A toasted pitta filled with 2 peri peri chicken thighs, griddled halloumi cheese, caramelised red onion chutney, mayo and lettuce, this Peri Peri Chicken Pitta is a deliciously easy peasy homemade version of the much-loved Nando’s Fino Pitta!
My Nando’s obsession continues…
You probably know by now that I am just a teensy bit obsessed with everything Nando’s… and I especially love figuring out how to make easy peasy versions of all my Nando’s favourites! Well, this time it’s the turn of the Nando’s Fino Pitta to get the Easy Peasy Foodie treatment.
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Easy Peasy Nando’s Fino Pitta
My easy peasy version of the Nando’s Fino Pitta really is super simple to make. All you need to do is marinate chicken thighs in my easy peri peri marinade, then fry them on a hot griddle pan (or regular frying pan). Next griddle some halloumi slices and pop the pittas in your toaster. Finally assemble your pittas… first a couple of blobs of mayo, then the griddled peri peri chicken and halloumi, and finally top with caramelised red onion chutney and lettuce. Ready in just 20 minutes!
As close to the original as possible!
I have stuck as closely to the original Nando’s Fino Pitta as possible, while still keeping the recipe as easy peasy as possible!
The menu describes Nando’s Fino Pitta like this: ‘Indulge in a toasted pitta filled with two flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken thighs, grilled halloumi cheese, caramelised red onion relish and wild garlic aioli, topped with lettuce.’
Well toasting the pitta is easy! Griddling is the closest I can get to flame-grilling in my regular kitchen – but it still gives a pretty authentic result for both the chicken and the halloumi. I used my ever-popular homemade peri peri marinade (the one I use for all my Nando’s fakeaway recipes!) The closest I could get to the red onion relish was a pot of Tesco Finest Red Onion Chutney (it’s a surprisingly good sub, actually!) and finally, I just used regular Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, rather than ‘wild garlic aioli’ (and honestly you can’t tell the difference!)
I am super pleased with the result – it tastes very similar to the original (I even went on a special ‘research’ trip to Nando’s with my kids just to make sure!), but is quick and easy to make and totally do-able in a regular home kitchen.
No griddle pan? No problem!
If you want to get as close as possible to an authentic Nando’s Fino pitta, then I recommend you use a griddle pan* to get those lovely char lines on the Peri Peri Chicken Thighs and the halloumi.
But if you don’t have a griddle pan, don’t worry. I have THREE great options for you…
- Just use a regular frying pan (and follow the recipe exactly as written).
- Oven bake the chicken thighs and halloumi – it won’t taste exactly the same, but it still tastes good. (See the recipe notes for full instructions.)
- Cook the chicken and halloumi on the barbecue!
What to serve with Homemade Nando’s Fino Pitta
All your homemade Nando’s favourites of course!
- Spicy rice
- Classic Coleslaw
- Rainbow Coleslaw
- Macho Peas
- Chips (fries)
- Corn on the cob
- Sweet potato wedges
- Baked sweet potato
- Garlic bread
- Tenderstem broccoli
- Creamy mash
- Mixed leaf salad
(Shown here with my Homemade Nando’s Macho Peas, Roasted Peri Peri Sweet Potato Cubes and Homemade Nando’s Rainbow Slaw.)
What to drink with Homemade Nando’s Fino Pitta?
This Nando’s Fino Pitta fakeaway tastes great with a zingy South African Sauvignon Blanc or an oaky South African Chardonnay. Alternatively, it also goes well with a fruity Portuguese or South African rosé.
What to do with leftover Peri Peri Chicken thighs?
Got some leftover Peri Peri Chicken Thighs? Not a problem! They are delicious cold the next day… perfect for packed lunches and picnics! Simply put any leftovers in a lidded container and place in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days.
Serve cold, or reheat at 180C (160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F) for 10 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze Peri Peri Chicken thighs?
Absolutely! Once cooked and cooled, put the Peri Peri chicken thighs into a lidded container or plastic freezer bag and place in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 1 month.
Defrost overnight in the fridge and serve cold or reheat as above.
Love Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken?
Then check out these other Nando’s copycat recipes:
- Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Thighs
- Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Breasts
- Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Wings
- Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burgers
- Peri Peri Chicken Traybake
Homemade Nando’s Fino Pitta
Peri Peri Chicken Marinade
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chilli flakes or to taste (See Note 1)
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Black pepper to taste
Homemade Nando’s Fino Pittas
- 8 small chicken thigh fillets bone out & skin off (See Note 2)
- 225 g halloumi sliced into 8 slices
- 4 white pittas
- 4 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s)
- 4 tablespoons red onion chutney (I use Tesco Finest Red Onion Chutney)
- 4 large lettuce leaves
- Mix together all of the Peri Peri Chicken Marinade ingredients. Place the chicken thigh fillets in the bowl of marinade, turning to coat each piece of chicken with marinade.
- Marinate the chicken for 1 hour in the fridge, if you have the time. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time, simply continue with the recipe.
- When you are ready to start cooking, heat a griddle pan over a high heat for 1 minute until smoking hot. Next, place the chicken thigh fillets on the griddle and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked all the way through. (No griddle pan? Prefer to oven cook? See Note 3.)
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate or board while you cook the halloumi. Place the halloumi on the griddle pan and cook for 30 seconds on each side.
- While the halloumi is cooking, lightly toast your pittas in the toaster. (When the halloumi has finished cooking, remove to the same board / plate as the chicken, so it doesn’t cook too much!)
- You can now begin assembling your fino pittas. Start by slicing open your pittas. Next, place two blobs of mayonnaise on the bottom of each pitta (roughly half a tablespoon each). Top with two chicken thigh fillets and two halloumi slices.
- Finally, put a small blob of red onion chutney on top of each halloumi slice and top with a slice of lettuce.
- Serve with all your Nando’s favourites!
- Adjust the heat by using more or less chilli flakes. Exact ‘hotness’ will depend on the brand of chilli flakes, but as a rough guide go for 1 teaspoon = mild, 2 teaspoons = medium, 3 teaspoons = hot, 4 teaspoons = extra hot.
- In Nando’s these are bone out, but skin left on. However, in British supermarkets it is hard to find boneless chicken thigh fillets with the skin left on. Personally, I prefer to buy chicken thigh fillets which are bone out and skin off – for convenience and because I tend to find that the skin does not stay crispy inside the pitta. But if the skin is important to you, you could buy skin on, bone in chicken thighs and remove the bones yourself.
- If you do not own a griddle pan (or if you prefer to oven cook your chicken), you can cook the peri peri chicken thighs and halloumi slices in your oven instead. Simply put the marinated chicken on a large baking tray and place in an oven preheated to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 10 minutes. 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the halloumi slices.
- Suitable for freezing. (Peri Peri Chicken only.)
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!
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