Spicy Peri Peri Chicken

Bring this quick and easy Nando’s classic into your home for a celebration of flavor. Finger licking, spicy peri peri chicken for everyone to enjoy.

Nandos copycat Peri Peri Chicken Leg. Serve on a board with coleslaw and wedges of lime.
Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken

We all love to go out for dinner, and on the odd occasion to stay in and have a takeaway. This peri peri chicken is the best of both worlds. Whether it’s for a big family dinner or especially for valentines, say I love you by serving up succulent chicken with a well-known spicy flavor.

When you think of peri peri sauce or piri piri sauce, you might think of a well-known chain of restaurants called Nando’s. The company is originally from South Africa and specializes in South African/Portuguese food. Its signature dish is peri peri style chicken. Although the name has different spellings depending on whether you are from South Africa or Portugal, the flavor remains the same vibrant heat that everyone loves.

Marinated Chicken Legs in sauce. Also in the oven dish red onions and red peppers.
Marinated Chicken Legs

Alternative Ingredients for your Spicy Peri Peri Chicken

  1. A true peri peri sauce uses the African bird’s-eye chili. Originally from South America it is now mainly associated with Portugal and Africa. It is rather hard to find it in local supermarkets so if you can’t locate them, use Thai chilis, any small red chilis or chili flakes will work as well. You will just have to use different quantities depending on the heat.
Peri Peri Marinade in a large glass bowl.
Spicy Peri Peri Marinade

Healthy Alternatives

  1. If you are trying to be healthier but still want great flavor then make the dish with skinless chicken breasts.
  2. Instead of serving it with fried potatoes, wedges or rice, you could serve it with a crunchy salad or cauliflower rice. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy your meal while keeping healthy.

What to to pair with your peri peri chicken?

Something light like a Caprese salad for the appetizer. There is enough heat in the main course already.

Chocolate Soufflé with vanilla ice cream would be a lovely dessert to cleanse your palette and cool your taste buds.

When it comes to drinks for your dinner, you should pair your wine with the strong spicy marinade and not just the chicken. Something like a South African Cabernet Sauvignon, French Chenin Blanc or a New Zealand or South African Sauvignon Blanc. If your are a beer drinker then I would suggest an IPA or a citrusy pale ale.

Chicken legs caramelized beautifully. Super succulent and tasty.
Beautifully caramelized chicken legs

Serving Suggestions for Spicy Peri Peri Chicken

The choices are really endless.

  1. Serve your roast chicken on a bed of cilantro rice and corn on the cob.
  2. You could spatchcock a full chicken and serve it on top of creamy mash.
  3. If you don’t want the hassle of a full chicken, try chicken thighs and drumsticks instead. Pair them with sides such as sweet potato wedges, crispy chips, creamy mash or even a fresh crunchy coleslaw. Soak up the juices with freshly made bread rolls.
  4. If there are left overs, you could make them into spicy peri peri chicken wraps and serve them for lunch with a salad the next day.
  5. If you like spicy foods, check out my super easy taco bell-inspired beef tacos.
Homemade crunchy coleslaw served in a small glass ramekin.
Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw


  1. You can store your cooked chicken leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
  2. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer but make sure you defrost them fully. It’s also very important to make sure it is piping hot throughout before eating.
Extra crispy sweet potato wedges on a plate with peri peri chicken and homemade coleslaw.
Extra Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges
Peri peri chicken just out of the oven. Spicy crispy skin for everyone to enjoy.

Spicy Peri Peri Chicken

Author: Fiona Halligan
Nando's Peri Peri Chicken should be spicy, garlicky and have a citrus burst with a sweet and smoky flavor. Try out this impressive quick and easy chicken recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinate (Optional) 1 day
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine African, Portuguese
Servings 6 people
Calories 342 kcal


  • 6 Chicken Legs, thigh and drumstick skin scored with sharp knife
  • 100 g Mixed Peppers cut in wedges
  • 100 g Red Onion cut in wedges

Peri Peri Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Limes juice
  • 30 ml Red wine vinegar
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 3 teaspoons Chili Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano dried
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425°F, 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Place the scored chicken, peppers and red onions into the large bowl. Rub the marinade in well and coat everything thoroughly.
  • Marinate the chicken mixture for as long as possible to enhance the flavor (preferably 24hrs). If you are tight on time then 30 to 60 minutes will be perfect too.
  • Place all the marinated pieces on a roasting tray and place the tray in your preheated oven uncovered.
  • Roast the chicken for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the top of the chicken so it doesn't caramelize too much. If it caramelizes a lot, cover with tin foil. Check the chicken is cooked and remove the tray from the oven. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with sweet potato wedges and a fresh crunchy coleslaw.


  1. The chicken is cooked when there are only clear juices coming from the pieces. There should be no pink in the meat.
  2. If you find the chicken legs are too big of a portion then just use thighs or drumsticks.
  3. Adjust the heat to your own preference, adding more or less chili flakes or using fresh chili’s diced finely.


Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 23gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 489mgPotassium: 358mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1242IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Peri Peri Chicken
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