Chili Pepper Madness

February 10, 2016

Peri Peri Sauce

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

Make your own peri peri, or piri piri, sauce at home with this recipe. A traditional African sauce made from African Bird's Eye chiles.

If you have not tried peri peri sauce, this is one you need to put on the list. Peri Peri sauce is a traditional African sauce made from spicy African Bird's Eye chili peppers. It is also known as piri piri, or pili pili. If you want the TRUEST of the TRUE peri peri sauce experiences, you'll make this with African Bird's Eye peppers grown in Africa, as the soil conditions there are completely different than anywhere else in the world, which influences the pepper flavor, and therefore the resulting sauce. So let's all go to Africa!

But of course! It is the same with peppers grown in New Mexico or the Caribbean. Hatch chiles, for example, are so darned good when you get them directly from New Mexico. 

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

Peri Peri sauce is simple enough to make. It requires no actual cooking, just some chopping and processing. It's an oil-based sauce, at least it is with our version, ideal for dipping, and it goes GREAT with chicken and seafood. I made some chicken wings with ours and we LOVED them. If you can't source African Bird's Eye chiles, you can sub in an equivalent amount of red peppers of your choice. I have made this with long red cayenne peppers, red jalapeno peppers, and fingerling peppers, all to similar results.

Traditional ingredients also call for a variety of herbs, though ours incorporates basil and cilantro. You might try oregano and tarragon. You'll find regional differences throughout Africa. 

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

Patty's Perspective: This is a great sauce to have on hand because it can be used to enhance any number of dishes. Make it on the weekend and use it throughout the week for sandwich spreads, quick sauce or rub for chicken, spooned over tacos, whatever you think!

Here are some answers to the most common questions I get about this and other hot sauce recipes:

How long will this sauce keep? It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It's all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. I have not measured the ph of this sauce, but I won't have it around very long anyway. If you're concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph.

Where'd you get that sauce bottle? I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce - Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here's another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz - 24 Pack.

Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage? Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

What should I do with hot sauce? Aside from drizzling it over anything you please, here's a post I did about How to Cook with Hot Sauce. As if you need even MORE reasons to eat hot sauce. LOL. I hope you find it helpful!

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe


  • 1 pound red chilies, chopped – African Bird’s Eye peppers are traditional, but you can sub with red peppers available to you
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika – you can sub in other chili powders
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Process to form a smooth paste.
  2. Enjoy! Refrigerate until ready to use.


Don't Stop Here! How About Some More Chili Pepper Recipes and Info?


  • Comment Link Terry Black February 03, 2018 posted by Terry Black

    Great recipe - made it with some home grown hot chilli's - lasted a couple of months in the fridge until it was all eaten up - delicious and simple...

  • Comment Link Joanne June 17, 2017 posted by Joanne

    Can I make a version without oil? I do Slimming World and would love syn free version

    REPLY: Joanne, it won't be the same, but YES, you can omit the oil and use vinegar instead. If you do this, though, you might want to simmer the sauce a bit to mellow it out. Try it fresh and with a simmer and see which you prefer. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Mary Daly February 12, 2017 posted by Mary Daly

    How long does this receipe keep. Thanks

    REPLY: Mary, it should easily last a month in the fridge because of the lemon juice content, though if you'd like longer storage, add in some vinegar. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Jorge November 07, 2016 posted by Jorge

    Correct name is Piri-Piri.

    REPLY: George, I mention in the post it is also know by "piri piri" or "pili pili". -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Todd October 13, 2016 posted by Todd

    I have DRIED piri-piri peppers - not fresh, how can I change this recipe to use these?

    REPLY: Todd, you can rehydrate them. Here is a link: You might need to use more of them, or use some of the steeping liquid. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Ilona @ Ilonas Passion March 24, 2016 posted by Ilona @ Ilonas Passion

    I''ve never tried per peri sauce but by looking at ingredients I already know that I will love this sauce! Pinning!

Leave a comment

Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

About Us

Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US



Order The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook by Mike Hultquist


Jalapeno Poppers and other Stuffed Chili Peppers Cookbook