Nandos Peri Peri Chicken In Air Fryer

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How to make Nandos Peri Peri Chicken at home using your air fryer. From the delicious homemade peri peri chicken marinade to the best tips and tricks, we will show you how to make the best copycat Nandos chicken ever!

Made with our healthy Nandos marinade this is a fantastic rinse and repeat recipe that you can also make ahead and freeze.

This nandos chicken recipe 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 peri peri chicken in air fryer recipe
Nandos Peri Peri Chicken In Air Fryer Recipe

Nandos Peri Peri Chicken

We first came across peri peri chicken or as we knew it piri piri chicken, shortly after moving to the Algarve region of Portugal in the summer of 2008.

In fact, if you want the authentic Portuguese version do check out our air fryer piri piri chicken.

We found this great outside café, that didn’t look like much if you went on appearance but OMG they did the best chicken ever. It was served with a Mediterranean salad and some homemade chips and was a real bargain.

I remember friends of mine telling me that you wouldn’t get a meal that cheap in McDonalds and our dinner included drinks!

Fast forward to 2018, we are back in the UK on a short visit (we moved back in 2021) and everyone was telling us about Nandos and the peri peri chicken that they did.

How similar it was to the Portuguese piri piri and we must try it.

Well, time passed by and eventually I made it to Nandos, enjoyed lots of Nandos peri peri chicken and now I am here to share with you how to cook Nandos peri peri chicken in the air fryer.

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What Is Peri Peri Chicken?

Peri peri chicken is an African Portuguese type of barbecued chicken. The name peri peri refers to the African birds eye chilli that is used in a classic peri peri chicken recipe.

Because Nandos is the UK’s only chain restaurant specialising in peri peri chicken, we often call it peri peri chicken nandos.

Is Peri Peri Chicken Spicy?

Nandos chicken recipe can be spicy or mild or spice free. It totally depends on the order you place when you visit Nandos.

You see at Nandos the peri peri chicken comes with a nandos spice chart just like the one you see below that I received when I ordered my Nandos chicken wings:

nandos spice chart

As you can see you can go extra hot or you can go as mild as no spice been added at all. I would say when we ate out in Portugal it was the same as the plain ish option.

Is Nandos Chicken Fried Or Grilled?

Nandos chicken is grilled just like when you order food from a barbecue. In Portugal you would order half a chicken and pieces of chicken that was already marinated would be loaded onto the barbecue.

They would then add extra marinade as it cooked and then serve it to you warm from the barbecue.

How Do Nandos Make Their Chicken?

Nandos make Nandos chicken the same way that you are making it today, just swapping the grill or the barbecue for the air fryer.

Nando chicken is marinated first, then loaded onto the barbecue (in our case the air fryer) and then perfectly cooked.

Air Fryer Peri Peri Chicken

In traditional Portuguese cuisine you would have what they call a small barbecue chicken and it would be cut up into chicken pieces.

For size think similar to our air fryer Cornish hens recipe.

But not everyone wants to learn how to cut up a whole chicken, so we have a fantastic Plan B for you.

Instead, we recommend that you buy a pack of bone in skin on chicken thighs and a pack of chicken drumsticks.

You can then do a batch of each nandos chicken drumsticks and nandos chicken thighs in the air fryer, using the same marinade.

Then serve them with your other favourite Nando sides.

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Peri Peri Chicken Ingredients

Peri Peri Chicken Ingredients

Chicken – We used a pack of chicken thighs and a pack of chicken drumsticks. You can do the same or go traditional and chop up a chicken to do Nandos half chicken recipe.

Marinade – We then used enough of our homemade nandos marinade to cover the chicken ahead of marinating in the fridge.

Foil – I also recommend cooking your chicken nandos recipe in the air fryer on a layer of foil. (You can read here about using foil in the air fryer) this stops a mess of the air fryer and then they don’t stick.

Ziploc – I also recommend a Ziploc bag for marinating the nando’s chicken in. We always buy them in bulk (like this) and then we have a good supply in our kitchen for a number of different recipes.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this Nando’s chicken recipe it has been our Philips Air Fryer (we have this one) and its fantastic for a huge range of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How To Cook Peri Peri Chicken?

nandos peri peri chicken step by step
  • Load. Place into a Ziploc bag your chicken peri peri, your marinade and some barbecue sauce. Shake the Ziploc bag until the chicken pieces are well coated.
  • Fridge. Place your peri peri chicken into the fridge for at least an hour but can be left overnight if you prefer.
  • Cook. After your peri peri chicken have been marinated, load onto a layer of foil inside your air fryer basket. Cook for 16-20 minutes at 180c/360f or until perfectly cooked.
  • Finish. You can serve as is, or brush over some extra marinade or barbecue sauce.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to make nandos chicken recipe and why you should be doing it too!

Nandos Whole Chicken

Cooking a Nandos whole chicken is also another great option if you want an easy peri peri chicken recipe.

What you can do is follow either our air fryer whole chicken, air fryer rotisserie chicken, ninja foodi whole chicken, or instant pot whole chicken.

Then load it up with the peri peri marinade and you will have the most flavoursome whole chicken ever.

What To Serve With Peri Peri Chicken?

I recommend serving your peri peri chicken with the same things that you would enjoy at a Nandos restaurant.

For example, when we went to Nandos our first side choice was the spicy rice, though we also loved some peri peri chips as well as some slaw and some other sides.

You could make some air fryer chips and then load them up with peri peri dry rub and they would be amazing or make our instant pot spicy rice which is what we have served our peri peri chicken with today.

Nandos Peri Peri Chicken Tips & Tricks

  • Nandos can be as spicy as you want it to be. We recommend no birds eye chilli for a tamer, 2 for mild, 4 for hot and 6 for super hot.
  • You can use this same Nandos chicken recipe and swap it out for other chicken. Such as boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken wings or chicken legs, or even turkey breast.
  • For best results marinate your Nandos chicken overnight.
  • I recommend serving your nandos peri peri chicken recipe with our instant pot spicy rice. It’s the best rice ever and they go so well together.
Nandos Peri Peri Chicken Tips & Tricks

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nandos peri peri chicken

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nandos peri peri chicken
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5 from 2 votes

Nandos Peri Peri Chicken In Air Fryer

How to make Nandos Peri Peri Chicken at home using your air fryer. From the delicious homemade peri peri chicken marinade to the best tips and tricks, we will show you how to make the best copycat Nandos chicken ever!
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time24 minutes
Total Time26 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Servings: 2
Calories: 935kcal


Kitchen Gadgets


  • Load your homemade Nandos marinade into a bag along with the chicken and the barbecue sauce. Seal and bag and shake the bag about until the pieces of chicken are well coated. Then place the Nandos chicken into the fridge for at least an hour.
    How To Cook Peri Peri Chicken?
  • After marinating add a layer of foil into your air fryer basket. Then add the marinated nando chicken drumsticks. Air fry your nandos chicken drumsticks for 16 minutes at 180c/360f, turn and then air fry for a further 4 minutes at the same temperature before serving.
    How To Cook Peri Peri Chicken?
  • After you have cooked the drumsticks put them to one side and do the same again with the thighs. Though with the thighs you will need to air fry them for 24 minutes at 180c/360f before serving.
    How To Cook Peri Peri Chicken?
  • Once both the chicken drumsticks and the chicken thighs are cooked, they are ready to be served on a bed of instant pot spicy rice.
    How To Cook Peri Peri Chicken?


Marinade. We recommend making a batch of our homemade nandos marinade first. You can use the Thermomix like we did or another blender or the soup maker will work well too.
Thanks for reading our nandos peri peri chicken recipe on Recipe This. We have many more Air Fryer Recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious chicken recipes do check out our air fryer frozen chicken wings.


Calories: 935kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 78g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 430mg | Sodium: 1149mg | Potassium: 1027mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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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. CLICKING HERE →

2 thoughts on “Nandos Peri Peri Chicken In Air Fryer”

    • 5 stars
      We had a similar introduction to PiriPiri chicken while on holiday in the Algarve.
      We paid a visit to a cafe in Quarteria which was owned by a couple from Australia !
      The Piri Piri chicken, served with fries and a bottle of Vinho Verde, was out of this world.
      Needless to say we made several visits during our holiday.
      Some time after returning home we tried Nando’s and this was as near that you could get without the plane journey.


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