Peruvian Yellow Sauce

Ají Amarillo Sauce – Peruvian Yellow Sauce – is a perfect accompaniment for Peruvian-style grilled or roasted chicken. Whether you start with ají amarillo paste made at home, or commercial ají paste, the creamy, mildly spicy sauce elevates the simplest roasted vegetables (especially potatoes!) and meats. No cooking is required; all you need is a food processor or blender, and 10 minutes of your time!

An orange ceramic bowl with Peruvian yellow sauce, an orange napkin, lime wedges, and cilantro.
Creamy ají amarillo sauce can be used like you would your favorite salsas – as a dip or a topping for roasted veggies and/or meats.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Ají Amarillo Sauce

Ají amarillo paste is a staple at Andersen casa, and I love finding new ways to use it. Several years ago, I did ají verde sauce (Peruvian green sauce) that became a favorite salsa for meatballs, roasted chicken, and and sweet potatoes. I have enjoyed both green and yellow ají sauces in Peru, but it wasn’t until I started working on a post for making ají amarillo paste from frozen or dried peppers that I decided to create a healthier yellow sauce with yogurt rather than mayonnaise.

This ají pepper sauce comes together really quickly, especially if the ají amarillo sauce is already prepared. The ingredients get puréed, and that’s all there is to it. I prefer to make this Peruvian salsa recipe right before I need it so I can serve it at room temperature rather than cold from the refrigerator.

What Dishes Pair Well with Peruvian Yellow Sauce?

📋 Ingredients You’ll Need

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 yellow sauce - garlic, lime juice, plain yogurt, queso fresco, ají amarillo paste, olive oil, tomato paste, shallot.
  • ají amarillo paste – You can find ají pepper paste in Latino markets, in some grocery stores, and online. You can make ají amarillo paste with fresh, frozen, or dried peppers.
  • plain yogurt – I use nonfat Greek yogurt, and we really like the results. Feel free to use lowfat or whole fat if you prefer.
  • garlic – If I’m not pressed for time, I will roast the garlic first. I love the milder, mellow flavor. I will use more garlic if it’s roasted as well. With fresh, raw garlic cloves, 2 is probably enough.
  • queso fresco – Queso fresco is a mild, soft cheese, and it works well in this Peruvian yellow sauce. I have not tried other cheeses, but I think cotija would be a good substitute as I use it in my ají verde.
  • tomato paste – Ketchup is a decent substitute.
  • fresh limes – You’ll want about 1 tablespoon of fresh juice, and that may require 1 or 2 limes.
  • olive oil
  • shallot – Green onion or red onion are good substitutes

🔪 Instructions

A small food processor with ingredients for Peruvian ají pepper sauce - yogurt, ají amarillo paste, tomato paste, garlic, shallot, lime juice, olive oil.
  • If roasting garlic, get it started. Add all other ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. When the garlic is beginning to caramelize, slip the soft garlic out of its skins and into the processor with the other ingredients. If using fresh minced garlic, add with the other ingredients.
The small food processor with the yellow ají sauce after it is blended.
  • Pulse/process until the sauce is creamy smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Using a spatula, scrape into a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
A close up of ají amarillo sauce in a ceramic bowl, orange napking, and copper spoon.


How long can I keep leftover Peruvian yellow sauce?

It will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. It’s amazing the day it’s made, and almost as good the next day.

💭 Tips

Ají amarillo paste can vary from mild to medium-hot. I recommend tasting your paste to determine heat level, and if you’re uncertain, add incrementally.

I have also made this Peruvian ají pepper sauce with half mayonnaise and half plain yogurt. If you have it in Peru, it’s probably made with all mayonnaise. If you love mayonnaise, and you’re not concerned about the additional calories, you might enjoy the sauce made with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or all mayonnaise!).

Whether I make a Peruvian-style roasted chicken, or a simple roasted chicken, this ají amarillo sauce is a favorite accompaniment. Served with this sarsa salad or this lima bean salad, and some simple roasted potatoes, it’s a flavorful, healthy meal. I hope you’ll give this salsa recipe a try!

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

Peruvian ají sauce in a ceramic bowl, orange napking, and copper spoon.

Ají Amarillo Sauce (Peruvian Yellow Sauce)

An addictive, creamy Peruvian ají pepper sauce with ají amarillo paste, plain yogurt, and garlic…
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salsas
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 16 servings
Calories 35 kcal


  • 1 bulb garlic - roasted OR
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic - minced
  • 1 small shallot - cut in a few pieces
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons ají amarillo paste - see FAQ
  • 2 ounces queso fresco - cubed
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste - or ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice - 1-2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper - to taste


  • NOTE: If roasting garlic, get it started. If using fresh minced garlic, add with the other ingredients. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse/process until the sauce is creamy smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.


Macronutrients are for reference only, and are based on nonfat Greek yogurt.


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and 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:

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    1. I apologize for my slow response Shawna! I’m out of town helping my husband take care of his mother’s estate, and have been offline. My recipe makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups, and the serving size I used to calculate the calories is about 16 calories per tablespoon. Given that its use varies, it will depend on how you use it. It is a reduced-calorie recipe due to the nonfat yogurt and reduced oil. I usually spoon 2-3 tablespoons over potatoes, chicken, etc.

    1. Hi Shelly! That’s actually lime juice in the photo. I missed editing the text on that label. I’m so sorry! I’m actually in Urubamba, Peru, and will fix this ASAP. Thanks for calling this to my attention. The amount of lime juice should be in the recipe card at the bottom.