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Inspired by my travels to Hanalei, this Gaucho Salad with Chimichurri Dressing is deliciously bright and a great addition to your dinner rotation. Seasoned chicken, crispy chickpeas, and a crisp salad are amped up with a beautiful chimichurri dressing that will make you fall in love with salads all over again.

Salad in large bowl on tope of a checkered towel on neutral backdrop.

On my recent travels to Kauai, HI we went to Fresh Bite in Hanalei which inspired this salad. While I love all the different elements of this salad, the real star is the Chimichurri Dressing. It is packed with herbs and other seasonings and I could seriously drizzle it on everything and I know y’all will want to as well. I talked to the owner of Fresh Bite and she told me the inspiration for this salad came from her father who was born in Argentina. His father was a leather trader for Argentine cowboys, or “Gauchos”. The Fresh Bite owner also told me that she went to school to study nutrition and has always loved cooking. All of the Fresh Bite meals are stellar, but her healthy version of an Argentine dinner is my personal favorite.

While there are a handful of ingredients for this recipe, don’t let the list overwhelm you! The methods are all very simple and you will have a flavorful salad ready in no time. Plus, you can always prep the dressing in advance.

Bowl of Chimichurri Dressing on neutral background that has scattered cilantro on it.

Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:

  • Fresh Herbs: Flat-Leaf Parsley and Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Chimichurri, un uncooked Argentinian sauce, is commonly used as an ingredient in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. I love the flavor that a chimichurri adds to any dish. Just like my Easy Pan-Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri, this chimichurri is absolutely packed with fresh flavor and I’ve made it a little more drizzle-able to top of this crisp salad as more of a dressing.

A few other recipe notes for you:

  • At Fresh Bite, they also offer this salad as a bowl which is delicious. So if you are wanting to make this recipe into a bowl, just serve over quinoa or your preferred grain.
  • I used chicken tenderloins in this recipe since they are so easy to chop up and brown, but boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts work fine here, too! 
  • On the topic of protein, really any protein works. Try this with seared steak or shrimp instead to shake it up depending on what you are craving! Or you could even omit the meat and just enjoy this vegetarian-style, if desired.

However you enjoy it, I hope you love this Gaucho Salad with Chimichurri Dressing!

5 from 3 votes

Gaucho Salad with Chimichurri Dressing

Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


For the Crispy Chickpeas:

  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

For the Chimichurri Dressing:

  • ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2 lemons

For the Chicken and Corn:

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn kernels

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups spring greens or baby romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup halved lengthwise and thinly sliced Persian cucumber
  • 1 cup halved grape tomato
  • 1 avocado diced


Make the Crispy Chickpeas:

  • Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas very well. Place the rinsed chickpeas on a clean kitchen towel and pat them very dry. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Toss until well combined. Transfer to the oven and bake until crisp, about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through the cook time.

Meanwhile, Make the Chimichurri Dressing:

  • In a food process or wide mouth jar using an immersion blender, combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Blend until almost smooth. Set aside.

Make the Chicken and the Corn:

  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt, cumin, pepper and the smoked paprika and toss until well combined.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken pieces and cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Add the tamari and toss once more until it has reduced. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
  • Add the corn to the same skillet along with 1 tablespoon of water. Cook, tossing, until the water has completely reduced and the corn is defrosted and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Assemble and Serve the Salad:

  • To serve, among four plates divide the greens, cucumber, tomato, avocado, corn, and the chopped chicken, and crispy chickpeas. Drizzle with the Chimichurri dressing.


Dressing Storage: The dressing will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.


Calories: 699kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 53g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 36g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 1650mg, Potassium: 1117mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 6644IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 4
Calories: 699

Photography by Eat Love Eats.

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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