Our air fryer peri peri chicken recipe has all the flavors you adore from the grilled version, but comes together quicker and with less mess. The key to its flavor, without a doubt, is the peri peri sauce. The chicken ends up juicy, tender, and delectable, with just the right kick of spice.
What Is Peri Peri Chicken?
Peri peri chicken is a tasty dish that can be made with any cut of chicken. It’s marinated in and served with a homemade peri peri sauce — a spicy South African mix of flavors.
That special sauce makes peri peri chicken incredibly tasty and slightly spicy, but the heat is not overbearing. You’ll experience a pleasant warmth enhanced by the addition of chiles, garlic, and herbs.
Is This Air Fryer Peri Peri Chicken Recipe Healthy?
Yes, our air fryer peri peri chicken recipe is healthy. Not only is it less expensive than restaurant chicken, but the dish is also healthier because you can control exactly what goes into it.
Purely in terms of cooking technique, air frying is far healthier than traditional deep frying. When you use an air fryer, you need only coat the food in a thin layer of cooking oil, so there is less fat and fewer calories in the finished product.
As for ingredients, we used a small amount of salt and oil and assessed the calories per serving to ensure the dish was healthy. Each serving has only 546 mg of sodium, 8.8 g of saturated fat, and approximately 480 calories. These levels are consistent with the USDA’s dietary guidelines.
Furthermore, due to the addition of vegetables, each serving of our air-fried peri peri chicken provides approximately 10% of your daily fiber requirement. Adequate fiber consumption may aid digestion and lower your risk of chronic disease.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Peri Peri Chicken
- Chicken Thighs: Though our air fryer peri peri chicken calls for thighs, you can use any cut of chicken. Choose your favorite, be it breast, thighs, or even wings. Alternatively, the sauce is also great with a whole chicken — marinate it all and cook!
- Peri Peri Sauce: The peri peri sauce is made by roasting and then processing fresh chilies with seasoning, herbs, and olive oil. It has a tangy, sweet, and salty flavor profile.
Peri peri sauce is versatile and can be used as a marinade or a dipping sauce on a variety of proteins, from chicken to pork to beef to seafood. Variations of the sauce have been developed to fit the tastes of people from different countries, and now it’s available all over the world.
- Vegetables: The refreshing lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomatoes we’ve included create a nice contrast in flavor and texture to the peri peri chicken itself.
How to Make Peri Peri Chicken in an Air Fryer
Depending on your time constraints, you can either marinate the chicken for 5 minutes as the oven heats up, an hour in the fridge, or, if you have the time, overnight in the fridge. Even if you can only afford a few minutes of marinating time, this step allows the flavors to mingle, making the chicken taste fantastic.
Roast the spices.
Make the peri peri sauce.
Score the chicken thighs.
Coat the chicken evenly with the peri peri sauce.
Air fry the chicken.
Arrange the salad and peri peri chicken on serving plates and serve.
Store and Reheat
1. To Store
Once completely cooled, the peri peri chicken can be stored in an airtight jar for up to 3 days in the fridge. Or, to maximize shelf life, keep it frozen in sealed freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Additionally, you can freeze the chicken in the marinade prior to cooking. After you’ve added the marinade, place it in a freezer bag, squeeze out any excess air, and then freeze it until you’re ready to thaw and cook.
2. To Reheat
Once completely defrosted, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan before adding the chicken and heating thoroughly. Our favorite way to use leftover peri peri chicken is to remove all of the chicken from the bone, shred it, and add it to salads or over rice for quick and easy meals.
For more air fryer chicken recipe ideas, have a look at our best air fryer chicken roundup.
What to Serve With Peri Peri Chicken
Thanks to the quick cooking time in the air fryer, the chicken thighs stay very juicy and tender. We combined the chicken with a simple salad composed of fresh veggies, offering an easy and healthy meal.
If you’re looking for something other than salad, try peri peri chicken with rice or noodles, or perhaps even our air fryer potato wedges. Though they’ve got a decent calorie count, our potato wedges are packed with nutrients that help fill you up without weighing you down.
We round out the meal with simple orange juice. The best thing about this drink is how easy and quick it is. Plus, the orange juice can be made ahead of time and stored for future meals.
Recipes Similar to This Air Fryer Peri Peri Chicken
If you’re interested in other air fryer chicken recipes as healthy as this one, we’ve got some seriously delectable ones:
- Air Fryer Chicken Tacos Recipe
- Air Fryer Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
- Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Air Fryer Peri Peri Chicken Recipe
- 24 oz skin-on boneless chicken thighs
- 2 oz red bell pepper cubed
- 4 garlic cloves halved
- 1 bird-eye chili
- 1 oz onions cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 oz red onion julienned
- 1 oz carrot julienned
- 4 oz carol lettuce
- Put 2 oz red bell pepper, 4 garlic cloves, 1 bird-eye chili, and 1 oz onion into the air fryer basket. Cook at 400℉ for 4 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the peri peri sauce. Combine the baked vegetables and spices — 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp brown sugar — in a food processor. Process until well mixed.
- Score the skin of the chicken with a point of a sharp knife and place the chicken in a bowl.
- Pour the peri peri sauce over 24 oz chicken thighs and turn to coat each piece of chicken with marinade.
- Place the chicken pieces skin-side down on the air fryer basket and cook at 375℉ for 17 minutes. Then flip them over and continue to cook at 355℉ for another 8 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Serve it with a salad made with 4 oz cherry tomatoes, 1 oz red onion, 1 oz carrot, and 4 oz carol lettuce.