Creamy Rocoto Pepper Sauce

Rocoto chile peppers

Dave King / Getty Images

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
254 Calories
21g Fat
16g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 254
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 1215mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 43mg 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.)

Rocoto chile peppers are one of the staple chiles used in Peruvian and Bolivian cuisines. Rocoto peppers are very spicy, reaching habanero level spiciness in the Scoville heat unit scale. If you've never had rocoto before, be mindful that they're indeed strong. Proceed with caution and start with the low amount of paste indicated in the recipe, taste-testing before adding more. Once you find the right level of spice for you, this tasty and creamy sauce is great as a table sauce to accompany roasted potatoes or fries. Delicious with grilled chicken or fish, the sauce also makes a marvelous spread for sandwiches and wraps. Use it on chicken, tuna, or egg salad, as the mayonnaise base gives it the creaminess you need to bind all the ingredients. This rocoto sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and it's fantastic on pretty much anything you'd like to have a touch of spiciness. Breakfast casseroles, kebobs, falafels, mozzarella sticks, or simply chips get a tasty lift thanks to the spicy rocotos.

Rocotos are among the most commonly used peppers in Peruvian and Bolivian recipes, along with ají amarillo, ají limo—often used in ceviche—and ají panca. Round in shape, and very fleshy like a small tomato, rocotos have dark seeds and are as pretty as they are delicious. They are sometimes confused with ají manzanos because of their round shape, so be mindful that rocotos can be as much as ten times spicier than manzanos. Handle with care, use gloves, and don't scratch your nose or eyes while handling these peppers or you'll be in for a teary surprise. But do not fear, our recipe calls for the rocoto paste, already processed and ready for you to use. Easily available online or in Latin and Hispanic bodegas, the paste is very easy to use.

Don't miss out on this fiery sauce and use it as you'd use your favorite hot sauce. Be mindful the recipe has eggs in it because of the mayonnaise, so if you need an egg-free recipe, simply use vegan mayo or swap the mayonnaise for sour cream, adjusting the salt to taste.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons rocoto pepper chili paste

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Whisk ingredients together in a bowl, starting with 2 tablespoons of the rocoto paste and adding more if needed, depending on the level of spiciness desired.

  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Some jarred rocoto paste is already salted so be sure to taste first. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

  4. Enjoy!