Chermoula sauce is a 5-minute Marinade recipe that is one of my favorite Moroccan cuisine recipes. This easy North African condiment is made with fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, and earthy spices.
Do you love finding different marinades, like I do?
A good marinade like this chermoula sauce is inspired by colorful African cuisine. This flavorful sauce can take a plain recipe and give it a huge burst of flavor.
The best part is that it uses all fresh ingredients and is ready in just 5 minutes.
Here is a quick look at the ingredients. It is to understand why these specific ingredients were chosen. To get the full recipe, go to the bottom of this post.
Fresh herbs – The herbs used are parsley, cilantro, mint, and optionally a little thyme. Parsley helps reduce bloating and helps with lowering blood pressure. Cilantro helps fight heart disease and diabetes. Mint is rich in iron and can help fight bad breath. Sources are cited below.
Harissa paste – This paste is a common ingredient used in Moroccan food. It’s made with bell pepper which is a huge source of Vitamin C. Harissa is mildly flavored, giving this chermoula sauce a tangy flavor. I have flavored my cucumber salad and arugula salad with it.
Fresh lemons and lemon zest – Lemon Zest is packed with fiber and Vitamin C. Lemon juice is a powerhouse of Vitamin C and brings a unique tang to the sauce. Sources are cited below.
Coriander seeds and cumin seeds – These seeds are huge in Ayurvedic medicine because they have colossal benefits on the digestive system. Sources are cited below.
Capers – Capers add tang and saltiness to this recipe. They are not traditionally used in Moroccan cooking, but, I love how they up the flavor feast in this recipe. Capers are high in flavinoids and niacin. Sources are cited below.
🌿 Herb Nutrition: Cilantro, Parsley, and Mint are a Vitamin A and Vitamin C powerhouse. Add them to salads to elevate their nutritional content.
How to make chermoula sauce
Step 1 – Prepare the coriander seed and cumin seeds
- Start with the coriander and cumin seeds. Heat a stainless steel pan and add both seeds to it. Warm spices make the sauce taste delicious.
- Heat for 2 minutes to roast, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a mortar and pestle. Crush them to powder form. You can also blend at low speed, but this is a more traditional way and it does bring out their natural flavors.
- Put the crushed seeds into a food processor.
Step 2 – Prepare the sauce
- Put the fresh garlic cloves, lemon juice, avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil), lemon zest, chili powder, salt, and Harissa paste into the food blender along with the crushed seeds.
- Blend on low until it’s completely blended. It will be liquid consistency. It’s the perfect salad dressing because it’s light and flavorful.
- Now, add the fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves. Blend until it’s a sauce consistency.
- Open it and enjoy the wonderful aromas coming out of it. Add the capers and red pepper flakes. If this is your first time making it, adjust these two ingredients according to taste.
Now, this delicious Moroccan sauce is ready to use as a marinade or refrigerate for future use. If you prefer a paste consistency, cut the liquid ingredient amount into half (lemon juice and avocado oil).
🥗 Salad Dressing Tip: Blend the garlic, ground seeds, fresh lemon juice, zest, oil, chili powder, salt, and Harissa paste. This spice mix can be a great salad dressing and you will fall in love with it.
Answering Common Questions
Moroccan chermoula is a very traditional Moroccan dish made with simple ingredients. It’s normally used as a marinade, but can also be used as a sauce. Traditionally made with cilantro, parsley, and spices, it is the heart of Moroccan food.
Chimichurri is an Argentinian and Uruguayan sauce that uses just parsley. Chermoula is an African marinade that makes use of both parsley and cilantro (AKA fresh coriander). Chermoula is a very popular North African sauce.
No, you can blend the roasted coriander and cumin in a coffee blender. Or blend it first in the same food processor you are going to use to make this sauce. Mortar and pestle bring out the natural oils and flavors of the seeds like no blender can. It is why the food of Morocco tastes so good.
Here is the (Affiliate Link) mortar and pestle I recommend. Here is the food processor I use – (Affiliate Link) Electric Food Chopper
No, this is my own version of chermoula. It was inspired by Epicurious’s recipe because I thought it was a very adaptable recipe.
🌶 Spice Levels: Basic chermoula is not spicy, but that’s not written in stone. Adding more spices like cayenne pepper or pepper flakes can add so much flavor.
Storing this sauce
Make a large batch of chermoula sauce and then refrigerate for one week. Use a glass airtight container. This way, it will remain fresh for the whole week.
This green chermoula sauce can also be frozen. The best way to freeze them is by putting the sauce into ice cube trays. Pour 1-2 Tbsp of the sauce into each cube well and cover it to prevent freezer burns. Use within 6 months.
To cook the frozen sauce, do not thaw it, if possible. Put it into recipes directly, making sure it’s not on high heat. If you are using it as a marinade, then it’s okay to thaw it first. Let it thaw at room temperature.
Transfer the chermoula ice cubes into a bowl and let it sit on the counter. It should take about 20 minutes or so.
Use an ice cube tray that has a lid like this (Affiliate Link) silicone tray.
🧊 Storing Tip: The best way to freeze this sauce is to put it into ice cube trays. They will be so easy to use in the future. Just pop out the ice cubes as needed.
How to use this easy chermoula sauce
- As a marinade – Chermoula is a great sauce for marinating. It’s great to marinate tempeh and then grill it.
- Flavor veggies – Want to change up veggies? My favorite way is to flavor roasted vegetables or make a warm mushroom salad.
- As a pasta sauce – Grill chickpea pasta and veggies and flavor it with this very versatile sauce.
- Instead of pesto – In this tomato sandwich recipe, use chermoula AKA charmoula. It can be used in different dishes.
- As a dipping sauce – A dipping sauce is a great way to enjoy freshly baked bread.
Try these sauce recipes
This sauce is easy to make without cornstarch. It’s perfect for any enchiladas or use it as a marinade too. You will love it because it takes just a few minutes to make, using the ingredients you have in your pantry.
This quick and easy black bean sauce is great for noodles or flavoring tempeh. It’s been a good sauce to flavor veggies too. This sauce has all your favorite Asian ingredients.
Use this peanut sauce to grill tofu, tempeh, or vegetables. It’s also a great sauce to use in summer rolls. This satay sauce can be made in minutes using fresh peanuts. Then, refrigerate it for about 1 week to use in future recipes.
Made using fresh tomatoes and veggies, this sauce is great on pizzas or used as a pasta sauce. The sauce can be refrigerated or frozen and it will stay flavorful for a very long time.
Sharing is caring
Don’t be shy, chime in below in the comments. Let me hear your opinion on this chermoula sauce recipe. If you enjoyed this, please give it 5 stars and share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube
Sources for reference
- Ayurvedic Benefits of Coriander
- Is mint good for you?
- 10 Benefits of mint
- What are the benefits of mint?
- Eat up Because Those Parsely Garnishes Actually Have a Lot of Benefits
- The health benefits of capers
- The Health Benefits of Cilantro (Coriander)
- 12 Cilantro Benefits, Nutrition & Recipes
- Lemon Peel: The Cheapest Investment In Your Health?
- Benefits of Lemon Juice and Water
How to Make Chermoula Sauce
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice about 1 lemon
- ⅔ cup avocado oil
- 1 tsp harissa paste use mild flavored
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder adjust to taste
- 1 cup cilantro packed
- 1 cup parsley packed
- ⅓ cup mint leaves packed
- 1 tsp capers optional
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional, adjust to taste
Roast the seeds
- Preheat a stainless steel pan for 30 seconds on medium heat.
- Add the cumin and coriander seeds.
- Stir frequently for about 1 minute or until the cumin starts to brown.
- Turn off heat and transfer seeds to mortar and pestle.
- Grind the seeds until they are fine powder.
- Transfer the powdered seeds to food chopper
Making the sauce
- In the food chopper, add garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, chili pepper, cumin seeds, and harissa paste.
- Blend on low speed until the mixture is a salad dressing consistency.
- Add the cilantro, parsley and mint leaves and blend for 2 minutes or until it's turned into sauce.
- Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate