Jalapeño Cilantro Sauce

By Joanne — fifteen Spatulas

This is one of my “I want to put it on everything” sauces and it’s based off a wildly popular green sauce recipe from a Peruvian restaurant in NYC. It only takes 5-10 minutes to make, and is perfect with so many dishes!

Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce

Last week on my Instagram stories I shared a video of me making this sauce, and I put up a poll asking if people were interested in more simple sauce recipes on the blog.

The answer was a resounding YES!

As in, 97% said yes please. So here’s one of my favorites.

This Jalapeño Cilantro sauce is a riff on a green sauce that’s served at a chain of restaurants in NYC called Pio Pio.

The sauce has a bit of a cult following because it’s outrageously delicious, and many have tried to figure out their secret recipe to no avail.

Including me, ha.

When I was living in NYC I would order takeout of their sauce and try to figure it out. I also scoured the internet for clues and found this post from Serious Eats where they try to figure the sauce out as well.

They claimed that one of the secrets was a hot yellow chile paste from Peru, so I even ordered that from Amazon to try to nail the sauce.

But their copycat recipe wasn’t the same as Pio Pio, and not close. Shucks.

These days, I’ve settled down my sauce replicating ambitions and have accepted this sauce for the deliciousness that it is.

Because ordering a $10 jar of special Peruvian chile paste isn’t necessary here, and more isn’t always better.

This sauce is creamy, bright, and flavorful, and if you try it I really think you’ll LOVE it!

I find myself making it regularly and so far I haven’t tired of it, even after making it for the past couple years.

To make the sauce, place chopped jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, mayonnaise, oil, salt, and pepper in a blender:

I like the sauce on the milder side, so I seeded and ribbed the jalapeños before chopping, but you can leave the seeds and ribs in if you prefer it spicy.

Blend it all up until the sauce is smooth and creamy:

Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sometimes I prefer a little more lime.

I find the sauce tastes slightly better after it chills for a few hours, so it’s great to make ahead!

I actually keep a container of this stuff ready to go in the fridge, and it keeps for a good week.

This sauce is great drizzled on Crispy Smashed Potatoes, spooned onto Spice Rubbed Chicken, drizzled on veggies, and I even use it as a salad dressing sometimes. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce

This sauce is based off the Pio Pio green sauce recipe and is one of my “I want to put it on everything sauces.” It only takes 5-10 minutes to make.


  •  jalapeños
  •  bunch fresh cilantro (2oz)
  •  medium cloves garlic (1.5 tbsp)
  •  1/2 cup mayonnaise
  •  tbsp fresh lime juice
  •  tbsp avocado oil
  •  1/2 tsp sea salt
  •  1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. For a milder sauce, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños, then roughly chop them. For a spicier sauce, leave the seeds and ribs in, and simply chop the jalapeños. You should have about 1 cup of chopped jalapeños.
  2. Place the jalapeños into a blender along with all the remaining ingredients (I even include the cilantro stems), and blend on high for at least 30 seconds, until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

by Joanne Ozug

Nutrition Information Serves 6, makes a little over 1 cup of sauce     ADJUST SERVINGS
Amount per serving: Calories 183kcal Calories from fat 176 Total Fat 20g Saturated Fat 3gCholesterol 8mg Sodium 116mg Carbohydrate 2g Dietary Fiber 1g Sugars 0g Protein 0g