Centrioles organize pericentriolar material to form centrosomes and also template the formation of cilia. Despite the importance of centrioles in dividing and differentiated cells, their assembly remains poorly understood at a molecular level. Here, we develop a fluorescence microscopy-based assay for centriole assembly in the 1-cell stage C. elegans embryo. We use this assay to characterize SAS-6, a centriolar protein that we identified based on its requirement for centrosome duplication. We show that SAS-6, a member of a conserved metazoan protein family, is specifically required for new centriole assembly, a result we confirm by electron microscopy. We further use the centriole assembly assay to examine the roles of three pericentriolar material proteins: SPD-5, the kinase aurora-A, and gamma-tubulin. Our results suggest that the pericentriolar material promotes daughter centriole formation by concentrating gamma-tubulin around the parent centriole. Thus, both centriolar and pericentriolar material proteins contribute to centriole assembly.