Aji Verde (1)
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  • Food: Aji Verde (Spicy Peruvian Green Sauce)
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Let me introduce you to my new favorite hot sauce! Aji Verde is a vibrant green sauce from Peru. It’s hot and acidic, with a lot of fresh taste.

Since I discoveredAaji Verde, we’ve been smothering tacos, eggs, rice and beans, potatoes, and more in it. A sprinkling of aji Verde transforms even the most basic of cuisines into delicious delicacies.

Aji Verde was first introduced to me not in a Peruvian restaurant, but at Denver’s Avanti food hall a few weekends ago. Have you ever visited a modern-day food court?

I feel like a kid at a candy store because I can try so many different concepts from so many different restaurants.

I went up to The Rotary and got a few vegetable sides as well as all three of their sauces to try. You know how much I love a good sauce.

We each had a bite of their grilled broccolini with Aji Verde sauce. Our eyes gleamed, and I promised myself that I would not go without the recipe. I’m going to share the recipe with you today!

Ingredients in Aji Verde

The sauce was created with cilantro, jalapeno, Parmesan, and lime juice, according to the girl behind the counter.

Because the sauce had an evident mayonnaise-like consistency, I surmised that she must have forgotten to say mayonnaise. I also added garlic to replicate the robust flavor of the restaurant sauce.

Cotija cheese, not Parmesan, is commonly used in Aji Verde. You can use one of these hard, aged, salty cheeses to add richness to this vibrant sauce.

A note on authenticity: The aji Verde recipe shown here is more akin to the aji Verde served in Peruvian restaurants in the United States than in Peruvian eateries.

True Peruvian aji Verde recipes call for aji Amarillo (hot yellow pepper) instead of jalapeno and huacatay (black mint or black mint paste) instead of cilantro. I haven’t tried these items yet, but since this dish has peaked my curiosity about Peruvian food, I’m going to get them right now.

According to what I’ve read, aji Verdes differ per restaurant, so take this as my interpretation. I adore it, and I think you will as well.

Uses of Aji Verde

Aji Verde Homemade (1)
Food: Aji Verde (Source: Sauce Fanatic)

This zesty green sauce adds zing to a wide range of foods. Aji verde, like chimichurri, will go well with everything you grill this summer. Here are some vegetarian-friendly suggestions:

  • Tacos
  • Tostones
  • Beans with rice
  • Vegetables grilled or roasted
  • Carrot sticks and bell pepper strips, for example, are raw veggies that have been prepared (serve it as a party dip)
  • Salads
  • Eggs scrambled or fried

Aji Verde (Spicy Peruvian Green Sauce)

Time to prepare: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Discover how to produce the greatest aji Verde sauce on the market! Aji Verde is a hot Peruvian green sauce prepared with cilantro, jalapenos, mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese. Drizzled on tacos and other dishes, it’s simply delicious! The recipe makes around 1 1/4 cups.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro, mostly leaves but small stems are ok (from 1 big bunch of cilantro or 1 ½ medium)
  • 2 medium jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed but reserved, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup (1 ounce) grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


Aji Verde Yum (1)
Food: Aji Verde (Source: Sauce Fanatic)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until the cilantro is broken down into very little pieces and the sauce is generally smooth and green (no matter how long you blend it, it will still have some texture to it).
  2. Taste and make any necessary adjustments. This sauce is meant to be robust and spicy, and I usually believe it’s perfect just the way it is. If the flavor is too strong, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the food processor while it’s processing. If it isn’t spicy enough, incorporate in some of the reserved jalapeno seeds. Add another tablespoon of lime juice and/or a teaspoon of salt if it doesn’t have enough zing.
  3. Aji Verde keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, covered.


  • HOW TO MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Simply leave out the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil while the food processor is running to soften the taste.
  • MAKE IT VEGAN: I believe you could eliminate the cheese and replace the mayonnaise with equal parts vegan sour cream. Try my avocado dip for a similar creamy cilantro sauce. If you want it to be spicier, add additional jalapeno.