Italian Salsa Verde

This tangy, vibrant, and punchy Italian Salsa Verde will transform your favorite meal like nothing else!

You’ll love that this flavorful green sauce comes together in only 5 minutes and with just 6 ingredients. Serve it with grilled meats, soups, or as my father loved, in a panino with slices of prosciutto crudo. 

Italian salsa verde in a glass bowl with a painted wooden spoon in it.
Packing a punch with flavor and color!

Just like Basil Pesto, Pesto Trapanese or Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, my zesty Italian Salsa Verde adds a punch of flavor to your favorite Italian dishes. This delicious green sauce from Piedmont in northern Italy is loaded with parsley, garlic, anchovies, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and my mother’s secret ingredient – bread!

I grew up with this Italian Salsa Verde and continue to make it regularly for my family because it comes together so quickly! We knew it as bagnetto verde or simply bagnet. I love serving it alongside grilled steaks, stirred through boiled potatoes, or even dolloped into a bowl of my rich Instant Pot Bean Soup

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Ready in minutes – with the power of an electric food processor, my Italian Salsa Verde recipe comes together in just 5 minutes! 
  • Versatile – my Salsa Verde is perfect with calamari fritti, chicken cutlets, or beef spiedini! Try serving it alongside soups or dolloped onto roasted vegetables. It’s even a wonderful dip for fried meatballs and chicken spiedini!
  • Italian flavors – fresh and vibrant Italian flavors come together to make this delicious green sauce. Parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil are a match made in heaven. Anchovies are optional but tasty!
  • Simplicity – Italian cooking is all about simple but delicious ingredients and this Italian Salsa Verde is no different. You’ll be amazed that this punchy sauce has just 6 ingredients! 

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.


Ingredients for this recipe as in the recipe card.
  • Parsley – Italian flat-leaf parsley is my preference because it’s so much more fragrant than curly parsley. But you can use whatever fresh parsley you have on hand. 
  • Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient for this Italian Salsa Verde recipe. 
  • Bread – this may sound strange, but it’s my mother’s secret ingredient! Crustless bread adds a delicious smoothness to the texture and flavor of this green sauce. 
  • Anchovy fillets – these are optional but just two small fillets add a salty kick and burst of flavor.
  • Red wine vinegar – adds a tangy, tart flavor to this Italian Salsa Verde. 
  • Garlic – choose fresh and plump garlic cloves. 

See recipe card for quantities.


Parsley leaves on an open hand.

Wash and pick the leaves off the parsley stalks.

Bread being broken by hands.

Break up the bread and wet it with the vinegar.

Parsley, garlic, anchovies and bread in a food process with oil being spooned in.

In a food processor put the parsley leaves, soaked bread, sliced garlic, anchovies (if using), salt, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Process until finely chopped.

Oil being poured into a parsley paste in a food processor.

Scrape down the sides and add the remaining oil. Process until finely chopped and amalgamated into a thick green sauce.

Hint: Pick the parsley leaves off the stalks for the best results. This takes time but it’s worth it in terms of taste and texture. Don’t waste the stalks. Add them to the homemade broth for my Chicken Pastina Soup recipe.


  • Acidity – freshly squeezed lemon juice is a fantastic substitute if you don’t have red wine vinegar.
  • Anchovies – if you don’t like anchovies, you could use capers or olives instead or simply increase the amount of salt in this recipe. 
  • Herby greens – why not try substituting some of the parsley for another herby green. Either basil, chives, mint, or coriander can make great additions.


  • Smooth and creamy – add one or two hard-boiled, egg yolks for extra thickness and creaminess.
  • Red pepper flakes – add a little bit of spicy heat to this delicious Italian Salsa Verde.  
  • Pickles – for extra acidity and punch, add a few small gherkins or cornichons.


An electric food processor makes this Italian Salsa Verde very fast and easy to make. You can make this by cutting the ingredients with a sharp knife into very small pieces, however the sauce won’t become as emulsified. 


To store Italian Salsa Verde, pour it into a sterilized mason jar or any glass jar with a screw top lid and cover it with olive oil. It will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.  If you take some out, always level the sauce with a spoon and cover again with a film of olive oil.

If you plan on storing the Salsa Verde for more than 2 or 3 days, it is best to leave the anchovies out. I find that anchovies don’t keep for any length of time and could make your sauce rancid. 

Because my family always grew so much parsley, we always froze Italian salsa verde. If you wish to freeze any excess, portion it out into smaller quantities, freeze it until solid then bag in a freezer-safe, plastic bag for up to three months. 

Top tip

Thick Italian parsley sauce in a bowl with a spoon in it.
  • Simply omit the anchovies if you aren’t a fan. Just be sure to add a little extra salt. 
  • Don’t skip adding the bread! Although it might sound strange, bread was my mother’s secret ingredient in making the perfect Italian Salsa Verde. 
  • I don’t recommend throwing all the ingredients into the food processor at once. It is important to follow my instructions to ensure the sauce remains green and vibrant.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed to ensure that everything is finely chopped and amalgamated.
  • If you don’t own a food processor, this Italian green sauce can be chopped using a sharp knife or a mezzaluna. A mezzaluna is an Italian vegetable and herb chopper in the shape of a half moon.


What is the difference between Italian and Mexican salsa verde?

Italian and Mexican Salsa Verde are both made by processing together a range of punchy ingredients and both are served with rich meats. Mexican Salsa Verde is more of a spicy sauce made from tomatillos, coriander, and green chili peppers. 

Can you freeze salsa verde?

You can freeze Italian Salsa Verde. Just be sure to store it in an airtight zip lock bag or container and thaw completely before serving. The color may not be as vibrant once it has been frozen.

Is gremolata the same as salsa verde?

Although these Italian green sauces are similar, they are not the same. Gremolata originates from Milan and is famously served with osso buco. Gremolata is usually a variation of lemon zest and chopped parsley. It does not have any oil to bind the ingredients together, whereas Italian Salsa Verde is more of an amalgamated sauce. 

Serving Suggestions

Thick herb sauce in a bowl with a spoonful being lifted out

Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter – it’s free!

Italian salsa verde in a glass bowl with a painted wooden spoon in it.

Italian Salsa Verde (Bagnetto Verde)

This flavor filled, green sauce is a popular condiment in Piedmont, Italy. Made in just minutes, this Italian salsa verde recipe is based on parsley, garlic, olive oil. It's incrediby tasty and can be used in many ways. This recipe makes 1 cup.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings:4 people
Author: Marcellina


  • 3 packed cups parsley leaves only (60 grams)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (120 mls)
  • 2 ounces bread without crusts (30 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt if using anchovies otherwise ½ teaspoon salt if no anchovies
  • 2 anchovy fillets optional
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic


  • Wash parsley and dab with a towel to dry or use a salad spinner.
  • Peel and slice garlic. Set aside.
  • Break up the bread and wet with the vinegar. Add a drizzle of water if it doesn’t all become damp. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, put the parsley leaves (if it’s a small food processor you might have to just add half of the parsley, you can add the rest after the parsley has been chopped down), soaked bread, sliced garlic, anchovies if using, salt and 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides. Add remaining parsley, if you didn’t add it all in the beginning. Process again.
  • Scrape down the sides. Add remaining oil. Process until finely chopped and amalgamated into a thick green sauce.
  • Taste and adjust as you like. It may need more salt or vinegar.
  • Scrape into a bowl and use immediately. If storing, scrape into a sterilized glass jar and pour a layer of olive oil over the top. Seal with a screw top lid and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.


Tips for Success
  • Leave out the anchovies if you don’t like them or if you will be storing this sauce for more than a couple of days. Add a bit of extra salt to taste.
  • Be sure to include the bread for thickness and creaminess in the sauce. 
  • Follow all the steps listed for the best results.
  • Keep covered with oil if storing. If you take some out, be sure to level the sauce with a spoon and cover it with oil again.
For more information and FAQ, please refer to the post above.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I just made this but reduced the garlic to one clove because I was worried that it would be too pungent. I was wrong. It was still very good but I should have made it exactly as your recipe said. My Italian salsa verde needed more garlic. I’ll follow your recipe to a “T” next time! Thank you! So good and easy!

    1. You’re welcome, Julia! Yes, it doesn’t need the garlic. Though it can be cut down if you really are sensitive to the taste. Also the green “germ” or sprout in the middle of the garlic can be removed to make it less potent.