peruvian roast chicken with green sauce

Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I tried this Peruvian roast chicken in green sauce recipe for the first time last week, and I can’t stop eating it! It’s not just the chicken either, it’s the sauce. I loooove the sauce. I made enough to have extra, and I’ve been putting it on everything. It’s tangy, spicy, garlicky, and just spectacular.  And the chicken is lip-smackingly good too!

There are two stages to this recipe, which I adapted from Epicurious, but since we’re only making it for one person (instead of a whole chicken) we can cut some steps and speed everything up. The reviews on the original commented that it was a lot of work (but worth the trouble). But, my way, it isn’t a lot of bother at all.  There’s a lot less to chop and a single chicken thigh cooks a lot faster than a whole bird. You wait less and you don’t have to baste as much either. No need to butterfly/spatchcock one piece of chicken!

First you mix up a spice rub for the chicken and spread it on the meat. While the chicken cooks, you make up the sauce, which is essentially tossing ingredients in a mini chopper or blender and then mixing them together with some mayonnaise. Baste the chicken once and then serve it with the sauce.

The chicken cooks at a higher temperature than usual, so it ends up with crispy skin, while still retaining its juices. Plus, it’s ready in 35-40 minutes instead of an hour and a half.

If you like, you can add a salad of cucumber, avocado, lime, olive oil, and scallions on the side.

Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Peruvian

one serving

peruvian roast chicken with green sauce

Tangy, garlicky and spicy, this chicken ends up with crispy skin outside and juicy meat inside. It looks so good (and tastes better) you can serve it for company. You may not want to share though.


  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp tablespoon paprika
  • grinding black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 chicken thigh
    Green Sauce
  • 1/4 C spinach leaves, packed
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño, chopped (keep or remove the seeds depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 3/4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mayonnaise


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and move a rack to the center of the oven.
  2. Mix the spices and half the salt together in a bowl, and cut the lemon in quarters. Add the zest from one of the quarters (about 1/4 teaspoon) to the spice mixture. Then squeeze the second quarter to get about one and a half teaspoons of lemon juice. Add that to the spice mixture.
  3. Rub chicken thigh on both sides with the zested quarter and squeeze the juice over the meat.
  4. Loosen the skin on the chicken thigh and rub half the spice mixture both over and under the skin. Then season with the rest of the salt.
  5. Place the chicken on a small roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Then brush the skin with the rest of the spice mixture and the juices from the pan. Roast another 20-25 minutes. Check to see that the juices run clear and the chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Remove from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
    Green Sauce
  1. Purée the spinach, jalapeño, garlic, oil, lime juice, and remaining salt in a mini chopper or blender until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add mayonnaise and purée until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl and serve drizzled over the chicken. This will keep in the fridge for several days.


If you don't have a fresh lemon, you can use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice instead.

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Green Sauce Substitutions and Variations

Unlike the usual changes, this list is largely focused on the sauce, rather than the chicken.

  • Try different herbs or combinations of herbs and leafy greens instead of the spinach. You could use basil, coriander (the original recipe), or some sage
  • Instead of mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt or lebne
  • Serve the sauce over eggs with crusty bread
  • Use the sauce as a dip with fresh cut up carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber wedges
  • if you don’t have fresh lemon, use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice

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