This Peruvian Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce packs in big flavors thanks to the easy marinade and vibrant green sauce (aji verde).
This chicken has all of the flavors going on thanks to an easy marinade. Marinating boneless chicken thighs in a mix of garlic, soy sauce, and cumin and serving it next to this amazing creamy green sauce gives this dish layers of intricate and authentic Peruvian flavors.
Similar to my favorite Mojo Sauce and Peruvian Aji Amarillo, the vibrant green sauce in this recipe tastes like it came straight from Peru. Made with jalapeno, cilantro, and fresh lime juice, the flavor and texture are creamy but made tangier with the addition of Greek yogurt.
It’s the perfect dipping sauce for this chicken but can also be used on salads, tacos, and roasted veggies!
I love this meal because it’s quick, casual, and unexpected. It’s the perfect choice when entertaining because the majority of the work can be done ahead of time! Finally, you can forget about babysitting the meat and spending hours cleaning the kitchen.
What is Peruvian Chicken?
Peruvian grilled chicken, or Pollo a la Brasa, is similar to rotisserie or roasted chicken but marinated first in a mixture of lime juice, oil, garlic, and spices.
My take on Pollo a la Brasa is made using boneless chicken thighs but you can easily swap these for a whole chicken, breasts, wings, or legs.
This dish is best served next to a creamy and spicy green sauce (aji verde) made from jalapenos, mayonnaise, and cilantro, so be sure not to skip it!
Green Sauce – Aji Verde Ingredients
- Jalapeños – remove the ribs for less heat
- Cilantro – or use parsley if you’re sensitive to cilantro
- Green Onions – green parts only
- Greek Yogurt
- Lime Juice – adds a delicious tang
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
How to Make Creamy Green Sauce (Aji Verde)
It’s easy! Just add all of the sauce ingredients (except the olive oil) to a blender or mini food processor (I love this one!) and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running until it’s fully combined, then transfer the finished sauce to a bowl and refrigerate.
For more information, check out my full post on how to make Peruvian Green Sauce.
How to Make Marinated Peruvian Chicken
Place the chicken thighs in a ziploc bag with the garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, oil, cumin, paprika, oregano, and black pepper. Let it marinate for 8 to 24 hours.
Can I Grill the Chicken?
Grill the Peruvian chicken on an oiled grill grate over medium-high heat. Flip it once and continue cooking until the chicken is done.
Can I Roast the Chicken?
If you prefer to cook indoors, you can roast the chicken in a 500ºF oven for about 30 minutes. Afterward, tent the pan in foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is browned and fully cooked.
Tips and Substitutions
- You can leave the mayo out of the green sauce. Just use more Greek yogurt in its place or swap in some sour cream or Mexican crema.
- If you aren’t sure if the chicken thighs are cooked, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Boneless chicken thighs are fully cooked when their internal temperature reads 165ºF.
- If you really like spice, substitute the jalapenos in the green sauce for serrano peppers.
- If the green sauce is too spicy, use only 1 or 2 jalapenos and make sure to remove the seeds and veins from inside the pepper first.
- You can make this recipe with a whole chicken, breasts, legs, wings, or any cut of chicken you prefer.
- Make the green sauce with aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper) paste instead of jalapenos for a more authentic flavor.
Wine Pairing for Peruvian Chicken
- Vinho Verde is high in acidity, which makes it ideal for pairing with the rich and creamy green sauce served with this chicken.
What to Serve with Peruvian Chicken
- Peas and Rice
- Grilled Potato Salad
- Grilled Peppers
- Wedge Salad
- Green Bean Fries
- MORE —> Sides for BBQ Chicken
Did You Make This Peruvian Chicken?
If you loved this Peruvian chicken recipe 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.
For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
More Grilling Recipes
- Grilled Mango Chicken
- Grilled Chicken with Peanut Sauce
- Grilled Shrimp Kabobs with Green Sauce
- Grilled Lamb Chops
- Grilled Rack of Lamb
Peruvian Chicken Recipe
- 2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Black pepper
- 3 jalapeños (seeded, ribs removed and roughly chopped)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 green onions (chopped (green parts only) )
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Puree garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, oil, cumin, paprika, oregano and a pinch of black pepper in a blender.
- Put chicken in a large ziploc bag and add marinade. Place in refrigerator and allow to marinate for 8 to 24 hours.
- Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (around 350-degrees). Remove chicken from marinade and shake off any extra marinade. Place on the grill grates. Let chicken cook for 5-6 minutes with the grill cover closed to maintain the heat. Use tongs to flip the chicken thighs. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to make sure internal temperature reaches 165°F.
OR – In oven:
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place the chicken pieces in a 13×9 inch roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to the pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then tent the pan with foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. (The internal temperature should reach 165°F.)
Disclosure: This post was originally published in July 2016. It was updated in July 2021 to add new photographs and information. The recipe remains the same.
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153 thoughts on “Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce (Aji Verde)”
That sounds so delicious! The grilled, charred, spicy chicken combo sounds perfect for summer. We have a grill on the deck right next to our kitchen but we’re not supposed to use it since it’s charcoal, new HOA regulation, ugh… but we might bend the rules sometime and use it quickly! Glad you’ve been getting a lot of good grilling in this summer!
Your photos are always perfection!
It’s such a bummer when the grilling plans are thwarted! Thanks for the kind words 🙂
Outstanding recipe. I grilled the chicken over charcoal and the family absolutely loved it. The green sauce is a winner as well.
Due to the fickle FL weather, I had to use the oven method. But to my surprise it worked out extremely well, although I did reduce the oven temp to 450, since I had nothing that I wanted to subject to 500 degrees. However, the chicken browned very nicely, and cooked in accordance with the recipe. The green sauce is excellent, but I only needed about 1/4 of what this recipe makes. Needless to say I will be having this again sometime later in the week. Excellent recipe!!!
This was very good. I served it with Peruvian Potatoes, grilled zucchini and grilled shishito peppers. The only change I made was charing on the grill first, then baking in the oven at 400. I’m not on Instagram anymore, but I have a great pic.
This chicken sounds amazing, and I bet it’s doubly delicious with an ice cold Heineken!
Everything is better with beer (or wine), right Marlynn?!
That looks so good!!!! Yum! I’m hungry again!
We love Peruvian chicken with green sauce here! I’ve never grilled it but now I think I must! We just finished a renovation and getting a grill that was accessible to the house was a priority! We are lucky enough to grill year round here in NC. Can’t wait to try this.
You definitely ARE lucky to be able to grill year-round Erin – I’m a bit jealous of that!!!
So I am in the marinating stage of this recipe. I separated the thighs from the legs to make them more manageable (but I think they are prettier whole). I also made the sauce the night before, because sauce is always better with time. My son is in the “no cilantro camp” so I made a double batch, one with, one without. We like things bold and spicy, so I kept the ribs and seeds of the three (giant) Jalapeños, added more garlic and two Serranos to boot, for each batch. I also transposed the yogurt and Mayo measurements (more yogurt than mayo). Surprisingly, I can’t decide which version of sauce I like better! It is somewhat annoying when someone rates a recipe, but totally changes it, but I have done it to make the point that you can totally make this even if you don’t dig cilantro.
What would be a good veggie side? I’ll be grilling this up soon!
Hi Patrick – I think this would be amazing with some grilled corn or grilled peppers. Enjoy!
If you are ever in nyc, there is a place in Queens that serves a chicken dish very similar to this. If i remember correctly, the name of the restaurant was Pio Pio. The green sauce is amazing. Thank you for posting the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!!!
I am looking for Pio Pio’s recipe! I moved from NYC to CA and have been trying multiple variations but can’t quite get it right… do you know their secrets???!!
I’m sorry Melanie – I’ve never been there…
What type of wine would you pair this dish with?
Hi David – If you’re looking for a white wine, go with something with a bit of body to it – A Chardonnay or Rhone-style white blend would work well. As far as red wine goes, a juicy Tempranillo or Malbec would be amazing. Enjoy!
I’m not sure what you mean by “1 pounds whole chicken quartered, about 3 1/2” … does that mean
“1 whole chicken quartered, about 3 1/2” (with the word ‘pound’ removed)?
Hi Lola – It should be 1 whole chicken, quartered (about 3 1/2 pounds). Hope this helps!
Made this last night and it was excellent. My only suggestion would be a little less Cilantro. Otherwise.. outstanding!!! 24 hr marinade is a must. I grilled over lump charcoal. Skin was fantastic.
I’m glad you liked it Benjamin!
This was amazing! I only had small breast pieces to use but they were so good, I’ll definitely be making this again. That green sauce was divine, I kept going back for more! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you so much Kylie!
Erin I had to come back and rave about the sauce again! I made it again tonight to use in the rice and black bean burritos we were having and it just elevated them so much! I don’t know if I’ve ever made such a versatile sauce, chicken, burritos, grilled veggies, I bet it’s even an amazing salad dressing. Thank you again!
Thank you so much Kylie! I really appreciate it!
I need help! I’m making this for dinner tomorrow. I don’t have a grill so I need to make this in the oven. Do I cook the chicken in the roasting pan, on the roasting rack…or just in the pan with a cup of water?!?!
Hi Talina – I use a roasting rack, but if you don’t have one, it will be OK too. Hope this helps!
Just to clarify — the water is in the roasting rack together with the chicken?
Or the chicken on the rack, but a cup of water in another container in the oven?
Thanks! I’m a newbie cook so might come across a bit dense.
I have the same question!
Hi Natasha – I’m sorry the instructions weren’t clear. I just adjusted the recipe instructions. I add the water directly to the pan with the chicken. It keeps the chicken moist as it roasts, but it will evaporate by the end of the cook time. You can also use a roasting rack if you prefer, and add the water to the pan below the rack in the pan. Hope that helps!
I recently got back from Peru, where the food is AMAZING. I didn’t eat a lot of meat there so missed the Peruvian chicken, but I bet this is delicious!
It’s amazing – And, even if you don’t care for meat, the creamy green sauce is delicious on grilled veggies as well!
I’d love to see more recipes like this, please!
I’ll keep em coming!
Hi! This recipe looks delicious, can’t wait to try it! By any chance do you know the name of the plate in Spanish? I’m Peruvian and there are ingredients I’ve never heard being used in Peruvian cuisine. Either way looks delicious. Cheers!
Love these flavors! Need to figure a way to do this without grilling since that is not one of my culinary skills – plus it is too dang hot out. But have to get these flavors in my mouth somehow.
You can also cook this indoors Jade – See the notes section in recipe!
This chicken looks incredible and so does the green sauce! I’m not really into doing anything with the grill, but maybe when the heat wave is over!
Agreed Pech – I haven’t made it onto our hot patio for much grilling lately either 🙁
Yum!! That sauce sounds so good! And I’m always looking for new white wines to try, I can’t wait to try this one. Where do you find it usually? Would Fred Meyer or Safeway have it?
Yep – You should be able to find Vinho Verde anywhere. Trader Joe’s has some good ones!
This is the perfect summer recipe! I love a good green sauce with tons of cilantro 🙂
Me too Hillary! Besides the green sauce in this recipe, my mojo sauce is another one of my favorites!
That sauce looks incredible. I am sooo into that. And Vinho Verde is the best. Course I love anything with a few bubbles, but it’s so perfect for summer. I feel like people don’t drink it enough.
Agreed on the Vinho Verde Maritha – I just opened up another bottle of it last night. It’s so refreshing and affordable too!
I’m a bit confused. When roasting in the oven, do you pour the water into the roasting rack together with the chicken?
Or does the water sit in a different container in the oven, while the chicken roasts on a rack?
Hi Vivienne – The chicken will be on a rack in a larger pan. The rack will raise the chicken out of the liquid. Does that make sense?
Omg. I’m cooking this in water right now. Those directions did not make sense. I thought maybe with the temperature so high it was needed. Good grief!!
They make perfect sense to me
Wow! Just made this for my family tonight and everyone loved it, even my picky daughter. Only problem thing i would do different is marinade it longer. I only marinaded it for 7 hours, next time ill start it the night before. I also used chicken breasts which worked out well. Thanks
I’m so happy to hear that you and the family enjoyed it Grant! I definitely prefer the longer marinade time myself.
This is my first time eating Peruvian chicken. My son and I loved this recipe. Im doing this recipe again.
I’m so glad you both enjoyed it Gavin!
Is there another way to prepare the grilled chicken without it marinating? Also, what type of beverage do you think will go good with this?
Hi Shaniqua – You can marinate this for as little as 30 minutes, though the flavor won’t be as intense. I’d pair it with a zippy, tangy white wine like a Vinho Verde or Pinot Gris.
Hi! Excited to make this! How long does the green sauce last if I wanted to make in advance?
Hi Barbara – It should be good in the fridge for at least a few days.
This recipe is DELICIOUS! And the sauce is addictive, maybe you should sell it. My family spent the week fighting over the leftovers. Definitely will make it again!
I’m so happy to hear that Alexis!
This is so good! I served it with rice and a green salad–and the creamy sauce doubles as salad dressing. Glad I found this site during the quarantine, I’ve made a few of your recipes and they all come out fabulous.
Aww! That’s so nice to hear. Thanks Karyn!
A must try recipe! We paired this chicken with arroz verde which uses a lot of overlapping ingredients and it was a perfect weeknight summer meal. Will be a repeat in our household!
Love that side dish idea Mary!
Can you share your recipe for arroz Verde? I’m making the chicken this week and like the idea of making arroz Verde as well but have never made it.
Hi Mary – I don’t have a recipe of my own yet, but I’ve made this recipe by Rachael Ray and it is delicious!
Haven’t tried this yet, but wondering if I could substitute parsley for the cilantro, since I’m one of those people with the cilantro-tastes-like-soap genes? Or would the other flavors in the green sauce mask the cilantro?
Thanks for your response–looking forward to trying this.
Hi Dianne – You can definitely swap in parsley!
Could you substitute another milder pepper for the jalapeños?
Hi Julie – You sure could! Anaheims or poblanos would work well.
Peruvian chicken was a hit at my house for a family dinner! It was the perfect amount of flavor, not spicy. The green sauce is a great complement to the dish! We loved it.
Thank you so much!
My picky spouse and 14 yo son loved it!
I’m so happy to hear that Penny 🙂
I love to cook and this recipe was absolutely delicious! Husband couldn’t get enough of it! Even the teens loved it! THANK YOU… bring more!
This recipe is pretty simple. It works out great. While it does require some prep (the marinating) it’s not difficult. Honestly this may become a staple for me. I used chicken legs and they turned out fine.
I made this in the oven with drumsticks and it was superb!! I can’t wait to make it for my sister and her super picky family. I am sure it will be a bit hit with them.
Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome Chiffon!
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it.
Thanks Keira – I hope you love it!
Amazing! I’m not even finished eating and I’m leaving this comment. I only marinated the chicken for about four hours and it’s still delicious.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Tonya!
I don’t usually leave recipe reviews but had to, in case someone else comes across this. Loved this recipe. Tasted marinade before using and almost threw it away. Made it exactly according to directions. I did not like it and it wasn’t what I was imagining. Used it anyways. I was so wrong. It was amazing & perfect once the chicken was grilled. Exactly, what I had imagined and hoped it would taste like. You don’t even need the sauce. But the sauce is great, too. Delicious recipe, extra crispy, garlic, smashed potatoes would make a great side dish and you can use a little of the sauce. 5 star recipe.
Thank you Chris!
This looks so good!!
I have an abundance of fresh jalepenos all of a sudden and came across this recipe while trying to figure out what to do with them. Unfortunately I already have meals planned for this week and won’t be able to squeeze this in. Do you think I could make just the sauce right now and freeze it until I’m ready to use in a week or two?
Hi Karen – Yes, you can freeze this sauce. I like to make it up in batches and transfer to ice cube trays. The texture can change a bit from freezing and thawing, but it is still delicious!
This was outstanding! I marinated my chicken thighs for 24 hours then grilled them. They were perfect. Just the right sear and so tender. And the sauce… oh the sauce. I basically just put it on everything on the plate. Broccoli is good with it too btw 🙂 I’m glad the recipe made so much sauce. If I don’t use it all (on just about anything) I’ll freeze it and save it for the next time I make this… which will be soon. So easy and so tasty!
Thanks Brynn! I’m so glad you liked it! I love the sauce too!! Stay tuned… I’m working on a yellow Peruvian sauce as well!
I have never commented on a recipe before but I HAD to for this – this was AMAZING. Easy to make the sauce and marinade ahead of time in the morning, and then it’s a quick meal to whip up for dinner! I baked the thighs instead, at 425 for 30 minutes.
Thank you so much!!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks Emily!!!
Hi, this sounds delicious! I’m wondering if you could cook the chicken in the air fryer and get the right result? I don’t have access to a grill and it’s too hot to blast my oven (no AC here) at the moment.
Yes! That would definitely work. I would follow cook time and temp similar to this recipe for air fryer chicken thighs. I agree – It’s so hot outside!!! I’m slated to make this recipe Wednesday, and I’m kind of dreading the grill too. I may need to follow your idea Emily!
Soooooo good and so easy to make. I broiled it on low for 10mins then flipped and broiled another 10. I’m pretty sure you can broil on high for less time. I paired with coconut lime cilantro rice and it was killer. The sauce should not be missed – it was perfect. This is gonna be on my regular rotation for sure!
Thank you Marcia!
This recipe looks outstanding! I can’t wait to make it! We don’t mix milk with meat. Do you think it would work if I used non-dairy yogurt or coconut milk?
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you 🙂 I think that non-dairy yogurt would work really well. Or coconut milk, if you enjoy the flavor of coconut.
45 minutes in a 500 degree oven? Is that correct? Recipe sounds delicious and really looking forward to that green sauce! Just a little concerned about burning the chicken with those oven instructions.
Just made this tonight and it was so good! Will definitely be making it again! This sauce is insanely good! I made some smashed potatoes and grilled zucchini for the side
Thanks Kim! I’m so glad you liked it!
Absolutely delicious. I used chicken thighs because I had them on hand, and I subbed Serrano peppers for the jalapeños because I grew them in my garden! Additionally, I used the leftover green sauce as an overnight chicken marinade – I baked at 400 degrees for roughly 25 min. Heavenly! It was a fantastic way to reduce food waste, and prep for the nest night’s dinner!
Thank you Emily!
Finally made this tonight after having the recipe saved for awhile. HUGE HIT!! Chicken tasted so good and the green sauce was scrumptious. Served with grilled red and green bell peppers and coconut rice. So easy and flavorful. We will be making this again and again!
Thank you so much Katy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
What kind of paprika do they use. Spanish style (smoked) or Hungarian? Thanks
Hi William – I used regular paprika in this recipe. Smoked paprika (depending on the brand you’re using) can be much spicier, but also delicious!
This is so freaking good! I first made it in 2020 and have been coming back to it regularly. Yesterday I shared it with a friend and she asked for the recipe before we even sat down to eat.
Aww. I’m so happy to hear that. Thanks D!
This was a huge hit at my house, including 3 teenagers! I love recipes like this that are simple and quick but pack a ton of flavor. The sauce is out of this world – planning on using it on grilled flank steak next!
So, question – wehen you add 1 cup water to the pan, should the chicken be immersed in the water, or is it somewhat like a water bath? Sorry, just confused. Not a pro! 😅
Hi Kimmy – The water will be added to the pan with the chicken, so like a water bath. However, as it cooks, the water will evaporate. It’s mainly there to help keep the chicken moist. Hope that helps!
I marinated this overnight BUT the chicken exposed to more lime juice became tough. It developed a discolored skin look. This article says chicken should not sit in lime juice more than 1 hour. Will try again and cook after 1 hour. It was crazy delicious, especially with the aji verde, but also by itself.
Is it possible to make this in a slow cooker?
Hi Kim – Sure! I would cook them on LOW for 3-4 hours.
I just whipped up the marinade and the green sauce so we can have this tomorrow for dinner. The only problem is, I can’t stop dipping tortilla chips in the green sauce! LOL I had to sample it and it’s amazing. Do NOT skip the sauce. Can’t wait to have it with the chicken tomorrow!
This was AMAZING!
I used bone in chicken thighs from Costco and baked them at 450° for 30 min and they were perfect. Any longer they would have dried out. This is going into our regular rotation of recipes! Thank you!
Thank you Mandy!
Easy and delicious! The sauce is amazing, I will definitely use it with fish, meat, veggies… a keeper!
Wow, this is the best chicken recipe that I have made in a very long time! I used chicken breasts which worked great.
Since I marinated overnight, I made the green sauce the night before also, and I’m glad I did. It compliments the meal so well and it’s all ready to go for an easy weeknight meal.
Will be making this often! Thank you for the great recipe.
Thank you so much Corey! I really appreciate it!
I look forward to trying the recipe. Has it been tried in an airfryer? If so, what temp and for how long? Thanks!
Hi Esti – I would follow this recipe to cook the chicken thighs in the air fryer.
This is BOMB! Flavor town! All I did different was use Penzy Smoked Paprika. I plan on trying to making this vegan for my husband with tofu and vegan yogurt. I will probably cut the tofu in a few slices and let it marinade for about 2 days but I think this great flavor will still be there!
That sounds great Samantha – I’d love to hear how it turns out!
This was AMAZING!! I served it with black beans and rice and a salad to several international friends. It was a huge hit. I shared the recipe with my kids and am making it again this week to meet my son’s girlfriend. It is SO yummy!!
I’m so glad you liked it Bonnie! Enjoy your time with the family 🙂
It would be really helpful to viewers to add the marinade time (8-24 hours) to the total recipe time. I went to make it for dinner, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to be the case haha. Excited to try!
You’re right Alex. Thank you! I just updated the recipe card to show that information. I hope you love it. Cheers!
I made this!! It was a super hit with my fam XO!! Today my youngest requested I make this again. Had to look it up on Google haha – so created a note on my desktop in my Recipes folder since it’s now on a regular rotation. Flavors are incredulous!!
Thank you so much Valerie!
I’m obsess with this recipe!! Wait my entire family is in love with it!!! Green sauce is delicious!!!
Thank you so much Yanci! I’m glad it was a hit 🙂
This is so amazing! So light and refreshing. All I changed was the thighs to breasts cut into chunks. It’s winter so I broiled them. I did marinate for 24 hours and made the green sauce the day before also. So worth the wait. Thank you so much for a new favorite!
Thank you so much for trying it Karen!
Just made this for lunch using chicken breasts only and it was delicious! Did not have time to marinate the chicken for 24 hours, but it sure tasted really good. Will definitely be making it again soon – maybe with a little bit less garlic.
I only had time to make the sauce and it made our dinner bowls! Thank you so much for sharing and can’t wait to make the entire meal soon!
Thank you Bianca!