A surprising new take on a Peruvian classic, this brilliant aji verde green sauce will become your new secret sauce in the kitchen.

Those of you who have been following StreetSmart Kitchen know how much I love green sauces—they add a vivid splash of color and flavor, and they’re supremely versatile. Green goddess miso sauce and cilantro-lime dressing are among my favorites. It’s time to add a new recipe to the collection, and this one is outstanding! 

What Is Aji Verde?

Like many iconic dishes, the exact origins of Aji Verde can be elusive, but we believe it originated in the coastal regions of Peru, where it has become a staple with grilled meats and seafood and a popular dipping sauce for fries.

A surprising new take on a Peruvian classic, this brilliant aji verde green sauce will become your new secret superpower in the kitchen.

Aji verde translates as “green chili,” and the primary ingredient in the traditional recipe is the aji amarillo pepper, a staple in Peruvian cuisine that imparts a distinct flavor profile and a mild to moderate heat to the sauce. But it is not just the heat that sets aji verde apart—it is the harmonious combination of diverse flavors. Other key ingredients typically include fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and mayonnaise, resulting in a zesty, herbaceous, and slightly creamy sauce. 

I’ll be using some different, more accessible, and perhaps surprising ingredients in my version, and I think you’ll agree that the result is mouth-watering.

Let’s dive into the essential ingredients you’ll use to recreate this delectable sauce at home.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Aji Verde Ingredients
  • First, the chilis. You might be able to find the aji amarillo chilis, either fresh or in a paste, in South American markets or online, but I’ve found that a combination of jalapeños and Sriracha sauce, both more readily available, give a similar level of heat and depth of flavor. 
  • Fresh cilantro, garlic, and lime juice are the traditional sources of color and flavor, so of course they’re essential in my recipe, too, but I’ve added a bit of fresh oregano for an extra dose of earthy sweetness. 
  • To achieve the same creaminess that mayonnaise provides in the original recipe, I substituted Dijon mustard and feta cheese for a salty tang. 
  • Finally, we’ll round out the broad and well-balanced flavor profile with honey, cumin, and a dash of sea salt, then smooth things up with extra-virgin olive oil.

How to Use Aji Verde in Your Everyday Cooking

Its versatility and powerful flavor mean there are countless ways to use aji verde. The Peruvians certainly have their favorites, but I’ve got a few more suggestions. 

Aji verde drizzled on sous vide rack of lamb served with fresh cilantro and lime wedges
  1. Amp Up Sous Vide Meats: Aji verde is a natural companion for grilled or sous vide meats, adding brightness and depth to the smoky flavors. Brush it onto your steaks, rack of lamb, or even grilled tofu for a tantalizing touch. 
  2. Jazz Up Salads: Aji verde makes for an excellent dressing alternative, providing a burst of flavor that can transform a simple salad into a taste sensation. Drizzle it over mixed greens, or use it as a dip for crispy lettuce wraps
  3. Spice Up Tacos and Burritos: Give your Mexican-inspired dishes a Peruvian twist by adding a spoonful of aji verde. Whether you’re filling soft tacos with fish, chicken, or roasted vegetables, the sauce’s unexpected flavor combination is a delightful change of pace.
  4. Elevate Your Sandwiches: Take your favorite sandwiches to a new level by spreading a generous dollop of aji verde on the bread. Its zest complements a variety of fillings, from roasted vegetables to sous vide chicken.
  5. Upgrade Your Appetizer: But don’t limit yourself to just the main dishes. aji verde can also be the star of your appetizer game. Whip up a batch of crispy, golden-brown fries and serve them alongside a bowl of this tantalizing sauce. Forget about ketchup!

And now, armed with some ideas of how to make the most of this versatile sauce, let’s move on to some handy tips for storing and preserving it.

A surprising new take on a Peruvian classic, this brilliant aji verde green sauce will become your new secret superpower in the kitchen.

StreetSmart Cooking Tips

With its vibrant flavors and versatility, you’re likely to want some aji verde on hand at all times. But how do you ensure that it stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible? 

  • Aji verde can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week when stored in an airtight container.
  • Freezing is a great option to preserve it for a longer period. The sauce can be frozen for up to three months. I recommend pouring it into ice cube trays or small, sealable freezer bags. This way, you can easily thaw out the desired amount whenever a craving strikes.
  • Thaw your frozen aji verde slowly in the refrigerator. Once thawed, give the sauce a good stir to reincorporate any separated liquids, and you’re good to go.

Here you have it—another green sauce with a unique blend of ingredients and a vibrant taste. I hope I have given you some ideas on how to use aji verde, but that list is certainly far from complete. How would you use it? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

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A surprising new take on a Peruvian classic, this brilliant aji verde green sauce will become your new secret superpower in the kitchen.

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce) Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups (10 servings) 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Peruvian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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A surprising new take on a Peruvian classic, this brilliant aji verde green sauce will become your new secret sauce in the kitchen.



1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 heaping cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt or lime juice.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 111
  • Sugar: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 230.8mg
  • Fat: 12.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.3g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 3.3mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen, StreetSmart Kitchen

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.