Spicy Aji Verde Recipe With Irresistible Cheesy Taste!

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Indulge in vibrant flavor with our Aji Verde recipe, where South American zest meets culinary artistry. This dazzling green sauce is a tantalizing fusion of fresh cilantro, zesty lime, and fiery jalapeños. Drizzle it over grilled meats, spoon it onto tacos, or use it as a dipping sauce for a mouthwatering experience that’s equal parts tangy, spicy, and utterly addictive. Aji Verde: where every bite is a fiesta for your senses.

With this in mind, I recall the first time I tasted Aji Verde in my grandmother’s kitchen. Remembering the aroma filling the room and the burst of flavors with each bite is excellent. Often, traditional recipes bring back memories that hold a special place in our hearts. 

Aji Verde sauce

Aji Verde is one such dish for me. You may want to follow a traditional recipe to get the most out of its authentic taste. The best thing is, while it may seem exotic, you won’t have to worry about finding complex ingredients. 

This sauce, made primarily of green chili peppers, is an excellent addition to any dish to elevate your meal experience. I’m here to guide you if you are interested in this recipe.

What Is Aji Verde?

Aji Verde is a spicy green chili sauce often associated with Peruvian cuisine. It is great to have it as a dip or to accompany various dishes, enhancing their flavors. This sauce adds a kick of heat with a refreshing hint of green herbs. 

With this in mind, if you want a condiment to spice up your meals, you may want to try Aji Verde. The best thing is that it’s versatile, so that you can use it in many ways. You won’t be disappointed by its vibrant flavor.

History Of Aji Verde Recipe

Aji Verde traces its roots back to the indigenous cultures of Peru. While many South American nations have unique chili sauces, Aji Verde stands out with its distinct Peruvian character. With this in mind, it’s often the preferred condiment for many traditional dishes like Pollo a la Brasa. 

The best thing is that variations of the sauce have emerged over time, with different regions adding their own touch. So you can find versions with cheese, nuts, or even bread. Despite these variations, the essence remains green chili peppers combined with fresh herbs. 

Interesting Facts About Aji Verde Recipe

  • Origins: While Aji Verde is synonymous with Peruvian cuisine, variations of green chili sauces can be found across South America.
  • Name Significance: “Aji” means chili in Spanish, and “Verde” translates to green, aptly describing the sauce’s main ingredient and color.
  • Variations: With this in mind, depending on the region in Peru, you may find Aji Verde recipes that include cheese or even crushed nuts.
  • Versatility: The best thing is it’s not just for meat dishes. Vegetarians often use Aji Verde to flavor grains, salads, or vegetables.
  • Spice Levels: You won’t have to worry about excessive heat; it’s adjustable. By choosing milder green chilies, you can control the spiciness.
  • Longevity: When stored properly, Aji Verde can last in the fridge for up to a week, ensuring you can enjoy its flavors for several meals.
Aji Verde sauce

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Aji Verde, rooted in Peruvian cuisine, has seen various adaptations over time, both within Peru and beyond its borders. The best thing is these variations cater to diverse palates.

Some regional twists include:

  • Aji Verde with Rocoto: Instead of aji amarillo paste, some regions in Peru use rocoto, a red chili, giving a different heat profile.
  • Cheese Variations: While queso fresco is commonly used, some recipes call for Cotija or even cream cheese for a different texture and taste.
  • Additional Herbs: Huacatay, or black mint, is sometimes added in the Andes region for a deeper herbaceous note.
  • Without Mayo: For a lighter version, some omit mayonnaise, relying on the creaminess of the cheese alone.
  • Non-Peruvian Takes: In neighboring countries, it’s not uncommon to find Aji Verde adaptations with local ingredients, showcasing a blend of cultures and flavors.

What Will Make You Love This Aji Verde Sauce? 

Prepare to fall head over heels for Aji Verde sauce! Its irresistible allure lies in its harmonious blend of flavors and versatility.

This saucy sensation boasts a symphony of tastes – the brightness of fresh cilantro, the zing of zesty lime, and the thrilling heat of jalapeños. What’s not to love?

Aji Verde’s magic lies in its adaptability. Drizzle it over grilled meats for an instant flavor upgrade, slather it on sandwiches for excitement, or use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite snacks to elevate every bite. 

Its captivating green hue and bold personality will steal the spotlight at your table. Once you try Aji Verde, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Get ready to savor a sauce that’ll make your taste buds sing with delight!

Aji Verde sauce

Ingredients List

Mayonnaise½ cup
Lime Juice2 tablespoons
Fresh Cilantro (coarsely chopped)2 cups
Garlic Cloves2
Scallions (white and green parts)4 (chopped)
Fresh Mint Leaves (chopped)2 tablespoons
Aji Amarillo Paste2 tablespoons
Queso Fresco (crumbled)2 tablespoons
Salt½ teaspoon

Ingredient Tips

  • Mayonnaise: Opt for a high-quality brand or, for a personal touch, use homemade mayonnaise. This is an excellent base for creaminess.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed is best. It adds a tangy brightness that bottled juices often lack.
  • Cilantro: Ensure it’s fresh and vibrant green. Remove thick stems to avoid a gritty texture.
  • Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic provides a richer flavor than powdered. With this in mind, always choose plump and firm cloves.
  • Scallions: Both white and green parts add a depth of flavor. Rinse well to remove any grit.
  • Mint Leaves: Fresh mint leaves give a refreshing undertone. You may want to adjust the quantity according to taste.
  • Aji Amarillo Paste: This gives the sauce its signature heat. Adjust quantity for desired spiciness.
  • Queso Fresco: Ensure it’s fresh. It contributes to the sauce’s creaminess and mild tang.
  • Salt: Adjust to taste, but it’s essential for balancing the flavors. You won’t want to skip it.
Aji Verde sauce

Recipe Directions

  • Begin by gathering all your ingredients, ensuring they are cleaned and prepped.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, scallions, mint, aji amarillo paste, queso fresco, and salt in a blender or food processor.
  • Blend the mixture until smooth and fully integrated. This is a great step to ensure consistency and flavor distribution.
  • Transfer the sauce to a clean jar or airtight container.
  • Let the sauce rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This rest time allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Store in the refrigerator. With this in mind, you may want to consume it within 5 days to ensure freshness and flavor integrity.

Scaling The Aji Verde Recipe

Scaling a recipe like Aji Verde is straightforward, but it’s essential to maintain the balance of flavors. With this in mind, if you want to double the quantity for larger gatherings, simply double each ingredient. Conversely, for smaller servings, halve the amounts.

The best thing is the sauce’s robust flavor profile remains consistent regardless of quantity. When scaling up, consider blending in batches if your equipment can’t handle the increased volume. 

For scaling down, blend enough to get a smooth texture. Often, it may be helpful to make a standard batch since Aji Verde stores well. 

Aji Verde sauce

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads And Other Dishes?

Yes, Aji Verde sauce boasts a versatility that allows it to shine in various culinary roles:

  • Marinade: Its tangy and spicy profile makes it great for marinating meats, poultry, fish, or tofu, infusing them with rich flavors.
  • Dipping Sauce: Its creamy consistency pairs well with snacks like empanadas, grilled meats, or raw vegetables.
  • Dressing for Salads: Mixed with olive oil or vinegar, it can dress fresh greens, adding a zesty kick.
  • Topping for Dishes: Drizzle over grilled fish, roasted vegetables, or baked potatoes.
  • Spread for Sandwiches: Elevate sandwiches or wraps with its vibrant taste.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Aji Verde Recipe?

Aji Verde sauce, with its vibrant flavors, pairs exceptionally well with various dishes:

  • Ceviche: The tangy kick of the sauce complements the fresh seafood flavors.
  • Grilled Chicken or Fish: The sauce is a delightful contrast to the charred flavors.
  • Empanadas: Use Aji Verde as a dipping sauce for these stuffed pastries.
  • Tamales or Arepas: The richness of these dishes is well-balanced by the zesty sauce.
  • Rice Bowls: Drizzle over rice combined with grilled veggies or meats.
  • Potato Dishes: Be it roasted, grilled, or boiled potatoes, they benefit from the sauce’s tang.
  • Steak: The sauce offers a fresh counterpoint to the rich taste of beef.
Aji Verde sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Aji Verde Sauce?

With its vibrant and zesty profile, Aji Verde sauce is often the star accompaniment in various Peruvian dishes.

Some classic dishes that feature this sauce include:

  • Pollo a la Brasa: A popular Peruvian roasted chicken, where the sauce adds a spicy, creamy kick.
  • Anticuchos: Grilled skewers, often of beef heart, which pair beautifully with the tangy spice of Aji Verde.
  • Causa: A cold layered potato dish, where the sauce contrasts the mild flavors.
  • Lomo Saltado: A Peruvian stir-fried beef dish often benefits from a drizzle of Aji Verde.
  • Empanadas: These filled pastries boost flavor when dipped in the sauce.
  • Papa a la Huancaína: Boiled potatoes with a spicy, creamy sauce, often enhanced with Aji Verde on the side.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Aji Verde Recipe Offers? 

Aji Verde offers a symphony of flavors and sensations that tantalize the palate. Key profiles and tastes include:

  • Spiciness: Primarily from the aji amarillo paste, this sauce presents a balanced heat without overpowering.
  • Tanginess: The lime juice imparts a zesty, bright acidity that lifts the sauce’s overall flavor.
  • Herbaceous: Fresh cilantro and mint lend a verdant, aromatic freshness.
  • Garlicky: The inclusion of garlic cloves adds depth and a pungent kick.
  • Creaminess: Mayonnaise and queso fresco contribute a velvety texture and smooth mouthfeel.
  • Savory: Scallions and salt round out the taste, adding savory notes.
Aji Verde sauce

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, Aji Verde sauce can be stored for future use. After preparing the sauce, transfer it to an airtight container or jar, ensuring minimal air exposure.

Store the container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. With this in mind, the sauce’s optimal shelf life is typically up to 5 days. 

However, its freshness might begin to wane after this period. For longer preservation, adding a thin layer of olive oil on the surface may be helpful to act as a barrier against air. This method can extend the sauce’s life by a few days. 

Always inspect for any signs of spoilage and trust your senses before consuming. The best thing is that refrigeration ensures you get the most out of the sauce’s flavors during its prime.

What Are The Substitutes For Aji Verde Sauce?

When Aji Verde sauce is elusive, or you’re seeking alternatives to spice up your dishes, fear not, as there are some fantastic substitutes to consider:

  • Chimichurri Sauce: This Argentinean condiment is packed with herbs, garlic, vinegar, and chili flakes, offering a similarly zesty and herbaceous flavor profile.
  • Salsa Verde: A tangy Mexican sauce made with tomatillos, green chili peppers, and cilantro, providing a fresh and slightly spicy alternative.
  • Pesto: Although Italian in origin, pesto’s vibrant green color and herbaceous taste can stand in as a flavorful substitute with its blend of basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil.
  • Green Harissa: This North African sauce combines green chilies, cilantro, and spices, delivering a fiery and fragrant option.
  • Tahini Sauce: Creamy and nutty, tahini mixed with herbs and lemon juice can offer a unique flavor profile that complements a variety of dishes.
Aji Verde sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 

Adjusting the consistency of your sauce is a breeze and can be tailored to your preference:

  • Thicker Sauce: If your sauce is too thin for your liking, simply add more of the primary ingredients. For Aji Verde, toss in extra cilantro, jalapeños, or avocado to bulk it up. Blending in a handful of toasted nuts or bread crumbs can also help thicken it.
  • Thinner Sauce: To make your sauce thinner, incorporate liquid ingredients like lime juice, vinegar, or a splash of water. Gradually add small amounts until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Creamier Texture: For a creamier texture, introduce dairy or non-dairy options such as yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Avocado or Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for Aji Verde, adding creaminess and richness.
  • Straining: For a smoother sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any coarse bits or seeds.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Aji Verde sauce is traditionally served cold. Its refreshing and zesty flavors are best enjoyed when the sauce is chilled.

This cool temperature helps maintain the sauce’s vibrant green color. It preserves the freshness of its ingredients, including cilantro and lime. 

Serving it cold also contrasts with hot or grilled dishes, creating a harmonious balance of temperatures on your palate.

However, there’s room for experimentation in the culinary world; some may gently warm the sauce for a unique twist. Warming it slightly can mellow the flavors and make it a suitable drizzle for certain dishes. 

However, be cautious not to overheat, as it may compromise the sauce’s vibrant color and fresh taste. Whether cold or warm, it’s a matter of personal preference and the specific dish you’re pairing it with.

Aji Verde sauce

Nutritional Values

Aji Verde typically has about 40 calories per serving, with 3g of total fat, 3g of carbs, and 1g of protein. Vitamin A and Vitamin C are also present, making it tasty and nutritious.

What Are The Total Calories In Aji Verde Recipe?

The total calories in an Aji Verde sauce recipe can vary based on the specific quantities and ingredient brands. Each ingredient’s calorie content should be summed up for an accurate count. 

However, considering standard recipes, a typical serving of Aji Verde might range between 40 calories per tablespoon, with most calories coming from the mayonnaise and queso fresco. 

Dietary Restrictions Of The Aji Verde Recipe

The Aji Verde recipe has certain dietary considerations. Here are the main restrictions:

  • Dairy: Contains queso fresco, which may not be suitable for those lactose intolerant or with dairy allergies.
  • Eggs: Mayonnaise, a primary ingredient, often contains eggs, making it unsuitable for vegans and those with egg allergies.
  • Gluten: While inherently gluten-free, store-bought ingredients could have cross-contamination or additives. Check labels if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Vegetarian: The traditional recipe is vegetarian-friendly.
  • Vegan: The inclusion of mayonnaise and cheese means it’s not vegan.
  • Spicy: It might not be suitable for those sensitive to spicy foods.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce? 

Indeed, when making or using Aji Verde sauce, there are some common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Over-blending: This can make the sauce too runny. Blend just until the ingredients are combined for the right consistency.
  • Too much heat: Overdoing the aji amarillo paste can overpower other flavors. Adjust according to your heat preference.
  • Storing improperly: Not refrigerating or using an unsealed container can reduce the sauce’s shelf life.
  • Not tasting as you go: Adjusting seasonings and ingredients to personal preference is vital. Always taste and tweak accordingly.
  • Substituting main ingredients: While some swaps are okay, avoiding key ingredients like cilantro can drastically change the sauce’s flavor.
  • Using stale herbs: Freshness is vital for the vibrant taste of Aji Verde.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

Leftover Aji Verde sauce can be repurposed in various creative ways:

  • Dressing for Salads: Toss it with fresh greens for a spicy, tangy kick.
  • Marinade: Use for chicken, fish, or tofu to infuse flavors before grilling.
  • Sandwich Spread: Elevate the taste of sandwiches or wraps.
  • Pasta Sauce Base: Mix olive oil and cooked pasta for a unique dish.
  • Dip for Veggies: Serve as a side for crudites.
  • Topping for Pizza: Drizzle over a freshly baked pizza.
  • Stir into Soups: For added depth and zest.
  • Mixed into Scrambled Eggs: For a spicy breakfast twist.
Aji Verde sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Blender or Food Processor: Essential for achieving the sauce’s signature creamy texture.
  • Sharp Knife: Finely chop ingredients like cilantro, garlic, and scallions.
  • Cutting Board: A stable surface for preparation.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To ensure accurate quantities of ingredients.
  • Rubber Spatula: Helps in scraping down the sides of the blender or processor to ensure uniform blending.
  • Airtight Container: Useful for storing the sauce in the refrigerator.
  • Citrus Squeezer: For extracting fresh lime juice efficiently.
  • Mixing Bowl: If you mix or adjust any ingredients before blending.
  • Tasting Spoon: Crucial for adjusting seasoning as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Primary Flavor Profile Of Aji Verde?

Aji Verde boasts a mix of tangy, spicy, and herbaceous notes, thanks to lime juice, aji amarillo paste, and cilantro.

Can I Substitute Aji Amarillo Paste With Another Chili Paste?

While aji amarillo paste gives the sauce its distinctive flavor, you can use other chili pastes for a different heat level. However, this might alter the authentic taste.

Is Aji Verde Vegan?

Traditional Aji Verde is not vegan due to mayonnaise (often egg-based) and queso fresco. However, vegan alternatives for these ingredients can create a vegan version.

How Long Does The Sauce Last In The Refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container, Aji Verde will remain fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

What Dishes Pair Best With Aji Verde?

Aji Verde is versatile, pairing well with grilled meats, ceviche, empanadas, and even as a dressing for salads. Its vibrant flavor complements a wide range of dishes.

Spicy Aji Verde Recipe With Irresistible Cheesy Taste!

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



Aji Verde is a vibrant Peruvian sauce with a creamy consistency, crafted from a blend of cilantro, aji amarillo, lime juice, and more. It’s a delightful mix of tangy, spicy, and herbaceous flavors, perfect for elevating various dishes.


  • ½ cup ½ Mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Lime Juice

  • 2 cups 2 Fresh Cilantro (coarsely chopped)

  • 2 2 Garlic Cloves

  • 4 4 Scallions (white and green parts)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Fresh Mint Leaves (chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Aji Amarillo Paste

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Queso Fresco (crumbled)

  • ½ teaspoon ½ Salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all your ingredients. Ensure that the cilantro, garlic, scallions, and mint are washed and coarsely chopped.
  • Blending
    Start adding the mayonnaise and lime juice in a blender or food processor.
    Follow with the cilantro, garlic, scallions, and mint.
    Add the aji amarillo paste, ensuring you adjust the amount based on your heat preference.
    Incorporate the crumbled queso fresco and the designated amount of salt.
    Blend the mixture on a medium to high setting until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if needed.
  • Taste and Adjust: Give the sauce a quick taste. Adjust the seasoning or add more lime juice to achieve the desired tanginess if needed.
  • Storing
    Transfer the sauce to an airtight container.
    Store it in the refrigerator.
  • Usage: Remember, the sauce can be used immediately, but storing it melts the flavors together. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video


  • Ingredients: You’ll need fresh cilantro, jalapeños or other hot peppers, garlic, mayonnaise, and lime juice.
  • Spice Control: Adjust the number of jalapeños or peppers to achieve your desired level of spiciness.
  • Texture: Blend ingredients thoroughly for a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Lime Zest: Incorporate lime zest for an extra zingy flavor.
  • Chill Time: Allow the sauce to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to enhance its flavors.
  • Versatility: Use as a dip, sauce, or marinade for grilled meats and vegetables.

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