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Chicken/ Lunch/ Spice

Peri Peri Chicken Pitas

April 17, 2020 (Last Updated: November 15, 2021) by Chris Collins

Juicy Peri Peri chicken stuffed inside pitas with all your favourite fillings. This truly is the best Nando’s style chicken pita!

pitas stacked on each other on wooden board garnished with spinach leaves

The BEST Chicken Pitas!

I promise – chicken pitas don’t come more delicious than this 😋Here’s why you’re gonna LOVE them:

  • Peri Peri chicken – here I’ll show you the easiest and most delicious way to make homemade peri peri chicken.
  • More of what you love – nothing worse than a chicken pita that’s 90% salad. These are packed with hearty ingredients!
  • Flavour – these pitas are absolutely bursting with flavour.

They’re filling enough to have as a hearty lunch and really easy to make ahead of time. First things first, let’s talk chicken.

closeup shot of ingredients popping out of stacked pitas

Peri Peri Chicken

The peri peri chicken is the star of the show here so it’s important to allow it to shine. For this recipe we’ll be using chicken thighs. Thighs are more suitable than breast to use for a couple of reasons:

  • Flavour – thighs are fattier than breast and tend to be more flavoursome in comparison.
  • Char – we want to lightly char the chicken to give a deep smoky flavour and mimic that classic BBQ char. Charring breast is more difficult as it dries out quicker and usually by the time it’s charred, it’s slightly overcooked through the centre.

Can I use chicken breast?

If breast is all you have then it still works perfectly fine! I’ve added a note on this in the recipe card.

How to make Peri Peri Chicken (quick summary)

  1. Bring chicken to room temp.
  2. Lay over cling film.
  3. Pound thin.
  4. Add peri peri seasoning and olive oil.
  5. Fully coat.
  6. Fry until charred, then flip and baste in peri peri sauce.
  7. Lay sauce side down once cooked.
  8. Baste again and rest.

How to make peri peri chicken - 8 step by step photos

Top Tip – two important steps to ensure your chicken comes out juicy. First is to bring it to bring it close to room temp (cold chicken seizes up when it hits the pan and turns out tough and dry). Second is to allow it to rest so it can retains it’s juices before slicing.

Chicken Pita Fillings

Okay, chicken done, let’s talk fillings. Here’s the usual suspects for me:

  • Hummus – The heart and soul of the pita and marries all the flavours together.
  • Roasted Red Peppers – Homemade or store bought, I’ve added a section on this in the recipe card.
  • Spinach – or greens of choice.
  • Halloumi – pan fried halloumi takes these pitas through the roof!

To pan fry the halloumi I recommend using the same pan as the chicken, just to soak up the flavour left in the pan.

overhead shot of halloumi on griddle pan

How to serve these pitas?

I recommend you serve them warm, just so the halloumi and chicken are still nice and soft. One pita is pretty hearty, so by itself makes a decent meal. But, if you’re looking for some sides consider whipping up any of these:

You can also use wraps or flatbreads instead of pitas for this recipe.

If you’re looking more more peri peri recipes then definitely check out my Peri Peri Chicken Pasta and Peri Peri Hummus!

For more similar recipes give these a ganders too:

Chicken wraps and sandwiches

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipes for these chicken pitas shall we?!

chicken pitas stacked on each other with filling spilling out

How to make Peri Peri Chicken Pitas (Full Recipe & Video)

pitas stacked on each other on wooden board garnished with spinach leaves

Peri Peri Chicken Pitas

Juicy Peri Peri chicken stuffed inside pitas with all your favourite fillings. This truly is the best Nando's style chicken pita!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Portuguese / South African
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories per serving: 702kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50


  • Griddle Pan or Frying Pan
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Cling Film & Rolling Pin or Mallet (to pound chicken)
  • Paper Towels
  • Tongs
  • Small Pot and Brush (for basting sauce)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, bring close to room temp
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml Peri Peri Sauce, or as needed (spice level of choice)
  • 2 tbsp Peri Peri Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Pita Breads, sliced into pockets (see notes)
  • 14oz / 400g block of Halloumi
  • 4 heaped tbsp Hummus
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers, sliced (see notes)
  • Spinach, as needed (or greens of choice)


  • Lay chicken thighs on a board and cover with cling film (pinch around the edges so no juices escape). Pound the chicken until level thickness, but not so much they start to break apart. Coat the thighs in seasoning and oil.
  • Heat up a griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat, then add your thighs (you may need to do this in two batches). Leave to fry until they start to char, then flip and liberally brush the cooked side with peri peri sauce. Continue frying until the other side chars and the thighs are piping hot through the centre.
  • Timings will depend on thickness of the thighs. If your thighs are fairly thick then consider lowering heat to a medium after flipping, just to ensure they cook right through without charring too much. Once cooked, remove from pan and place sauce side down, then brush again with peri peri sauce. Allow to rest, then just before needed slice into thin strips.
  • Meanwhile, slice your halloumi into 12-16 strips (3-4 per pita) then use paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Lower pan heat to a medium heat and remove any chunks of char with your tongs. Leave chicken fat.
  • Add your halloumi strips and fry both sides until soft and grill marks appear (again, work in batches if you need).
  • Spread hummus inside your pita pockets, top with spinach, then halloumi, followed by roasted red peppers and finish with your chicken strips. Enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Pita Bread - Depending on the brand of pita bread pitas can be quite thin, so just go careful when you're slicing the pocket. I find it sometimes helps to warm them slightly in the microwave first.
Can I sub the pitas for anything else?
Sure! I've used both flat breads and wraps for this recipe and both work great. Could even turn it into a salad or serve with rice.
b) Chicken Thighs - It's about 1.2lbs/600g in total (6 thighs at 3.5oz/100g each) so 1.5 thighs per pita.
Can I sub chicken breast?
Chicken thighs are fattier/more flavoursome and char a lot easier, but you could use breast if that's all you have. In which case I recommend using the above weight (approx 3 breasts) and butterfly them to make 6 thinner even sized breasts. 
c) Roasted Red Peppers - I usually use jarred ones. Just squeeze out as much brine as you can and remove any hidden seeds
Can I make my own roasted red peppers?
Absolutely! The easiest way to do this is to rest your peppers on a flame on the stove and rotate every minute or so until completely charred. Pop them in a bowl and cover with cling film. Once cool, peel off most of the char, then slice 'em up! You can also char under the grill.
d) Calories - based per pita:

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Peri Peri Chicken Pitas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 702 Calories from Fat 192
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.3g33%
Saturated Fat 4.593g23%
Trans Fat 0.061g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.239g
Monounsaturated Fat 10.153g
Cholesterol 279mg93%
Sodium 1588mg66%
Potassium 1118mg32%
Carbohydrates 48.31g16%
Fiber 3.3g13%
Sugar 4.8g5%
Protein 74.56g149%
Vitamin A 2487IU50%
Vitamin C 67mg81%
Calcium 179mg18%
Iron 5.35mg30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    5 stars
    This chicken is so tasty! And especially wonderful since we’re all stuck at home and cooking now more than ever!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2020 at 10:04 am

      Thanks Kathryn! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Best lunch ever, I am a huge fan of Peri-Peri chicken, often had it at my old job, it was in Little Portugal. Definitely a keeper.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

      Thanks, Evelyne! Isn’t peri-peri chicken just the best?!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    5 stars
    I love the flavor of peri peri and am so looking forward to making these tasty pitas at home! Thanks for the step-by-step pic – that’ll make things so much easier!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

      You’re so welcome, Jenn! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    5 stars
    I cannot wait to try this recipe. I love the step-by-step photos and anything with Halloumi is guaranteed to be a winner in my book.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve never made peri peri chicken at home, but I need to now. This looks incredible!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2020 at 10:02 am

      You totally should, it’s a game changer!