Homemade Peri-Peri Sauce

Homemade Peri-Peri Sauce

Introducing a fiery yet harmoniously balanced peri-peri sauce that will tantalize your tastebuds! This sauce boasts a rich history rooted in Portuguese and African culinary traditions, blending the heat of African bird’s eye chilies with the zest of citrus, the earthiness of paprika, and the piquancy of garlic. A symphony of flavors, this sauce is a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, adding a kick of spice and a burst of flavor. Get ready to elevate your dishes with this vibrant and versatile peri-peri sauce! For those of you who want me to compare this sauce to Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce then here’s what I have to say… I think it’s better.

Peri-peri chicken, also known as piri-piri chicken, is a flavorful dish that originated in Portugal and was popularized by the Portuguese settlers in Mozambique and Angola. The name “peri-peri” comes from the African bird’s eye chili pepper, which is a key ingredient in the spicy marinade used for this dish. The marinade typically includes ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, paprika, and olive oil, resulting in a tangy, spicy, and slightly smoky flavor profile. This marinade is used to coat chicken pieces, which are then grilled or roasted to perfection. While chicken is the most common meat used for peri-peri dishes, the marinade can also be used with other meats like pork, beef, or even fish. Variations of peri-peri chicken can be found across the globe, with different regions adding their own twist to the marinade or cooking method.

I love using this sauce as a marinade, dipping sauce, condiment or basting sauce. You can manage the level of heat by adjusting the amount of bird’s eye chili you use.

Homemade Peri-Peri Sauce

The Big Tasty Bite
A well balanced peri peri sauce that's good on almost anything, especially when basted on chicken and flame grilled. If you love Nando's peri-peri sauce, then this one is for you!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Starter
Cuisine African, Portuguese
Servings 2.5 cups


  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 grams red onions cleaned and roasted *see notes
  • 300 grams red pepper deseeded and roasted *see notes
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and roasted
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 5-8 bird's eye chili stems removed *see notes
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar or honey
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried origanum
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf dried
  • ½ cup neutral oil


  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius/450 Fahrenheit. Line a large baking tray with baking paper or foil.
  • Remove the core from the red peppers, remove any seeds and place on the lined tray with the skin facing upwards. Remove the bottom roots from the onions and any outer layers that might be damaged. Quarter the onions and place on the same tray as the red peppers. Lightly cover the vegetables in oil.
  • Add 5 or more garlic cloves in the center of a small piece of foil, add a touch of oil and close. Place the garlic in the center of the lined tray with the red peppers and onions. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the baking process.
  • Once the red peppers are done baking and have cooled slightly you can remove most of the charred skin from the red peppers.
  • To a blender add the roasted red onions, peppers, roasted garlic, raw garlic, birds eye chili (see notes), lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, smoked paprika, origanum, white pepper, salt and a bay leaf. Blend until a paste forms. Add 1/2 cup neutral oil and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container. This recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups worth of sauce.
Keyword hot sauce, marinade, peri peri, sauces

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