Peruvian Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce

This Peruvian Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce packs in big flavors thanks to the easy marinade and vibrant green sauce. It’s the perfect way to add some international flair to your next barbecue!

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. 

There’s no arguing that grilled chicken is a great summer meal. But if you’re craving some big, bold, and zesty flavors, you need to try this Peruvian Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce instead.

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 Verde, 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.

Close up of grilled chicken next to bowl of green sauce.

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 made from jalapenos, mayonnaise, and cilantro, so be sure not to skip it!

How to make creamy green sauce

It’s easy! Just add all of the sauce ingredients (except the olive oil) to a blender 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.

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.

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.

Overhead shot of grilled chicken on plate with green sauce.

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 ajî Amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper) paste instead of jalapenos for a more authentic flavor.

Wine pairing for Peruvian grilled chicken:

  • Vinho Verde is high in acidity, which makes it ideal for pairing with the rich and creamy green sauce served with this chicken.
Close up of chicken drizzled with sauce.

What to serve with Peruvian chicken:

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More grilling recipes:

Plate of peruvian chicken on plate with green sauce.

Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce

Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce is packed with flavor and the perfect way to add some international flair to your next barbecue.
3.86 from 50 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 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

Green Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions

Chicken:

  • 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.

Green Sauce:

  • 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.

Grill chicken:

  • 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.

Note:

  • If you prefer to cook indoors, the chicken can be roasted in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place the chicken pieces in a 13×9 inch roasting pan, along with 1 cup water. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, then tent the pan with foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until browned and fully cooked.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 731kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 1691mg | Potassium: 509mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 925IU | Vitamin C: 21.6mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3.1mg

55 thoughts on “Peruvian Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce”

  1. 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!

    Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
  3. 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!!!
    Ramon

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  4. 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)?

    Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
  6. Hi,

    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?!?!

    Reply
      • Hi Erin,

        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.

        Reply
  7. 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!

    Reply
  8. 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?

    Reply
  9. 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.

    Reply
  10. Hi Erin,

    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?

    Thanks!

    Reply
      • 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!!

        Reply
  11. 5 stars
    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

    Reply
  12. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  13. 5 stars
    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!

    Reply
  14. 5 stars
    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.

    Reply
  15. 5 stars
    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!

    Reply

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