Disclosure: this quartet of sauces was sent to us directly by Nando’s USA for free, for review purposes. Our thoughts below are our own.
Back in in my home country of the U.K., Nando’s is something of an institution. It’s less so here in the states, so when the company reached out and asked if I wanted to run the rule of their hot sauces, I leapt at the chance. If you didn’t know, the company is famous for it’s grilled chicken that relies on peri-peri sauce.
The core of peri-peri sauce is bird’s eye chillies mixed with varying amounts of onions, peppers, garlic and lemons. Hailing from Africa it also goes by the name of piri piri and pili pili. As far as I know Nando’s is the most popular brand of this traditional hot sauce, using it as their signature sauce in their much beloved grilled chicken restaurants across the world.
Here’s the lineup of the quartet I sampled, I believe there’s also a fifth mild version but hey, we’re not wimps right:
Each of the four sauces share a similar fruity profile that comes from the birds eye chili. Here are some additional thoughts on each one:
- Medium – this one leaned more heavily into a sweet onion taste
- Medium-garlic – duh, garlic
- Hot – more sharply acidic with lemony zest
- XX hot – reminiscent of Indian lime pickle
The last one surprised me and was my favorite of the four. The step up in spice isn’t super dramatic between each level, and if you’re fine with regular medium heat hot sauces, you’ll be fine here. The focus is more on flavor than fire.
I can’t quite put my finger on why the XX Hot reminds me of Indian lime pickle relish – but it strikes my palate so specifically I used it in an awesome tandoori chicken tikka recipe (see below); who knew this sauce makes for perfect grilled chicken 😉
I’m a big fan of the fan of these sauces, they’re extremely versatile. The icing on cake is there’s no added sugar here – there’s just five calories per teaspoon (see below) – you can add sweetness without carbs. This product makes our Smart Buy list as a great product to have on hand.
You can buy PeriPeri on Amazon for less than $4 a bottle in similar four packs (affiliate link).
What can you do with Peri-Peri sauce
Obviously the goto option for this hot sauce is chicken. Knowing that grilled or BBQ’ed chicken would be a slam dunk with this sauce – I wanted to see how else I could use it. Here’s a few different ways to integrate Peri-Peri flavors into your dishes!
After cooking these mini tater tots in the air fryer, I quickly coated them in Peri-Peri for another two minutes. The sauce quickly thickened and adhered to the spuds, giving them a nice sharp zingy finish. I also used a little in the black beans too, with some grilled onions to bring them to life.
This meat free Sloppy Joe relied on Peri-Peri infused mayo aioli. I used a 2:1 mayo/peri ratio and went with the Extra Hot variety. The mayo tamed the heat making for a mildly spicy, creamy and fruit foil – an awesome comfort food sandwich.
Taking that thought a little further, I mixed some Peri-Peri with Kikkoman ponzu sauce – an already fruity soy-based dipping sauce. I then served that as alongside these Whole Foods vegetable potstickers (over riced edamame). The Peri-Peri added a very enjoyable extra dimension to the sauce; I may or may not have secretly sipped the leftovers right from the bowl…
O.k. how could I not make some grilled chicken! I decided to use a tablespoon of the XX Hot sauce in this chicken tikka recipe. As noted above, the flavors are reminiscent of Indian cuisine to me and the sauce also lends spice and color to this dish.
Lastly but not leastly the venerable egg salad sandwich! A spritz of Peri-Peri adds a whole new layer to this untrendy sandwich filler. Much like the aioli above, the fruit forward flavors or the Peri-Peri, go really well with creamy mayo.
Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce nutrition and ingredients
There are just five calories per serving in Nando’s signature hot sauce. A serving size is a teaspoon. From left to right below (medium, medium grill, hot, extra hot):
Is Peri-Peri sauce any good?
Absolutely! This signature sauce from Nando’s will make a unique addition to your hot sauce arsenal. The sauce offers a uniquely fruity flavor profile that’s unlike most other hot sauces. It’s obviously amazing on chicken, but it’s incredibly versatile and can be used in many different dishes. This gets our Smart Buy recommendation – buy PeriPeri on Amazon
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC – Utah’s biggest and oldest online food magazine; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. I started Shop Smart to catalogue my adventures in the grocery store and kitchen. Follow along on Instagram too!