Usually when we use the words “secret sauce” or “magic sauce,” we mean some essential ingredient for a well-lived life. This Peruvian green sauce recipe, however, is an actual sauce that works magic on your taste buds.
I’m so glad it’s not a secret, though, because it takes five minutes to make and adds vibrant flavor to so much more than Peruvian-style baked chicken.
If you’ve never heard of it before, Peruvian green sauce is a creamy, spicy sauce that’s usually made with a paste made from aji amarillo peppers, cilantro, some kind of creamy base, garlic, and lime.
Because aji amarillo paste is not readily available in most stores, I often make mine with fresh jalapeno peppers instead.
My kids love it even with the spicy kick, but you can adjust the heat level based on your family’s preferences. Once you taste it you’ll probably start putting it on everything in sight, but just in case you’d like some extra inspiration here are my favorite ways to use it:
- As a marinade and/or dip for grilled veggies or shish kabobs
- Drizzled over steaks, Peruvian chicken, salmon, shrimp, etc.
- Over eggs
- As a flavor infusion for rice and beans
- On salads
- As a dip for gluten-free sourdough bread (recipe coming soon)
Peruvian Green Sauce Recipe (Aji Verde)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (lightly packed)
- 2-3 jalapenos* (or 2-3 tbsp aji amarillo paste)
- 1 tsp minced garlic clove
- ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
- ¼ cup yogurt (I use homemade coconut yogurt)
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ⅛-¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil (if needed to thin the sauce)
- Add cilantro leaves, 2 jalapenos (or 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste, garlic), mayonnaise, yogurt, lime juice, 1/8 tsp salt and pepper to a blender or food processor.
- Puree until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil if needed to thin out the sauce.
- Taste and add 1/8 salt (or more) if needed. If you want to dial up the spiciness even more, add an additional jalapeno pepper or jalapeno seeds (or another tablespoon aji amarillo paste) and puree again.
- * I mostly de-seed mine so that the sauce isn’t overly spicy.
More Flavor-Boosting Sauce Recipes
Easy Teriyaki Sauce – Ready in just ten minutes, this teriyaki sauce recipe is perfect for a quick meal. You’ll only need a few ingredients!
Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce – This quick and easy barbecue sauce is lip smacking good over brisket, ribs, grilled chicken and even burgers.
Chimichurri Sauce – If you’re not afraid of a little heat, this sauce will make your tastebuds do the tango over a juicy steak, roast chicken, chorizo, shrimp, baked butternut squash or even your morning eggs.
Chipotle Mayo – This spicy mayo is so good with BLT sliders, burgers, homestyle fries and even coleslaw.