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5-Minute Ají, also known as Colombian-Style Salsa, is our favorite salsa OF ALL TIME. I am a big salsa girl, so don’t take that statement lightly. It is perfect with tortilla chips, on top of meat, potatoes, rice, eggs, or really, put it on ANYTHING. This Colombian style salsa recipe can be made mild or hot, as desired!

It’s gluten-free, vegan, paleo, Whole30, and delicious.

Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

Ají AKA Colombian Style Salsa

You will love this simple Salsa de Aji Picante, a Colombian Hot Pepper Salsa or known as a Colombian hot sauce! Made with minimal ingredients, and all you need is a food processor and 5 minutes! P.S. love these mason jar lids? These are them!

Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

Roughly chop your ingredients, add to your food processor, pulse, and have for days and days!

Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

MEET KELLI: Kelli worked here at LCK with me doing all things cooking and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen! This recipe is inspired by Kelli’s trip to Colombia, and once I tried it I knew you had to try it as well! I know you will love it as much as I do!

Hi! Kelli here! I work here at LCK with Lexi on recipe development and testing and I’m happy to share this Ají today! I first tasted it on one of the early dates with my now husband, who hails from Colombia. I was hooked from the get-go and have tried many versions since. When we traveled to Bogotá, my husband’s family all knew how crazy I was for ají so everybody always made sure it was on the table and I was even lucky enough that my sister-in-law showed me how she makes her recipe. When I got back my husband and I created our own family version that we’ve been making ever since.

This ají can be found on the table for most meals in Colombia, and is eaten with rice, potatoes, beans and meat dishes. Personally I prefer my ají on…well, just about everything! In Colombia this will be made fresh everyday mostly because there isn’t much left over, but in our household we find the vinegar keeps it for 3-5 days. It can also be used as a marinade for meat.

Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

Serve Aji with (literally anything!), but here are some of our favorites:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Rice and Beans
  • On Meat
  • On Eggs
  • With Grilled Seafood
  • On Burrito Bowls
Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

Want other easy homemade condiments? Try these favorites:

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5-Minute Ají (Colombian-Style Salsa)

5 from 3 votes
Servings 16 ounces
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup pickled sliced jalapeños
  • 1/2 cup jalapeño pickle liquid see notes
  • 1 bunch cilantro washed and de-stemmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse about 10 times until all ingredients are chopped roughly the same size. Store in the refrigerator for 5 days. Enjoy on EVERYTHING.


If you do not have enough jalapeño pickle liquid you can substitute white vinegar, but the liquid here makes it amazing.
Can add chopped scallions if desired!
Can use fresh jalapeños, but we preferred pickled.


Serving: 4gCalories: 26kcalCarbohydrates: 5.7gProtein: 0.8gFat: 0.2gSodium: 673mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 2.8g
Author: Lexi

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  1. I made this for my boyfriends family they are from Colombia and it didn’t last 5 minutes i had to triple the recipe, i did get asked by them if i could can it so they can have some stored. Is there a way to can it like other salsas?

  2. Omg!!! This is delicious. I think this is my new refrigerator staple. And so easy! Thanks so much for sharing !

  3. How spicy would you say this is? My kids love salsa but not too spicy. I was thinking of using just the juice instead of the jalapeños. Also, you used a yellow onion. Would any onion work?

  4. 5 stars
    I made it last night, and had pan fried salmon accompanied with the salsa, this morning I had scrambled eggs and … The salsa!

    1. Thanks! This cannot be frozen. It is best as fresh as possible, but will keep a few days in the refrigerator.

  5. My ex husband is also Colombian. He hails from Cali and his mother Bogota. I’ve been making this for fifteen years and am also addicted. I use fresh jalapeno and picked in mine. I love the heat. Or a Serrano can be substituted for even more heat.