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Chimichurri and Yucca Fries

Chimichurri and Yucca Fries

Roasted until slightly crispy, these yucca fries are a fine side served with a pinch of salt and a zesty chimichurri sauce.
By Mariela Alvarez Toro

Chimichurri and Yucca Fries

I was teaching at a graduate university, and part of the course required a week in Rio where we would collaborate with the local architecture studio, tour the city, and see the “site”. I survived on green soup, simple salads, fresh fruit juice, and acai. But, it wasn’t until I ate yucca fries that I fell in love with how Brazilians make the most out of the humblest of ingredients.

That night, as the sun set over our dinner table, I discovered yucca fries, my experience of Brazilian cooking was completely turned around. I forgot about the pork rice, the feijoada, the churrascarias, chicken hearts, and I fell in love with something that was delicious and nutritious out of both necessity and delight.

Chimichurri and Yucca Fries

Yucca is one of those root vegetables I rarely ate as a kid even though it was a local, readily available ingredient. We would eat it boiled with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. I always enjoyed it, but guys, yucca tastes amazing when roasted in the oven until golden and crisp, tender and super starchy.

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Chimichurri, though not traditionally Brazilian, elevates this humble dish from delicious to decadent. The tangy-spicy combination of cilantro, garlic, and chili flakes, cuts through yucca’s starchiness and makes for a rather refreshing, flavorful dish.

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Chimichurri and Yucca Fries

  • Author: Mariela Alvarez Toro
  • Yield: 1 cup of chimichurri, 4 servings of fries 1x


Roasted until slightly crispy, these yucca fries are a fine side served with a pinch of salt and a zesty chimichurri sauce.




  • 1 large bunch cilantro (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp. chili flakes
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

Baked Yucca

  • 1 whole yucca
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for finishing
  • 12 tbsp. olive oil



  1. Place cilantro and garlic in food processor. Pulse several times until well chopped. Transfer to a jar. Add chili flakes, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt.

Baked Yucca

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice yucca crosswise into 6-inch pieces. Depending on the size of the yucca, you might have 2-3 pieces. Place flat side onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife peel skin off. Slice vertically, into fry-sized pieces. Place in a large pot with enough water to fully cover the yucca by a couple inches. Add sea salt and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain. Place in a baking sheet with olive oil. Toss until evenly coated. Bake for 20 minutes. Yucca should by slightly golden and crunchy on the outside.
  2. To assemble, place fries on a plate. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of chimichurri, and a hefty pinch of finish sea salt. Add a few fresh cilantro leaves. Eat immediately.
  • Category: Side


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