Why This Recipe Works
Applying a rub like this herb marinade 1 hour before cooking takes the flavoring of your chicken to another level. Getting the rub under the skin flavors the whole chicken, not just the skin.
Drying the chicken skin before applying the rub helps the herbs stick to the chicken and yields crispy skin.
Cooking the chicken spatchcocked cuts down the cooking time and makes it easier to get the herb marinade all over the chicken.
I started with a recipe that was delicious, but not quite what I was looking for. This highly-rated recipe from Epicurious was the base for this recipe.
Peruvian Aji Sauce Recipe
The traditional green sauce recipe has a mayonnaise base, and is made with traditional ingredients like aji amarillo paste and cotija cheese.
I knew that Id want to make this not only a bit lighter, especially since Im not a big fan of mayo. But I also wanted to be able to make it with ingredients I can easily find in my regular grocery store or that I keep on hand. Because that means its easy to make any time I crave it.
So youll find that all the spice comes from jalapenos, and I swapped Greek yogurt for the mayo and cheese combination. It still has that creaminess, but it actually gives it a bit brighter of a flavor, especially complementing light, summery meals. Go ahead, slather it on!
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details. But dont skip my PRO TIPS below!
My Search For The Green Peruvian Aji Sauce Recipe
It was a few years ago when I was introduced to the wonder that is the Pio Pio sauce. A Peruvian restaurant in New York City, Pio Pio serves juicy, affordable rotisserie chicken. But it was the vibrant green dipping sauce that I became addicted to.
I interrogated the waitstaff at almost every Pio Pio location to know the contents of this spicy sauce. The only consistent answer? That no answer was the same.
Jalapeños and mayo. No, no, aji chiles, cilantro and oil. I had to face the reality that either no one knew what was in the sauce, the ingredients were top-secret, or both.
Light green, medium-hot, creamy, salty, tangy and oh-so-addictive, it seems that every Peruvian restaurant has its own secret recipe for this mysterious condiment. An internet search for “Peruvian sauce” tells the story of dozens of people anxious to know how to make the sauce for themselves. Helpful bloggers post their recipes on message boards.
One says the secret is a head of lettuce, one swears the sauce cannot be made without evaporated milk, and several point to Peruvian black mint as the key ingredient.
“Finally, I brought a container from the restaurant into work, hoping someone else could reverse-engineer the ingredients.”
And I’m just glad I can finally stop harassing the Pio Pio employees for the recipe and make it on my own.
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Peruvian Salsa Verde Recipe And Variations
I love, love, love this green sauce. It gives any food a kick of spice and a wonderful taste. In most Peruvian restaurants Ive been to, the salsa is served on the side so people can add it to their food as desired. I definitely do that at home, but I also use it as a dip with chips sometimes. Im sure thats not the traditional way, but I enjoy that combination as well. Last week when I was cooking Lomo Saltado, I was using some of the extra french fries and dipping them in spicy aji verde while cooking & dancing in my kitchen:).
Some Variations of Salsa Verde
My recipe below is a tried and true recipe that even my Peruvian friends say is as authentic as it gets. However, I also wanted to present you with some variations so you can have options.
Simple Peruvian Green Sauce
Peruvian green sauce is a fresh, spicy green condiment from Peru and its fabulous, drizzled on anything from the grill.
If you are a fan of light, bright, and flavorful sauces, this one is for you! You can adjust the spice level to make it more or less spicy depending on your tolerance.
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Add The Cilantro And Garlic
Rinse and dry the cilantro between a couple layers of paper towels. You want to try to remove as mush moisture as possible so it doesnt water down your sauce.
No need to remove the leave from the stems or chop them up. Just grab a handful and pack it in your measuring cup, stems and all. It will all get broken down when you blend it.
For the garlic, youll want to remove the skin, but it isnt really critical to mince it. Just give it a quick chop into a few pieces.
How To Make Peruvian Green Sauce:
To make this Peruvian green sauce recipe, simply
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Peruvian Green Sauce Vegan
This recipe for Peruvian Green Sauce is made with fresh chilies, cilantro, garlic and lime. This version can be made without mayo or dairy using cashews as the base, keeping totally vegan & plant-based if you like.
If youve been here a while, youve probably seen this old post for Peruvian Chicken with Peruvian Sauce its still one of my favorites and today I wanted to share how you can make the flavorful Peruvian Green Sauce, totally vegan. It has been coming in handy around here!
Peruvian Green Sauce called Aji Verde, is traditionally made with Peruvian chilies- a little hard to find in here the states, so we often sub serranos or jalapenos.
The sauce is loaded up with cilantro, lime and garlic and the base is typically made with mayo so you end up with a spicy, creamy cilantro sauce that is tangy and dangerously addicting.
I seriously want to put this Aji Verde Sauce on everything, it ticks all the boxes for me. Well except the mayo part that is- so Ive been making it vegan!
The best part, my husband hasnt even noticed!
How To Make Aji Colombiano
My Ají recipe couldn’t be easier.
First, you mince all your ingredients finely by hand. Do not blend them – that results in a watery sauce that is as far from Colombian aji as sriracha.
Combine all finely minced ingredients in a jar, and ensure you have enough liquid to cover . Let sit in dark, cool area for at least 24 hours, and then refrigerate.
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Green Peruvian Dipping Sauce Recipe
2 fresh jalapeños, including seeds and ribs, roughly chopped
1tablespoonaji Amarillo paste
1cup freshly picked cilantro leaves and small stems
2tablespoonsgrated cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese
1mediumclove garlic, minced
1/2teaspoonjuice from 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Caf Tips For Making This Peruvian Green Sauce
- Jalapeños are unbelievably variable in heat. I’ve had ones lately that haven’t been any hotter than a bell pepper and then some that have a lot of heat. I suggest starting with ½ pepper. Save the seeds and inner ribs. Take a taste and if you need more heat after pureeing the ingredients, add the seeds and ribs and/or add the second jalapeño.
- Aji Amarillo paste can be found at Latin or Mexican markets or Aji Amarillo Paste. If you cant find it and/or dont want to order it, you can make this sauce with just the jalapeños. I would add a little bit more since youll be missing the heat from the Aji Amarillo paste.
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What Do You Serve Aji Sauce With
As I mentioned traditionally this spicy green sauce is served with Peruvian Roast Chicken alongside French fries and a salad. To keep things super simple, I will often whip up a batch when Ive picked up a Costco rotisserie chicken, and serve it with a rice or cauliflower rice side dish and sauteed vegetables.
Its also delicious over veggies, really livening up basic roast cauliflower or carrots or zucchini.
But if you want to take that South American influence and try something new, check out these dishes that put a creative spin on some traditional recipes:
Peruvian Green Sauce Variations:
There are quite a few ways you doctor up this potsticker sauce recipe.
- Add grated cotija or parmesan cheese: Toss in 2 tablespoons of cheese and puree.
- Add Aji Amarillo paste: Add 1 tablespoon. It can be found at Latin or Mexican markets or on .
- Add honey: Use just a teaspoon or two.
- Add fresh basil: Toss in ¼ cup fresh basil and puree.
- Add Sriracha sauce: This is for all you Sriracha lovers!
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What Is Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde or Aji Verde is a spicy green sauce, mostly used in Peru as a side salsa to spice up meats, grilled food and many other dishes. The salsa has so many versions in Peru as well as in United States where Peruvian cuisine is becoming more popular lately. My recipe below is as close to authentic as I can get in Miami because of the ingredients needed for this sauce.
Peruvian Salsa Verde usually has aji amarillo , huacatay , cilantro, jalapeno and mayonnaise. The other ingredients seem to vary from recipe to recipe or from chef to chef according to their preference.
Aj Verde Recipe Peruvian Green Sauce
The chili pepper is native to Central and South America. It is not surprising that the consumption of chili peppers is an integral part of the gastronomic culture of Latin American people. Long before the arrival of the Spanish in America, the indigenous peoples of this region used chili peppers to flavor many of their meals.
Sauces are a common way to include chili peppers in food. From Mexico to Argentina, chili-based sauces are commonly used as a dressing. In most cases, these sauces are served at the table in glass jars, and diners choose how much chili to add to their food not everyone can handle spicy food.
Peruvian green sauce is quite simple to make. The first step is to prepare the peppers, onion, and coriander. If you want your green sauce to be not so spicy, you must extract the stem, veins, and seeds of the chili pepper. The seeds and veins contain the most capsaicin, so keep these if you want a lot of spice.
If you are using coriander, make sure that you chop it finely, including the stems. Coriander stems are flavorful, but you should not have large chunks in the sauce. Next, just process all the ingredients in the food processor, starting with the peppers with the onion, garlic, yellow chili paste, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Then add the Parmesan cheese, coriander, and salt.
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How To Make Easy Green Sauce
The added beauty of my new favorite sauce, Aji Verde, is that it comes together in almost no time. Just chuck a bunch of cilantro , a handful of garlic cloves, the juice of a lime or two, a jalapeño and some store bought mayonnaise in a high powered blender , flip the switch, and voila! Pour the contents into a squeeze bottle and get ready to have some fun.
TIP: Out of mayonnaise? Substitute sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt instead!
An Ode To Pepe Sauce Our Homemade Aji Verde
Whats bright green and packs a punch? No, its not Oscar the Grouchwere talking about aji Verde!
That tasty homemade hot sauce youve seen at Pepes BBQ has a rich history, and were going to dive into it today. Keep reading to learn more about aji Verde and discover delicious food pairings to match!
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Aji Amarillo: A Peruvian Favorite
Peru has a few native chilis, but aji amarillo, a medium spicy yellow-orange pepper, and aji panca, a milder red pepper, are the most common. Aji amarillo in particular is becoming easier to find these days in specialist grocers and is also available online .
Aji amarillo is in a number of classic Peruvian dishes such as the sauce for tiradito, a sashimi-like dish, and mixed into the mashed potatoes in the layered dish causa rellena. It’s also part of the sauce for aji de gallina, the popular chicken stew.
This Peruvian green sauce is another incredibly popular use for the pepper, adding a little kick to the tasty mix. The green color comes from a big bunch of cilantro in there while mayonnaise is the classic, creamy base.
Other than that, the ingredients can vary a little but there aren’t typically many more. Usually a little cheese, lime for a fresh edge and garlic, but then often nothing more than a little salt.
Many recipes add some jalepeño or serrano which I debated on, since they aren’t native Peruvian chilis. However I decided to add just a little serrano for an extra kick.
The one other ingredient in many versions include huacatauy, a native Peruvian herb that is similar to mint. While you won’t get it fresh, you can buy huacatay paste online in jars. It adds a nice extra depth of flavor to this if you can get it, but also still delicious without.
What Is Peruvian Green Sauce
One thing Ive learned along this quest for the perfect Peruvian green sauce recipe is every restaurant has their own version! I have never tried two that taste the same, but they all have something in common . Variations Ive seen, some add lime juice instead of vinegar, some use crackers, some use aji amarillo which is not easy to find here , some even add cheese. I tried all these variations, trust me! A Peruvian told me they add a little mustard and red onion, bingo! That got me closest to the version I was going for. If you try it, let me know what you think! And if you have your own version, feel free to share!
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Some Recipes This Peruvian Green Sauce Pairs Nicely With:
The uses for this beautiful green kitchen hero are almost endless. You know I love kitchen inspiration: comment below to let me know what your favorite use is. Until next time, my friends. I hope you have a delicious and healthy day!
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What Is Aji Amarillo
Aji amarillo is a yellow pepper indigenous to the Peruvian Andes. Its a mild-flavored pepper that is a bit sweet and delicious. Theyre quite difficult to find fresh peppers in the United States. I like to use the paste, though its not a requirement for this recipe. It does add a nice lovely flavor and heat.
I prefer to use serrano peppers in this recipe vs. jalapeños because it really adds the heat thats needed. If youre adverse to spice, well, this recipe isnt for you. I was going to make a milder version but I would be doing it a disservice.
Peruvians love spicy food, me included.
The queso fresco/blanco adds a nice creaminess to this sauce and a thickness that sits on yucca fries just perfectly.
Ive wanted to successfully make this recipe for a long time and I have finally found the perfect ratios that make me happy.
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An Incredibly Versatile Sauce
Obsessed. Okay, I admit it, I’ve been drizzling it on everything – chicken, pork, steak, rice, etc. I’ve served it as a dipping sauce for shrimp, added a scoop to black beans to enhance their flavor, and even drizzled it over baked potatoes, as a flavorful alternative to sour cream. It keeps well for 5-7 days in the fridge, although I find it never lasts that long. As soon as the jar is empty, I’m ready to make another batch.
How To Make This Recipe
Mix together the 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl.
Butterfly or spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the backbone with kitchen shears, and cracking the breastbone with your palms to flatten the chicken. Clean and pat dry.
Rub the chicken with all the lemon quarters squeezing the juice on the chicken and rubbing the whole bird with the rinds. Take your spice mixture and rub it all over the chicken including under the skin. Be careful not to rip the skin. Then, sprinkle the chicken with ½-1 teaspoon of salt.
Transfer the chicken, butterflied, skin side up, to a sheet pan. Let it sit for 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400F with the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Roast 20 minutes. Baste. Roast 20 minutes. Baste. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer and roast until cooked. Juices should run clear and/or internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should read 165F. I usually take it out of the oven around 162F.
While your chicken is in the oven, make your aji verde: Add all ingredients to a food processor and run until well combined. Yup, that’s it!
Let the chicken rest 15 minutes before cutting into it.
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