Make your own Nando's with our incredibly tasty Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken recipe. Simple, delicious, and ready in under 60 minutes.
Roasted peri peri chicken on a wood cutting board.

What is Peri Peri Chicken?

Peri Peri Chicken has become more and more popular with the rise of restaurants like Nando’s. Homemade peri peri chicken Nando’s style is a good recipe to have. Just think juicy, garlicky, zesty and vibrant spicy chicken. It is soooo good!

Peri Peri Chicken is also known as piri piri chicken. Is there a difference between the two? No, there isn’t, both are deliciously good Portuguese African chicken.

Related recipes Peri Peri Sauce/Gremolata / Italian Peperonata

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Delicious! – there really isn’t a better reason to love a recipe than this!

Quick and easy – this whole butterflied Peri Peri Chicken recipe has minimal ingredients but makes a filling and delicious main meal.

Low carb – at only 2g net carbs per serve, this is an ideal low-carb and keto-friendly dinner.

Various cooking methods – I have included methods to air fry, grill, or oven bake. Thermal cooking methods for our Thermomix® users have been included for the sauce too.

The Ingredients

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the quantity of each ingredient used and the full detailed recipe for this delicious peri peri sauce chicken recipe!

All the ingredients for Peri Peri Chicken on a green tiled backdrop.

Free Range Chicken – I have cooked this with a whole free range chicken, which requires minimal preparation! You can substitute with chicken breasts (skin on or off), chicken thigh fillets, or even wings or drumsticks.

Garlic – I like to buy Australian Garlic whenever possible, as the flavour from freshly minced garlic cloves is much better than from the jars of minced garlic.

Paprika, bird’s eye chili peppers, chili sauce, and chili flakes – sounds like quite a spicy combo doesn’t it? This piri piri sauce recipe has a bit of spice to it without it being hot and spicy, if you know what I mean. It is nicely balanced and with the amount used to marinate the chicken just adds a tasty flavour without a full-on chilli kick! If you love super spicy then use hotter chillies or more of the spices. This is the chili garlic sauce I use.

Roasted capsicum/red peppers – I use fire-roasted red peppers from the supermarket. You can roast your own your peppers if preferred.

Lime or lemon juice – use freshly squeezed for lots of zesty goodness.

FAQs and Tips

How do I make it a peri peri chicken breast recipe? Is it cooked for the same amount of time?

You can easily swap any part of the chicken in place of butterflied chicken. Baste and cook the chicken breast at the same heat as the original recipe. Reduce the cooking time to 20-30 minutes, turning halfway, until the internal temperature is reached.

Can I freeze it?

Sure can! Freeze it cooked or uncooked. The peri sauce can be frozen on its own too.

How can I use the leftovers up?

So many options here. A peri peri chicken pizza would be amazing! Wrap it in one of our incredible keto tortillas or keto wraps with some salad. Or even a peri peri chicken soup would be incredible!

Is peri-peri Portuguese or African?

It is said that peri peri originated in South Africa by Portuguese explorers. A spicy sauce made with Africa’s birds eye chillies and much-loved the world over.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

Learn how to butterfly (spatchcock) a chicken with these easy steps.

Step 1. Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the backbone out of the chicken by cutting along each side of the backbone. The bone can be used in stock or flavouring a sauce rather than discarding.

Step 2. Turn the chicken over, and press your hands down on the breast and flatten the chicken. It is just that simple. If preferred, you can cut through the centre alongside the breast bone and cut it into two halves.

Step 3. Season the chicken or baste with a marinade. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

How To Make Peri Peri Chicken

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the quantity of each ingredient used and the full detailed recipe for this delicious copycat Nando’s Chicken recipe!

Step 1: Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Step 3: Preheat oven to 240°C/220°C FAN/475°F. Line a baking tray with foil then add a sheet of parchment paper. Place chicken onto prepared tray skin-side up. Baste with a tablespoon of oil. Season with salt flakes and black pepper.

Step 4. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 200°C/180°C FAN/400°F. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.

What To Serve it With Peri Chicken

The chicken is perfect with a simple salad, coleslaw, salsa and guacamole. As mentioned above wraps or tortillas are sensational with some spicy chicken.

The peri peri chicken marinade can also be used to marinate fish or even tofu for a vegan peri peri chicken.

More Recipes To Try

I have lots of chicken recipes on the website as well as in my cookbooks. Some of the most popular keto chicken recipes that you might like to try are:

Roasted chicken with gremolata on brown baking paper.

Love our keto peri peri chicken recipe? Then please rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review to help others know that this is worth making.

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Keto Meal Plans & Support
Peri Peri Chicken with gremolata on parchment on a cutting board.

Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

Make your own Nando’s with our incredibly tasty Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken recipe. Simple, delicious, and ready in under 60 minutes.
5 from 124 votes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Lunch and Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: portuguese
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 557kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
Servings: 4 serves
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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Ingredients 

  • 1.6 kg (3 ½ lb) whole chicken butterflied (instructions added to help you do this)

PERI PERI MARINADE

  • 4 tablespoons (4 tbsp) olive oil (60g), plus extra for basting
  • 2 teaspoon (2 teaspoon) chilli flakes
  • 1-2 cloves (1-2 cloves) garlic finely minced
  • 0.5 cup (0.5 cup) roasted red capsicum
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 (1-2) red Thai chilli finely chopped, optional, for a milder sauce remove the membrane and seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) chilli & garlic sauce I use Huy Fong brand found in most supermarkets
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) smoked paprika
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

OVEN BAKE METHOD

  • Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and mix until well pureed. Set aside.
  • Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the backbone out of the chicken but cutting along each side of the backbone. The bone can be used in stock or flavouring a sauce rather than discarding.
  • Turn the chicken over and press your hands down on the breast and flatten the chicken. Pour half of the marinade into a small bowl, cover and chill to serve. Use the remainder to baste the chicken all both sides. Set the chicken aside at room temperature to marinate and come to room temperature before roasting or grilling. (see notes)
  • Preheat oven to 240°C/220°C FAN/475°F. Line a baking tray with foil then add a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Place the chicken onto prepared tray skin-side up. Baste with a tablespoon of oil. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 200°C/180°C FAN/400°F. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.

AIR FRYER METHOD

  • Prepare the marinade and chicken as above. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F for 3 minutes. Place the marinated chicken into the basket. Baste with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.

NINJA FOODIE XL GRILL

  • Prepare the marinade and chicken as above.
    Press grill button, set to medium/25 min. Once “Add Food” flashes, add butterflied chicken skin side up onto grill and close lid. Halfway through grilling time turn the chicken over and grill until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.

THERMAL METHOD

  • Place all the marinade ingredients into mixer; mix 1 min/speed 9. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat if needed. Follow from step 2 above.

Notes

INGREDIENTS
  • I use Grove avocado oil or extra virgin olive in this recipe. 
  • Fire roasted red capsicum can be purchased jarred/canned at the supermarket. Alternatively, roast over a gas flame, grill or in the oven until the skin is blackened and charred. Sweat the capsicum in a bag then peel and discard skin and the seeds.
  • Any of your favourite chillies can be used. Increase up to 4 chillies if preferred or add higher Scoville chillies for a more intense chilli flavour. If you do not like spicy food, then you can also omit them altogether. Or add some Peri Peri Seasoning powder.
  • I use a free range chicken around 1.6kg/3.5 pounds. On average this serves 4 people with a little leftover. Increase the chicken size if you need to feed more people. 
Serve with Taboule Salad, Air Fryer Cauliflower, Garlic Sauce, and a slice or two of Low Carb Bread.
SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN
Butterflying a whole chicken is not hard. A good quality pair of kitchen sheers is an essential utensil in my opinion. Follow the steps above to butterfly and make a flat chicken.
MARINATING AND ROASTING CHICKEN
I like to marinate to room temperature only. Chicken can be left out for up to a couple of hours to come to room temperature before cooking.
Starting any cooking process with cold and well chilled meat can leave you with dry and unevenly cooked meat. Think of it like a bath. If you are really cold and go to jump in a hot bath you recoil as does your skin and body this works the same with protein. At room temperature the chicken will be gently roasted or grilled without shocking it.
I marinate for up to 1 hour in my kitchen and then preheat the oven. Once the oven, grill, barbecue or air fryer are at temperature I cook my now rested chicken. 
This recipe yields approximately 4 servings. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. 
 
To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 4. The result will be the weight of one serving. 
 
Nutritional values shown are a guideline only. They are for 1 serving using the ingredients listed. 
All recipes have been tested using all of the cooking methods included by various recipe testers.
 
You can freeze the peri peri sauce, the marinated chicken and the chicken after roasting. Store it in the fridge for a max of 3-4 days or freeze in individual portions for simple lunches and dinners.
 
The recipe card instructions contain the most basic of steps and a list of ingredients. If you have any queries, questions or are unsure of substitutions, please scroll up to the blog post for more information.

Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2019IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 46mg | Net Carbs: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

Share This Recipe

69 responses to “Peri Peri Chicken”

  1. Freya

    5 stars
    Peri peri is such a great flavour and this chicken was packed with flavour!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Good to hear

  2. Tracy

    5 stars
    The flavor in this was so so good. We baked it in the oven, but I also can’t wait to try it in the air fryer. Thanks so much for the instructions for both!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Let us know how it goes for you Tracy,

  3. Hayley Dhanecha

    5 stars
    Oh wow, the marinade was absolutely delicious and so full of flavour that I just had to make it! It was delicious!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      So happy you loved it Hayley.

  4. Jenny

    5 stars
    Fantastic images and recipe. We will be making your peri-peri chicken dish on the grill ASAP. Thanks for sharing this spicy recipe.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Welcome

  5. Chandice

    5 stars
    This chicken is soooo flavorful! I love it it’s not too hard to make and goes with just about any side dishes. Thank you!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      You are very welcome Chandice

  6. Sharon

    5 stars
    This recipe is so simple in ingredients but huge in flavor! The skin comes out perfectly crispy while the center is juicy.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      So happy you enjoyed the chicken Sharon.

  7. Kathryn

    5 stars
    These flavors are so good together and made the best tasting chicken! So happy we tried this recipe, thank you!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay!

  8. Amy

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for new grilling marinades for chicken and this did not disappoint. So flavorful!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      so happy to know you enjoyed it

  9. Amy Liu Dong

    5 stars
    Wow! This peri-peri chicken recipe looks so yummy! It was cooked to perfection, and the texture is so good. Loved it!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      So good to hear you enjoyed the dish Amy.

  10. Marta

    5 stars
    I used to love going to Nando’s for their peri peri chicken, but we no longer live near one. This recipe was a perfect copycat of theirs which made me so happy! Thank you for this!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Welcome!

  11. Amanda

    5 stars
    This peri peri chicken turned out so good! The marinade is unbelievably flavored with the perfect kick of spice, and the chicken was super juicy.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Awesome!

  12. Jan

    5 stars
    The flavours and the tenderness of the chicken was a big hit with the whole family. We will be making it again this weekend.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay! So good to hear!

  13. Oscar

    5 stars
    So delicious and just like Nandos. I made them in the air fryer and they turned out juicy and flavourful. Great recipe.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay!

  14. Nancy

    5 stars
    Well done! This peri peri chicken is super juicy and spicy! Well rounded recipe

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Thanks Nancy.

  15. Amy Liu Dong

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh, it looks like an easy recipe to make. To be honest, seeing this dish making my mouthwatering!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Haha! You and me both Amy

  16. Kayla DiMaggio

    5 stars
    This peri peri chicken was bursting with flavor! It was so easy to make and everyone went back for seconds!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      So happy you enjoyed it Kayla

  17. Amy

    5 stars
    Love this spicy marinade. Love this on the grill!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      It is so good isn’t Amy

  18. Rupali

    5 stars
    This turned out so delicious! I am always looking for new low carb spicy meals, and this checked all the boxes!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay!

  19. Mary

    5 stars
    I saw Sunny Anderson lose her mind over Peri Peri chicken on a re-run of The Kitchen. I had to find a recipe to try. Yours is it!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Enjoy it Mary!

  20. Nath

    5 stars
    Delicious! We all loved the chicken. I cooked it in the air fryer and the times were all good. I served it with your ranch and air fried beans and it was epic! Thanks Megan

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      That all sounds amazing Nath.

5 from 124 votes (90 ratings without comment)

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