Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

Quick and Easy, Sides

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce) is a bright, spicy Peruvian condiment that uses hucatay paste, aji amarillo and cilantro leaves. Serve it with pollo a la brasa, yucca fries or roasted veggies–the possibilities are endless!

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce) is a hot sauce that I LOVE SO MUCH! If you’ve ever gone to a place that serves pollo a la brasa, it will look familiar to you. It’s usually kept in squeeze bottles on every table. You dip your yucca fries it, you douse the chicken with it…and then you start sweating because it’s SO spicy. And yet, you can’t stop eating it.

It’s addicting! This sauce is SO good. It does require two ingredients that used to be harder to find. But now, thanks to ol’ Amazon, it’s much easier.

What is Huacatay?

You’ll need the paste is amazing. It adds a brightness and hint of flavor that is needed. BUT you can skip it.

In Peru, most aji verde is made from JUST fresh huacatay. But here in the United States we have to make adjustments due to what we have access to. I find that using cilantro AND the paste makes for a really delicious aji verde.

Also, aji amarillo paste. It’s a Peruvian yellow pepper that is so delicious and spicy.

What is Aji Amarillo?

Aji amarillo is a yellow pepper indigenous to the Peruvian Andes. It’s a mild-flavored pepper that is a bit sweet and delicious. They’re quite difficult to find fresh peppers in the United States. I like to use the paste, though it’s 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 that’s needed. If you’re adverse to spice, well, this recipe isn’t 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.

I’ve wanted to successfully make this recipe for a long time and I have finally found the perfect ratios that make me happy.

How to Make Aji Verde?

Making Aji Verde could not be simpler. A high-powered blender helps a lot with getting this sauce to a super smooth texture. Here’s how to make Aji Verde:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender. I like to add the liquids (mayo, olive oil and lime juice) to the bottom of the blender and then layer the solid ingredients on top. I find that it blends better this way.
  2. Turn the blender on until smooth. Stop the blender, scrape down the sides and then blend a bit longer. The cilantro will go from being in teeny bits to super smooth. This does take a minute or so, so be sure to let it run.
  3. Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to your liking.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container or squeeze bottle.

Can You Freeze Aji Verde?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing aji verde. While I haven’t tried freezing it, I feel like the oil and cheeses will mess with the creamy and smooth texture.

What to Pair with Aji Verde?

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

Aji Verde Recipe (Peruvian Green Sauce)

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 2 cups
Calories: 185kcal
Aji Verde is a Peruvian green hot sauce. It's made up of fresh cilantro, aji amarillo, huacatay and cheese that makes it creamy and spicy. Typically served alongisde pollo a la brasa, it pairs well with roasted vegetables, chicken or bread.


  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise, (such as Hellmann's)
  • 3 ounces queso fresco or blanco
  • 2 serrano peppers, ends trimmed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, with the leaves removed and stems discarded*
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons huacatay paste, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste, (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • To a blender, add the lime juice, olive oil, cheese, mayonnaise, serrano peppers, cilantro leaves, garlic cloves, green onions, huacatay paste, aji amarillo and salt. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes, until very smooth. At first the cilantro leaves won't be totally smooth, but keep the blender running and it will eventually become cohesive and smooth.
  • Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to your liking. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week. 


  1. If you have a super high powered blender such as a Vitamix or Ninja, etc, it can process a lot of the stems. If you don't, I suggest to remove al of the cilantro leaves. 
  2. I would suggest to add the liquids to the bottom of the blender and then add the cilantro on top. It helps combine all of the ingredients. 
  3. To make this Whole 30, eliminate the cheese and replace it with a bit more Whole 30 compliant mayonnaise. 
Vitamix Blender | Squeeze Bottles | Silicon Spatulas
Huacatay | Aji Amarillo | Aji Panca 
CuisinePeruvian, South American
Keywordaji verde, green sauce, green sauce peru, green sauce peruvian, peruvian hot sauce
Serving: 12g | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.5g | Protein: 1.4g | Fat: 19.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.3g | Calcium: 80mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

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Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Amanda September 10, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    5 stars
    I have never had authentic ají verde (in Peru) to compare, but this is so good. I live in Honduras, so I made some substitutions out of necessity. I used queso especial, jalapeños instead of serranos, no green onions, and a whole ají amarillo (from a jar in brine). I did use huacatay paste and everything else as is. Thank you!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 13, 2020 at 10:30 pm

      ahhh love hearing this! yeah, it’s pretty tough to find all of the ingredients but if you have at least a few, it helps a lot! glad you loved it.

  • Reply Jillian Zumwalt July 4, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    5 stars
    I made this as is with the huacatay and aji Amarillo and queso fresco and my Peruvian boyfriend and his parents loved it! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Katie June 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    5 stars
    This turned out delicious! I removed some of the seeds from the Serrano to scale back on the heat and I didn’t have huacatay, but followed the rest of the recipe as described. Yum!

  • Reply Wilson Lee January 4, 2020 at 11:40 am

    So do you just use the stems from the cilantro?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 4, 2020 at 11:41 am

      I do. If you’re using a high powered blender (such as a Vitamix, Ninja, etc.), it will absolutely break down the stems. If you don’t have one and are using a pretty standard blender, I would remove the leaves from the stem and just use the leaves.