This recipe for Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce, Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Cucumber Salad is exactly what you want to be cooking all summer long! Marinated chicken thighs get grilled to perfection and served with a spicy, tangy green sauce, roasted sweet potato wedges and a refreshing avocado cucumber salad. It’s a complete meal that’s healthy, flavorful and perfect for summer!
Hello and welcome to another edition of WHATS FOR DINNER TONIGHT?
I have your answer!
This recipe for Peruvian style grilled chicken thighs was inspired by this one from Mindy Fox via Epicurious. It had been on my “to-cook” list for at least a year when I finally got around to making it this winter. Chaser and I both LOVED it, but I wanted to simplify. The original recipe calls for spatchcocking a whole chicken and doing some weird stuff with lemons, which resulted in a delicious dinner, but I found it to be just a little too fussy for weeknights.
I took all the same flavors and used them to marinate boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. Since it’s now (almost) summertime, I opted to grill them rather than roast, and they were even more delicious thanks to a little bit of smoky char. A quick flash on a hot gas grill will totally do the trick, but grilling them over charcoal gave an even richer, more intense flavor.
I served the grilled chicken thighs with the same green sauce and avocado cucumber salad as the original, as well as with some roasted sweet potato wedges for a little added carb action. Their sweet, caramelized flavor plays so nicely against the tangy, herbaceous sauce.
In attempt to make the green sauce a little healthier and more unique, I tried replacing the mayo with tahini one time. It wasn’t bad, but the original version is so much better. It only has a little bit of mayonnaise so it’s not overly creamy, and instead all you taste is the fresh cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and lime juice. You can adjust the heat and acidity to suit your preference, and you may even want to consider doubling the recipe. Trust me, you’re going to want to put this stuff on everything .
A few months ago I posted this salmon recipe with a similar avocado cucumber salad, but I just couldn’t help myself from doing it again. The crisp cucumber and creamy avocado and tangy lime are such a perfect match for the seasoned chicken and creamy sauce. I’ve made this recipe so many times in the past few months and the salad component is essential – we just can’t seem to get enough of it.
I can’t speak to how authentic this recipe is but I can speak to how tasty it is. I had some friends over recently and made this for them and they all loved how delicious it was without feeling the least bit indulgent. It checks off all the boxes – easy, healthy and downright mouthwatering. Oh, and it’s Paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free and nut free without even trying. What more could you possibly want in a dinner?
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This recipe for Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce, Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Cucumber Salad is exactly what you want to be cooking all summer long! Marinated chicken thighs get grilled to perfection and served with a spicy, tangy green sauce, roasted sweet potato wedges and a refreshing avocado cucumber salad. It’s a complete meal that’s healthy, flavorful and perfect for summer. Adapted from Mindy Fox.
For the Chicken:
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- zest and juice from 1 large lemon
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed clean, cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- flaky sea salt for finishing
For the Green Sauce:
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, packed
- 1–2 jalapeño peppers, cut into chunks (seeds removed for less heat)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
For the Salad:
- 1 medium cucumber, diced* (see note)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plus fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 medium avocado, ripe but firm, diced
- Add the cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice to a gallon zip-top bag. Squish it around until combined, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Remove all air from the bag, seal, then let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 36 hours.
- About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, then place the sweet potato wedges, olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Toss around until evenly coated, then arrange in a single layer so they’re all cut-side (flat side) down.
- Roast sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for another 20 minutes on the other side. After the first 20 minutes, preheat your grill.* (see note for grilling alternatives)
- Make the green sauce by combining the cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, salt and mayonnaise in a blender or food processor. I added the ingredients to a pint sized wide-mouth mason jar and used an immersion blender so that I could store the sauce right in there. Blend on high until the mixture is nice and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Make the salad by mixing together the cucumber, scallions, lime juice, olive oil, salt and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the avocado and gently toss to combine, being carful not to break up the avocado too much (but if it does, no biggie). Set aside.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, but don’t wipe any off. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through and charred in spots, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Cover the chicken and let rest until ready to serve.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, transfer to a serving bowl or platter, then sprinkle with sea salt.
- Serve chicken with green sauce, sweet potato wedges and avocado cucumber salad on the side.
*I recommend an English hot house or seedless cucumber (the one wrapped in plastic) rather than a conventional cucumber, but either will work. If using a conventional cucumber, you may want to peel it if the skin is tough.
**If no grill is available, you can opt to use an indoor grill pan or cook them in the oven. Arrange marinated chicken thighs in an evenly spaced out layer on a sheet pan. Bake on the top rack of the oven (at the same time as the sweet potatoes) until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Baste the tops with any accumulated juices, then broil for 1-2 minutes (don’t take your eyes off) until slightly charred in spots on top.
Keywords: easy, grilled, chicken, dinner, peruvian, green sauce, avocado