Homemade Peri Peri Sauce Recipe – A Fiery Blend Of Flavors!

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Ignite your palate with our fiery Peri-Peri Sauce Recipe Crafted from bold chili peppers, aromatic garlic, and zesty citrus, it’s a taste explosion. This sauce embodies the essence of heat and flavor. Elevate your dishes in minutes with this sizzling concoction. It’s the ultimate kitchen companion, perfect for grilling, dipping, or marinating.

With this in mind, I remember the first time I tasted Peri Peri sauce. It was at a family gathering, and the fiery kick surprised me. Often, a good sauce can transform a meal, and this is a great example of that. 

Peri Peri Sauce

I’ve since learned that Peri Peri sauce originates from Africa, bringing spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors. The best thing is making it at home is simple. So you can get the most out of fresh ingredients and adjust the heat to your liking. 

I’ve spent time refining a recipe that, while not traditional, delivers a flavor-packed punch. You won’t have to worry about overpowering spice; adjusting as per your taste may be helpful.

I’m sharing this recipe with you today, hoping it brings as much joy to your table as it did to mine.

What Is Peri Peri Sauce? 

Peri Peri sauce is a spicy condiment originating from Africa. With this in mind, it’s made primarily from crushed Peri Peri chillies, often combined with other ingredients like garlic, vinegar, oil, and lemon.

This sauce is known for its fiery kick but also brings a tangy and zesty flavor to dishes. 

It is excellent to use it as a marinade for poultry or meat, as a dip, or even as a dressing. You won’t have to worry about monotony in your meals when using this sauce; it adds a vibrant and unique touch every time.

History For Peri Peri Sauce

Peri Peri sauce has its roots in Africa. The name “Peri Peri” translates to “pepper pepper” in Swahili. While the sauce was born in Africa, the influence of Portuguese explorers is evident.

When they arrived in Africa, they encountered the fiery bird’s eye chili, and with this in mind, they incorporated it into their cooking. 

The result was a blend of African and Portuguese flavors. Often, the sauce was used to marinate meats, especially chicken. Today, it is great to see its popularity spread worldwide.

So you can find this spicy, tangy condiment in various dishes across different cultures.

Interesting Facts About Peri-Peri Sauce

  • The name “Peri Peri” is derived from Swahili, meaning “pepper pepper.”
  • The bird’s eye chili, the primary ingredient, is among the spiciest in the world.
  • While native to Africa, the sauce has significant Portuguese influence.
  • With this in mind, Peri Peri chicken is a favorite dish in Africa and Portugal.
  • The best thing is that the sauce adds heat and is rich in vitamin C.
  • You won’t have to worry about its shelf life; it preserves well due to its vinegar content.
  • Peri Peri sauce is often used as a marinade, but it is also great to use it as a dip.
  • Variations exist to find recipes with added herbs or citrus flavors.
Peri Peri Sauce jar

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Portuguese Version: Often uses whiskey or brandy and sometimes includes red bell peppers for sweetness.
  • South African Variation: Incorporates more citrus elements and sometimes includes additional herbs for a unique flavor profile.
  • Brazilian Twist: It’s not uncommon to find Peri-Peri sauce with added tomatoes and onions in Brazil.
  • Indian Adaptation: Spices like turmeric and cumin may be added, giving the sauce an earthy depth.
  • Mozambique Style: Coconut milk is sometimes blended for a creamy, rich texture.

What Will Make You Love This Peri-Peri Sauce?

Bold, fiery flavors ignite your taste buds. Vibrant spices awaken your senses. Tangy and zesty, it’s an explosion of taste.

Perfect for grilling, marinating, or dipping. Versatile and exciting, it elevates any dish. A symphony of chili, garlic, and herbs. 

It’s a culinary adventure in a bottle. Unleash your inner spice enthusiast. Irresistibly hot and savory. Experience the thrill of Peri-Peri. A sauce that demands attention. Add a kick to your meals. Peri-Peri is the flavor you’ll crave.

Peri Peri Sauce bowl

Ingredients List 

Dried peri-peri chiles5
Garlic cloves4
Olive oil¾ cup
Lemon juice½ cup
Chopped fresh cilantro2 tablespoons
Salt½ teaspoon

Ingredient Tips

  • Always choose high-quality dried peri-peri chiles. The freshness impacts the sauce’s vibrancy.
  • You can remove the seeds from the chiles before blending for a milder flavor.
  • Fresh garlic cloves are best. Avoid using jarred or powdered garlic to retain authentic flavors.
  • With this in mind, use cold-pressed olive oil. It offers a richer taste compared to refined oils.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice gives a brighter tang than bottled alternatives.
  • If cilantro isn’t your favorite, you may want to substitute it with parsley.
  • It is great to adjust the salt based on your preference. Start with less; you can always add more later.
  • Storing ingredients in a cool, dark place often ensures they retain their potency and freshness.

What Are The Variations Of Peri-Peri Sauce Recipe?

  • Spice Levels: Adjust the heat by varying the quantity of chili peppers. More peppers for a hotter sauce, fewer for a milder version.
  • Citrus Twist: Experiment with different citrus fruits like lemon, lime, or orange to add a unique tangy dimension to your sauce.
  • Herb Choices: Customize with herbs such as oregano, thyme, or cilantro for distinct herbal undertones.
  • Sweet and Smoky: Incorporate sweet elements like honey or smoked paprika for a sweeter, smokier profile.
  • Nutty Flavors: Blend in nuts like almonds or cashews for a creamy, nutty variation.
  • Fruity Fusion: Combine with fruits like mango or pineapple for a tropical, fruity twist.
  • Garlic Intensity: Adjust the garlic quantity to achieve your preferred level of garlic flavor.
  • Vinegar Varieties: Experiment with different types of vinegar (e.g., white wine, apple cider, balsamic) for unique acidity profiles.
Peri Peri Sauce ingredient

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Start by boiling some water.
  • In a small bowl, cover the chiles with the boiling water. Allow them to sit and soften for 10 minutes.
  • After the resting time, drain the water from the chiles.
  • Transfer the chilies to a blender or food processor.
  • The chilies should also have garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, and salt.
  • Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Ensure a vent is open when mixing so steam may escape, and any pressure buildup is avoided.
  • Once blended to your desired consistency, transfer the sauce to a glass jar or container.

Ferment Method 

While this recipe doesn’t include fermentation, you can enhance the sauce’s depth of flavor and shelf-life through fermentation. To do this, instead of refrigerating immediately after blending, let the sauce sit at room temperature for 2-3 days

Then, store it in the refrigerator. The lactic acid fermentation will naturally preserve the sauce and give it a tangy undertone. Always ensure to check for mold or off-smells before consumption.

Scaling The Recipe 

Scaling Up

  • Proportional Increase: Double or triple each ingredient. For example, use 10 dried peri-peri chiles to double the quantity instead of 5.
  • Taste and Adjust: As you increase the ingredients, always taste and adjust. You might require a bit more salt or lemon juice for balance.

Scaling Down

  • Halve Ingredients: To make a smaller batch, simply halve each ingredient.
  • Blend Well: Even in smaller quantities, ensure thorough blending for consistency.
Peri Peri Sauce mesh

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads And Other Dishes? 

  • Marinade: Its spicy and tangy attributes make it an excellent marinade for meats, poultry, seafood, or even tofu. The ingredients penetrate and season, enhancing flavor and tenderness.
  • Dipping Sauce: It is a great companion to snacks like fries, grilled vegetables, or spring rolls.
  • Dressing: When diluted with olive oil or yogurt, it transforms into a zesty salad dressing.
  • Dish Enhancer: A dash in stews, soups, or stir-fries can elevate the overall taste.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Peri Peri Sauce?

  • Grilled Chicken: Often, Peri-Peri chicken is a fan favorite, showcasing the sauce’s full potential.
  • Steak: A drizzle of the sauce can elevate a simple grilled steak.
  • Fish and Seafood: Especially grilled prawns or calamari.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.
  • Potato Dishes: Fries, roasted potatoes, or even mashed potatoes.
  • Pizzas: For an added spicy kick.
  • Burgers: As a spicy condiment or integrated within the patty.
  • Rice and Grain Bowls: To infuse more flavor.
  • Tofu and Tempeh: For a vegetarian or vegan spicy treat.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Offering a tangy touch.
Peri Peri Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Peri-Peri Sauce?

  • Peri-Peri Chicken: Often grilled or roasted, this dish showcases the sauce as a marinade and a dip.
  • Peri-Peri Prawns: Succulent prawns marinated and grilled with a fiery sauce.
  • Peri-Peri Pizza: A spicy twist, often topped with chicken or vegetables.
  • Peri-Peri Potato Wedges: Potatoes seasoned with the sauce and then baked or fried.
  • Peri-Peri Rice: Rice stir-fried with sauce, vegetables, and sometimes protein.
  • Peri-Peri Soup: Spicy broth with vegetables or chicken.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Peri-Peri Sauce Offers?

  • Spicy: The bird’s eye chilies provide an unmistakable fiery kick.
  • Tangy: Lemon juice or vinegar introduces a zesty, citrusy note.
  • Earthy: The chilies, combined with garlic, impart a grounded, earthy undertone.
  • Herbaceous: Fresh cilantro or other herbs offer a green, aromatic touch.
  • Savory: The garlic and salt work together to provide a savory depth.
  • Slightly Sweet: Some sauce versions may have a subtle sweetness, often from the peppers or added ingredients.
Peri Peri Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Yes, Peri-Peri sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. With this in mind, it’s advisable to transfer the sauce to an airtight glass jar or container after preparing. Store it in the refrigerator to ensure its freshness and longevity.

The high acid content from the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil are natural preservatives. Often, when stored properly, the sauce has a shelf life of up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

However, for the best flavor and safety, you should consume it within this period. Always inspect the sauce for any signs of mold or off-odors before using.

What Are The Substitutes For Peri-Peri Sauce Recipe?

If you’re looking for substitutes for Peri-Peri sauce, several options can provide a similar fiery kick and flavor profile:

  • Hot Sauce: Sriracha, Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce can simply be substituted. Adjust the quantity to match the heat level you desire.
  • Cayenne Pepper Sauce: A mix of cayenne pepper, vinegar, and salt can mimic the spiciness of Peri-Peri sauce.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder can be sprinkled on dishes for heat and flavor.
  • Harissa: This North African chili paste combines red peppers, spices, and garlic, offering a complex, spicy taste.
  • Sambal Oelek: A spicy Indonesian chili paste made from ground red chili peppers, vinegar, and salt.
  • Homemade Spice Blend: Create your blend with red chilies, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice for a DIY alternative.
  • Hot Mustard: Spicy mustard varieties can add a tangy and hot element to your dishes.
  • Gochujang: Korean fermented chili paste with a sweet, spicy, and savory flavor.
Peri Peri Sauce in the jar

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Peri-Peri Sauce Recipe?

To adjust the consistency of Peri-Peri sauce:

  • Thickening: If it’s too thin, simmer the sauce over low heat to reduce and thicken it gradually. Stir occasionally until it reaches the desired thickness.
  • Thinning: If it’s too thick, add liquid gradually. You can use water, vinegar, citrus juice, or even broth. Add a little at a time, then blend or whisk until you achieve the preferred consistency.
  • Oil: For a creamier texture, incorporate more oil into the sauce. This works well if you want a milder, less concentrated sauce.
  • Additional Ingredients: Adjust the quantities of key ingredients like garlic, onions, or tomatoes to control thickness while maintaining flavor balance.

Should We Serve The Peri-Peri Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Peri-Peri sauce can be served either cold or warm, depending on your preference and the dish you’re pairing it with.

  • Cold: Serving it cold allows the flavors to remain vibrant and sharp. It’s a great choice as a condiment or dipping sauce for items like grilled chicken, vegetables, or as a marinade for chilled salads.
  • Warm: Warming the sauce can intensify its flavors and aroma. It’s excellent for drizzling hot dishes like grilled meats, seafood, or pasta. Warming also helps it blend seamlessly with the heat of the freshly cooked ingredients.
Peri Peri Sauce

Nutritional Values 

Nutritional values for sauce can vary widely depending on the type of sauce. Generally, sauces are diverse in their content.

Still, they may contain ingredients such as tomatoes, herbs, spices, and oils, contributing to their calorie, fat, and nutrient content. It’s essential to check the specific sauce label for precise nutritional information.

What Are The Total Calories In Peri-Peri Sauce?

The total calories in Peri-Peri sauce depend on the exact ingredients and their quantities.

However, with the listed ingredients—dried peri-peri chiles, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, and salt—most calories come from the olive oil. On average, a tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Peri Peri Sauce

  • Vegan: No animal products are involved, making it suitable for vegans.
  • Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians as well.
  • Gluten-Free: Ingredients used do not contain gluten.
  • Dairy-Free: Lacks milk or milk-based components.
  • Nut-Free: The traditional recipe doesn’t include nuts.
  • Soy-Free: No soy products are present.
  • Low-Carb: Predominantly low in carbohydrates.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

Are There Any Common Mistakes To Avoid When Making Or Using This Sauce?

  • Overpowering Heat: The potency of chilies can vary. Always adjust to your heat tolerance.
  • Skipping Rehydration: Dried chilies should be rehydrated adequately for the right texture.
  • Over-blending: Over-processing can make the sauce too smooth, removing its characteristic texture.
  • Storing Improperly: Using an airtight container and refrigeration to extend shelf life is essential.
  • Not Adjusting Acidity: Balance is key. Too much lemon juice can overshadow the chili’s flavor.
  • Ignoring Fresh Ingredients: Fresh garlic and cilantro add depth. Avoid stale or old ingredients.
  • Overuse: While tempting, too much sauce can dominate a dish’s flavor.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Dressing Base: Mix with yogurt or mayo for salads.
  • Marinade: Use for meats, tofu, or veggies before grilling.
  • Stir-fry Boost: Add to stir-fries for an extra kick.
  • Bread Spread: Elevate sandwiches or burgers.
  • Pizza Drizzle: Spice up your pizza slices.
  • Pasta Twist: Introduce tomato-based pasta sauces.
  • Egg Enhancer: Mix with scrambled eggs or omelets.
  • Soup Infusion: Add to soups for depth.
  • Dip Elevator: Mix with hummus or guacamole.
  • Rice Revamp: Stir into plain rice or grain bowls.
Peri-Peri Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

  • Blender/Food Processor: Essential for achieving the right sauce consistency.
  • Glass Jars: Preferably with airtight seals for storing the sauce.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: For precise ingredient quantities.
  • Rubber Spatula: Helps in scraping down the sauce from the sides.
  • Strainer: Useful if you want a super-smooth consistency.
  • Kitchen Gloves: Protects hands when handling spicy chilies.
  • Knife and Chopping Board: For preparing ingredients.
  • Mixing Bowls: For soaking or mixing ingredients.
  • Citrus Juicer: To easily extract lemon juice.
  • Funnel: Aids in transferring sauce to jars without spills.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Spicy Is Peri-Peri Sauce?

Peri-Peri sauce is typically quite spicy due to the African bird’s eye chilies. However, the heat level can be adjusted using fewer chilies or removing their seeds.

How Long Can I Store Homemade Peri-Peri Sauce?

You can store homemade Peri-Peri sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Ensure it’s in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Can I Use Peri-Peri Sauce As A Marinade?

Absolutely! Peri-Peri sauce is excellent to use as a marinade for meats, poultry, or vegetables, imparting a rich, spicy flavor.

Is Peri-Peri Sauce Gluten-Free And Vegan?

Traditional Peri-Peri sauce is both gluten-free and vegan. However, always check the ingredients, especially in store-bought versions, to ensure they meet your dietary needs.

What’s The Difference Between Peri-Peri Sauce And Other Chili Sauces Like Sriracha?

While both are spicy, Peri-Peri sauce has a distinct flavor from African bird’s eye chilies, lemon, and other ingredients. On the other hand, Sriracha is made from red jalapeño peppers and has a different taste profile.

Homemade Peri Peri Sauce Recipe – A Fiery Blend Of Flavors!

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



Peri-Peri sauce is a fiery blend of African bird’s eye chilies combined with garlic, lemon, and select herbs. Its bold flavors captivate, serving as an ideal accompaniment to meats, vegetables, and various dishes.


  • 5 5 Dried peri-peri chiles

  • 4 4 Garlic cloves

  • ¾ cup ¾ Olive oil

  • ½ cup ½ Lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Chopped fresh cilantro

  • ½ teaspoon ½ Salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparing the Chilies
    Take a small bowl
    Place the dried chilies inside the bowl.
    Cover the chilies with boiling water.
    Allow them to sit and rehydrate for 10 minutes.
  • Blending the Ingredients
    After the chilies have soaked, drain the water out.
    Add the dried chilies to a  blender or food processor.
    The garlic cloves are added.
    Lemon juice and olive oil should be added.
    Include the just-chopped cilantro.
    Use salt to season.
    Blend the ingredients to start. Make careful to leave a vent slightly ajar so that steam may escape. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved.
  • Storing the Sauce
    Transfer the sauce to an airtight container or jar.
    Store the Peri-Peri sauce in the refrigerator.
    For best flavor and freshness, use within 1 month.

Recipe Video


  • For a milder sauce, reduce the number of chilies or deseed them. Homemade sauce should be refrigerated and consumed within a month for the best flavor.

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