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This peri peri sauce recipe is my latest obsession for… like everything! I first made it to serve with peri peri chicken, but since then I’ve dunked baked chicken wings in it, drizzled it over different kinds of roasted vegetables, and even used it to marinate grilled dishes. Try it and let me know if you’re as hooked as I am!
Why You’ll Love This Peri Peri Sauce Recipe
- Perfect balance of fiery, tangy flavor and spicy heat
- Customize how much heat you want
- Fresh, natural ingredients
- Easy to make
- The perfect condiment for seasoning meats, veggies, and more
What Is Peri Peri Sauce?
Peri peri sauce, also known as piri piri sauce, is a bold, fiery red pepper sauce made with hot chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and spices. It originates from Africa, but has Portuguese influence. Today, Nando’s is a popular world-famous brand of this sauce, but you can easily make it at home!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for peri peri hot sauce, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Bell Peppers – Red bell peppers make up the base of the sauce. Yellow, green, or orange will work if that’s all you have, though they would be less authentic.
- Onion – I used a red onion for this peri peri sauce recipe, but you could substitute it with a yellow onion if you prefer a milder flavor.
- African Bird’s Eye Chili Peppers – African bird’s eye chilies are the star of this dish (and “peri-peri” literally translates to this type of pepper!), so look for them if you can. They add heat and fruity flavor. However, in a pinch, you can substitute Thai red chili peppers or other spicy red chilies. The level of heat in this peri peri sauce is medium, so just use more or fewer peppers to adjust the spiciness. Feel free to throw in some red pepper flakes to taste, if you like extra heat.
- Olive Oil – Used for roasting the peppers and onions. Avocado oil or any neutral oil would also work.
- Lemon & Red Wine Vinegar – Both add tang and contribute to the flavor. You can use just one of them if you don’t have the other, but it will affect the flavor.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic cloves will give the best flavor, but you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons jarred garlic or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder for convenience.
- Herbs & Spices – Smoked paprika (or regular), dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper.
How To Make Peri Peri Sauce
This section shows how to make homemade peri peri sauce, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep the vegetables. Preheat an oven. Toss red pepper and onion pieces in olive oil.
- Roast the veggies. Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet and roast, flipping halfway through, until blistered and darkened.
- Puree the peri peri sauce. Transfer the roasted red peppers and onions to a food processor or powerful blender. Add the chili peppers, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- Simmer to bring out the flavors. Transfer to a small pot and simmer over low heat. (ou can skip this step if you really want to, but the flavor is much better after simmering!)
- Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. Stir or shake well before using.
- Reheat: Warm up peri peri sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Freeze: Cool to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or zip lock bag, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or reheat frozen sauce in the microwave at low to medium power.
Peri Peri Sauce Uses
This homemade sauce can add a fiery kick to a variety of dishes. I just love it! Try it in these ways:
- Chicken – The most common way to use peri peri sauce is for peri peri chicken (of course… shown above), but you can add it to juicy baked chicken breast or for dipping air fryer chicken wings.
- Seafood – Add heat to your grilled shrimp skewers or replace the lemon butter sauce in pan seared salmon.
- Vegetables – For a spicy kick, add it to your roasted eggplant, easy roasted zucchini, or toss it in a vegetable stir fry.
- Potatoes – It can even be used as a seasoning for roasted potatoes (or roasted rutabaga for a lighter option), or as a dip for garlic parmesan fries.
- Marinade – Coat chicken, fish, pork, or steak with peri peri sauce and let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before cooking.
- Food Processor – My favorite! I’ve had it for years and it’s so durable. It makes this sauce smooth enough to spoon over anything.
Peri Peri Sauce
Peri Peri Sauce
Peri peri sauce is a blend of hot chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and spices for a punch of flavor and heat. It goes with so many dishes!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
In a large bowl, toss the red bell pepper and onion pieces in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Spread out onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are blistered and darkened.
Transfer the peppers and onions to a food processor. Add the chili peppers, remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pulse for 30-60 seconds, until all ingredients are combined. It may not be perfectly smooth.
Transfer to a saucepan and let simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Use as a dipping sauce or marinade.
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Serving size: 2 tablespoons
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