Why not make your favourite Nando's Chicken at home? This easy Peri Peri Chicken recipe has all the flavour you know and love from Nando's but much cheaper. It's simple to make and cooks in 40 minutes, and you can even cook it on the BBQ too. Spice up your meals times with this flaming hot Nando's Chicken Recipe!
We love recreating our favourite restaurant meals at home. Not only are they cheaper to make yourself, but healthier too because you can control exact what goes in to it. Nando's has soared in popularity in recent years, and it's no wonder with their deliciously smokey and spicy chicken. It is much easier than you think to create Nando's chicken at home, at a fraction of the price.
Just a few minutes prep time and you have homemade Nando's chicken with minimal effort but maximum flavour. Juicy, tender and delicious chicken with a kick of spice. Fancy making some other takeaway favourites at home yourself? Why not try our Lamb Shish Kebab, Slow Cooker Chicken Korma, Soy Sauce Noodles or Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala.
Why you will love it
- Cheaper and healthier version of Nando's - If you are looking to save some money and eat a bit better, then this recipe is perfect as it's cheaper than going to Nando's and our marinade has less salt and oil, so it's a lighter version.
- Quick - This Nando's chicken recipe cooks in just 40 minutes, which although it might seem a long time, it's quicker than going to your local Nando's, ordering and waiting.
- Delicious and easy marinade - This marinade is so easy to make, as you just mix everything together in a bowl and it tastes incredible.
- Great for batch cooking - We love to make a big batch of this Nando's chicken recipe and the then shred it up to add to meals over the next couple of days. It goes really well on salad or in sandwiches.
- Chicken - We used skin on, bone in chicken thighs are we find that they have the best flavour, they result in the juiciest chicken and it is more authentic if you want that Nando's flavour. However, you could use boneless and skinless if you wanted to.
- Olive oil - This makes up the bulk of the marinade. Try to use the best quality olive oil you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Lemon - This helps to loosen up the marinade, and add some freshness too, but the acidity also tenderises the chicken. We used just lemon juice, but you could add some zest for extra lemon flavour. We used 2 lemons, but if yours are really juicy then you might only need one. You can also use limes instead if you prefer. To get more juice out of your lemons, then roll them with the palm of your hand first.
- Paprika - This is what really gives that classic Nando's chicken flavour. We used smoked paprika as it has such an incredible flavour. Make sure your paprika hasn't been open for longer than 6 months, as it won't have a lot of flavour.
- Chilli - This is where you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. We used red chilli flakes and you can use as many or as few as you like.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best, however you can use a jar of pre-crushed garlic if you want to save time. If you are crushing it yourself, make sure it is finely crushed almost in to a paste, as it will ensure even distribution in the marinade and on the chicken, so you don't get chunks of garlic. You could also use a teaspoon of garlic powder too if you prefer.
- Herbs - Dried oregano and parsley add lots of flavour. Again, make sure the dried herbs haven't been open too long.
- Salt and pepper - We used a good quality sea salt and black pepper and you can season it to taste. However, we do think you need to be generous with the salt if you want a more authentic Nando's Chicken Recipe taste.
How to make Peri Peri Chicken - step by step
One: Put all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Two: Put the chicken in to a large bowl and add the marinade. Mix well. Put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes so the chicken marinates.
Three: Put in a baking dish or onto a baking sheet.
Four: Put in a preheated oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 and bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (reached an internal temperature of 74°C/165°F). Use a meat thermometer like this Thermapen.
What is Peri Peri?
Peri Peri is actually a type of chilli, and it's also known as the African bird's eye chilli. We think of peri peri as the actual sauce or seasoning, but the chillies are mixed with garlic, salt, paprika and herbs to make the seasoning and then mixed in to olive oil, lemon and vinegar to make the sauce. Some people call it Piri Piri, but Peri Peri is what we are more used to in the UK.
Whilst you can use fresh chillies, we used dried red chilli flakes as that is what we had on hand and it means that you can easily make this marinade without needing many fresh ingredients.
Most people think that Nando's is Portuguese, because of the chicken symbol that is associated with Portugal, but it is actually South African, and that is where all their chillies are grown.
Store: Once fully cooled, you can store this peri peri chicken recipe in an air tight container where it will keep fresh for up to 3 days. We like the take all the chicken off the bone, shred it up and then store it to add to salads or on top of rice for quick and easy meals.
Freeze: Once cooled, you can put the chicken in freezer bags and freeze it for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the chicken in the marinade before cooking. Once you have added the marinade, then you can put it in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out of it and then store it in the freezer until you are ready to defrost it and cook it.
Reheat: Once fully defrosted, you can shred the chicken off the bone and then add a little oil to a frying pan, heat and then add the chicken and heat through. Make sure it is piping hot before serving.
What to serve with Nando's Chicken
Anyone that has been to Nando's will know just how many sides they have on offer, and we do like a side dish. I would go with a classic fries, corn and slaw combo to compliment this chicken just like you would get in Nando's. Why not try our Garlic Potato Wedges, or homemade fries with our French Fry Seasoning and Mexican Coleslaw and Grilled Corn with Herb Butter. If you want to serve it with rice, like we have, then try our Easy Spanish Rice.
Other side dishes that go really well with our Nando's Chicken Recipe are Garlic Spring Greens, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, Little Gem Salad or Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.
If you want some sauce on the side, then we recommend our Kebab Shop Chilli Sauce or Easy Garlic Sauce. To make your own Nando's sauce by taking all the same seasonings in this recipe again and mixing it with some lemon juice, more oil and some vinegar until the desired consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
We used chicken thighs (skin on and bone in) in this recipe, as they are nice and juicy. But, you could use drumsticks, breast or even do a whole chicken with this seasoning on. Cooking times will vary depending on what kind of chicken you are using though, so make sure to use a thermometer to check it is cooked.
You don't have to, but I would say it certainly helps. Leave it for a couple of hours if you can, but at least 30 minutes before cooking. The longer you can marinade it, the better it will taste, so leave overnight if possible.
Peri Peri chicken has a proper kick to it, but that's the whole point of it. It has plenty of flavour too, so it isn't just about the spice. But the spice is important. I am guessing if you don't like spicy food, then you wouldn't have found your way to this recipe.
If you are making it for people that don't love spicy food, then you could either use less chillies in the recipe, or make sure you have a creamy and cooling dip on the side to take some of the edge off.
We cooked the chicken for 40 minutes, however every oven cooks differently, so check the chicken after 30 minutes.
You can stick a knife in to the thickest part of the chicken thighs and if the juices run clear then it is cooked. The best way to ensure that it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is cooked when it has an internal temperature of 74°C/167°F.
Yes, you can, but we would always recommend cooking it in the oven first and then finishing it on the BBQ. Cook it for 35 minutes in the oven and then for the final 5 minutes you can put it on the BBQ to get that crispy skin and BBQ smokey flavour.
Yes, as long as you make sure that there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
Yes, you can easily double this recipe, you just need to make sure that you have a baking tray big enough, or you will need to use two baking trays.
Yes, and that is one of the best things about it. You can make up the marinade, smother it over the chicken and then cover it and put it in the fridge over night until you are ready to cook it the next day. You maybe need to add 5-10 minutes on to the cooking time if you are putting it in the oven straight from the fridge.
• This recipe uses 2 teaspoon of chilli flakes. If you don't like a lot of spice, reduce it to 1 tsp.
• Make sure that the chicken has enough space in the baking tray so that it cooks properly.
• Make your own Nando's sauce by taking all the same seasonings in this recipe again and mixing it with some lemon juice, more oil and some vinegar until the desired consistency.
• We used chicken thighs, but you can use drumsticks, breasts or even a whole chicken.
• Try to marinade it overnight if you can, but at least 30 minutes in the fridge if you don't have a lot of time.
More chicken recipes
If you’ve tried this homemade Nando's Peri Peri Chicken recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Peri Peri Chicken (Homemade Nando's Recipe)
- 8 Chicken thighs
- 2 Lemons - juice only
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 teaspoon Chilli flakes - (adjust to taste)
- 4 cloves Garlic clove - crushed
- 2 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Put all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Put the chicken into a large bowl and add the marinade. Mix well. Put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes so the chicken marinates.
- Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
- Put in a baking dish or onto a baking sheet.
- Put into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (reaching an internal temperature of 74°C/165°F)
- This recipe uses 2 teaspoon of chilli flakes. If you don't like a lot of spice, reduce it to 1 tsp.
- Make sure that the chicken has enough space in the baking tray so that it cooks properly.
- Make your own Nando's sauce by taking all the same seasonings in this recipe again and mixing it with some lemon juice, more oil and some vinegar until the desired consistency.
- We used chicken thighs, but you can use drumsticks, breasts or even a whole chicken.
- Try to marinade it overnight if you can, but at least 30 minutes in the fridge if you don't have a lot of time.
- To make sure the chicken has reached the desired internal temperature, we used this Thermapen.
My husband loves Nando’s, so I thought it would try this to save some money. It was lovely. Not too spicy, but that’s fine with me. A really nice flavour and easy to make too.
I've tried the recipe and it is very tasty, but I don't think it tastes like Nandos at all. It is spicy chicken, but not even close to Nandos, totally different taste.
I am glad you enjoyed it. It has all the ingredients our peri peri sauce, but it will have a slightly different flavour due to all natural ingredients and not a lot of added salt.
Could you do this in the slow cooker? My husband doesn't like chicken skin and will only eat chicken breasts.
Yes, it would work in the slow cooker too.
Cooked this for the first time, along with your easy Spanish rice recipe! Tasted delicious, can’t believe it’s healthy as well!
So glad you enjoyed them both!
Absolutely amazing! Delicious!!
You know who it is here the UK Nandos is so popular but it's always handy to have a homemade version to hand. Made this and loved it! Thank you!
So much flavour and easy to do - perfect for dinner any night!
So glad you enjoyed it!
I used the marinade on chunks of chicken breast and put it in a wrap with some halloumi and salad. It was really tasty and far cheaper than going to Nandos too.
I have been really missing Nandos since lockdown, so I thought I would try it myself. I didn’t have high hopes, but it was actually amazing. I didn’t get it quite as crispy, but I didn’t grill it, but the flavours were spot on. The rice was a great side too.
Are these thighs skin on and with bone in
Yes - skin on and bone in.
I love Nando's!! I have some chicken in the fridge I wasn't sure what to do with but I'll for sure be making this over the weekend! Thanks for such a nifty idea! xx
I've got a package of chicken thighs to transform with this fabulous Nando's copycat recipe. Pinned this keeper
Nart | Cooking with Nart
OMG, an easy peri peri marinade, yes please! Nando's is one of my favorite chains but we don't have it here in my country. Thank you so much for this! Gonna try it asap!
Full of flavor and delicious. Best option for Easter Meal.
This chicken looks amazing! I also like the Spanish rice you served it with. Yum!
Gotta love a great and simple chicken recipe like this. It's a life saver on busy days. :)
my favourite dish...i can eat it all year round..
This is one of my boyfriend's favourite dishes so I'll have to use your recipe to make this for him! Looks delicious :p
This recipe looks amazing, I love myself some chicken my boyfriend would have definitely loved this! I have subscribed to your newsletters already :)
Those photos have totally sold this to me! I know what I am going to be recreating for my birthday BBQ!
I would really worry about cooking chicken on the BBQ as I wouldn't want to give anyone food poisoning. So that thermapen sounds like a fabulous idea. Also, I love the sound of your peri peri chicken recipe. I might have to give it s go. Hugs Lucy xxxx