Persillade is a zesty and fresh green herb sauce with parsley, green onions, garlic, and lemon. This simple parsley sauce adds a bright flavor to seafood, beef, pork, lamb, and vegetables. It pairs perfectly with rich dishes to add a necessary acidity.
French Lemon Parsley Sauce
I'm adding persillade to my Cajun recipes because of it's French origins. French cuisine has had a huge impact on Cajun, Creole, and New Orleans cuisine. Look at the Cajun Holy Trinity for example. This crucial element to Cajun cooking is a play on the French mirepoix.
In Cajun cuisine, a lot of the food we cook can be on the rich and heavier side. Think stews, rice, fried foods, heavy spice, and butter.
Adding persillade, a fresh parsley and scallion sauce, to a rich dish is a great way to balance it out by adding some brightness and acidity.
I’ve only occasionally seen persillade used with Cajun dishes, but I think we are missing a great opportunity to use it! Serve some persillade sauce with your next fried chicken dinner, spicy blackened fish, or buttery charbroiled oysters and see what I mean!
What is Persillade?
Persillade is a simple french sauce made with fresh parsley and garlic. It comes from the French word for parsley, persil.
This condiment can be used as a garnish or added in during the cooking process. Some versions have additional ingredients added like vinegar, olive oil, shallots or onions, capers, or additional herbs.
Think of persillade like the French version of the Argentinian chimichurri or the Italian gremolata.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Elevate your dishes. If your dish is well salted, but still feels like it's missing something, it might be lacking acidity. Add a scoop of persillade sauce on top to take your food to the next level!
- Fresh and bright. This sauce adds the perfect amount of acidity to rich or heavy dishes.
- No food processor needed. You can easily chop the few ingredients by hand for this recipe.
- Fast and easy. Making persillade sauce only takes a few minutes and is made with simple fresh ingredients.
Ingredients & Substitutions
See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.
- Fresh parsley - One bunch of parsley should be enough. Do not substitute for dried herbs in this recipe.
- Green onions - This is my Louisiana twist on this french sauce. Green onions are used heavily in Cajun and south Louisiana cooking, and they make a great addition to this sauce. You can substitute for chives if needed.
- Fresh garlic - Garlic gives this sauce a pungent and bold flavor. Don’t substitute for pre-minced garlic, it never tastes as good as freshly minced garlic.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Olive oil is the medium for this sauce. Use high quality olive oil since this sauce is not cooked and the flavor of the olive oil will be tasted.
- Lemon - You will need lemon zest and lemon juice for this recipe.
- Red wine vinegar - Adds another layer of flavor to this sauce. You can substitute for white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
How to make French parsley sauce
This sauce is so simple but so flavorful. You don’t even need to use a food processor.
Step One: Prep
Chop parsley and green onions finely. Mince garlic. Zest lemon, then cut to squeeze.
Step Two: Mix
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Serve persillade sauce on top of steak, vegetables, fish, shrimp, or other seafood. My favorite dish to serve it on is Baked Blackened Salmon, which is pictured below.
- Zest first. If you’re making a recipe that requires both the juice of a lemon and the zest, always zest it first. It is much easier to zest a citrus before you cut it open!
- Let it sit. This sauce is better after sitting for about 30 minutes before serving. This gives it time for the flavors to meld together.
- Serve it at room temperature. While you should store this sauce in the refrigerator, it is better to serve at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. The olive oil will have time to melt back into a liquid.
Storage & make ahead
How to store leftovers: Store leftover parsley sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
How to freeze: Do not freeze this recipe.
How to Use Persillade Sauce
Persilalde goes great with seafood, beef, chicken, pork, and even vegetables. It makes a great parsley sauce for fish.
Add it to anything that needs a hint of acidity to balance out the richness.
- My favorite way to serve it is on top of Baked Blackened Salmon
- It goes great with any blackened fish, and blackened recipes in general
- Add a small amount on top of raw or charbroiled oysters
- Toss persillade sauce with roasted potatoes for pommes persillade
- Serve it with lamb chops or pork chops
- Put it on top of steak like you would with chimichurri
- Add it to Blackened Cod, Blackened Grouper, or Blackened Tuna
- It is even great on Blackened Chicken
- Add it to roasted vegetables like green beans and carrots, or brussels sprouts
Frequently Asked Questions
Gremolata is an Italian condiment made from fresh parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. It is very similar to persillade. Persillade usually has a liquid component like olive oil whereas gremolata does not. Gremolata and parsley can be used in similar ways, to top fish and meat.
Pesto is a green sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil. It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, but can also be made in a food processor. Persillade is usually made with parsley instead of basil. Pesto is a little more versatile than persillade, and is often used as a pasta sauce.
Chimichurri is a green sauce similar to persillade made with parsley and garlic, but chimichurri usually also has oregano and red chilies in addition. Both sauces can be used as condiments for grilled meats and vegetables.
More condiment recipes
Persillade (French Parsley Sauce) Recipe
- cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Citrus juicer
- PREP: Chop parsley and green onions finely. Mince garlic. Zest lemon, then cut to squeeze.
- MIX: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- SERVE: Serve on top of steak, vegetables, fish, shrimp, or other seafood.
- This sauce is better after it sits at least 30 minutes for all the flavors to marry together.
- Substitute green onions for chives.
- Substitute red wine vinegar for white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- You can use a food processor if you want a finer texture sauce.
- Store leftover parsley sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Do not freeze this recipe.