Peruvian Chicken is a mouthwatering dish marinated in lime, chilies, and fragrant spices. It’s incredibly easy to make and can be grilled or oven-roasted.
It has become one of my all-time favorite keto chicken recipes!
I am absolutely obsessed with this Peruvian Chicken recipe. Don’t be alarmed, it’s perfectly normal for me to become obsessed with certain foods. I think it’s par for the course for recipe creators!
But I fell in love with this one from the first bite. It’s succulent and juicy, and full of bold flavor. You can serve it with a creamy green sauce, but it’s also wonderful just by itself.
I’ve made it multiple times and I fall a little more in love each time. And I think you will too!
Why you will love this recipe
Accessible ingredients: Classic Peruvian Chicken takes some specialized ingredients, including aji panca paste and aji amarillo paste. But I wanted to make my keto version more convenient so I opted for standard grocery store ingredients. If you want a more authentic recipe, check out Chili Pepper Madness.
Easy to make: The marinade comes together in about 3 minutes, and then you allow the chicken to absorb the flavors for 1 to 4 hours.
Bold flavor: Between the lime, the chili pepper, and the spices, your tastebuds will be singing! And you can easily adjust the heat to your like by including or excluding the seeds of the chilies.
Low in carbohydrates: This easy keto dinner recipe comes in at 2.2 grams total carbs!
Optional cooking methods: Peruvian chicken is delicious grilled over an open flame or roasted in the oven. I’ve included instructions for both!
Ingredients you need
- Lime: Get fresh limes for this recipe, as you use both the zest and the juice. Bottled juice simply cannot compare!
- Olive oil: I used extra virgin olive oil. You can swap in another liquid oil, like avocado oil, if you prefer.
- Tamari: Tamari is my go-to for soy sauce, because it’s entirely gluten-free and has a deeper, more intense flavor. So you can use a little less of it and keep the carbs in check.
- Hot pepper: I swapped in a medium jalapeño for the Peruvian chili pastes, but I left the seeds in for more heat. You can adjust this by using a hotter pepper, such as thai chilies or habaneros. Or you can leave out the seeds from the jalapeños for less heat.
- Garlic: Chop the garlic cloves a bit so that they blend up better in the marinade.
- Spices: Paprika, cumin, coriander, and oregano give the marinade it’s unique flavor.
- Hot sauce: Once you’ve blended the marinade, give it a little taste. Use a dash of hot sauce like Cholula or Tapatio to increase the heat a bit, if you like.
- Chicken thighs: I like bone-in, skin-on thighs for this Peruvian chicken recipe, but drumsticks work as well. They do cook through a little faster so be mindful if you are grilling them.
- Salt and pepper
Most Peruvian Chicken recipes include a creamy green sauce for drizzling. I have made my cilantro sauce optional because the chicken is so flavorful on its own.
Step by Step Directions
1. Add the marinade ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth but you don’t want large chunks of chili or garlic.
2. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a dish and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken to coat and then let it marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
3. Grill or bake the chicken. For the grill, you want indirect heat so that the chicken cooks through without burning the outside. For the oven, bake the chicken at 400ºF until cooked through, about 35 minutes.
4. Blend the ingredients for the cilantro sauce, if desired, and drizzle over the cooked chicken as you serve.
FAQ and Tips
Also known as pollo a la brasa, it is a popular grilled chicken dish with a fragrant combination of lime, spices, and chilies. It can also be oven-roasted, and is often served with a creamy cilantro sauce.
This recipe is keto friendly. Some recipes call for honey in the marinade but I use no sweeteners whatsoever and it’s absolutely delicious. And it has only 1.8g of net carbs per serving.
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Boneless, skinless chicken
You can also use boneless chicken for this recipe, if you prefer. Keep in mind that it will cook through a lot faster on both the grill and in the oven.
What to serve with Peruvian Chicken?
To make this a full keto meal, try one of these delicious sides:
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Coconut Cauliflower Rice
- Zucchini Fritters
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash
More obsession-worthy chicken recipes
Peruvian Chicken Recipe
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 medium hot chili pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Dash hot sauce optional
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, olive oil, tamari, chili pepper, garlic, paprika, cuming, coriander, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend to a coarse puree.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, and add a little hot sauce if desired.
- Place the chicken in a single layer in a large dish and pour the sauce overtop. Turn the chicken a few times to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Set up your grill for indirect heat on one side. Place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, directly over the heat first. Let cook, watching carefully for flares, until the skin is nicely browned and has grill marks, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Flip the thighs and grill over direct heat for another 4 to 5 minutes, then move to indirect heat until the thighs register at least 165ºF on an instant read thermometer.
Creamy Cilantro Sauce (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Drizzle over the chicken at the table.