Peruvian Sandwich with Chicken or Turkey

This Peruvian Sandwich with Chicken or Turkey is based on a sandwich that we have had in Peru (in both Lima and Cuzco). Thin-sliced chicken or turkey tenderloin is grilled, and served on a bun smeared with ají amarillo mayonnaise, and topped with salsa criolla and avocado. This memorable Peruvian sandwich is easy to make for non-native home cooks that love Peruvian flavors. All you need is about 30 minutes, and you’ll be enjoying this delicious, homemade sandwich!

A cast iron plate with a Peruvian sandwich cut in half, salsa criolla, and ají amarillo mayonnaise.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Peruvian Sandwiches

Tamara in Miraflores, Lima, Peru in 2022...
Me at Larcomar in Miraflores, Lima, Peru in 2022…

In 2018, we were able to spend a couple of days in Lima on our return trip home from our Peruvian studies abroad in Cuzco and The Sacred Valley. Lima is a big, noisy, dirty city in some places, but the Miraflores district is lovely. My husband’s colleague – Dr. Robert Bradley – is an Inca specialist, and knows his way around many parts of Peru. He recommended Punto Azul for ceviche, and La Lucha Sanguchería for sánguche de pavo (turkey sandwich).

Both restaurants left an impression. While it is nearly impossible to reproduce such fresh Peruvian ceviche in the US, it is not difficult to create an equally delicious Peruvian sandwich. Ají amarillo paste is really the only unique ingredient, and it is widely available in Latino markets and on Amazon.

The Peruvian sandwiches we’ve had in Peru were made with soft, round rolls. The closest I’ve found in the US is a brioche roll. I wouldn’t overthink it! Choose your favorite, soft sandwich roll. The salsa criolla and ají amarillo mayonnaise make it “Peruvian,” but don’t forget the avocado (aka palta). Whether you choose chicken or turkey, you’re sure to enjoy this Peruvian sandwich!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for Peruvian sandwiches with chicken or turkey - Chicken, rolls, spices, mayonnaise, and yogurt.
  • chicken or turkey – I use thin-sliced chicken breast. Occasionally, I can find thin-sliced turkey tenderloins. Alternatively, you can flatten either chicken or turkey with a meat tenderizer hammer.
  • spices – I love a mixture of ground cumin, granulated garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and Peruvian chile lime seasoning or tajín. There is very little difference between the Peruvian and Mexican chile lime spice blends. You can also order tajín online. I specify granulated garlic (I like the texture and flavor for spice rubs). IMPORTANT NOTE: If you substitute garlic powder for granulated garlic, reduce by half!
  • ají amarillo paste – You can make ají amarillo paste from fresh, frozen, water-packed, or dried ají amarillo peppers. You can find it in many Latino foods markets, or order ají amarillo paste online. There is not a good substitution that delivers Peruvian flavor.
  • mayonnaise
  • plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • salsa criolla – Salsa criolla is ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine. We love it with arroz con pollo, Peruvian beans, ají de gallina, and more… It takes just a few minutes and a few ingredients to make.
  • avocado
  • rolls – We like the brioche rolls available at our local HEB market. Any soft, tender roll will be fine… even a good hamburger bun.
  • lime

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions for Sánguches Peruanos

  • Prepare the sandwich toppings – Start the salsa criolla as it benefits from soaking the red onions in salted ice water for 15-30 minutes. Whisk the mayonnaise, yogurt, and ají amarillo paste together, and set aside. Mix up the spice rub – cumin, granulated garlic, sea salt, and chile lime seasoning (see Ingredients Notes above). Save slicing the avocado until the chicken/turkey is cooking.
The salsa criolla, buttered rolls, and spice-rubbed chicken ready to cook.
The salsa criolla and ají amarillo mayonnaise are ready to go. The spice rub coats the chicken,
and the soft rolls are brushed with olive oil…
2 thin chicken breasts rubbed with spices and cooking on the cast iron griddle.
  • Prepare the chicken or turkey – Preheat your grill or griddle pan to medium-high. Lightly brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. Rub the poultry with the prepared spice blend on both sides. Cook until golden brown before flipping to cook on the remaining side. NOTE: Time varies, but take care to not overcook! Finish with a squeeze of lime!
The brioche buns turned over on the griddle with toasted edges.
  • Prepare the rolls – Brush the inside of your sliced rolls lightly with olive oil or butter. Toast over medium-high heat until golden brown. Repeat on the other side if desired. Slice the avocados.
  • Assemble the sandwiches – Smear the rolls with ají amarillo mayonnaise. Top with the cooked chicken or turkey. Add a generous amount of salsa criolla, and a slice or two of avocado. Finish with the top bun. Enjoy!
A wood cutting board with the grilled chicken breast and rolls slathered with ají amarillo mayonnaise.
The grilled chicken is ready, and the grilled rolls are slathered with ají amarillo mayonnaise.
Top with salsa criolla and sliced avocado. Delicioso!

❓ FAQ

Can I substitute sliced deli meats for the chicken or turkey breast?

You can, and it will be a good sandwich. However, if you’re looking for the authentic Peruvian sandwich experience, you’ll want to grill, griddle, or bbq your chicken or turkey!

💭 Tips

When you grill or griddle your turkey or chicken, make extra. It’s a great meal prep ingredient. Stack with waxed or parchment paper in between, and freeze until ready to thaw and use. You can make Peruvian sandwiches, or slice for a salad or quinoa bowl.

If you happen to have salsa criolla in your refrigerator already, you can make this sandwich in 20 minutes. The salsa criolla takes about 30 minutes to make, and is absolutely necessary for this Peruvian sandwich!

A close up view of the Peruvian chicken sandwich on parchment with copper fork and blue napkin.

We often enjoy a sandwich after church on Sunday, and this Peruvian chicken sandwich is a new favorite. Let me know in the comment box below or at tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com if you have questions, or if you give it a try!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A Peruvian sandwich on parchment in an oval cast iron plate with ají amarillo mayo and salsa criolla.

Peruvian Sandwich with Chicken or Turkey

A well-seasoned and grilled chicken or turkey breast on a toasted soft roll with salsa criolla, ají amarillo mayonnaise, and avocado… it's my take on a traditional sanguche Peruano!
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Make Salsa Criolla (see Notes below) 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 2 sandwiches
Calories 525 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ají Amarillo Mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise - I like olive oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste

Spice Rubbed Chicken or Turkey

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic - or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Peruvian chile lime seasoning - or tajín
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil - or butter
  • 8 ounces thin-sliced chicken breast or turkey - pound thin if not thin!

Peruvian Sandwiches with Chicken or Turkey

  • salsa criolla
  • 2 sandwich rolls - see Ingredients Notes in post
  • ají amarillo mayonnaise - see above
  • 1 avocado - sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil - or butter

Instructions

  • Make the salsa criolla.
  • Whisk the mayonnaise, yogurt, and ají amarillo paste together. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  • Combine cumin, granulated garlic, sea salt, and chile lime seasoning (see Notes below).
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high. Lightly brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. Rub the poultry with the prepared spice blend on both sides. Cook until golden brown (2-3 minutes) before flipping to cook on the remaining side.
  • Brush the inside of your sliced rolls lightly with olive oil or butter. Toast over medium-high heat until golden brown. Repeat on the other side if desired. Slice the avocados.
  • Smear the rolls with ají amarillo mayonnaise. Top with the cooked chicken or turkey. Add a generous amount of salsa criolla, and a slice or two of avocado. Finish with the top bun.

Notes

You can find chile lime seasoning at many markets under the brand name Tajín. I love this Peruvian chile lime seasoning. The only difference is in the chiles that are used!
Macronutrients are only a “ballpark figure,” and based on 4 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1/2 of a small avocado, 2 1/2 tablespoons of ají amarillo mayonnaise (half of the recipe), and 1 brioche roll per serving. The salsa criolla is not included, but only adds 31 calories per very generous serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 28g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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