The Cheeseboard’s Papi Chulo Sauce

July 12, 2016

If you’re not familiar with Berkeley’s beloved Cheese Board Collective, let me fill you in. In the 1970s, The Cheese Board, along with Peet’s Coffee, was one of the first gourmet establishments in a little area of North Berkeley, which is now known as the Gourmet Ghetto. Soon after it’s success, Alice Waters open Chez Panisse across the street and well, you know – the rest is history.

Papi Chulo Green Salsa | HonestlyYUM

Today, the worker owned and operated business continues to thrive with a cheese shop, bakery, and pizzeria. Sitting down to an entire pie and cold brews, while listening to live music, has become a family tradition. And if you’re a regular like I am, then you know what I’m talking about when I say that Cheeseboard Pizza isn’t Cheeseboard Pizza without their Papi Chulo hot sauce. Holy Moly. This stuff is GOLD. If you like cilantro and green peppers, then you’ll love this green sauce. I can’t believe it’s taken me years to attempt to recreate it at home but hot damn, I think I’ve got it pretty close. Make this sauce. Drizzle it over pizza, grilled meats, tacos, eggs . . . everything. Trust.

Papi Chulo Green Salsa | HonestlyYUM

Papi Chulo Green Salsa | HonestlyYUM

Papi Chulo Green Salsa | HonestlyYUM

The Cheeseboard's Papi Chulo Sauce

A bright and fresh hot sauce that's good on just about anything
Servings: ~3 cups



  1. In a food processor combine everything except one bunch of cilantro.
  2. Blend until everything is mixed and incorporated. Taste and add additional peppers for heat or salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add the 3rd bunch of cilantro (leaves only) and pulse until cilantro is chopped.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Can keep up to 3 weeks.

(images by HonestlyYUM)


Went to Cheeseboard this weekend and was reminded how much I love their sauce, this was the perfect dupe!! I added more peppers and orange than the recipe calls for. And, I tried to halve the recipe but still ended up with about 3 cups – green sauce containers will be going to my friends!

Sooo good! Been missing this sauce from my Berkeley days since moving across to San Francisco. I think it’s better with only a half bunch of parsley (a full bunch is too overpowering for me) and I omit the oil.

My daughter and I were in Berkeley last week and tried the Pizza and Green salsa. We were delighted with the Green salsa and found your recipe in Google. This morning I made it. We made our version with adding 1/2 onion bc my daughter suggested after she tried a few times for the original and mine. It was good!! Thank you Ssooo much for sharing the recipe!!!

We live in Berkeley and get the sauce all the time from Cheeseboard. Great job replicating it!-my only comment is that it turned out a little too watery at first and had to add some more cilantro. Maybe I had a larger lemon, lime or orange? I also think it’s a little sweeter than the original. Next time I think I will leave out the orange juice and taste it first. Freezes very well!

This sauce is the BOMB! We serve it with all kinds of food, Indian, Latino, American, Asian and everyone loves it. This is the best version, but we’ve added different peppers, different kinds of mustard, avocado, mint, basil, miso, sesame etc according to what we had on hand and what we are paring with. That said, again, this is the best tasting version.

do you de-seed the peppers or you throw them in as is?(Minus the stem of course haha).

It looks like you use the peppers with the seeds in! But try testing your de-seeding your peppers and then adding the seeds as-needed for additional spice between steps 2 and 3!

I second this. I used one seeded jalapeno and two seeded serranos with the rest de-seeded and it was already very spicy.

Love this. How much is a bunch of Cilantro/Parsley? Is it one full bunch u buy from grocery store? Thx

I made it with avocado in it, just because and it was delishious

Do you add the stems of the parsley? Like many above, I am a former Bay-Area-ite missing Cheese Board. Plan to make this recipe over the weekend!

OMG. Thank you SO much for this recipe. My husband and I moved away from SF 2 years ago and I was craving this sauce. Luckily, I googled it and found your recipe. It’s perfect. Thank you.

This turned out amazing! Moved away from the Bay Area but still miss the green sauce. Thanks!

I am looking at the picture that shows the ingredients and it shows avocado, but there is not any avocado listed in the recipe? Does it have it or not?

@karen no, there isn’t any avocado in the sauce. We just love eating it with avocado!

Okay I’m not really one to write in the comments section but…..This Papi Chulo sauce has changed my life! My entire family cannot stop using it. It is so versatile. We put it on almost everything: Tacos, potatoes, rice, triskits, beef, fish, chicken, turkey, and my new favorite is using it as a base for a salad dressing.
I patiently told my husband to not call it “the green sauce”. I said you need to understand that it has a personality of its own and deserves to be called by it’s name PAPI CHULO. Long live Papi!!!!

@LDwyer haha, yes – long live Papi! So happy you and your family are obsessed. We are too. My dad just called to let me know he tried it with pork dumplings and it was amazing. Obvi!

This is delicious! I just made a batch of it. I’m excited to use it on, as you say, e v e r y t h i n g. But… It made a huge batch! Any suggestions on if it may freeze well, or something like that?

I am going to be putting this on everything — I just know it! Love the flavors and your photos are beautiful!

I need Lucas to get home from work earlier so we can make Cheeseboard a more regular family night. We used to get a cheeseboard pizza at least once a week from the dad of the gal I used to tutor and Lucas LOVED the cilantro-topped pie, so I know he’d love this sauce!

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