These 2 Latin America-inspired sauce recipes will change your life

·2 min read
Latin American Spice Blends
Latin American Spice Blends

Adriana Urbina is an In The Know cooking contributor. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website for more.

So much of my cooking is inspired by time spent with people I love. My recipes grow from memories of sharing food with family and friends. Specific spices used in unique ways stick with me long after the meal is over, becoming the seeds for new dishes of my own.

I’m happy to be sharing two of my favorite sauces: red chimichurri and lulo aioli. Tour the tastes of Latin America with these modernized regional favorites, both of which you can eat with salad, roasted veggies and a variety of different proteins.

Life-Changing Red Chimichurri

Credit: Adriana Urbina
Credit: Adriana Urbina

Serves 4
Yields ~2 cups

A deep, profoundly flavorful sauce with a sultry reddish hue, this easy-to-make chimichurri instantly elevates everything from grilled meats to roasted veggies.


• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

• 1 teaspoon panca chile pepper

• 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Other fresh ingredients:

• 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

• 1 cup fresh mint, chopped

• 1 cup fresh chives, chopped

• 1 large head of garlic (or about 12 large cloves), peeled and finely minced

• 5 oz / 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (~1 small onion)

• 1 cup red wine vinegar

• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

• Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients by hand in a small bowl, whisking to blend well, or mix in a food processor by pulsing until the ingredients are finely chopped and blended but not pureed.

  2. Store in a well-sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.

  3. Use as a marinade for pork or chicken, a sauce for roasted vegetables or a topping for tacos. Serve at room temperature.

Serve with:

  • Shredded pork or chicken

  • Roasted vegetables

  • Tacos

Adriana’s Lulo Aioli

Credit: Adriana Urbina
Credit: Adriana Urbina

Yields ~1.5 cups

A unique aioli with a tangy florality that lifts the deep earthy notes to a fresh, light finish on the palate, this sauce is an ideal table sauce to serve alongside light fares like chicken or fish.


• 1 teaspoon Amarillo chile pepper

• 1 teaspoon wild celery seed

• 1 teaspoon Peruvian pink sea salt

• 1 teaspoon California onion powder

Other fresh ingredients:

• Fresh juice from 1 lime

• 4 large peeled garlic cloves

• 1 fresh cubanelle pepper

• 1 large egg

• 2 cups extra virgin oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup passion fruit juice, frozen okay (Substitute with tangerine, grapefruit or orange juice)


  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend into a smooth sauce (consistency should be similar to mayonnaise but a bit looser).

  2. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

  3. Use as a table sauce with any type of steamed fish, chicken or shellfish. It even works with eggs and toast!

Serve with:

  • Fish

  • Meat

  • Roasted veggies

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