What Is Gremolata?

Gremolata is a simple blend of garlic, herbs (usually parsley), and lemon zest that is added to finish a number of different dishes.  It’s primarily used in Italian cooking, and it’s the most amazing fast and simple way to brighten up so many recipes — it’s truly like a little secret weapon in the kitchen!

Making fresh gremolata in bowl

Gremolata (sometimes spelled gremolada) is often served with Osso Buco, the traditional Italian braised veal shank dish.  The sparkling flavors of gremolata play very well against the rich, unctuousness of the tender meat.  It is often served in Italy with a variety of meat and fish dishes. But it also pairs perfectly with chicken and vegetables.  It is a condiment rather than a sauce, and usually gets sprinkled on at the end, off the heat, right before serving.

Think of using gremolata in places where you would add a sprinkle of parsley or fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of lemon zest or citrus juice.  

Gremolata: A simple blend of garlic, parsley and lemon zest, ready to be added to any number of dishes for a fresh pop of flavor.

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Adding gremolata to chicken


There are only three ingredients in gremolata (plus salt and pepper) so make sure each one is at its peak!  The proportions of the garlic, lemon zest and parsley (or other herb) vary wildly from cook to cook.  Some people like a very lemony mixture, others like it more herby.  Keep in mind that the garlic is uncooked, so don’t hit that too hard or it will overpower the other flavors.  I like 2 teaspoons of zest, ½ cup minced parsley, and 1 teaspoon finely minced or grated garlic. But you can play around with the ratios as you like.

Lemon zest – Make sure you only zest the outer part of the lemon as the white pith underneath can be bitter.  Use a Microplane or a very small toothed grater to grate the zest very finely.

Zesting lemons

Garlic – Make sure your garlic is fresh; old garlic can have a bitter flavor. I like to mince the garlic so finely that it almost melts into the other ingredients.  You can use a chef’s knife and a cutting board and keep mincing until you have a garlic paste.  Or, use a Microplane or a very small toothed grater to grate the garlic very finely.

Fresh flat-leaf parsley – Obviously, make sure your parsley is nice and fresh. Use flat-leaf or Italian parsley which has a better flavor and texture than curly parsley.  Remove the stems before mincing.



Gremolata should ideally be used the day it is made, but you can store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days.  The parsley may start to wilt a bit, but if you use it within a couple of days, it will still add that nice pop of fresh flavor!

How to Make Gremolata

Combine the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly.  Use as desired.

Making fresh gremolata in bowl

How to Use Gremolata

Sprinkle it over chicken: try Roasted Chicken Thighs, Grilled Chicken Breasts, or Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes

Add some to vegetables, such as Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Winter Vegetables, Grilled Eggplant, Onions or Zucchini, or Sauteed Spinach.

Green Beans with Gremolata in frying pan

Try it on fish, like Lemon Garlic Tilapia, Grilled Salmon, Baked Cod, Baked Salmon or Orange Salmon with Leeks and Mushrooms.

Add some to seafood, like Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables, Linguine with White Clam Sauce, Grilled Lobster Tail, or Grilled Clams.

Finish off a pasta dish, such as Vegetarian Greek Pasta, Chicken Sausage Pasta, Simple Ramp Pasta, Spaghetti with Fennel, Bacon and Parmesan, or Lebanese Couscous with Sauteed Kale.

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A simple blend of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest, ready to be added to any number of dishes for a fresh pop of flavor.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup minced parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove (finely minced or grated on a Microplane)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • A few grinds of freshly ground pepper


  • Combine the lemon zest, parsley garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Use as desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.03g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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