Homemade Sugar Free Peri Peri Chicken

Grill on full or barbeque this piri piri chicken to get mouth-wateringly crispy skin and tender meat

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

Forget the knife and fork when it comes to these spicy South African / Portuguese chicken thighs! It is a gloriously hands-on, sticky-finger meal and we simply can't get enough!

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

Despite being so easy to make, this Piri Piri chicken recipe (or Peri Peri chicken, as some call it) is so flavourful, has a delicious zesty kick, and is actually quite healthy, especially if you use as many fresh and organic ingredients as possible!

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

We start by making the Piri Piri sauce. It's worth making a few batches if you can as it can be used with all sorts of recipes as a rub or marinade, or for simple meals like a Piri Piri chicken burger, breast or wings, which are all cooked very similarly to the thighs. You can even add a little more lemon to the sauce for a beautiful churrasco chicken marinade. The possibilities are almost endless, and guaranteed delicious!

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

African bird's eye chili is the secret to that authentic South African taste and Portuguese spice. Mix with sweet pepper, and you have a fresh, poppy flavour combination to get you started.
Plenty of garlic and a generous shake of salt is a must for this recipe!

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

We found the juice of one lemon was enough to have a refreshing zing when you bite into the crispy chicken, but not so much that it overpowers the other flavours. We add fresh basil leaves for a truly authentic, herby flavour that really adds to the heat and tang. Smoked paprika has been a staple of our kitchen for years. The aroma and richness adds real depth to Piri Piri sauce that would be difficult to achieve with anything else.

Using really good olive oil makes sure that the flavours are all wonderfully brought together and mixed in the best way possible.

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

We add shallow slits into the chicken thighs to make sure that the Peri Peri flavour seeps right into the middle of the chicken while it's marinading and cooking.

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

Bake in the oven for ten minutes to make sure it cooks through, and then grill on full to get mouth-wateringly crispy skin and tender chicken.

So many bottles of Piri Piri sauce at supermarkets are full of sugar, but this Piri Piri chicken is ultimate proof that sugar isn't needed to make quick, simple chicken recipes that are exciting and absolutely delicious.

Here's our recipe for the Piri Piri Sauce on its own.


Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free Nutritional Information for Piri Piri Chicken Recipe - Really Sugar Free

Homemade Sugar Free Peri Peri Chicken

Recipe Category: Main Meal

Recipe Cuisine: Portuguese, South African

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Servings: 5

Calories: 364

Rating: 5 from 17 votes


  • 1 Sweet Red Pepper - sliced
  • Bird's Eye Chillies
  • 6 Cloves Garlic - peeled
  • 4 Basil Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • 5 Chicken Thighs


  • Place the pepper, chillies, garlic, basil, paprika, juice, vinegar olive oil and salt into the blender, blend until smooth, then separate into 2 portions
  • Cut three shallow slits into the skin on top of each of the chicken thighs
  • Place the chicken thighs into the mixing bowl with half of the sauce, and mix until the chicken is generously covered - you can cook them right away, or for the best flavour, marinade for 2-24 hours
  • Lay the chicken on a grill rack and place in the oven for 10 minutes at 180c / 350F
  • Then grill the chicken on a high heat for 20 minutes until cooked through, turning and basting every 5 minutes
  • Serve with the reserve sauce on the side to drizzle over

Really Sugar Free Recipe Video:

Comments (1)

Donald Allen Orton:

24th of October 2021

Hello. I'm diabetic and would like to try this chicken recipe. can I use chicken Brest instead of thighs

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