This Italian salsa verde is amazing on a variety of foods.  It’s perfect for barbecue chicken or grilled steaks, but equally good on rice or a side of veggies.

Italian salsa verde in wooden bowl on blue table.

The best part is how easy it is to make!  Grab the ingredients, blend them and serve.

The ingredients for this Italian parsley sauce are of course a whole lot of parsley, some capers, lemons, garlic, salt, chili flakes and good olive oil.  That’s it!

Down below we’ll go over some nice substitutions and ideas for kicking up this basic salsa verde, but for now here are the instructions.

Italian salsa verde ingredients shown on cutting board: parsley, lemons, capers, garlic and chili flakes.

How To Make Italian Salsa Verde

Italian salsa verde process shot collage.

  1. Start off by zesting 1 lemon, peeling two garlic cloves and juicing 2 lemons.
  2. Wash the parsley and if desired remove any large stems.  A note about the stems – removing them is not necessary if blended smooth.
  3. To a blender add the parsley, 1/4 cup drained capers, juice of 2 lemons, 2 garlic cloves, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional), and a 1/2 cup of olive oil.
  4. Blend it all and if too dry add some more olive oil.  Add a 1/4 cup of olive at a time to achieve a smooth consistency that easily falls off a spoon.

Italian green sauce in wooden bowl on white granite.

So that’s how to make a super delicious garlicky Italian parsley sauce!

Salsa Verde Substitutions And Additions

  • Anchovies – They add an amazing flavor, and if your guests/family are on board go for it!  For this recipe use 3 anchovy fillets.  Just blend them with the rest of the ingredients.  If using anchovies, do not add any extra salt, as they and the capers are quite salty.
  • Hot peppers – Blend in 2 large cherry peppers for added tangy flavor.  For a much spicier salsa verde use 1 whole serrano chile.  Be careful when working with serrano chiles and keep in mind they are quite spicy!
  • Red wine vinegar – Substitute the lemon juice for red wine vinegar.  They are pretty much an interchangeable acid, with the red wine vinegar having a more robust flavor.  Use a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice.

Chicken legs on cutting board and green sauce in a bowl.

What To Serve With Italian Salsa Verde


  • The sauce is best served fresh.  Store it for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  • Serve it with any type of protein, or veggie dish.
  • Be careful with extra salt, as the 1/4 cup of capers will be quite salty.  They can be rinsed to remove some of their excess salt before blending.

Italian green sauce on three chicken legs.

If you’ve enjoyed this Italian Salsa Verde Recipe or any recipe on this blog please let us know in the comments!  We would love to hear how you did and it’s nice to show others as well.  Thanks!  FOLLOW US on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Italian Salsa Verde

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Italian salsa verde is a tangy and garlicky parsley based green sauce that goes well on a variety of dishes.


  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes


  • Zest 1 lemon and juice 2 lemons.
  • Wash parsley and remove any large stems.
  • Add 2 cups of parsley to a blender along with lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 cup capers, 1/2 tsp chili flakes, 2 cloves garlic and a 1/2 cup of olive oil.
  • Pulse blend for 15-30 seconds. The salsa verde should be fairly loose. Add as much olive oil as necessary to achieve a loose consistency, a 1/4 cup at a time. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!


  • Capers are very salty, so no extra salt was added.  Taste test and adjust salt levels accordingly.
  • Chili flakes are optional.
  • The recipe starts with a 1/2 cup olive oil, but add as much as it takes to create a loose salsa verde that can be spooned easily.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.2g | Protein: 0.9g | Fat: 25.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Potassium: 137mg | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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

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  1. Megan says:

    5 stars
    Hi I made this and have a lot left over can I freeze it like pesto? Thoughts ?
    It was delicious with the flank steak roll up pinwheels . Grazie

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Megan, yes you can definitely freeze this one the same way you would a pesto. So happy you liked this with the pinwheels!

  2. Jo Thrasher • Jo Eats says:

    5 stars
    Anytime I have an excuse to buy a new jar of capers is a great day. Definitely whipping up a batch of this to throw on chicken, shrimp, and veggies this week!

    1. James says:

      Thanks so much Jo! I agree one can never have too many capers on hand.

  3. Haylie / Our Balanced Bowl says:

    5 stars
    How cool, James! You know I love Mexican food and Mexican Salsa Verde – I would’ve never thought to do an Italian version! I bet this would be amazing on pasta, grilled chicken…the list could go on! YUM!

    1. James says:

      Thanks Haylie! Definitely love it on all those things and am also a huge fan of the Mexican version.