Spicy and Versatile Aji Amarillo Sauce

Spicy and versatile aji amarillo sauce in a bowl

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
101 Calories
10g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 101
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 220mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 42mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This versatile, spicy yellow sauce is the perfect accompaniment to roasted chicken, vegetables, french fries, and fried yuca. The star ingredient is the aji amarillo chile pepper, a staple in Peruvian cooking. Recipes vary from region to region, and the most authentic recipes do not contain mayonnaise, as this one does. However, the mayonnaise adds a savory creaminess to the condiment that's hard to beat.

Look for jarred aji amarillo paste in a Latin food market. If you can't find the paste, you can use fresh or frozen aji amarillo peppers. Thaw and dice one pepper and sauté it in olive oil until it's soft. Add the cooked pepper to the rest of the sauce ingredients and process.

This recipe is easy to double or even triple and will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Use it to add flavor and spice to a variety of dishes.


  • 2 medium green onions, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco, ricotta, or feta cheese

  • 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste, or 1 aji amarillo pepper, chopped and sautéed in oil

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for spicy and versatile sji amarillo sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Add the chopped onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, queso fresco, aji amarillo paste or sautéed pepper, ketchup, and lime juice into a food processor or blender.

    Chopped onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, queso fresco, aji amarillo paste or sautéed pepper, ketchup, and lime juice into a blender

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

    Ingredients blended in the food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and chill until ready to serve.

    Spicy and versatile aji amarillo sauce, seasoned with salt and pepper

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi


  • This flavor of this sauce improves after 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe Variations

  • Peruvians make two kinds of aji (chile) sauce—green and yellow. This sauce made with aji amarillo is the yellow sauce. Green aji sauce substitutes jalapeños for aji amarillo and adds cilantro.
  • Garlic is also commonly an ingredient in both types of aji sauce. Use to taste.
  • Huacatay, called Peruvian black mint, is also often part of the recipe for yellow aji sauce.

How to Use Aji Amarillo Sauce

In Peruvian cooking, aji amarillo sauce is a basic ingredient. This hot and spicy, cheesy and creamy combo is used in Peru as a dipping sauce for french fries, roasted chicken, baby potatoes, and fried plantains. It's also used as a dipping sauce for Peru's trademark dish, ceviche, and as a sauce over cooked potatoes and chicken, beef, and fish. The sauce turns common dishes with mild flavors like these into meals with personality.

In the U.S., it can also serve as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers, chicken wings, onion rings, waffle fries, sweet potato fries, potato puffs, potato chips, hot pretzels, pita bread, broccoli, or cauliflower. 

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