Peruvian-Style Chicken with Green Sauce

Take your taste buds somewhere new and different this week with this easy Peruvian-Style Chicken with Green Sauce. Everything cooks on a sheet pan, hands free for you, which makes this delectable dish quick enough to plate up on a weeknight. Quickly blitz the gorgeous green sauce in your blender and prepare yourself for something that tastes like you went out. Except you stayed in. 

Usually made with whole chicken parts that are marinated, then grilled or roasted, Peruvian chicken is a dish that is popular throughout Peru. It’s served with oven roasted potatoes or rice and a green sauce called aji verde. The sauce is creamy, with an herby punch from cilantro and some grassy heat from the chile peppers. Verdant and vivacious, this zippy green sauce is where it’s at. It’s out of this world delicious drizzled over the hot chicken. Once you try making this sauce, you’re going to want to make it again.

This dish is quick and budget-friendly, but it still lets you experiment a little and experience some new flavors. You do need to marinate the meat ahead of time, just 30 minutes or up to 4 hours, so plan for that. I added a steamed veg, because I always add a steamed veg, but you could just serve this with a crisp green salad and you’ve got dinner.  

I tried several stores but could not find aji amarillo paste, the bright yellow/orange chili paste that is widely used in Peru. It has a fruity taste, and is very hot – 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scale. For color and sweetness, I substituted 3 yellow mini bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips. I microwaved these with 1 tablespoon of water, covered, for 2 minutes before adding them to my blender with 1 seeded jalapeño pepper for heat. You could also use serrano or habanero peppers if you prefer more of a kick. 

The chicken thighs I used were boneless and skinless but I wanted to see if using chicken pieces that had skin and bone would make a difference, so I also added some drumsticks to the sheet pan. All of the pieces came out very juicy and flavorful, but I feel like the skin and bones just got in the way, slowing down the excitement once we started eating. The chicken was a flavor bomb of zesty spice, moist in every bite. I will definitely make this again and when I do, I will just use boneless, skinless thighs and may try using breasts or quick cooking tenderloins, too. I’ll let you decide what to use.

Rather than using a bowl for marinating, I used a large resealable bag. This saves time on cleanup and also eliminates the worry of having to carefully wash something that has come into contact with raw chicken. You can measure all of the marinade ingredients into your bag and then add your chicken, moving the pieces around with kitchen tongs until they are thoroughly coated. Seal your bag and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. Transfer the chicken to your sheet pan, spooning out any of the thick spices that may remain onto the chicken, then discard the bag.  

I wanted to fill the oven and cook as much as I could, so I used a separate sheet pan and roasted 2 pounds of potatoes while the chicken cooked. This made enough for dinner and left some to freeze for easy side dishes later. The potatoes finished cooking at the same time as the chicken, so you could also add them to your sheet pan with the chicken, just be careful not to crowd your pan. You can season them any way you like, even just simply with salt and pepper is fine. I really like using the herb seasoning that I use for turkey, so I used some of the seasoning mix that I had left over from Thanksgiving. If you want to try this, use the recipe below, giving your potatoes a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of the herb seasoning mix before you roast them. They are delicious! Store any unused seasoning mix in a covered jar in your pantry, and don’t forget to date and label it. 

Dodge the dishes. Pull out your sheet pans and let’s go Peruvian! 

Peruvian-Style Chicken with Green Sauce


  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs


  • 2 lbs. small potatoes, halved or quartered
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, or herb seasoning mix (recipe follows)

jalapeńo-cilantro sauce:

  • 1 c. fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving 
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • zest and juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

for chicken:

In a large bowl (or large resealable bag), combine garlic, oil, vinegar, paprika, aji amarillo (if using), cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, turning to coat throughly with marinade and/or rubbing marinade under the skin. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. 

for potatoes:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper or sprinkle with herb seasoning mix. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet, cut side down.

Preheat oven to 450º F; line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange chicken skin side up on baking sheet. Transfer both baking sheets (chicken and potatoes) to oven and roast chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165º F, 25 to 25 minutes. Roast potatoes until tender and golden brown around the edges, 20 to 30 minutes. 

jalapeńo-cilantro sauce:

In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, aji amarillo (if using), honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth. With the motor running, pour in oil. Add more lime juice, salt, and pepper, if needed. 

Arrange chicken on a platter. Top with sauce and cilantro. Serve remaining sauce and lime wedges alongside. 

-adapted from recipe by Ashley Lonsdale

Herb Seasoning Mix 

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a small bowl, stir together paprika, oregano, rosemary, sea salt, thyme, black pepper, several generous grinds of fresh black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

Scroll to top