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Learn how to make Nandos marinade from scratch using your Thermomix or soup maker. Simple ingredients that taste amazing and are perfect for making Nandos chicken, burgers, and more in your air fryer.

You will love how easy it is to make this peri peri marinade and how you can dump the ingredients in and let it work its magic. Then you will have a large jar of homemade Nandos sauce ready to go.

This nandos marinade was originally shared with you back in 2017 and we are updating our Nandos series for you today with better gadgets and better recipes.

nandos marinade in thermomix
Nandos Marinade In Thermomix
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Nandos Marinade

Our Nandos marinade is part of our series this week of our favourite copycat Nando recipes.

As well as the marinade we also have instant pot spicy rice, Nandos chicken wings, Nandos chicken, and Nandos beanie burgers.

But of course, all those Nando recipes feature the Nando marinade, and that’s why we must start first making the best ever sauce.

After all, how often do you go to Nando’s and you are in love with all the different sauces that you can take to your table and pour over your just cooked chicken and sides?

I know I do and its just such a nice dining experience.

With your copycat peri peri marinade you can store it in the fridge, you can freeze it and you can use it to marinate as much food as you like, then when you run out you can make some more.

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Is Nando’s Portuguese?

Yes, Nando’s is Portuguese and if you go to Nando’s and order the Nando’s peri tamer marinade on your chicken, then that is 100% like what you would be served in Portugal.

You see, in Portugal peri peri chicken (referred to in Portuguese as Piri Piri Chicken) is very mild and is what the locals eat.

However, add in the famous birds eye chillies and you have the African influence at Nando’s.  But don’t worry we will explain in more detail about these delicious African chillies so that you make your peri peri marinade to the right heat level for you.

Can You Eat Nandos Marinade As A Sauce?

Yes, you sure can. You will love Nandos marinade as a sauce and as a marinade. You could even make your hunters chicken more interesting by using your nandos sauce over it.

Or lets say you are bored or peri peri chicken and have some leftover sauce, then use it for pasta dishes to use it up.

How Does Nandos Make Their Chicken So Tender?

Nandos chicken is so tender because it is marinated first and then it is grilled. Because it has plenty of marinade on the chicken as it cooks, it stops the chicken from drying out.

Whenever I eat dry chicken, I always notice it lacks sauce and has been cooked at a too higher a temperature.

That is why our air fryer nandos chicken works so well as you are cooking it in the marinade and controlling the temperature it cooks at.

What Is In Nandos Marinade?

The ingredients that you find in Nando’s marinade include typical Portuguese ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and peppers.

Then to make it a Nando’s marinade you will also experience some birds eye chillies.

Peri Peri Marinade With Birds Eye Chillies

There is often so much talk about the peri peri marinade with birds eye chillies, but you are probably wondering what on earth they are.

Well, there are two types of birds eye chillies. The most common are those associated with Thai food and often used in Asian curries.

The other type is the African Birds Eye Chillies which is what is recommended in peri peri chicken.

It’s associated the most with Southern Africa and OMG it makes it so easy for cooking with.

You see, you can get a jar of Birds Eye Chillies from M&S and then take a look at each one.

Peri Peri Marinade With Birds Eye Chillies

Then if you compare it to the Nandos spice chart you will see you have plainish, mild, hot, extra hot.

Then what you do with these birds eye chillies is add zero for plainish, add 2 for mild, add 4 for hot, and 6 for extra hot.

Then it makes it so simple to mix and match to your own preferred level of heat.    

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Nandos Marinade Ingredients

Tomatoes – The secret to Nandos quick marinade is to use tinned tomatoes. They speed up the process and give a wonderfully creamy texture to your nandos sauce. I used 2 cans of tinned tomatoes.

Peppers – I notice in some nandos chicken marinade sauces that peppers are missing. Not sure why, but its an essential ingredient in classic Portuguese cooking and always used in peri peri chicken. But if you don’t like red peppers don’t fret as you don’t need a lot to give it a great taste.

Garlic – You can not survive in Portugal if you are allergic to garlic as its in everything and OMG it makes your nandos marinades taste amazing.

Oil – Note that when you make this peri peri chicken marinade, you are then going to marinade the chicken and then cook it. So you must have oil in it to be able to air fry without it sticking. I recommend extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.

Flavour – Then to create that great flavour for your marinade, I recommend the juice and rind from some limes, onion powder, oregano, and sweet paprika.

Heat – Then if you want heat, add in some African Birds Eye Chillies, and then let them blend with the rest of your marinade ingredients.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this Nando’s marinade sauce it has been our Thermomix (TM6). We bought it recently and love that it can chop and cook and blend at the same time.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our Thermomix recipes category as we will be adding Thermomix recipes as we try new ones for you.

How To Make Nandos Marinade?

Nandos marinade step by step
  • Load. Place into the Thermomix your red peppers that you have removed from the seeds as well as extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and then cook for 5 minutes on speed 4 at 100c.
  • Dump. Scrape the edges and add in everything else. Blend on speed 5 for 2 minutes.
  • Serve. You now have a delicious nandos marinade recipe that you can use on everything.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to make a nando marinade and why you should be doing it too!

Nandos Marinade Rub

Or if you would rather have a dry rub that you can use on everything then you can do that too.

Simply include the dried ingredients only and then blend them until smooth.

Then when you use the Nandos marinade rub, add extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle your rub over.

How To Use Nandos Marinade?

Using Nandos marinade is the best bit of this recipe. You can marinate your chicken wings in a bag just like we do in our Nandos chicken wings, you can also follow the same system for chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, chicken legs, a whole chicken and so many other favourite cuts of meat.

Or follow our how to cut up a whole chicken guide and then buy a whole chicken and then chop it up and cook Nandos chicken in the air fryer.

More Sauces To Make At Home With Your Blender

nandos marinade

Your nandos marinade recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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4 from 1 vote

Nandos Marinade In Thermomix

Learn how to make Nandos marinade from scratch using your Thermomix or soup maker. Simple ingredients that taste amazing and are perfect for making Nandos chicken, burgers, and more in your air fryer.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 1 Jar
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Kitchen Gadgets

  • TM6


  • Remove the seeds from the peppers and add the red peppers to the Thermomix. Add in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.
    How To Make Nandos Marinade?
  • Place the lid on the Thermomix and cook for 5 minutes at speed 4 at 100c/210f.
    How To Make Nandos Marinade?
  • Scrape the sides with a silicone spatula to get rid of any bits stuck to the sides.
    How To Make Nandos Marinade?
  • Next add in everything else. Blend at speed 5 for 2 minutes.
    How To Make Nandos Marinade?
  • Check its consistency and if not smooth enough pulse until perfect. Then pour into a jar for later or use straight away.
    How To Make Nandos Marinade?


Optional. You can skip the chillies if you don’t want heat. Or alternatively go with 2 for a medium, 4 for hot, and 6 for very hot.
Garlic – For the garlic we used frozen chopped garlic. It’s a life saver and makes prep so much faster.
Thanks for reading our nandos marinade recipe on Recipe This. We have many more Thermomix recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious sauces, then do check out our Thermomix melted chocolate.


Calories: 603kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1228mg | Potassium: 3342mg | Fiber: 37g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 22616IU | Vitamin C: 436mg | Calcium: 812mg | Iron: 24mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    There are (at least) 2 sizes of tinned tomatoes. Which size is it that you are recommending one use?