Creamy Peri Peri Chicken Skillet

By Rena Awada | Updated On February 13, 2023

Spice up dinner with an incredibly delicious Creamy Peri Peri Chicken Skillet! This Portuguese recipe is easy to make with chicken breasts marinated in a savory, smoky mix, then pan-fried to perfection and simmered with peppers and onions in a creamy, flavorful sauce. Serve this chicken with your fav sides for a meal the whole family will enjoy.

Peri peri chicken cooking in a sauce in a skillet.


If you’re looking for new tasty chicken recipes to add to the meal rotation, this Peri Peri Chicken is a must-try. Like our Creamy Spinach Parmesan Chicken Skillet, it’s easy to make with simple ingredients, yet turns out SO incredibly delicious. From the juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts, to the tangy, rich, and spicy sauce, this dish is a guaranteed people pleaser.

Even though this chicken recipe is traditionally spicy, since you’re making your own recipe, you can make it as fiery hot or as mildly spicy as you like! If you’re serving kids, feel free to omit the chili flakes in the marinade and just add a dash to individual servings.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Super tasty: If you want to take chicken from boring to extraordinary, this is your recipe! One bite and you’ll be enjoying warm, deep, complex flavors. Peri peri chicken is deliciously savory, tangy, and garlicky with the perfect kick of heat.
  • Easy to make with very little hands-on time: This is a really easy recipe to whip up. It’s made with simple methods and cleanup is a cinch, since everything cooks in one skillet.
  • Versatile: This pairs well with a variety of sides, with vegetables, mashed potatoes, or over a steaming pile of white or brown rice. So good!
Chicken breast cooked in a red sauce.

Ingredients needed

You’re going to LOVE the flavors in this peri-peri chicken recipe. It has the perfect amount of spice, smokiness & fresh flavor! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • For the marinade: The marinade is a mix of olive oil, tomato puree, harissa paste, lime juice, garlic, smoked paprika, chili flakes, and salt & pepper for bold flavor.
  • Chicken: We use boneless, skinless chicken breasts to keep things on the lighter side, but you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, instead, for a richer and juicier flavor.
  • Olive oil: For cooking the chicken.
  • Bell peppers & onion: Sautéed for a savory, aromatic flavor that balances out the spice.
  • Almond milk & cornstarch: Mixing almond milk and cornstarch with the peri peri marinade will make the creamy sauce.
  • Fresh parsley: Sprinkling chopped fresh herbs over the top of the finished dish, adds a pop of color and freshness.
Ingredients portioned into small bowls for making peri peri chicken.

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk all the peri peri marinade ingredients. Reserve half of the marinade in a small bowl.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken breast to the bowl with the remaining marinade and rub on all sides. Allow it to marinate for 20-30 minutes over the counter (or more if refrigerated).
  1. Pan-fry the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated chicken until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF. Set aside on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  2. Sauté veggies: To the same preheated skillet, sauté the bell peppers, and onions over medium heat, until they just start to soften.
  3. Make the creamy sauce: Whisk the reserved peri peri marinade with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, then mix with the almond milk. Pour this mixture over the sautéed veggies in the skillet and allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken.
  4. Simmer chicken in the sauce: Once the sauce has thickened, return the chicken back to the skillet, and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes, spooning over the creamy sauce to heat it up. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Expert Tips

  • Size of chicken breast: We recommend choosing chicken breasts that are approximately the same size so that they cook at the same rate. 
  • Marinating the chicken: The longer the chicken marinates in the sauce, the better. Be sure to at least marinate it for 20 to 30 minutes, and for even more flavor overnight is best.
  • Cooking the chicken: Give the chicken space in the pan while frying it, you want it to sear nicely and not steam.
  • Checking for doneness: Since chicken breasts can vary in size, we recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure that the chicken breast is fully cooked; the temperature should read 160 to 165 degrees F. We recommend removing it from the heat at 160ºF because it will continue to cook in the pan, even after being removed from the heat.
top view of a tomato based creamy chicken breast in a black round plate

Frequently asked questions

What is peri peri chicken?

With roots in African and Portuguese culture, peri peri chicken is a flavorful chicken dish, typically made with chicken breasts or thighs that are marinated in and also served with a homemade peri peri sauce, a spicy sauce.

What flavor is peri peri sauce?

Peri peri sauce originates in Africa (with a Portuguese influence) and is traditionally a blend of African bird’s eye chilis. Instead, this recipe keeps things simple and uses easy-to-find spices that still give this dish complex, delicious flavor. It tastes spicy, garlicky, tangy, and citrusy.

Why is it called peri peri?

Peri peri is a Portuguese name for Pilipili, a Swahili term meaning “Pepper-Pepper,” which refers to the African Bird’s Eye Chili and the hot pepper flavor in this recipe.

top view chicken breast in a black skillet in a creamy peri peri sauce

Serving suggestions

Try pairing this dish with mashed potatoes or rice to soak up the creamy sauce. For a lower-carb option, pair it with cauliflower rice. It’s quite rich, so some veggies would work great, too. Try our roasted green beans, asparagus, or broccolini. A side salad would be delicious too! One with kale or romaine lettuce and a simple dressing of olive oil and fresh lemon juice would go perfectly.

Storage recommendations

  • Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: For best results, reheat on the stovetop or in the oven, so the sauce gets creamy again. Try 350ºF until it’s warmed through. You can also microwave individual servings in small increments.
Creamy peri peri chicken served on a black plate.

More chicken recipes

top view peri peri chicken breast in a red creamy sauce in skillet

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top view of a tomato based creamy chicken breast in a black round plate

Creamy Peri Peri Chicken Skillet

Spice up dinner with an incredibly delicious Creamy Peri Peri Chicken Skillet! This Portuguese recipe is easy to make with chicken breasts marinated in a savory, smoky mix, then pan-fried to perfection and simmered with peppers and onions in a creamy, flavorful sauce.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Portuguese
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 423kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

Peri peri marinade:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers seeded and diced
  • 1 onion small diced
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk all the peri peri marinade ingredients. Reserve half of the marinade in a small bowl.Add the chicken breast to the bowl with the remaining marinade and rub on all sides. Allow it to marinate for 20-30 minutes over the counter (or more if refrigerated).
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated chicken until golden-brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF. Set aside on a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • To the same preheated skillet, sauté the bell peppers, and onions over medium heat, until they just start to soften.
  • Whisk the reserved peri peri marinade with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, then mix with the almond milk. Pour this mixture over the sautéed veggies in the skillet and allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, return the chicken back to the skillet, and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes, spooning over the creamy sauce to heat it up. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Video

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
For best results, reheat on the stovetop or in the oven, so the sauce gets creamy again. Try 350ºF until it’s warmed through. You can also microwave individual servings in small increments.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 1233mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4064IU | Vitamin C: 89mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 3mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Sara says

    5 stars
    I made this over the weekend for my lunch for the week and it is AMAZING. I had to swap the almond milk for oat milk due to an allergy and it still came out excellent. Thank you for the recipe will be making again!!

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