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Peri-Peri Chicken (Piri-Piri Chicken)

Peri-Peri Chicken (Piri Piri Chicken) – This is a delicious traditional spicy African chicken dish made from a combination of birds-eye chilies, herbs, and spices. It’s extremely easy to make and the ingredients you need are probably what have on hand or ingredients that you can easily source fro from your local store. 

Peri peri Chicken leq quarters served in a plate

Peri-Peri Chicken Recipe

Piri Piri chicken also called “Nando’s Chicken” after the restaurant that makes this dish, is made with birds-eye chilies, garlic, red bell pepper, and other seasonings to give you a spicy yet flavorful combination.

For those who don’t know, Nando’s is a South African restaurant chain that specializes in Portuguese-African food, including their signature dish – flame-grilled peri-peri Chicken.

This chicken recipe will definitely have people asking for more! This version is made in the oven but this same recipe can also be used for the grilled version. It’s so good!

While this chicken recipe is spicy, it’s not overpoweringly spicy. You’ll see in my recipe below that I advise you to put more or fewer birds-eye chilies into your peri peri chicken recipe to suit your tastebuds.

Watch How to make Peri Peri chicken below:

What is Peri-Peri Chicken?

Peri-peri chicken is a Portuguese-African dish that is popular in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, and South Africa.

The peri peri sauce is made with birds-eye chilies, but when combined with the other ingredients, the heat mellows down to create a flavor you will love. Of course, adding more birds-eye chilies into your peri-peri sauce will offset that flavor and turn your chicken dish into a spicier meal.

What’s the difference between Peri-peri and Piri Piri and pili pili?

You may be wondering what the difference is between peri peri chicken, piri piri chicken, and pili pili. All these variations describe the same recipe.  The only difference is the way it’s pronounced by different people depending on the location in Africa. 

Piri piri chicken on a bed of salad

What is Peri-Peri Sauce?

The peri-peri sauce is used as a seasoning or marinade and the birds-eye chili is the key ingredient to Peri-Peri sauce. This is what gives this dish a spicy kick. It is rich in Vitamins A, B, and C. This spicy pepper is known to enhance your mood due to the birds-eye chili containing capsaicin.

The Peri-peri Sauce is made from peri-peri chilis which are also known as the birds-eye chili. The recipe for this sauce varies from region to region depending on intended use (seasoning or marinade). However, the key ingredients are the birds-eye chilis, garlic, oil, seasonings, and an acidic base like lemon, lime, or vinegar.

What goes with piri-piri?

Peri-peri chicken pairs so well with salad, fries, instant brown rice, Chakalaka, fried plantains, Potato wedgesBaked Sweet Potatomashed potatoes, and it’s also good for wraps!

Oven baked peri peri chicken in a pan

Spice Level Adjustments

I added 4 Birds eye chilies in this recipe which is the medium heat level but you can reduce or increase the number of chilies you use depending on your heat tolerance level.

  • 2 Chilies will be mild heat level
  • 4 Chilis will be medium heat level
  • 6 chilis will be hot – your choice!


  1. Don’t discard the marinade. It’s the life of the chicken. It would be best if you baste it on the chicken during the cooking process.
  2. Be sure to marinate at least 1 hour so that the flavor can really be infused in the chicken. 
  3. I made my Chicken in Oven and it came out so well but the outdoor grill works just as well.
  4. If your hands are very sensitive to hot pepper, then it’s good to use a glove when mixing the marinade with the chicken
  5. Feel free to store any leftover marinade in the Freezer – it stores really well and use can it when next you need it.

Other Chicken recipes

Peri peri chicken recipe

Peri-Peri Chicken (Piri-Piri Chicken)

This spicy African chicken dish is made with birds-eye chilies, herbs, and spices. It's super easy to prepare!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African
Keyword: easy, homemade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Wait time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 435kcal
Author: Lola Osinkolu


  • lb chicken quarters
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 birds' eye chilies add more or less to your taste
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 Onion small
  • 4 to 5 sprigs thyme or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • The Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 bouillon cube


  • To make the marinade, blend all the ingredients together except the chicken.
  • Pour enough marinade over the chicken in a large bowl. Then use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 Hour or overnight - the longer, the better.
  • Arrange the chicken in the baking pan and pour the marinade in the bowl over it. Then put it in a 350°F oven.
  • After 30 minutes, flip the chicken over and brush with more marinade, then leave to cook for another 30 minutes.
  • It's ready, but you can love the ''char'' look on peri peri-peri chicken. You can turn on the grill function in your oven and grill the chicken (skin side up) for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy hot.


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 1801mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2853IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

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If you make this Peri Peri Chicken recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

Peri peri chicken recipe

4.75 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Hi Chef Lola. Please where can I find birds eye chilli? Is there a local name for it?

Lola Osinkolu

Thursday 14th of December 2023

The Chilli is Shombo in Yoruba. Sorry I don't know the name Igbo or Hausa name for it.

Ifeyinwa mark

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Whaoo yummy, it is wonderful

Friday 24th of July 2020


Faith Sunday

Friday 24th of July 2020

Thanks chef Lola. I am going to try it out today. May God bless your beautiful soul.

Lola Osinkolu

Saturday 25th of July 2020

Bless you too! I will be glad to know how well you like it when you try it. :)


Friday 24th of July 2020

I Love yor recipes

Lola Osinkolu

Saturday 25th of July 2020