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There's nothing very unusual about serving a chicken or potato salad at a cookout, which is why this layered Peruvian potato and chicken salad will cause such a stir. Or should I say, 'causa' a stir, since in Peru that's what this gorgeous dish is called. Infused with aji amarillo, lime juice, and cilantro, these are perfect for making ahead and packing in your cooler on a hot summer day. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and cilantro if desired.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
25 mins
1 hr
2 hrs 5 mins
4 6-ounce ramekins


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Chicken Salad:
For Potato Mixture:
For the Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine chicken, green peas, carrot, shallot, roasted red peppers, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and cayenne. Add mayonnaise and mix until combined. Cover chicken salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Place potatoes into a pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until very tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain well and transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl. Mash until smooth.

  • Add jai amarillo, olive oil, and lime juice to the potatoes. Season with cayenne and salt. Mash together with the potato masher. Switch to a spatula and mix until completely smooth.

  • Line four 6-ounce ramekins with plastic wrap. Scoop mashed potatoes evenly into ramekins; press and smooth out the tops. Cover each with a layer of avocado slices. Fill ramekin to the top with chicken salad, pressing it down and pulling up the plastic wrap to eliminate any air pockets. Cover with a final layer of mashed potatoes, going up to 1/2 inch or more over the rim.

  • Seal top with a new layer of plastic wrap and fold the sides over to seal. Refrigerate salads until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.

  • Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, and aji amarillo together for the sauce, adding a splash of water to adjust the thickness.

  • Remove the top layer of plastic wrap from each salad. Invert each ramekin onto a serving plate; remove ramekins, then plastic wrap. Spoon some sauce around each salad.

Chef's Notes:

If you can't find aji amarillo, you can make a paste from some fire-roasted and peeled orange or red bell peppers, with red Fresno chilies for some heat. While this does get you close, you should definitely try to find a jar of the real stuff, since it does have such a unique flavor.

You can also use russet potatoes.

You can use fresh peas that have been blanched or frozen peas that have been thawed.

Substitute red onion for the shallot if desired.

Nutrition Facts

658 calories; protein 19.2g; carbohydrates 41.4g; fat 49.1g; cholesterol 58mg; sodium 391mg. Full Nutrition