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You are sure to love my Peri Peri Sauce to spice up any dish with chicken, beef, or pork, and you can even use it for dipping! Plus this Portuguese sauce recipe only takes 10 minutes to make with minimal cooking needed.
Peri Peri Sauce Recipe
Also known as Piri Piri Sauce or Pili Pili Sauce, Peri Peri Sauce is a popular South African sauce that originates from Portuguese settlers discovering the bird’s eye chili of the area. If you’ve ever eaten at Nando’s, the South African restaurant chain, then you already know what the hype is about!
My homemade Portuguese Piri Piri Sauce recipe is very close to the sauce you would get at Nando’s, but even better! Since you’re making this easy sauce right at home, you’re in full control over what goes into it. Make it as spicy as you like!
Most often, this Nando’s inspired sauce pairs well with chicken, as the spicy, tangy depth of flavors of the sauce complements meat deliciously. If you haven’t tried making a homemade Piri Piri Sauce recipe yet, this is one you need to add to your list!
My new favorite sauce. I love making it in batches and using it for a quick and easy meal.Jordan on Pinterest
Piri Piri Sauce Ingredients
- Vegetable Oil
- Red Onion
- Sweet Paprika
- Roasted Peppers
- Thai Red Chilis
- Sherry Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Brown Sugar
- Dried Oregano
How to Make Peri Peri Sauce
- Heat oil in a pan. Saute garlic, onions, and paprika until softened.
- Add onion mixture, along with all other ingredients, to a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Use or serve, and enjoy!
What is Peri Peri Sauce?
Peri peri sauce is a blend of African bird’s eye chilies or Peri Peri chilies, and spices that give this sauce a unique bold flavor. It is a hot sauce perfect for pairing with chicken, beef, and pork, or for using as a dipping sauce.
Piri Piri Sauce FAQs
Peri peri sauce is loaded with garlicky, sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. It is a boldly flavorful sauce that stands out in every dish it’s included in.
There is no difference between piri piri sauce and peri peri. You may also hear the name “pili pili sauce”; all three variations of the name refer to the same recipe.
My recipe for piri piri sauce is 100% gluten-free and vegan, so anyone at the table can enjoy it.
Portuguese Sauce Recipe Tips
- If you’d like a milder sauce, reduce the amount of chili, and increase if you like it hot.
- When using fire-roasted peppers from a jar, discard any liquid.
- Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for sweet paprika.
- If the sauce is too thick for your liking, you can thin it down with olive oil or water.
How to Store Portuguese Sauce
Store in an airtight container for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and 2 months in the freezer.
How to Freeze Piri-Piri
To freeze the leftover sauce, allow it to cool completely, then add it to a freezer-safe zip-lock bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Best Portuguese Recipes
Easy Sauce Recipes
Peri Peri Sauce
- 1 Blender
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika (see note 3)
- 2 large fire roasted peppers (see note 2)
- 6-7 Thai red chilis seeds removed and finely chopped (see note 1)
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Heat the oil then saute the onions, garlic and paprika until softened (about 5 minutes).2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 4 cloves garlic, ½ medium red onion, 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- Add the onion mixture along with all the other ingredients to a blender.2 large fire roasted peppers, 6-7 Thai red chilis, ¼ cup sherry vinegar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, Zest of one lemon, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 4 teaspoons dried oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Blend until nearly smooth.
- Feel free to adjust the heat to your taste by adding more or less chili peppers. This Peri Peri sauce recipe is medium-hot.
- When using fire roasted peppers from a jar, discard the liquid they came in.
- You can used smoked paprika if you prefer.
- If you want to make batches of Peri Peri Sauce and store them, make sure to use sterilized bottles and use proper canning procedure.
Photos by Marie Roffey.
We really liked the peri peri sauce! I marinated and baked boneless, skinless chicken thighs and they turned out great. I have some wild salmon in the freezer and am thinking of trying the sauce on it.
Em Beitel says
That sounds amazing, Mary! Thank you so much for sharing with us. We would love to hear how it pairs with the salmon. It sounds like an incredible combo!