Aji de Gallina I Recipe - Traditional Peruvian Dish

Aji de Gallina I

Aji de Gallina I Recipe - Traditional Peruvian Dish
Region / culture: Peru | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Aji de Gallina I
Aji de Gallina I

Aji de Gallina is a classic Peruvian dish that offers a perfect blend of creamy, spicy, and savory flavors. This beloved recipe features shredded chicken bathed in a rich, golden sauce made from ground nuts, cheese, and aji amarillo peppers. It's a comforting dish that combines simple ingredients to create a complex and delicious flavor profile. Whether you're a fan of Peruvian cuisine or looking to try something new, Aji de Gallina is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


The origins of Aji de Gallina can be traced back to the colonial era in Peru, where it was influenced by Spanish cuisine and adapted to include local ingredients. It's believed to be a sophisticated version of a traditional dish called "manjar blanco," which was a mixture of chicken, rice, and milk. Over time, Peruvian cooks incorporated native aji amarillo peppers and nuts, transforming it into the creamy and spicy dish known today. Aji de Gallina reflects the fusion of cultures that characterizes Peruvian culinary history.


How to prepare

  1. Boil the chicken in salted water.
  2. Remove the chicken from the bone and break it into bite-size pieces.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, and chili peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fry until golden and add the bread.
  5. Cook slowly for 10 minutes.
  6. Add chopped nuts, grated cheese, and chopped chicken.
  7. Two or three minutes before serving, add the evaporated milk.


  • Vegetarian Aji de Gallina: Substitute the chicken with shredded jackfruit or tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Nut-Free Aji de Gallina: Use breadcrumbs or crushed crackers instead of nuts for those with nut allergies.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect Aji de Gallina, consider the following tips:

- Use aji amarillo paste for an authentic flavor. If unavailable, substitute with another yellow chili paste.

- Soak the bread in the evaporated milk before blending to ensure a smoother sauce.

- Shred the chicken finely to allow it to absorb more of the sauce.

- Cook the sauce on low heat to prevent it from separating.

- Adjust the amount of chili to control the level of spiciness according to your preference.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Aji de Gallina over a bed of white rice, accompanied by boiled yellow potatoes and garnished with black olives and hard-boiled egg slices. This traditional presentation complements the flavors and textures of the dish.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in preparing Aji de Gallina include boiling, shredding chicken, sautéing aromatics, and blending ingredients to create the creamy sauce. Mastery of these techniques will ensure a successful dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

Aji Amarillo Paste: Substitute with yellow bell pepper paste or another mild chili paste if unavailable.

- Evaporated Milk: Coconut milk can be used for a dairy-free version.

- Parmesan Cheese: Nutritional yeast or vegan cheese can be used for a dairy-free or vegan version.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the sauce and chicken in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. Combine and reheat when ready to serve, adding the evaporated milk last to prevent curdling.

Presentation Ideas

Serve in a shallow bowl with a colorful garnish of sliced olives, egg, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. A side of white rice and boiled potatoes completes the presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Aji de Gallina pairs well with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, which complements the creamy and spicy flavors of the dish. For a non-alcoholic option, try a chilled glass of chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian purple corn drink.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little milk or water if the sauce has thickened.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Aji de Gallina contains approximately 500-600 calories. The exact number depends on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.


A serving of Aji de Gallina contains approximately 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbs in this dish are the bread and potatoes, which provide energy and dietary fiber.


This dish is relatively high in fats, with around 20-30 grams per serving. The fats come from the oil, nuts, and cheese used in the recipe. While it contains some saturated fats, the nuts also contribute healthy unsaturated fats.


Aji de Gallina is an excellent source of protein, offering about 25-35 grams per serving. The chicken and cheese are the main contributors, making this dish a good option for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A from the chili peppers, calcium from the cheese and milk, and iron from the chicken. It also contains antioxidants from the nuts and peppers.


Common allergens in this recipe include nuts, dairy, and gluten. Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek substitutions.


Overall, Aji de Gallina is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of macronutrients. It's rich in proteins and fats, with a moderate amount of carbohydrates. It also offers essential vitamins and minerals, making it a wholesome choice for a meal.


Aji de Gallina is a rich and flavorful Peruvian dish that combines shredded chicken in a creamy, nutty, and spicy sauce. With its deep historical roots and fusion of local ingredients, it's a testament to Peru's culinary heritage. By following the tips and variations provided, you can enjoy this comforting dish in the traditional style or adapted to meet dietary needs.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately hooked. Aji de Gallina, a traditional Peruvian dish made with shredded chicken in a creamy yellow pepper sauce, had caught my eye in a cookbook I stumbled upon at a local market. I knew I had to learn how to make it.

I had always been passionate about cooking, ever since I was a young girl watching my own grandmother prepare meals in her kitchen. Her love for food and the joy it brought to others was something that stuck with me throughout the years. So, when I came across the recipe for Aji de Gallina, I knew it was a dish I had to add to my repertoire.

I set out to learn how to make the dish by seeking out those who were experienced in Peruvian cuisine. I reached out to friends and family members, asking if they knew anyone who could teach me how to make Aji de Gallina. Eventually, I was introduced to a kind older woman named Maria who had been making the dish for decades.

Maria welcomed me into her home and showed me how to make Aji de Gallina from scratch. She shared with me her secrets for creating the perfect yellow pepper sauce, explaining that the key was to blend the peppers until they were smooth and creamy. She also taught me how to shred the chicken just right, ensuring that each bite would be tender and flavorful.

As we cooked together, Maria shared stories of her own family and the traditions they had passed down through the generations. She spoke of the importance of preserving cultural recipes and the joy that sharing a meal with loved ones could bring. I listened intently, taking in not just the steps to make Aji de Gallina, but also the history and heart behind the dish.

After several hours of cooking and chatting, the Aji de Gallina was finally ready. Maria plated the dish and invited me to take the first bite. The flavors exploded in my mouth – creamy and spicy, with a hint of nuttiness from the ground walnuts. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

I thanked Maria profusely for her guidance and vowed to make Aji de Gallina a regular part of my cooking repertoire. She smiled warmly and told me that she was happy to pass on her knowledge to someone who appreciated it as much as I did.

Since that day, Aji de Gallina has become a staple in my kitchen. I have made the dish for friends and family, sharing not just a meal, but a piece of Peruvian culture and tradition. Each time I make it, I think of Maria and the lessons she taught me about the importance of preserving and sharing recipes from the past.

As I continue to cook and create in my kitchen, I am grateful for the connections I have made through food and the stories that have been passed down to me. Aji de Gallina will always hold a special place in my heart, not just for its delicious flavors, but for the memories and traditions that it represents. And I will always be thankful for the day I first saw that recipe and knew I had to learn how to make it.


| Black Olive Recipes | Chicken Recipes | Evaporated Milk Recipes | Fresh Chile Pepper Recipes | Hard-boiled Egg Recipes | Nut Recipes | Onion Recipes | Parmesan Cheese Recipes | Peruvian Meat Dishes | Peruvian Recipes | Potato Recipes | Yellow Potato Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients