Piri Piri Prawns with Spicy Butter Marinade

Piri Piri Prawns (or Prawn Pil Pil) is a dish that will transport you to the Med in minutes. This particular recipe, featuring a spicy butter marinade, combines buttery richness, a kick of chilli, the aromatic punch of garlic, smoked paprika, and the zing of lemon juice. It’s an appetizer that stands as a testament to the beauty of simple ingredients coming together to create something utterly magnificent and it’s one of Mrs ChilliChump’s absolute favorites!

Watch me cook up a storm in Spain in this video – Spicy Grilled Prawns.

The Essence of the Dish

At its core, this Peri Peri Prawn recipe is an ideal choice for both novice cooks and seasoned chefs. The secret lies in the marinade – a spicy, buttery concoction that infuses the prawns with a depth of flavor that is irresistable. With ingredients like jalapeno or a similar medium-heat chilli pepper, and a mix of garlic, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice, each bite is a perfect balance of heat, spice, and citrusy zest.

Preparation Journey

The preparation process is as straightforward as it is rewarding.

Beginning with a blend of melted butter and finely chopped chilli pepper, crushed garlic, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice, the marinade is a breeze to make.

The prawns are then immersed in this mixture, allowing them to soak up all the flavors for up to an hour in the refrigerator.

The actual cooking time is brief, requiring just a few minutes in a hot skillet. For us, there’s nothing better than prawns cooked over a charcoal grill.

Piri piri prawns on a charcoal grill

Prawn Pil Pil with Spicy Butter Marinade

This dish features succulent prawns bathed in a rich, spicy butter marinade. It's a perfect blend of buttery goodness with a hint of chilli, garlic, smoked paprika, and lemon juice, offering a sophisticated yet tantalizing starter. What's more it's really easy to make!
Course Appetizer
Keyword Jalapeno, prawn pil pil
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 500 g Prawns shelled and deveined
  • 100 g Butter melted
  • 1 Medium Heat Chilli Pepper Jalapeno or similar, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Juice of 1 Lemon


  • In a bowl, combine the melted butter, finely chopped pepper, crushed garlic, smoked paprika, salt, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir well to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Get your prawns and place them in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the prawns, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Allow the prawns to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. This helps the flavors to infuse into the prawns.
  • Preheat a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add the marinated prawns to the pan along with the marinade.
  • Cook the prawns for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn pink and are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook them.
  • Once the prawns are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish along with the sauce from the pan.
  • Garnish with some fresh parsley or cilantro and a few slices of lemon on the side.
  • Prawn Pil Pil is best served hot. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Alternatively, it can be served as a main dish alongside a simple salad or steamed vegetables and rice or pasta.


While Peri Peri Prawns are a fantastic starter, accompanied by crusty bread to mop up the rich sauce, their versatility means that they can be transformed into a hearty main. Pair it with a simple salad, steamed vegetables, rice, or pasta to elevate it into a full-fledged meal that’s packed full of flavor.

The Joy of Sharing Piri Piri Prawns

The act of sharing Peri Peri Prawns around the table, engaging in conversation, and enjoying the communal experience of dipping bread into the sauce, creates memories that last. It’s a reminder that food is about connection, enjoyment, and the creation of moments that become cherished memories.

In Conclusion

Peri Peri Prawn with Spicy Butter Marinade is more than just a recipe; it’s a celebration of flavors, textures, and the joy of cooking. Whether you’re looking to impress guests, enjoy a quiet night in, or simply expand your culinary repertoire, this dish is sure to become a beloved addition to your collection. So why not give it a try? The result is guaranteed to be delicious, leaving you and your guests craving more.

For more ideas to spice up dinnertime, go to Spicy Recipes.

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