peri peri chicken

Keto Peri Peri Chicken

The gastronomy of Portugal is impressive due to the mixture of influences that merge in it. In such a way that from its colonies in South Africa, we get the dish of today the “Peri Peri Chicken”. This is very similar to the Portuguese BBQ Peri Peri Chicken or Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken.

The Peri Peri is a variety of chili that were imported by the Portuguese from their colonies in Angola and Mozambique and today, almost all hot sauces that come from Portugal have that name.

If you cannot get the peri peri peppers, you can use red bell pepper and top with Portuguese spicy sauce. But we recommend going out of your way to find some if you can! It will be worth it.

This recipe features chicken legs, which are a healthy source of fat and protein with very few carbs. Make sure you buy chicken with the skin on to increase your dietary fat intake. 

keto peri peri chicken

The spices in this recipe aren’t just good for flavoring your food. They also contain valuable nutrients, such as vitamins and antioxidants. 

For example, onions are a prebiotic food that aids in digestive health by feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Garlic has been used as a medicinal food for centuries. It has been shown to fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. It can also be used to improve heart health and diabetes. Plus, it has antimicrobial and ant-bacterial properties to help fight the common cold. 

Ginger is well-known for its ability to calm an upset stomach. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory spice to add to your diet to help fight inflammation conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression and mood disorders, and even skin conditions.

Chili peppers contain a unique ingredient that has been shown to help you burn more calories by creating a thermogenic effect in the body. The chili pepper heats up your metabolism so that you burn more calories! 

Lemon also contains powerful anti-inflammatory vitamins, especially vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body to reduce inflammation, support collagen production, and keep your hair and skin looking healthy. 

How To

Prepare the ingredients for the recipe.

peri peri chicken ingredients

To make, start by preparing the peri peri sauce that you will serve the chicken with.

Rub the peppers with olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper and put them on a baking tray. Cook them in the preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until they are cooked on all sides.

In pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Brown the minced onions and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes. Once they are cooked, transfer to a blender and add the roasted peppers, chili peppers, lemon juice, lemon zest (optional), ginger (optional), vinegar, remaining olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a jar or a bowl then set aside.

peri peri sauce

Season the chicken with oil, salt and pepper and cook it however you wish! We recommend baking it in the same oven at 350 F degrees for 40-45 minutes. You can also grill it too.

cook peri peri chicken

Once cooked, serve the chicken with the peri peri sauce and some low-carb salad or leafy greens.

serve peri peri chicken

Keto Pei Peri Chicken

These low carb peri peri style chicken thighs are loaded with spice and cooked until charred and crisp. A simple keto friendly dish that will absolutely satisfy all your taste buds.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: peri peri chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 448kcal
Author: Rayane Chehab, MS, RDN


For Peri Peri Sauce

  • 1/3 cup olive oil divided
  • 2 bell pepper or Peri-peri peppers
  • 1 red onion medium
  • 2 cloves garlic large
  • 4 red chilies spicy chili peppers, small
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked paprika)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (optional)

For Chicken

  • 4 chicken legs or chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Season the chicken with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. In the meantime, we need to prepare the peri peri sauce to serve with the chicken.
  • You can use other varieties of peppers that you have available. First of all, we must create the smoky flavor of this recipe. Put the halved bell peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil then sprinkle with salt on it. Now bake this in the same oven for 15 minutes until they are roasted. You can also roast the peppers using a stovetop or a grill machine.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the minced red onions and garlic until they are soft.
  • In a blender, put the sauteed onion-garlic mixture, roasted peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, remaining oil, smoked paprika, red chilies and a little bit of salt. You can also add a little bit of lemon zest and ginger for extra flavors. Process until a homogeneous paste is obtained. If you wish to make it a little bit more saucy, you can add some water. Store in a jar or a bowl.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, serve with the prepared sauce and some leafy greens.


Nutrition Facts
Keto Pei Peri Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 448 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 1255mg55%
Potassium 457mg13%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 2304IU46%
Vitamin C 99mg120%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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