Homemade South African Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

South African Peri Peri Sauce Recipe also known as Piri Piri Sauce is just like Nando’s Hot Peri Peri Sauce. It’s simply magic in a bottle – spicy, sweet, sour & salty, all at once. Keep on reading to learn how to make this homemade best Peri Peri Sauce without African Bird’s Eye Chilies.

What is Peri Peri Sauce?

Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy hot sauce that’s commonly made with African Bird’s Eye Chilies, onion, garlic, lemon, vinegar, oil, salt & oregano. There are 3 quick steps to make it at home – roasting, blending & cooking.

A good Piri Piri sauce is spicy & hot and tastes amazing as a marinade, seasoning & accompaniment. It makes a great dip & adds so much flavor to protein dishes like chicken, fish, and tofu.

In today’s recipe, you’ll find no African Bird’s Eye chilies.

So yes, you can totally make a wonderful lip-smacking Peri Peri sauce without this special variety of chilies that are definitely so hard to find.

We at Foodies Terminal used Organic red Serrano peppers & organic red bell peppers to make this sauce one of a kind. It’s as good as Nando’s but without the African Bird’s Eye Chilies.

What is Peri Peri Sauce made of?

Peri Peri Sauce is made of hot chili peppers known as African Bird’s Eye Chilies, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano & salt.

Some variations also use Thai hot chilies or red Serrano pepper or cayenne pepper instead of African Bird’s Eye Chilies.

There are in-fact various regional variations of this sauce throughout Africa and a few recipes also include herbs like basil & tarragon instead of oregano or along with it.

South African Peri Peri Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe


  • 1 cup cubed red bell pepper (roasted)
  • 1 cup cubed red onion (roasted)
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves (roasted)
  • 2 whole Red Serrano peppers
  • 1 Indian or Thai red chili
  • ¼ +¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 2+2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2+2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Bay leaf (optional)
  • Kosher Salt (according to taste)


  1. Set a grill skillet over high heat. Add the red bell peppers, red onions & garlic pods with skin on. Dry roast them until charred & black spots form. Remove from the grill skillet set aside & remove the skin from the garlic pods.
  2. Next, once the roasted ingredients are cooled to room temperature add them to a blender jar or a food processor, throw in the red serrano peppers, Thai red chili, ¼ tsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, oregano, black pepper, kosher salt. Blend them into a paste.
  3. Now, set a skillet over medium heat & pour the blended puree. Throw in a bay leaf (optional), add the rest of the apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice & olive oil. Mix everything well. Saute for just 2 mins. Fish out the bay leaf & discard.
  4. The Peri Peri sauce is ready. Use it as an accompaniment, spread, marinade, or dip.


  • Measuring units used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 tbsp = 5 ml.
  • Do not skip roasting the bell peppers, onions & garlic. Roasting them will give a subtle flavor to the Peri Peri sauce recipe.
  • You may use more Thai red chili peppers if you prefer very hot Piri Piri Sauce.
  • Bay leaf is not mandatory you may omit using it.

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About the Author: Julia Azedae

Food is my passion, and I'm grateful every day that I get to share that passion with others through my blog. I hope to continue exploring the world of food and sharing my experiences with my readers for many years to come.

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