Peri Peri Sauce

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This spicy thick tangy sauce is both vegan and whole 30 compliant. Roasted red peppers, ground black pepper, chili pepper, smoked hot paprika and a handful of other ingredients are all you’ll need for this easy sauce. Adjust the heat to suit your preference and use it as a dip, or drizzle it over some vegetables for a Nando’s experience at home.

Just blitz everything in a blender and heat until thickened, an easy recipe suitable for any level of cooking skills.

I was introduced to Nando’s when I was home in Dublin a few years ago, visiting friends and family. My husband excitedly pointed out a Nando’s restaurant he spotted while we were out and about in city center. He raved about their chicken, which of course I had no interest in, and their spicy peri peri sauce, at which my ears perked up. 

I had never tried peri peri sauce before but anything spicy is good in my book – except wasabi (you suck wasabi!).

So of course then I decided we had to go. To support my man in his Nando’s quest, I selflessly agreed to go try the tasty-sounding spicy sauce. And I was hooked. Heaven. It was spicy, tangy, thick and tart heaven.

A silver jug of red sauce next to a while bowl of vegetables with two red chili peppers in the background

Completely different to any hot sauce I had tried previously. I think it’s one of life’s greatest mysteries that there can be so many types of hot sauce that taste so completely different – think about it! Tabasco, buffalo, sweet chili, peri peri, salsa brava, sriracha…and I’m drooling again.

Back home in Madrid, I joined the rank of Facebook friends bemoaning the lack of a Nando’s in my area. I spent years trying to recreate the sauce and this is my final version, tested hundreds of times!

I love this sauce. I dream of this sauce. If I had to pick between this sauce and my hubby….well let’s just say that it would be a difficult decision! It’s super easy to make and can be put on anything. It’ll also keep in the fridge for at least a week. I usually make up a double batch and freeze some.

How can I use peri peri sauce?

I like to add it into hummus, pour it over Buddha bowls, use it as a dip…the possibilities are endless. If you skip the coconut milk it also doubles up as a marinade – do be sure to lower the spice level a notch though as you’ll no longer have the fat from the coconut to take the edge off…

My absolute favourite way to have it is over vegetables served with lemon coconut rice. I like to quickly stir-fry some chunky cut pineapple, onion, peppers, aubergine and carrots, with no oil – I like the veg slightly charred in this dish, and for that to happen they need to stick just a little to the pan to char.

A spoonful of red sauce over a plate of vegetables

If I’m not doing Whole30 Then I add some cooked chickpeas, mix in my peri peri sauce, simmer for five minutes, and voila! A tasty dinner is served.

How hot is peri peri sauce?

How long is a piece of string? I’ve suggested one chili for the sauce in this recipe, but it really depends on how hot your chili peppers are and how high your spice tolerance is. At the time I wrote down this recipe I had a bizarrely hot batch of chili peppers, but I’ve made it with six mild peppers before.

Try it with one just one initially and test how spicy it is. You can always add more chili peppers in later if you need it spicier – but if you jump the gun and get too generous with the chilis from the start you’ll be left with a sauce which is too spicy to eat. But seriously, eat it SPICY.

Yield: 6 people

Peri peri sauce

Peri peri sauce

Tangy spicy smoky peri peri sauce, vegan and whole30 compliant and ready in less than 20 minutes. Dip potato wedges in it or ladle over vegetables for a Nando's experience at home!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 long red chili pepper
  • 1 large red pepper
  • Juice one lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp spicy smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk


  1. Roughly chop the chili pepper and red pepper and add to a blender or food processor.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and blend well.
  3. Add in all the other ingredients except the coconut milk and olive oil and blend until perfectly smooth.
  4. Now add in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time and blend on a high speed until emulsified (it should be thicker and a more-orange color).
  5. Check for spiciness. If you want it hotter, transfer most of the sauce to a pot, leaving just a tiny bit in the blender or processor, and add in more chopped chilis. Blend and then mix into the rest of the sauce.
  6. Transfer all the sauce to a small pot and add half a cup of water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, then add the coconut milk.
  8. Done!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 86Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 224mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 1g

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