing, part of the sauce, add the green sauce on the steak or the fish, sprinkle it on the eggs, stir it with vegetables and occasionally eat it by the tablespoons. There are few limits to this versatile seasoning.

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Italian green sauce is stupid and easy to prepare, and takes only 10 minutes. It is friendly to any type of diet, from vegan to paleo, so feel free to use it freely. I do, and you should.

What is Italian green sauce?

Italian green sauce is many things. A sparkling, dairy-free pesto-ish sauce? Check. The Mediterranean cousin of Mexican green sauce? Yes. A softer, but equally addictive, version of chimichurri? You can bet.

An overhead image of a small white bowl filled with Italian salsa verde verde sauce on a concrete background with a gray linen napkin.

In essence, salsa verde is a green sauce based on olive oil filled with fresh herbs, garlic and acid with a touch of heat and brine. Turn on all the taste buds my friends. My version is made with parsley, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and capers, which is a pretty close approximation to most traditional versions, with some extra sparkle for fun.

Depending on how finely chopped the herbs or how much olive oil you add, it can be used as a dipping sauce, salad dressing, and everything in between.

Notes of Italian green sauce recipes

Most of this recipe can be made with a food processor, so I'm not going to judge you for using one. But since I'm a masochistic purist, I finely chopped the herbs, garlic, and capers by hand. It gives me a good wrist workout and also a little more control over the final texture. I will include instructions in the recipe notes for those of you with a better sense than I do and I choose to follow the food processor route.

How to make Italian green sauce. Flat-leaf parsley is chopped on a wooden cutting board with small bowls of capers and red pepper flakes.

You will start by finely chopping a bunch of parsley. Make sure you have the freshest parsley you can buy – it will be full of flavor and aroma, and will make your sauce as tasty as possible. Just say no to the lame parsley. For a thicker sauce, cut the parsley on the large side. For a thinner sauce, I got a very fine hash. I land somewhere in the middle for maximum versatility.

How to make Italian green sauce. Capers and garlic are minced on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of chopped parsley on the side.

Transfer the parsley to a large bowl, and then chop the garlic and capers. You want to chop both very finely so that their flavor spreads throughout the sauce.

Image on the left: a grated lemon on a wooden cutting board. Right image: A small white bowl filled with ingredients for Italian green sauce on a wooden cutting board.

The next is an acid hit. Nerd that kind. The type of lemon! I include both lemon juice and zest. The zest lends another layer of aromatics and really adds a touch of true lemon flavor to the sauce. It's delicious, and you should do it.

A small white bowl filled with freshly prepared Italian green sauce on a wooden cutting board with a gray linen napkin.

I season my Italian green sauce quite generously with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Portions, honestly, will be dictated by your palette. After adding the olive oil and mixing everything, you should try it to season it. Add extra chunks of salt, pepper, red pepper, or all three until sauce tastes like WOAH. Keep in mind that capers already add a lot of brine, so don't get too liberal with the salt before trying it for seasoning.

And just like that, you're done. You can serve this right away, but the flavor will definitely improve as the ingredients become cozy and their flavors merge. Prepare your salsa verde before preparing the other portions of your meal for the best possible flavor.

How to use Italian green sauce

Sprinkle on breakfast polenta.

Two bowls of polenta topped with sautéed spinach and a poached egg, drizzled with Italian green sauce.

Spread it with grilled steak or roasted fish.

Slices of medium rare grilled steak on a cutting board with a small bowl of Italian green sauce and a large bowl of grilled asparagus on the side.

Mix with roasted vegetables or salad greens … or both, like this roasted radish salad.

A great source of roasted radish salad with greens, farro, avocado, and an Italian dressing of mint green sauce.

Add a tablespoon of potato soup, roasted cauliflower soup, or minestrone.

So many possibilities. So amazing. Sting my friends!

Italian green sauce recipe

Italian green sauce is a spicy, herb-filled green sauce. This versatile seasoning is vegan, paleo, and whole 30. You'll put this sparkling green sauce on everything!

Course: Seasoning

Cuisine: Gluten-free, Cereal-free, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 86kcal


  • 1 bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, grated and in juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • sea ​​salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c of extra virgin olive oil


  • Chop the parsley until finely chopped and place in a large bowl.

  • Chop the capers and garlic and add them to the parsley.

  • Lemon peel, then juice. Add the juice and zest to the parsley, capers, and garlic.

  • Add the red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper and the olive oil to the bowl and mix until just incorporated. Try seasoning and add more salt, pepper, and / or red pepper flakes as desired. For a thinner consistency, add more olive oil.


To make this recipe in a food processor: Add the parsley to the entire food processor and pulse 3-5 times to break it down. Add capers and whole garlic cloves and pulse until all ingredients are chopped or minced to desired texture. Scrape the herb mixture from the food processor into a large bowl and continue with Step 3. ** One serving is about 1 heaping tablespoon of green sauce.

Nutritional information

Calories: 86kcal (4%)

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