Nando’s Spicy Rice
Nando's Spicy Rice
5 from 21 votes
Bring some sizzle to your home kitchen with this guide to creating the iconic Nando's spicy rice. Unleash your inner culinary artist, craft a beautiful meal that sings with flavour, and wow your dinner guests with this not-so-secret recipe!
Nandos Spicy Rice

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Nando’s Spicy Rice, a dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. Originating from the iconic Nando’s restaurant chain, this recipe brings together aromatic spices, fresh vegetables, and fluffy basmati rice for a delightful culinary experience.

Don’t be intimidated by the name; while it packs a punch of flavor, it’s surprisingly easy to whip up in your own kitchen.This recipe offers a perfect blend of heat and savory goodness, making it a favorite among spice enthusiasts.

With its roots in Portuguese-African cuisine, Nando’s Spicy Rice brings a touch of exotic flair to your dining table. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply craving a flavorful meal, this dish is sure to impress with its bold flavors and vibrant colors.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on a culinary adventure to recreate the magic of Nando’s Spicy Rice right in your own home. Let’s dive into the heart of this recipe and uncover the secrets behind its irresistible taste.

Expert Tip: For a milder version, remove the seeds from the green chillies before adding them to the dish.


Rice Basmati: Basmati rice, known for its fragrant aroma and fluffy texture, forms the base of this dish. Its long grains absorb the flavors of the spices, creating a deliciously satisfying bite with every forkful.

Olive Oil: This heart-healthy oil adds richness to the dish while providing a smooth base for sautéing the vegetables and spices.

Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor profile, balancing the spices and bringing out the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Onion: Finely diced onion adds depth and sweetness to the dish, complementing the spices and creating a flavorful foundation.

Green Chillies: These fiery peppers bring a kick of heat to the dish, adding a spicy note that’s characteristic of Nando’s Spicy Rice.

Bell Pepper: Vibrant and crunchy bell peppers contribute a burst of color and a hint of sweetness, balancing out the heat from the chillies.

Garlic: Finely chopped garlic cloves infuse the dish with a robust, aromatic flavor, elevating the overall taste profile.

Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice adds a tangy brightness to the dish, enhancing the flavors of the spices and vegetables.

Paprika: Paprika lends a rich, smoky flavor and a deep red color to the dish, imparting a distinctively bold taste.

Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper delivers a fiery heat that sets this dish apart, adding intensity and depth to the flavor profile.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi): This golden spice not only imparts a vibrant hue to the dish but also offers a subtle earthy flavor and numerous health benefits.

Tomatoes (Canned): Canned tomatoes provide a burst of acidity and sweetness, creating a luscious sauce that coats the rice and vegetables.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely, add a refreshing herbal note and a pop of green color, garnishing the dish beautifully.

Expert Tip: For extra flavor, toast the spices in the pan before adding the vegetables. This releases their essential oils and enhances their aroma.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair Nando’s Spicy Rice with grilled peri-peri chicken for a complete and satisfying meal. The spicy rice perfectly complements the succulent, flavorful chicken, creating a mouthwatering combination.
  • Serve the spicy rice alongside grilled vegetables or a fresh green salad for a lighter option. The vibrant colors and bold flavors of the rice will add excitement to any veggie-centric dish.
  • For a vegetarian option, top the spicy rice with grilled tofu or paneer. The protein-packed addition adds a creamy texture and balances out the heat of the spices.
  • Enjoy Nando’s Spicy Rice as a standalone dish, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra burst of freshness.

Expert Tip: Feel free to customize the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables, such as peas, carrots, or corn.

Frequently Asked Questions

How spicy is Nando’s Spicy Rice?

Nando’s Spicy Rice has a moderate level of spiciness, thanks to the combination of green chillies, paprika, and cayenne pepper. However, you can adjust the heat level according to your preference by reducing or increasing the amount of chillies and spices used.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes?

Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes in this recipe. Simply dice fresh tomatoes and cook them down until they form a thick sauce-like consistency.

Can I make Nando’s Spicy Rice ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Nando’s Spicy Rice ahead of time and reheat it before serving. Store the cooked rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Is Nando’s Spicy Rice gluten-free?

Yes, Nando’s Spicy Rice is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free ingredients, such as certified gluten-free rice and spices.

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Nandos Spicy Rice

Nando’s Spicy Rice

by Nabeela Kauser
Bring some sizzle to your home kitchen with this guide to creating the iconic Nando's spicy rice. Wow, your dinner guests with this not-so-secret recipe! 
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African
Servings 4
Calories 280 kcal


  • 200 g Rice Basmati
  • 450 ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Onions
  • 1 Green Chillies
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 2 Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 200 g Tomatoes Canned
  • Coriander


  • Add the olive oil into the pan and heat on medium heat until hot
  • Add the finely diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the finely chopped bell pepper and green chilli then cook for a further 4-5 minutes
  • Add the finely chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the salt, turmeric powder, cayenne powder and paprika then cook the spices for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the canned tomatoes then cook for another 4-5 minutes on medium heat
  • Drain the soaked rice and the cold water then stir before cooking for 8-10 minutes on high heat until the water is almost dried up
  • Add the lemon juice and finely chopped coriander then cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes
  • Serve immediately alongside some peri chicken and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 633mgPotassium: 307mgFibre: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1540IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cooking, Food, Fried Rice, Nandos, Nandos Rice, Nandos Spicy Rice, Recipe, Spicy, Spicy Rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (3)

5 stars
I am having guests in two weeks and apart from myself one couple is South African so want to try and impress them with a Nandos recipe (will make your PeriPeri chicken) x I am so impressed with your detailed videos – they are very clear and well explained. I wondered if, for the peri peri chicken, could I instead use chicken pieces and would I need to alter the cooking time? There will be 8 hungry adults so may need to cook another protein dish. Do you have any ideas please. Thank you so much Nabeela. Delish ??

Nabeela Kauser

5 stars
Hey, thanks for checking out my recipes. Yes, you could use chicken pieces but for best results, I would suggest chicken legs and make sure they are not too chunky. If it is for 8 people, I would say use 8 leg pieces and the time would remain roughly the same depending on the size of your chicken, do keep checking every so often and basting.

If you want to add another dish, I would recommend you try the potato and spinach recipe. Make sure to double the recipe, as this will serve only serve 4. Also, serve them with my Nandos rice.

Feel free to drop me a message if you need anymore help 🙂

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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