This Aji Amarillo Sauce is a spicy and versatile Peruvian condiment. Spicy yellow pepper paste is blended with creamy and tangy ingredients, leaving you with an outstanding dipping sauce, spread, or dressing.
So many of you went crazy for my Peruvian Chicken Recipe with Aji Verde Sauce, that I decided it was time to come up with an Aji Amarillo Sauce recipe too. Because even though we can eat that green sauce every day in our house, sometimes it’s nice to have a little change.
Rick + I did a side by side of the creamy aji verde and aji amarillo and we just couldn’t decide which we liked better. So, I’d suggest just throwing caution to the wind and making both!
Aji Amarillo is a versatile Peruvian condiment with layers of spice, cream, and tang. All you need is aji amarillo paste, a handful of simple ingredients, and a blender to put it together.
This crema de aji amarillo recipe is similar to a classic Mexican crema since the base is made from a blend of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, and feta cheese. It’s the aji amarillo paste that helps it stand out from the rest. The paste is made from Peruvian aji amarillo peppers, lending a gorgeous yellow color, sweet and fruity undertones, and just the right amount of heat.
While the flavor is fantastic and craveable, you’ll also love the versatility of this sauce. Swap it in for the aji verde in my Peruvian Chicken recipe, serve it as a dipping sauce with french fries or fried yuca, or stir it into a creamy slaw for tacos. The options are endless!
What is aji amarillo?
Aji amarillo is a yellow chili pepper from Peru. According to Eat Peru, it’s the most popular chili pepper in Peruvian cuisine and is practically unavoidable in traditional dishes.
The peppers are usually blended into a paste and mixed with other ingredients, like crema, mayonnaise, or sour cream to make a sauce. It’s a fantastic condiment to brush over grilled meats, enjoy as a dipping sauce, or drizzle over Peruvian ceviche.
- Aji amarillo paste – This is made by blending fresh or dried aji amarillo peppers. You can buy the paste from Latin grocery stores or make it yourself.
- Shallots and garlic
- Mayonnaise – This is the base of the sauce, lending a creamy texture while cooling down the spice.
- Greek yogurt – Or sour cream. The tang gives this sauce a bright and refreshing quality that will remind you of a traditional crema.
- Feta cheese – You can use ricotta or queso fresco cheese instead.
- Ketchup – Tomato paste also works.
- Lime juice – Fresh citrus juice will cut through the heavy cream and spice.
- Salt and pepper
How to make it
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then season to taste.
Transfer the sauce to a bowl or airtight container and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. If you can, let it rest for about 1 hour to allow all of the flavors to mingle.
The sauce has a medium spice level. Aji amarillo peppers range between 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville Scale, making them comparable to serrano peppers. The heat isn’t overwhelming thanks to the mayo, yogurt, and feta in the sauce.
The Peruvian pepper is spicy but has fruity undertones that remind you of mango and passionfruit. These fresh notes actually balance out the heat and make it a truly unique chili pepper.
The aji amarillo paste is necessary for a close-to-authentic Peruvian yellow sauce and I don’t recommend replacing it. It’s available on Amazon. However, if you can’t find the paste or peppers anywhere, you can make a similar version with yellow bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, or habanero peppers.
Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ways to use aji amarillo sauce
This is a versatile condiment you can use as a dipping sauce, dressing, or spread. These are my favorite ways to use it:
- As a dip with french fries, fried potatoes, yuca fries, and green bean fries.
- Brushed onto grilled chicken and shrimp.
- With Peruvian chicken instead of aji verde sauce.
- As a dressing with potato salad or creamy cabbage slaw.
- As a dip or spread for chicken skewers or, baked chicken legs, air fryer chicken drumsticks.
- Drizzled over roasted vegetables, like potatoes, broccoli, sunchokes, and cauliflower.
More sauce recipes
- Boom Boom Sauce
- Jerk Sauce
- Peri Peri Sauce
- Chipotle Crema
- Peruvian Green Sauce
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- In-N-Out Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Crema
Did you try this Aji Amarillo recipe?
If you loved this Peruvian yellow sauce I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Aji Amarillo Sauce Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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