Nando’s Portuguese Spicy Rice

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Today I will teach you how to make the signature Nando’s Portuguese spicy rice. If you are a fan of this well-known food chain you will love this post.

One of the things I enjoy the most about cooking is that I can recreate some of my favorite restaurants, takeaway or food chain recipes, and doing it from the comfort of my home. I just love a good copycat recipe.

This is an easy side dish recipe for those days where a simple plain white rice doesn’t seem enough. I like to make it accompany a good piece of peri-peri chicken or the classic fried chicken.

What makes Nando’s Portuguese spicy rice so special?

It’s all about the spices. The characteristic flavor of Nando’s rice comes from a particular mix of 4 spices.

  • Turmeric: This is the key to the yellow color of the rice. But turmeric not only adds that appealing color, but it also gives a pungent bitter flavor that gives richness to the rice.
  • Garlic powder: This is used to add more garlicky notes to the rice. The recipe includes fresh garlic but the powder version keeps the flavor strong through the cooking process.
  • Cayenne pepper: The spicy factor. You can control how much heat you want in your plate by adding the right amount of cayenne pepper. In this recipe, I use ½ tsp of cayenne pepper for 1 cup of rice to get a mild spicy result.
  • Paprika: This spice adds that smoky flavor that makes this rice so unique.

These 4 spices will give a punch of flavor to the rice. The rest is some veggies: bell pepper, onion, and peas. Easy peasy!

I hope you like this copycat Nando’s rice as much as I do, and I see you in the next recipe!

More Portuguese Recipes:

Nando’s Portuguese Spicy Rice
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Today I will teach you how to make the signature Nando’s Portuguese spicy rice. If you are a fan of this well-known food chain you will love this post.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: portuguese spicy rice
Servings: 2 people
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • cup frozen peas
  • ½ bell pepper diced
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss the bell pepper, the onion, and the garlic.
  2. Add the spices: cayenne pepper, turmeric, paprika, and garlic powder.
  3. Add the rice, the water and salt to taste. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes until the rice is almost done, then add the frozen peas and cook for a couple minutes until you get a fluffy spicy rice.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Kavita - October 8, 2019

Delicious! I made 3x the recipe and should have stuck to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Made this for a work potluck and it just might be a little too spicy for the gang.

    mb0793 - October 8, 2019

    Hi Kavita! I’m glad you liked it. You can always adjust the spiciness according to your personal taste. When I’m cooking for a large number of people I try to keep the spicy low, so everybody can enjoy 🙂

Emily Zielinski - March 18, 2020

Omg, you had me at Nandos! I love anything Nandos and this recipe looks delicious, thanks so much for sharing.

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