Peri Peri Chicken

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes

Peri-Peri Chicken is a delicious, spicy weeknight dinner. Tender chicken smothered in thick, flavorful peri-peri sauce with chili peppers, paprika, and garlic.

This delicious and impressive dish is perfect for a family Dinner Recipe. Serve it up with Peri Peri Sauce and your favorite vegetable Side Dishes for a filling, wonderful meal. 

Peri Peri Chicken on serving plate

Peri Chicken is a fabulous dish that originated in South Africa. It’s characterized by its signature sauce, peri peri or piri piri sauce, which is made with spicy bird-eye chili, or Thai chili.

The chilies add a nice amount of spice to the fabulous dish, but it’s not an overpowering heat. You should still be able to taste the other amazing flavors from the paprika, garlic, oregano, and lemon juice in the recipe. However, if you’re not a huge fan of spicy foods, you may want to lessen the number of chilies. You can always add a few to the sauce at a time and taste test it to make sure it’s a good heat for you. 

Peri Peri Chicken collage

Flavorful Peri Peri Chicken is often served up with fresh juicy corn cobs. The naturally sweet flavor of the corn pairs perfectly with the hot pepper sauce. Try making some Milk Boiled Corn or a Corn Salad to go with your chicken dish.

Easy chicken recipes are great for weeknight dinners that the whole family can enjoy. This recipe does take a while to prepare because the chicken needs time to soak in the marinade. You want to give it at least 4 hours in the fridge to get enough of the flavor soaked in. However, all the hands-on cooking is super easy. So, as long as you remember to get started in advance, it’s a fool-proof recipe for amazing chicken!



  • Peri-peri marinade: Add the olive oil, white vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, onion, chilies, garlic, salt, oregano, paprika, sugar, black pepper, and bell peppers to your food processor. Blend the mixture until the sauce is smooth. 
  • Flatten chicken: Slice the spine out of the back of the chicken and then press down on the chicken until it’s flattened into a spatchcock style.
  • Marinate: Then add the chicken to a zip lock bag and pour the sauce into the bag as marinade for the meat. Once the chicken is coated in the hot marinade, put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. You can also leave it overnight for a more developed flavor. 
  • Cooking time: While the marinated chicken is almost done with its time in the fridge, bring the oven heat to 400 degrees. Then spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Put the chicken on the sheet skin side down. Then rub extra marinade over the chicken. Cook for 60-75 minutes. Use an internal meat thermometer at the thickest part. If it’s reached 165 degrees the chicken is safe to eat. If not give it a few more minutes. Serve with extra sauce and enjoy. 
Peri Peri Chicken on serving plate


  • Extra spicy: The chilies already give this recipe a kick of heat. However, if you just can’t get enough spice and want to raise the heat level even more you can add in a dash of hot sauce, hot chili powder, or spicy chili flakes. Add in a little bit at a time so that you don’t accidentally make it too spicy. 
  • Smoky flavor: To give this recipe a more smoky flavor, you can add a little bit of barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or liquid smoke to the peri-peri marinade. 
  • Garnishes: If you’re serving Peri Peri Chicken for a more special occasion you may want to add some garnishes. Try putting some lemon slices, and cilantro leaves on the side of your plate. You can also add a crunchy topping with crushed pecans, or peanuts over the chicken. 
Peri Peri Chicken topping with peri peri sauce



  • Serve: After baking, don’t leave Peri Peri Chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Let the chicken cool down, and then put it in an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-5 days. 
  • Freeze: You can also seal and freeze the chicken for up to 6 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, and then reheat it on the stovetop or in the oven before serving. 

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Peri-Peri Chicken

Peri-Peri Chicken delicious, spicy weeknight dinner. Tender chicken smothered in thick, flavorful peri-peri sauce with chili peppers, paprika, and garlic.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine African
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 lemon , juiced and zested
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 bird’s eye chili peppers , use serrano as replacement
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup roasted bell pepper strips , drained well
  • 1 5-6 pound chicken


  • To a large food processor or blender add olive oil, white vinegar, lemon juice and zest, onion, serrano peppers, garlic, salt, oregano, paprika, sugar, black pepper, and bell pepper strips and process until smooth.
  • Flatten the chicken into a spatchcock style by cutting the spine out of the back of the chicken and pressing down on the chicken until flattened.
  • Add chicken to a large ziplock bag or covered container and coat with sauce.
  • Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
  • Add the chicken to the baking sheet, skin side up.
  • Rub remaining marinade over the chicken.
  • Cook for 60-75 minutes until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees at its thickest part.
  • Serve with Peri Peri Sauce.


Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 654IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Peri Peri Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I apologize if I’m being dense, but the recipe says to use the remaining marinade over the chicken before cooking, and then to serve the chicken with peri peri sauce. So, do we want to reserve a cup or so of the sauce before we marinate the chicken? Does the recipe make enough to allow that? Or do you mean to use the drippings from the chicken as the sauce? Or something else?

    It does look like a great recipe and I’m eager to try it!