Red and Green Mojo Sauces Recipe

One of the traditional dishes of the Canary Islands, these mojo sauces are served almost with every meal, especially to accompany the famous papas arrugadas or wrinkly Canarian potatoes.

If you wish to prepare a typical Canarian meal at home, these recipes are all you need to get you started.

Mojo actually translated to sauce and if you visit Tenerife or other Canary Island, you will be served with 2 types of sauces: red sauce or mojo picon and green sauce or mojo verde.

Although the recipes are simple and with common ingredients that you can find in every country, there are various ways to prepare this sauces, because every family and restaurant adapt it and customize it to their own taste.

canarian mojo sauces
Papas arrugadas and mojo sauces - traditional food in Tenerife


How to make Mojo Picon Sauce - Red Mojo Sauce Recipe

Mojo Picon is also called Mojo Rojo or Mojo Bravo in Spanish, due to the fact that it pacts some heat from the spicy red chilies. Its red color is given by the peppers, but if you want a more intense red you can add a bit of Spanish paprika. Some recipes also contain bread, in order to make the sauce thicker in consistency, so you can experiment by add a small slice of crusty day old bread if you prefer your sauce thicker.


1 head of garlic

2-4 red chili peppers

1 bell pepper

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt to taste


You can prepare the mojo picon sauce either with a mortar and pestle or with a blender.

Make a paste in a mortar from the garlic cloves, the peppers, the cumin and the salt. Afterwards you can add slowly the vinegar and the olive oil, until it transforms in a sauce that has the consistency of a paste. You can add more or less peppers according to your own taste.

The red mojo sauce is spicier than the green mojo sauce due to the fact that it has chili peppers, but if you don't like it spicy, then replace it all with red sweet peppers.

If you are using a blender, just add all the ingredients at once and blend until you have a paste of the desired consistency, without large chunks.

How to make Mojo de Cilantro - Mojo Verde sauce - Green Mojo Sauce Recipe

The green mojo sauce has almost the same ingredients as the red mojo sauce, except the red peppers which are substituted by the green peppers. The green color is given by the cilantro (coriander), which can also be replaced by parsley if you prefer it this way. 

Usually the mojo verde sauce isn't as thick in consistency as the red mojo sauce.


4 - 5 cloves of garlic

1 green pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bunch of cilantro or parsley

salt to taste


Just like the red mojo sauce, you add the pepper, garlic, cilantro and spices to the mortar and grind them until you have a thick paste, then you add the vinegar and olive oil until and mix it well.

You can also add all the ingredients into a blender and puree them until combined.

How to preserve mojo sauces

OIf you want to prepare a larger quantity of sauces ahead of time, you can store them in a glass jar in the refrigerator and they should be good for a few weeks.

Canarian mojo sauces are usually served with papas arrugadas (typical canarian wrinkly potatoes), fried fish, pork or just with bread as a starter.

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