Skip to Content

Piri Piri Chicken

Sharing is caring!

Piri Piri Chicken

Brazilian piri piri chicken

You are going to love this one!

My son loves going to Nando’s. He loves the spicy piri piri sauce and challenged me to do a better job of it. Not one to turn down a good challenge, I decided to give it a go.

I already had a piri piri sauce recipe in a family cookbook that was handed down to me that my late grandfather called Brazilan Piri Piri. I’m not really sure what makes the sauce Brazilian as it has many of the same ingredients listed on Nando’s bottles.

Whatever you call it, this is an excellent recipe for the summer barbecue. 

If the weather doesn’t play ball this recipe also works well  cooked in the oven. You could also  grill the chicken over direct heat so there are lots of alternatives if the British weather you down.

I only marinated the chicken for three hours but marinating it over night would be better. It allows the flavours to develop. The piri piri sauce is used both as a marinade and it is also slathered over the cooked chicken.

Whether you are stuck indoors or enjoying the sun outside, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Nando’s, eat your heart out!

If you like this spicy chicken recipe try these others:

Spicy Chicken Wings
Spicy Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup
Spicy Chicken Wing Curry
Fiery Hot Naga Chicken Curry
Spicy Griled Chicken with Tomato Salsa
Spicy Chicken Parmasans
Spicy Fried Chicken Lollipops
Spicy Chilli Garlic Roast Chicken

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Frying the vegetables in the hot oil with the spices.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

The vegetables will begin to break down as they simmer.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Blend it all up nice and smooth.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Chicken ready for the oven.

Brazilian piri piri chicken

Ready to serve!

Yield: 4

Brazilian Piri Piri Chicken

Brazilian Piri Piri Chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper) - roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic - skinned and whole
  • 4 green chillie - roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons smoked or normal paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) cup white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 kilos chicken thighs - with bone in and skin left on
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime slices to garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat and then add the chopped onion and capsicum.
  2. Fry until the onion is translucent and soft and then add the garlic and green chillies. Fry for a further minute or so and pour in one tablespoon of the paprika, the chilli powder, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes.
  3. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and simmer for about five minute. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Blend until very smooth and place this marinade in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  5. When ready to prepare your chicken, season generously with salt and pepper and the remaining paprika and then pour half of the piri piri sauce over the thighs. Stir it all up so that the chicken is nicely coated.
  6. Marinate for three hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to cook, heat your oven to it's highest temperature. Place the chicken on a roasting tray and cook for 40 minutes to one hour until the chicken is crisp and cooked through,
  8. Serve drizzled with the remaining Brazilian piri piri sauce and top with slices of lime.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you like this recipe?

Please join me on Facebook where I share all my latest recipes and videos. Just click that Facebook icon on the left and let's get to know each other!

Brazilian piri piri chicken

I hope you give this one a try. Please let me know what you think if you do. 🙂

Disclaimer: I was paid by Aldi UK to develop this recipe in the run up to the Rio Olympics. As always, their products were spot on!


Paul Roberts

Monday 14th of May 2018

Hi Dan, I love your book and recipes; keep up the good work! I always, since getting 'The Curry Guy' book, have some Base Curry Sauce/Gravy in the fridge or freezer. Have you ever used or do you think you could use Base Curry Sauce in a Piri-Piri recipe? Cheers, Paul.

Dan Toombs

Monday 14th of January 2019

Hi Paul

Thank you very much. I haven't tried it with piri-piri but the answer is you definitely can. Go for it. The base sauce is just the liquid required to cook the curry just like a more authentic Indian base masala with oil, onions, tomatoes and water is.

Thank you very much, Dan


Friday 29th of July 2016

Hi Thank you for sharing the recipe. Would you have the peri peri sauce recipe?

Pieter Opperman

Friday 15th of July 2016

I love your reference to Nando's. I am South African living in Cape Town and am proud to say that Nando's is pure South African, with a number of overseas branches. As I love Nando's flavours, I am looking forward to making your recipe. It looks very nice.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Thanks Pieter. Hope you like it. :-)



Wednesday 13th of July 2016

This recipe sounds great and is definitely similar to the Nando's one. Did you know that the Portugese brought us the most divine Peri-peri chicken and Periperi prawns to Southern Africa specifically to Angola and Mocambique which they had colonised? Nando's was originally opened in South Africa by two Portuguese friends who left Mocambique and brought their recipe with them to South Africa?

I have only recently come across your blog and am thoroughly enjoying your recipes. Keep up the good work and best of luck with your cook book.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Hi Denise

Thank you very much. Really glad you liked the recipe. :-)


Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!