Arroz con Pollo with Aji Amarillo and Cilantro Pesto Twist

fandango's profile photo
AI generated by fandango Dinner, Peruvian cuisine
Servings Difficulty Prep time Cook time Total time
4 Intermediate 20 min 45 min 65 min

A colorful twist on classic Peruvian Arroz con Pollo with fragrant Aji Amarillo and a fresh cilantro pesto.

Did you know?

Aji Amarillo is the most commonly used chili in Peru and is believed to have been domesticated in the country nearly 10,000 years ago.

Embark on a culinary journey to the vibrant heart of Peru with this classic Arroz con Pollo, reimagined with a unique twist. The cherished comforts of tender chicken nestled in savory rice are elevated by the introduction of Aji Amarillo, the golden chili pepper that is the sun-kissed soul of Peruvian cuisine.

This recipe marries tradition with innovation, infusing the dish with a bright cilantro pesto that captures the essence of the Peruvian 'jardin' while offering a tantalizing freshness. The result is a symphony of flavors that sing tales of Andean peaks and bustling Lima markets. As the fragrant aromas entice your senses, imagine the history of this beloved dish, a culinary mosaic influenced by Spanish and Incan heritage that continues to evolve with each generation's touch.


Prepare your palate for a feast of flavors with these hand-picked ingredients that promise to bring the essence of Peru into your kitchen.

Aji Amarillo peppers are the hidden gems of Peruvian cuisine, offering a fruitiness along with their heat that is unlike any other chili, while the cilantro infuses a fresh, herbaceous zest that is emblematic of Peruvian gastronomy.

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 300g long grain rice
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 100g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Cilantro Pesto:
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 30g toasted pecans
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 30g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


Follow these meticulously crafted steps to transform simple ingredients into a Peruvian feast that is sure to delight and surprise.

  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and brown the chicken thighs on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, sauté the onions, garlic, Aji Amarillo paste, and diced bell peppers until the onions are translucent.
  4. Stir in the rice, coating it in the mixture, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Nestle the chicken thighs on top of the rice, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 25 minutes.
  6. Add the peas, cover again, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  7. While the rice and chicken are cooking, make the cilantro pesto by blending cilantro, garlic, pecans, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lime juice, and salt in a food processor until smooth.
  8. Once the chicken and rice are cooked, stir in half of the cilantro pesto, reserving the rest for garnish.
  9. Serve hot, garnished with dollops of the remaining cilantro pesto.

Add some extra love

For an authentic Peruvian experience, pair your Arroz con Pollo with a glass of chilled Chicha Morada, a traditional beverage made from purple corn.

Recipe Remix:
Your Twist, Your Taste

Whether you would like to swap out an ingredient, make it vegan, or just mix things up, let's get creative and remix this recipe!
Your kitchen, your rules. Let's play.

Not what you were looking for?

If this was not what you were looking for,
you can always create your own recipe!

Have You Brought This Dish to Life?

Spread the flavor by sharing your experience, tips, and rating with our food-loving community!

Something went wrong

Generating 2 recipes