That Spicy Chick

Peri Peri Chicken and Rice

This Peri Peri Chicken and Rice is a one pan meal made with long grain brown rice, veggies and juicy seared peri peri chicken thighs! It’s easy to make, EXPLODING with flavor and perfect for meal prep or weeknight dinners!



 

If you love a good Nando’s, then this one pan Peri Peri Chicken and Rice is for YOU!

We have here spicy, tangy, garlicky and juicy seared peri peri chicken thighs served on a bed of fluffy spiced and smoky rice with onion, bell peppers, garlic, chilies and peas. Top it off with a sprinkling of chopped coriander and you’ll have yourself a delicious Nando’s style chicken and rice meal at home!

This is a simple one pan meal that’s easy to make and jam-packed with flavor. Everything gets cooked in one pan and most of it is inactive cooking!

While I’ve used long grain brown Jasmine rice, basmati rice works perfectly too with a few tweaks to the liquid to rice ratio (which I’ve noted below).

Weather you make it for meal prep or serve it as a family dinner, I think you’re going to love it and all of its delicious flavors!

Front view of meal prep containers with peri peri chicken and rice.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple and easy! All you need is one pan and this dish is on the table in 45 minutes!
  • Meal prep friendly. It’s great for meal prep and can be reheated in the microwave for an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week.
  • Customizable spice level. You can amp up or tone down the spice by using the peri peri sauce heat level that suits your preference. You can also adjust the quantity of fresh chilies, ground cayenne, and smoked paprika to taste.
  • High in protein and fiber. It’s nutritious and healthy with complex carbs from the rice, rich in protein from the tender and tasty chicken, and fiber from the veggies.
  • DELICIOUS! It’s flavor-packed and won’t make you think that chicken and rice is boring!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labeled ingredients for Nando's peri peri chicken and rice on a wooden board.
  • Veggies: I used red onion, red bell pepper and green garden peas. Feel free to use yellow or white onion and any color bell pepper you like. Leave out the peas if you’re not a fan.
  • Aromatics: Fresh garlic and Thai Bird’s Eye red chilies. Use any hot red chilies that are easily available to you. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your spice level preference or leave them out for a milder flavored peri peri rice. 
  • Chicken Thighs: I’ve used boneless and skinless chicken thighs. They’re more juicy and flavorful and take on the marinade flavors more easily than breasts. However, chicken breasts can be used instead if preferred. Note that chicken breasts take less time to cook than thighs and are best if marinated overnight overnight or at least for a couple of hours.
  • Long Grain Brown Rice: I’ve used long grain brown jasmine rice and I love its slight hint of nutty flavor and firmer texture. It’s more nutritious than white rice and boasts more protein and fiber. However, white basmati rice will work well too. (See Cook’s Tips section below if using basmati rice.) 
  • Water: Or use unsalted chicken broth or stock for more flavor. If using low sodium broth, use less kosher salt to season the rice.
  • Double Concentrated Tomato Paste: For a rich and bold tomato flavor without adding any fresh tomatoes. You can use regular tomato paste, but note that the tomato flavor won’t be as pronounced.
  • Nando’s XX Hot Peri Peri Sauce: To marinate the chicken (along with a few seasonings listed in the recipe card below). Feel free to use Nando’s hot, medium, mild or garlic peri peri sauce instead. You can also use another brand of peri peri sauce you love or a homemade one. 
  • Spices and Seasonings: Several spices and seasonings are used for the chicken marinade and to season the rice. However, they’re all mostly everyday pantry seasonings and you likely have them on hand already. For the crushed red pepper and ground cayenne, adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference. Use a sweet smoked paprika instead of a hot one for a milder flavor. My favorite is La Chinata smoked paprika (hot) as it has the BEST rich and smoky flavors! You could also just use paprika (not smoked) for less heat in this peri peri chicken and rice dish.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Peri Peri Chicken and Rice

1. Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken thighs to a bowl along with the peri peri sauce, spices and seasonings. Mix well to coat and set aside while you prepare/chop the rest of the fresh ingredients.

Marinated peri peri chicken in a bowl.

2. Cook the chicken. Spray a medium nonstick deep skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook, turning every 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside. 

Cooking marinated peri peri chicken in a skillet.

3. Sauté the veggies and aromatics. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray and sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic and chilies until they start to soften and are fragrant.

4. Add the tomato paste, seasonings and rice. Mix well to combine and cook for a minute.

5. Add water and simmer. Stir in the water. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for a few minutes.

6. Stir in peas. Stir in the green peas, then cover and simmer until the rice is tender and cooked. Switch off the heat allow to rest for a few minutes with the lid still on.

Cooked spiced rice in a skillet with onion, bell pepper and green peas.

Serve! Fluff the rice with a fork and divide evenly onto plates or into meal prep containers. Top evenly with the chicken and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with a lime or lemon wedge for squeezing if desired and enjoy!

Top view of meal prep container with spicy peri peri chicken and rice.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use your favorite peri peri sauce! Whether you love Nando’s hot, medium, mild, garlic or XX hot peri peri sauce, they will all taste great in this peri peri chicken and rice dish! Take your pick!
  • Use a digital kitchen thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh to ensure that the internal temperature registers 75°C/160°F.
  • Heat the rice over low heat in the pan to dry off any excess liquid. If there is a little excess liquid or the rice is a little too wet after you fluff and make sure that it is cooked, heat over low heat to dry for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the peas after cooking the rice. If you prefer a firmer texture for the peas, cook them in a separate pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and add them to the pan after fluffing the cooked rice.
  • Adjust cooking time and liquid amount based on the type of rice you use. The time for cooking the rice will vary with different types of rice and brands. In general, long grain white rice takes a shorter time to cook than brown rice. It also requires less liquid. If using white basmati rice, use 250ml water and cook with the cover on for 15-20 minutes. Leave the lid on after switching off the heat for 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. 
  • Double the recipe. This recipe as written makes 2 servings. If you’d like to make it for meal prep and double the recipe, use a large deep skillet (12-inch/5 quart), 200 grams uncooked long grain Thai brown rice or white basmati rice with 500ml or 400ml water respectively. Note that these measurements are approximate and have not been tested. In general, you should have enough liquid in the pan to just submerge the rice, but not too much so that it’ll disintegrate and become mushy.
Peri peri chicken and rice in meal prep containers with forks top view.

FAQs

What does Nando’s peri peri sauce taste like?

Each flavor is slightly different from one another but they’re spicy, garlicky, salty and tangy from lemon. It’s delicious when used as a marinade for grilled or pan-seared chicken. The mild flavor is the least spicy but is still incredibly flavorful.

Where to buy Nando’s peri peri sauce?

Depending on your location, you may be able to find it in your local supermarket. You can also purchase a bottle of your favorite peri peri sauce online from Amazon or from a Nando’s restaurant in Australia, the UK, and other countries that they have a presence.

Does Nando’s peri peri sauce contain gluten?

Nando’s hot, medium, mild, XX hot, and lemon & herb peri peri sauces are all gluten-free. 

How long will peri peri chicken and rice last in the fridge?

If stored properly in airtight sealed containers, it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, microwave on high for 2 to 2 – ½ minutes until hot throughout. You can also reheat the rice and chicken separately if desired.

Chicken and rice in a meal prep box and closeup in a skillet. Text overlay "Peri Peri Chicken and Rice" and "thatspicychick.com".

MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Take a photo and tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share your masterpiece!

STAY CONNECTED! You can also follow me on PinterestFacebook or InstagramSign up for my email list to get my latest recipe in your inbox weekly!

Print

Peri Peri Chicken and Rice

Top view of meal prep container with spicy peri peri chicken and rice.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Juicy seared peri peri chicken get served on a bed of fluffy and smoky spiced rice with veggies in this one pan Peri Peri Chicken and Rice! Easy to make, spicy and DELICIOUS!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: South African
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

For the Peri Peri Chicken:

  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless – cleaned, pat-dried
  • 40 grams /≈ 3 TBLS Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce (I used their XX Hot, but choose your favorite – note 1)
  • ½ TSP Kosher Salt
  • ¼ TSP ground Black Pepper
  • ½ TSP Turmeric powder
  • ¼ TSP ground Cumin
  • ¼ TSP Garlic Powder
  • ½ TSP Smoked Paprika (hot or sweet, use regular paprika for mild flavor)
  • ¼ TSP ground Cayenne, to taste
  • ½ TSP dried Oregano Flakes
  • Cooking Oil Spray

For the Spiced Rice:

  • 100 grams / ½ medium Red Onion – diced
  • 100 grams / ½ medium Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 15 grams / 4 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 2035 grams / 5-10 fresh Red Chilies (optional – Thai Bird’s Eye or any other hot red chilies – note 2*), to taste – chopped
  • 15 grams/ 1 TBLS Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
  • ½ TSP Kosher Salt
  • ¼ TSP ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ TSP ground Cayenne, to taste
  • ½ TSP ground Cumin
  • ½ TSP Smoked Paprika (hot or sweet)
  • ¼ TSP ground Coriander
  • ½ TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • ½ TSP dried Oregano Flakes
  • 100 grams / ½ cup Thai Jasmine Brown Rice (or other long brown grain rice or basmati rice – note 3) – rinsed
  • 375ml / 12.7 fluid ounces Water (or unsalted chicken broth)
  • 100 grams / ¾ cup Green Peas
  • To Serve (optional): Chopped fresh coriander (2 grams / 1 sprig) or parsley, lime or lemon wedges for squeezing

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Marinate the chicken: Clean and trim off any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Add them to a medium bowl, followed by the peri peri sauce, kosher salt, ground black pepper, ground turmeric, ground cayenne, ground cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika and dried oregano flakes. Mix well to coat and set aside.
  2. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the red onion, red bell pepper, garlic and chilies as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.

For the Peri Peri Chicken and Rice:

  1. Cook the chicken: Spray a deep medium nonstick skillet (26cm/10.5-inch) with cooking oil spray and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, until cooked through and slightly charred. Use a digital kitchen thermometer to pierce the thickest part and ensure that the internal temperature has reached 75°C/160°F. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside. Scrape off and discard and burnt marinade bits from the pan and return to the stovetop.
  2. Sauté the veggies and aromatics: Spray the skillet with cooking oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the red onion, red bell pepper, garlic and red chilies. Sauté for 30-40 seconds until the red onion and bell pepper start to soften and the garlic and chilies are fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato paste, seasonings and rice: Add the double concentrated tomato paste, kosher salt, ground black pepper, ground cayenne, ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, crushed red pepper flakes dried oregano flakes and the brown rice. Mix well to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in water and simmer: Pour in the water and stir to combine. Once it comes to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 7 minutes, then uncover and stir in the green peas. Cover and simmer for 28-30 minutes until the rice is tender and there is no excess liquid in the pan. Switch off the heat allow to rest for 5 minutes with the lid still on.
  5. To Serve: Fluff the rice with a fork and divide evenly onto plates or to meal prep containers. Top evenly with the chicken and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with a lime or lemon wedge for squeezing if desired.

Notes

  1. Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce. Feel free to use Nando’s hot, medium, mild or garlic peri peri sauce depending on your heat level preference. You can also use another brand of peri peri sauce you love or a homemade one.
  2. Fresh Red Chilies: I used Thai Bird’s Eye, but you can use any hot red chilies that are easily available to you. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your spice level preference or leave them out for a milder dish.
  3. Thai Jasmine Brown Rice: I’ve used long grain brown jasmine rice and I love its slight hint of nutty flavor and firmer texture. It’s also more nutritious than white rice since it has more protein and fiber. However, white basmati rice will work well too. The time for cooking the rice will vary with different types of rice and brands. In general, long grain white rice takes a shorter time to cook than brown rice. It also requires less liquid. If using white basmati rice, use 250ml water and cook with the cover on for 15-20 minutes. Leave the lid after switching off the heat for 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  4. Double the recipe. This recipe as written makes 2 servings. If you’d like to double the recipe, click the ‘2x’ button at the top of the recipe card. Use a large deep nonstick skillet (12-inch/5 quart), 200 grams uncooked long grain Thai brown rice or white basmati rice with 500ml or 400ml water respectively. Note that these measurements are approximate and have not been tested. In general, you should have enough liquid in the pan to just submerge the rice, but not too much so that it’ll disintegrate and become mushy.
  5. Storing and reheating leftovers. If stored in airtight sealed containers, it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, microwave on high for 2 to 2 – ½ minutes or until hot throughout. You can also reheat the rice and chicken separately if desired to ensure that the chicken doesn’t become overheated and tough. Though, I’ve had no issues with tough meat when reheating both together for 2 minutes in the dish.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ½ of recipe
  • Calories: 499
  • Sugar: 9.4g
  • Sodium: 1173.7mg
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.2g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 44.7g
  • Cholesterol: 109.5mg

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.