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Easy Spicy Peri Peri Sauce

Peri Peri Sauce adds a real kick to your cooking! This fiery and flavorful condiment is made from a blend of garlic, spices, and chili peppers. It’s sure to turn up the heat on any dish!

Homemade Peri peri sauce served in a bowl

Homemade Peri Peri Sauce – “pili pili” or “Piri piri.”-

You may have heard about this sauce, it’s the famous Nando’s peri peri sauce. Nando is a restaurant in South Africa that sells Portuguese-African food, and they are known for their unique peri peri sauce.

Whether you’re grilling, barbecuing, or roasting, Piri piri Sauce can take your meal to the next level. Not only does it add a bold flavor, but it also adds a layer of complexity and zest to your recipes. Get ready to fire up your dinner with the tantalizing taste of Peri Peri Sauce!

Delicious homemade pili pili sauce served with chicken wings in a tray

Making this Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

This is the homemade version of the famous Nando’s peri peri sauce. The sauce is a signature Portuguese sauce that has been so popular that even the Nando’s restaurants (which are in various countries).

I’ve been to one of their restaurant in the united kingdom while on a family vacation and tried the original sauce there. The first bite was nothing short of extraordinary. The fiery heat of the chilies, the tanginess of the lemon, and the subtle sweetness of the spices melded together perfectly. The sauce perfectly complemented the tender, juicy chicken.

The recipe that we’re using here is so close to theirs. You can use it on most grilled meats or simply on bread as a dipping sauce.

This peri peri sauce recipe is fairly simple. It only requires a few simple ingredients. Start with fresh chilies, garlic, lemon juice, and oil, and then add some herbs and spices to taste. Once all the ingredients are combined, blend them together until you have a smooth sauce. The sauce can then be used immediately or stored in the fridge.

What is peri-peri sauce made of

Peri-peri sauce is typically made of chilies, garlic, lemon juice, oil, and a variety of herbs and spices. The combination of these ingredients creates a spicy, tangy, and flavourful sauce that adds a kick to any dish.

What does peri-peri sauce taste like

Peri-peri sauce has a strong and spicy flavor that is both tangy and lemony. It has a hint of garlic and a kick of heat that makes it irresistible.

Ingredients for making the sauce

This sauce is easy to make at home! All you need is a few simple ingredients – red chilies, paprika, onion, olive oil, garlic, paprika, chili flakes, lemon juice, and salt – and a blender or food processor.

You can also add a few herbs and spices to personalize your sauce.

  • African Bird’s Eye red chilies: the base ingredients for the spiciness and hotness of the sauce. It is the authentic ingredients for this recipe but feels free to substitute with cayenne, jalapeno, serrano, or small red chili pepper. 
  • Garlic: adds strong garlicky flavor for deep taste and bold flavor.
  • Onion: intensifies the taste of the sauce.
  • Smoked paprika: for rustic and earthy details to the sauce
  • Cilantro and basil: these herbs go well with hot and spicy sauces. They add a savory and strong flavor to the sauce.
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil: great for the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can make it thinner by adding more olive oil to the sauce.
  • Lemon Juice adds a refreshing and tangy balance to the taste. It also helps to remove bitterness from the chili seeds.
  • Salt and pepper: salt and pepper enhance the taste and eliminate blandness. 

How to make Peri Peri Sauce

  • Simply blend all the ingredients together until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (optional) 
  • Refrigerate until ready to use, and that’s it!


I love the flexibility of this recipe. There’re regional differences in the recipe throughout Africa. So, feel free to alter some ingredients to make yours.

  • African bird’s eyes chili is the traditional peri sauce’s original ingredient. You can use long red cayenne pepper, fingerling pepper, or red jalapeno pepper if you can’t find it. They all work well.
  • This sauce is not complete without herbs. I have incorporated basil and cilantro in this version. Feel free to use oregano or tarragon. 
  • I used lemon juice in this recipe, but you can substitute it for vinegar or cider vinegar. You can also use half lemon juice and half vinegar.
Delicious homemade pili pili sauce served with chicken wings in a tray

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, you can make this sauce in advance. To do this, simply prepare the sauce as instructed and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. The sauce will keep for up to1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

How Spicy is peri peri sauce?

It can be as spicy as you want it to be. The amount of chilies used will determine the spiciness of the sauce.

Is it gluten-free?

Yes, this version of peri peri sauce is 100% gluten-free.

How to use Peri Peri Sauce

It’s incredibly versatile! Use it as a marinade, a dipping sauce, a salad dressing, a condiment, a flavor enhancer – the possibilities are endless!

Peri peri sauce scooped with a spoon to show it's beautiful texture.

Peri Peri Sauce

Get ready to fire up your dinner with the tantalizing taste of Peri Peri Sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: African
Keyword: peri peri sauce, sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 442kcal


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 10 African birds' eye chilies
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion medium size
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • ¼ cup vinegar white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon The Juice of
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 bouillon cube


  • Blend all the ingredients to your desired consistency in a food processor or blender.
  • Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (optional)
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.


Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.1g | Protein: 15.6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.1g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 6727.7mg | Potassium: 2337.7mg | Fiber: 19.6g | Sugar: 36.1g | Vitamin A: 15375.3IU | Vitamin C: 818.3mg | Calcium: 225.1mg | Iron: 10mg

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 29th of June 2023

Hi, what kind of bouillon does this recipe call for?

Lola Osinkolu

Thursday 13th of July 2023

Chicken bouillon