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Grilled Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin Filets with Chimichurri

5 stars based on 7 votes

A specialty of Argentina, chimichurri is a tangy, zesty condiment traditionally served with grilled meats. Emerald in color and packed with loads of fresh herbs, olive oil, vinegar and garlic, it’s like a cross between vinaigrette and pesto. This version — made from a fragrant blend of parsley, mint and cilantro — pairs beautifully with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin filets. The nice thing about the recipe is that it’s impressive, yet quick and easy to make. You can have the entire dish on the table, start to finish, in about 30 minutes. As for sides, keep it simple. I served it with sweet fresh corn, a big salad  and warm bread. It would also go well with this Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers and Avocado.


Begin by making the spice rub, which is a simple blend of paprika, cumin, ground mustard, kosher salt and pepper.


Set that aside while you make the sauce. Start by chopping a medium shallot and a few garlic cloves. You don’t need to chop them finely since they are going to get puréed, just enough so that big chunks don’t get stuck in the blender.


Then add the shallot and garlic to a blender, along with the olive oil, sherry wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and some of the herbs.


Blend and add the remaining herbs in two separate additions until the sauce is almost smooth. Cover the sauce and refrigerate until ready to serve.


When you’re ready to eat, drizzle the filets with olive oil and sprinkle generously with the spice rub.


Pat it down with your fingers so it sticks — it will be a thick coating.


Grill the steaks over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.


Serve with chimichurri sauce and enjoy!


The chimichurri sauce in this recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit.

Grilled Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


For the Spice Rub

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard (also called dry mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Chimichurri Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups stemmed fresh parsley
  • 1 cup stemmed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup stemmed fresh mint

For the Beef

  • 4 (6-8 ounce) beef tenderloin filets (about 1-inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


For the Spice Rub

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.

For the Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Combine the olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic cloves, shallot, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a third of the herbs in a blender; blend until almost smooth. Add the remaining herbs in two separate additions, puréeing until almost smooth after each addition. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the Beef

  1. Remove the tenderloin filets from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat the grill to high (about 600 degrees).
  2. Drizzle the filets with the olive oil and rub until evenly coated. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the filets and pat down with your hands so it sticks (the coating will be thick).
  3. Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the filets on the grill and cook, covered, about 4 minutes, or until nicely browned and charred on the first side. Flip the steaks and cook 3-4 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve the filets with chimichurri sauce on the side.

Reviews & Comments

  • As you suggest, I am going to pair with your Big Italian Salad (love it!). Can you suggest another vegetable side dish that I can serve along the Steak and Big Salad (but not corn), preferably one that we can put on the BBQ or reheat on the BBQ, unless you think a another cold side dish would be ok. Thanks!

    - Sandy on July 17, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Sandy, how about these potatoes? They are cooked on the grill and are delish!

      - Jenn on July 18, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I have a special friend coming to visit me this weekend from out of the country. We met over 10 years ago in Argentina and I would love to make this recipe and try to recreate our favorite meal down there! How far in advance can I make the chimichurri? Thanks!!

    - Jessica on April 30, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Jessica, the chimichurri can be made and refrigerated 3 – 4 days ahead. Enjoy your visit!

      - Jenn on May 1, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made this tonight. It was a nice change to have tenderloin. So good! Thank you for all your recipes I use them all the time!

    - Beth on April 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made this for dinner tonight. OUTSTANDING! Your site has been my go to for almost any recipe. Thank you for sharing

    - Kari on February 21, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just made these tonight. Once again, your recipe was a smash hit–out of the ballpark! And it’s all so easy to put together. I no longer “Google” recipes. You are my chef hero, Jenn!

    - Lisa S on February 18, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Any suggestions for some side items to pair with this recipe? Looks wonderful!

    - Katherine on December 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this recipe for father’s day this past year and it was delicious. The rub and sauce have been a go to in our house, especially on tri tips. We like to smoke them at about 225 until rare and then reverse sear to a nice medium rare and serve with the chimichurri sauce. I always double up the sauce because it goes fast!

    - Eric on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, How would I alter this if I can’t use Cilantro? More parsley and less mint? Thank you!

    - Jodie on June 18, 2016 Reply
    • Sure Jodie, that would work. You really can vary the herbs to your taste. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 18, 2016 Reply
  • Hi, Jen! How can I make it on a gas stove? Don’t have a grill here in my NYC apartment, but want to make it for my hubby.

    - Lora on June 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Lora, I think you could get decent results by broiling these too– 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

      - Jenn on June 17, 2016 Reply
  • Hi,
    Does stemmed parsley mean you cut the stems off or you use stem and all?


    - Denise smith on June 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Denise, it means that you remove the leaves from the stems and just use the leaves. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on June 17, 2016 Reply
  • I am planning to make flank steak for Father’s Day. Do you think this recipe would work for that?

    BTW… LOVE your recipes. Everything I’ve made has been delicious. Used your Siracha Honey Lime marinade on a pork tenderloin that I grilled and it was a huge hit!

    - Allyson on June 16, 2016 Reply
    • Glad you’re enjoying the recipes Allyson! And yes, I think this rub would be great on flank steak. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 16, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    Can I use this recipe with rib eye instead of tenderloin? If so, any changes I need to make? Thanks,


    - Elizabeth on March 13, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, you definitely can Elizabeth. You don’t need to make any changes and cooking time would remain about the same (but obviously cook it to your desired doneness). Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 14, 2016 Reply
  • How do you think this rub and sauce would taste with grilled or pan-seared salmon? Would you make any modifications?

    - Karen on December 10, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Karen, I think this would be delicious on salmon and don’t think you need to make any modifications to the rub or the sauce. Let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on December 10, 2015 Reply
  • Have you – or has anyone – tried this with pork loin?

    - Bonnie on September 19, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I am super excited to try this recipe but I’m worried about my grill not being able to get to 600 degrees. The highest I’ve seen it go was 400. Do you think that will be good enough or should I cook it another way?


    - Tspoon on June 29, 2015 Reply
    • It should be ok; just be sure to keep the lid closed to keep the heat in.

      - Jenn on June 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I would give this recipe 10 stars if I could. I made this for Thanksgiving, since our family doesn’t really like turkey. Both steak and the sauce were a huge hit. I served it with mashed potatoes, everyone loved it. Thank you for always providing very detailed recipes.

    - Masuda on December 5, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Thanks for publishing this awesome recipe! It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. Made it yesterday and my family simply loved it. As always, the quality of meat is important and also the temperature is key :-). Thanks again :-))…

    - Harald on November 1, 2014 Reply
  • Do you think you could use basil instead of cilantro? I am not a fan of Cilantro.

    - DonnaA on August 11, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Donna, Yes, that would work absolutely fine.

      - Jenn on August 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This chimichurri recipe is wonderful — I have made it with beef tenderloin but also use it with fish and chicken regularly!

    - Gillian on July 15, 2014 Reply
  • how do you think this recipe would work on Venison Backstraps?

    - Tommy on January 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Tommy, I think it would work well! If you try it, please come back and let me know how it turns out.

      - Jenn on January 15, 2014 Reply
      • Jenn,

        I made it last night and the rub was perfect for the venison backstrap. I bbq the backstrap whole and sliced it thin to serve. I don’t know what i did wrong with the Chimichurri sauce but all it tasted like was garlic. i followed your recipe exactly. Next time i make it i will cut the garlic to about 1/10th of what i used.

        - Tommy on January 15, 2014 Reply
        • Glad it worked out, Tommy. That’s strange about the garlic…there’s very little in the recipe (only 2 small cloves). You must have had some freakishly strong garlic! Or, if you’re sensitive to raw garlic, you could always cook it first to mellow it out.

          - Jenn on January 15, 2014 Reply
  • Would definitely recommend this recipe. It’s relatively quick and simple, and you can pan-fry the steak if you don’t have a grill.

    - Brandon on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • I tried this recipe over the summer and loved it! I love a good steak and the flavor of this one is exceptional. Wouldn’t change a thing. I served it with the roasted cauliflower (also your recipe) and colorful green salad. It was a great hit!

    - Andi on November 6, 2013 Reply
  • Grilled Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin Filets with Chimichurri was fantastic! I wouldn’t change a thing. I had leftover chimichurri sauce and ate it with raw veggies. The spice rub will be used for now own on our grilled meats…just love it. Thank you!

    - Dawn B on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • Hi! What type of paprika do you recommend for this recipe? There seem to be many types available. In my pantry, I have “Smoked Spanish Paprika” by Safinter. Should I use that or get something else?

    - Cindy on September 16, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Cindy, I would use regular paprika. Smoked paprika is delicious but has a very strong smoky flavor, which would really change the dish. Might be good, but a bit overpowering.

      - Jenn on September 16, 2013 Reply
  • I’m wondering how ground coriander would play out instead of cumin. I feel like the cumin would be just a bit too strong to mesh well with the chimicurri.

    - Karen on August 3, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Karen, Coriander would work, but I wouldn’t leave the cumin out entirely…could you use a combination? The chimichurri is pretty bold and can stand up to the flavor.

      - Jenn on August 4, 2013 Reply
  • Made this for a 4th of July party and everyone loved it. The sauce is a great compliment to the spice rub.

    - Dawn on July 11, 2013 Reply
  • I really want to try Chimichurri sauce and have a lot all those fresh herbs on hand, but I don’t eat meat. Can you suggest a vegetarian dish that might be good with Chimichurri sauce or is it really just for meat?

    - Gamermom on June 25, 2013 Reply
    • You could definitely try the Chimichurri on vegetables. I’m thinking it’d be great with grilled portabellos or cauliflower “steaks.”

      - Jenn on June 26, 2013 Reply
  • The steaks and sauce were great for Fathers Day, but I found the rub had a bit of “rawness” about it. I wonder if the spices were lightly toasted first?

    - marjory on June 18, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Marjory, I’m glad you enjoyed! I’m guessing your grill was not hot enough. You want it as hot as possible (I usually let mine get to at least 600 degrees) so the steaks char all over on the outside. Also, be sure you cover the grill as the steaks cook to keep the heat inside.

      - Jenn on June 18, 2013 Reply
  • I made these for my dad and family for Father’s Day and they were a great hit! The spice rub and chimichurri sauce give the steaks great flavor. I’ve received the emails for a while but this is the first recipe I have tried – thanks for the great recipe!

    - Eric on June 17, 2013 Reply
    • You’re welcome, Eric. I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a hit! Thanks for letting me know.

      - Jenn on June 17, 2013 Reply
  • I meant, could I put this rub….

    - Katzzs on June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Could input this rub on Boneless chicken thighs and BBQ them? What do you think?

    - Katzzs on June 17, 2013 Reply
    • Yes, I think it would work!

      - Jenn on June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Made this for my husband for father’s day and paired it with some fresh green beans and homemade herb bread – it was delicious!

    - Samantha M. on June 16, 2013 Reply
  • The sauce was off the hook! The Mint added such a new depth,compared to the more traditional Crack sauce! The Crew loved it and wanted More! The steak rub was a bit salty for me but the others loved it again and who could complain it was Steak.
    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation.
    Keep them coming!

    - kenny on June 14, 2013 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed, Kenny! I love the sauce too, and it is good on pretty much everything. Did you use kosher salt for the rub? If you substitute regular salt, it may be a bit too salty.

      - Jenn on June 15, 2013 Reply
      • Kosher salt it was and the wife always says I under salt everything so must of been operator error!
        Just refered my sisters to your site thanks again!

        - kenny on June 15, 2013 Reply
  • Is the “ground mustard” in the Spice Rub something like COLEMAN’S MUSTARD? Exactly what is it if not!

    - Raymond H. O'Rourke on June 13, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Raymond, It is dried ground mustard (sold with the spices). Thx for asking, I will clarify in the recipe.

      - Jenn on June 13, 2013 Reply
  • What an amazing dinner!! The food and the people!

    - MickMil on June 13, 2013 Reply
  • Wow this looks amazing!! I love the chimichurri sauce!

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on June 13, 2013 Reply

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