aji de gallina recipe peruvian

by easy quick meal
aji de gallina

aji de gallina recipe

Aji de Gallina is a traditional Peruvian dish that features shredded chicken in a creamy, spicy sauce made with Aji Amarillo peppers. The name “Aji de Gallina” translates to “chicken chili” in English. The dish typically includes shredded chicken, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and a sauce made from Aji Amarillo peppers, bread, milk, and other ingredients. The Aji Amarillo peppers give the dish its distinctive yellow color and a mild to moderate level of spiciness.

The preparation involves cooking the chicken, shredding it, and then preparing the spicy sauce separately. The sauce is made by blending Aji Amarillo peppers with other ingredients such as bread, milk, cheese, and nuts to create a rich and flavorful base. The shredded chicken is then mixed with the sauce, creating a creamy and spicy mixture. This mixture is typically served over boiled potatoes and garnished with hard-boiled eggs and olives.

Aji de Gallina is a popular and beloved dish in Peruvian cuisine, known for its unique flavor combination of spice, creaminess, and warmth. It’s often served with rice or bread on the side.

The key ingredients

aji de gallina
  1. Chicken: Typically shredded or pulled chicken.
  2. Aji Amarillo Peppers: These yellow Peruvian peppers provide the dish with its distinct color and mild to moderate spiciness.
  3. Bread: Used to make the base of the creamy sauce.
  4. Milk: Combined with bread to create the creamy texture of the sauce.
  5. Cheese: Often added to the sauce for flavor and richness.
  6. Nuts: Some variations include nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, to add a nutty flavor to the sauce.
  7. Potatoes: Boiled potatoes are commonly served with Aji de Gallina.
  8. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Sliced and used as a garnish.
  9. Olives: Another common garnish, providing a salty contrast to the creamy sauce.
  10. Spices and Seasonings: Ingredients like garlic, onions, and various spices may be used to enhance flavor.

These ingredients come together to create the unique taste and texture of Aji de Gallina, a flavorful and comforting dish in Peruvian cuisine.

how to prepare aji de gallina

aji de gallina
  1. Prepare the Shredded Chicken:
    • Cook chicken until fully done, then shred it into small, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the Aji Amarillo Sauce:
    • If using fresh Aji Amarillo peppers, deseed them and blend with a bit of water until smooth. If using Aji Amarillo paste, measure the desired amount.
    • In a blender, combine Aji Amarillo puree or paste with bread slices and enough milk to create a smooth, creamy consistency.
    • Optionally, add cheese and nuts to the blender for extra flavor and richness. Blend until well combined.
  3. Cook the Sauce:
    • In a pan, heat some vegetable oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until softened and aromatic.
    • Pour the Aji Amarillo sauce mixture into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  4. Combine Chicken and Sauce:
    • Once the sauce has thickened, add the shredded chicken to the pan. Mix well to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the Aji Amarillo sauce.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Serve:
    • Arrange boiled potato slices on a plate.
    • Spoon the Aji de Gallina mixture over the potatoes.
    • Garnish with slices of hard-boiled eggs and olives.
  6. Enjoy:
    • Aji de Gallina is typically served warm and can be accompanied by rice or bread if desired.

This step-by-step guide should help you prepare a delicious and authentic Aji de Gallina. Adjust the spice level and other ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Cooking Tips

aji de gallina

Here are some cooking tips and tricks to help you when preparing Aji de Gallina or any similar dishes:

  1. Adjust Spice Levels: Aji de Gallina gets its heat from Aji Amarillo peppers. Adjust the amount of peppers or Aji Amarillo paste to control the spiciness according to your taste preferences.
  2. Consistency of the Sauce: Achieve the desired consistency for the sauce by adjusting the amount of bread and milk. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add less milk; for a thinner consistency, add more.
  3. Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese to add complexity to the sauce. Queso fresco or Parmesan can be good choices.
  4. Nut Options: If you choose to add nuts, toast them lightly before blending. This enhances their flavor and adds a nice depth to the sauce.
  5. Preparation in Advance: Aji de Gallina is a great dish for preparing in advance. The flavors tend to develop and meld over time, so making it a day ahead can result in even more delicious results.
  6. Use Rotisserie Chicken: To save time, you can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it for the dish. This is a convenient option that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
  7. Garnish Creatively: Aside from traditional garnishes like hard-boiled eggs and olives, consider adding fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.
  8. Serve with Complementary Sides: Aji de Gallina is commonly served with rice or bread. Choose a side that complements the creamy and spicy flavors of the dish.
  9. Reheating: When reheating leftovers, add a bit of milk or broth to maintain the creamy consistency of the sauce.
  10. Adjust Salt at the End: Since the cheese and olives can add saltiness, it’s a good idea to taste the dish before adding additional salt. Adjust the seasoning at the end if necessary.

Remember, cooking is a creative process, and these tips are meant to guide you. Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste preferences and explore variations to make it your own!

Exploring Variations of Aji de Gallina

aji de gallina

Aji de Gallina is a versatile dish, and there are several variations you can explore to add your own twist. Here are some ideas:

  1. Protein Variations:
    • Instead of chicken, try using shredded turkey, beef, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
  2. Vegetarian/Vegan Version:
    • Substitute chicken with plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and opt for plant-based milk.
  3. Seafood Twist:
    • Experiment with seafood like shredded fish or shrimp as the main protein. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent overcooking.
  4. Quinoa or Grains:
    • Serve Aji de Gallina over cooked quinoa or your favorite grains for a nutritious and hearty variation.
  5. Nut-Free Option:
    • If you have nut allergies or prefer not to use them, omit nuts from the sauce and focus on the creaminess from the bread and milk.
  6. Roasted Aji Amarillo:
    • Roast Aji Amarillo peppers before blending to add a smoky flavor to the sauce.
  7. Spice Infusion:
    • Infuse additional spices like cumin, coriander, or smoked paprika to add complexity to the dish.
  8. Coconut Milk Twist:
    • Substitute some or all of the regular milk with coconut milk for a tropical and creamy variation.
  9. Grilled Vegetables:
    • Add grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or corn to enhance the dish’s texture and flavor.
  10. Fresh Herb Garnish:
    • Top the dish with fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or chives for a burst of freshness.
  11. Casserole Style:
    • Layer the Aji de Gallina mixture with cooked rice or pasta in a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake for a comforting casserole.
  12. Fusion Flavors:
    • Infuse flavors from other cuisines, such as adding a touch of curry powder for an Indian-inspired twist.
  13. Pickled Vegetables:
    • Serve Aji de Gallina with pickled vegetables on the side for a tangy contrast.

Remember to adjust quantities and cooking times accordingly when trying out these variations. Feel free to get creative and tailor the dish to your preferences and culinary experiments!

serving Aji de Gallina

aji de gallina

When serving Aji de Gallina, consider the following suggestions to enhance the dining experience and complement the flavors of this delicious Peruvian dish:

  1. Bed of Rice or Quinoa:
    • Serve Aji de Gallina over a bed of fluffy white rice or quinoa. The grains absorb the creamy sauce and add a comforting base to the dish.
  2. Crusty Bread:
    • Provide crusty bread on the side for dipping into the creamy sauce. This is a great way to enjoy every bit of the flavorful sauce.
  3. Boiled Potatoes:
    • Traditional to Aji de Gallina, boiled potatoes are a classic accompaniment. The creaminess of the potatoes pairs well with the rich sauce.
  4. Avocado Slices:
    • Add freshness to the dish by serving it with slices of ripe avocado. The creamy texture of the avocado complements the dish.
  5. Side Salad:
    • Create a simple side salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette. The crispness of the salad provides a refreshing contrast.
  6. Corn on the Cob:
    • Roasted or boiled corn on the cob makes for a tasty side dish. The sweetness of the corn balances the spiciness of the Aji de Gallina.
  7. Pickled Vegetables:
    • Pickled vegetables, such as red onions or jalapeños, add a tangy and crunchy element to the plate.
  8. Fried Plantains:
    • Serve sweet and caramelized fried plantains on the side for a touch of sweetness that complements the savory flavors.
  9. Cilantro or Parsley Garnish:
    • Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro or parsley on top for a burst of freshness and added aroma.
  10. Lime Wedges:
    • Provide lime wedges for squeezing over the dish. The citrusy acidity can balance the richness of the creamy sauce.
  11. Cheese Crumbles:
    • Crumble a bit of queso fresco or feta on top for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  12. Sprinkle of Paprika or Chili Powder:
    • Dust the dish with a sprinkle of paprika or chili powder for a decorative touch and an extra hint of spice.

Remember to consider the preferences of your guests and tailor the serving suggestions to create a well-balanced and visually appealing presentation for your Aji de Gallina.

In conclusion, Aji de Gallina is a captivating dish that showcases the rich and diverse flavors of Peruvian cuisine. With its roots deeply embedded in the vibrant culinary traditions of Peru, this dish offers a harmonious blend of creamy textures, mild spiciness from Aji Amarillo peppers, and the comforting presence of shredded chicken. Whether served over a bed of rice, accompanied by crusty bread, or paired with traditional boiled potatoes, Aji de Gallina invites a sensory journey that is both satisfying and nuanced.

The versatility of this dish allows for creative adaptations and personalized touches, making it a canvas for culinary exploration. Whether exploring variations in protein choices, experimenting with unique garnishes, or infusing international flavors, Aji de Gallina encourages a celebration of diverse tastes and textures.

As you savor each bite, the layers of flavors unfold, creating a delightful symphony on the palate. Aji de Gallina not only captures the essence of Peruvian comfort food but also serves as a testament to the joy of culinary discovery. So, whether prepared as a cherished family recipe or as part of an adventurous culinary journey, Aji de Gallina remains a dish that embodies the warmth, richness, and distinctiveness of Peruvian gastronomy.


  • Q: Can I substitute aji amarillo with other peppers?
  • Certainly, but keep in mind that aji amarillo contributes to the unique flavor of Aji de Gallina.
  • Q: Is Aji de Gallina very spicy?
  • The level of spiciness can be adjusted based on personal preference. Start with a small amount of aji amarillo for a milder taste.
  • Q: Can I use leftover Aji de Gallina for other recipes?
  • Absolutely! Incorporate it into sandwiches, wraps, or salads for a delightful twist.
  • Q: Can I make Aji de Gallina ahead of time?
  • Yes, the flavors often intensify when allowed to meld overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Q: Are there vegetarian versions of Aji de Gallina?
  • While not traditional, creative cooks have crafted vegetarian alternatives using plant-based proteins.
  • Q: What wine pairs well with Aji de Gallina?
  • Opt for a light, crisp white wine to complement the dish’s bold flavors.

aji de gallina

aji de gallina recipe

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 500 calories 25g fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 yellow peppers (aji amarillo), seeded and finely chopped (you can use aji amarillo paste if fresh peppers are not available)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 boiled yellow potatoes, sliced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Black olives for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Cook the Chicken:
    • Boil the chicken breasts in a large pot of water until fully cooked. Once cooked, shred the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In a blender, combine the yellow peppers, toasted walnuts, bread, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Blend until you have a smooth, thick paste.
  3. Sauté Aromatics:
    • In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add Aji Amarillo Mixture:
    • Stir in the aji amarillo paste from the blender and continue cooking for a few minutes.
  5. Combine with Chicken:
    • Add the shredded chicken to the pan, mixing well with the aji amarillo mixture.
  6. Add Turmeric and Broth:
    • Sprinkle the ground turmeric over the chicken mixture, then pour in the remaining chicken broth and evaporated milk. Stir until well combined.
  7. Simmer:
    • Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat until it thickens to your desired consistency. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve:
    • Serve the Aji de Gallina over a bed of boiled yellow potatoes. Top with hard-boiled egg halves, black olives, and chopped parsley for garnish.


 Aji Amarillo Substitution

If fresh yellow peppers (aji amarillo) are not available, you can substitute them with aji amarillo paste, which is often found in Latin American or specialty grocery stores. Use about 3-4 tablespoons of aji amarillo paste as a replacement for the fresh peppers in the recipe. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference.

Nut Allergy Consideration

For individuals with nut allergies, it's essential to be cautious when preparing Aji de Gallina. The traditional recipe includes toasted walnuts, providing a unique flavor and texture to the dish. If you or your guests have nut allergies, you can omit the walnuts or replace them with a suitable alternative, such as roasted sunflower seeds or omit them altogether. The dish will still be delicious without compromising its essence.

 Adjusting Creaminess

The creaminess of Aji de Gallina can be adjusted to personal preference. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let the mixture simmer a bit longer to reduce and thicken. Conversely, if you find the sauce too thick, you can add a bit more chicken broth or evaporated milk to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly to ensure a perfectly balanced and creamy Aji de Gallina.

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