This copycat Nando's peri peri sauce & chicken brings a restaurant favourite recipe home, with all the flavours you know and love. Packed with bright flavours, with the right amount of acid and heat, you will never go back to boring chicken again! Serve this flavourful chicken up with homemade spiced fries, and refreshing coleslaw for a complete meal!
Why This Recipe Works
The marinade is simple: Believe it or not, despite how flavourful this chicken is, you likely already have most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry! That means you do not need to make any special trips to the grocery store to make this restaurant-style chicken.
The chicken stays extremely moist: This marinade locks in all the moisture in the chicken. You will be surprised that you're eating chicken breast!
You do not need to marinade this chicken for a long time: Of course the longer the chicken marinates, the better. But, just by sitting in the marinade for a short period of time this chicken is extremely flavourful!
What is Peri Peri Chicken?
Peri peri chicken translates to a spicy sauce made with chilli peppers. The sauce varies regionally, from various regions in Africa to Portuguese cuisine. In fact, pili pili literally translates to pepper in Swahili.
Piri piri chillies are traditionally the base of peri peri sauce. Restaurants have since adapted this sauce by using other types of chillies and by modifying the spice level. You can expect tons of flavour and spice from this sauce!
- Red bell pepper: Red bell pepper adds the perfect sweet base to the marinade, adding a complex pepper flavour beyond the chillies.
- Thai red chillies: While peri peri chicken is traditionally made with piri piri chillies, they are not super easy to find. Thai red chillies add a comparable amount of heat and flavour to the marinade.
- White vinegar: Vinegar not only adds acidity to the marinade, but also brings out the heat of the peppers.
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh lime: Limes add a bitter acidity to the marinade that is different than the vinegar.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is not traditional in peri peri sauce, but I add it to give a nice creamy texture to the sauce. Mayonnaise is also extremely helpful for keeping chicken moist.
- Spices: You will need smoked paprika and sea salt.
- Chicken breasts
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor or a blender. Pulse until the all of the ingredients are broken down.
Place the chicken breasts in a large mixing bowl. Pour the ¾ of marinade over the chicken, and let the chicken sit for at least 20-25 minutes.
Once the chicken has sat in the marinade, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray, and place the chicken breasts on the grill pan.
Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, brushing the reserved marinade over the chicken while cooking, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.
The marinade doubles as a dipping sauce! Keep a little bit more than ¼ of the marinade aside and use it as a dipping sauce for your chicken - just like Nando's peri peri sauce.
You can also make this chicken on the barbecue! Follow the same cooking times, and always ensure that you cook to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Thai red chilli: You can of course, use piri piri chillies if you can find them. Alternatively for a milder twist, you can use red fresno chillies.
- Lime: You can use lemon in place of lime.
- Honey: Substitute with brown sugar or agave, if you do not have or do not wish to use honey.
- Mayonnaise: You can definitely leave the mayonnaise out if you prefer!
- Wings: Use this marinade on chicken wings to make peri peri chicken wings!
- Sandwich: The Nando's chicken sandwich is amazing, and this chicken breast is the perfect base for a homemade version of it!
This is what I used to make this recipe - Please be mindful that different equipment and cooking utensils may yield varying results. Most of my favourite equipment can be found on my storefront.
- Food processor
- Mixing bowl
- Grill pan
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftover chicken will last 2-3 days.
You can also freeze leftover chicken for up to 6 months, if stored in a freezer-safe airtight container.
Yes, you can air fry peri peri chicken. Air fry for 12-15 minutes at 390°F to get a good char on the chicken.
Yes! Reheat leftover chicken in the air fryer or in the oven. Cover the chicken in foil when reheating to avoid drying out the chicken.
Slice leftover chicken and serve on a corn salad, or use the chicken for sandwiches or wraps.
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Nando's Peri Peri Sauce & Chicken
- Prepare the marinade: Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor or a blender. Pulse until the all of the ingredients are broken down.½ Red bell pepper, 4 Thai red chillies, ¼ cup White vinegar, 1 tablespoon Honey, 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika, 6 cloves Garlic, ¼ cup Mayonnaise, ½ Lime, Salt
- Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in a large mixing bowl. Pour the ¾ of marinade over the chicken, and let the chicken sit for at least 20-25 minutes.4 Chicken breasts
- Heat the pan: Once the chicken has sat in the marinade, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray, and place the chicken breasts on the grill pan.
- Grill the chicken: Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, brushing the reserved marinade over the chicken while cooking, or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.
- To make this chicken on the barbecue, follow the same cooking times, and always ensure that you cook to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- To make this chicken in the air fryer, cook for 12-15 minutes at 390°F.
- The marinade doubles as a dipping sauce! Keep a little bit more than ¼ of the marinade aside and use it as a dipping sauce for your chicken - just like Nando's peri peri sauce.