Nando’s Vegan Sauces, Do They Really Exist?

Nando's Sauces



What Is Nando’s To You?

When you think of Nando’s you don’t automatically think vegan. It’s a restaurant chain well known for it’s chicken. Not exactly a vegan hotspot. But is that all changing? Or is Nando’s not keeping up with the evolution of the food world? Are Nando’s vegan sauces a myth? We did a deep dive to find out how vegan friendly Nando’s really is.

The History

The Nando’s restaurant chain has been around for a long time. It may actually surprise you to know that it was first established in South Africa. Were we the only ones that thought it was a British restaurant chain?

Nando's Vegan Sauces & Options

Nando’s Fans

Nando’s has made a huge name for itself around the world. It’s become so popular that even in countries that don’t have this franchise, people seem to know about Nando’s. Some might even go as far as to say, that it has a cult following. Huge celebrities have endorsed the Nando’s brand without any sponsorship. One of the most famous incidents of fan loyalty was actually displayed by the singer Ed Sheeran. He made and posted a video on social media about Nando’s and how much he enjoys it. He basically expressed what a huge fan of Nando’s he is while freestyling with a guitar. Loyal fans of Nando’s say, ‘If you haven’t tried Nando’s sauces you haven’t lived!’ They believe that these sauces are some of the most fiery, tasty and flavourful sauces you will ever try. Some people even put Nando’s hot sauce on everything they eat.

Nando's Vegan Sauces Chilli Jam

Public Perceptions

Most people we asked including members of the Caavakushi team itself believed that the Nando’s sauces were in fact plant-based. A few people that we surveyed had a strong association with Nando’s and chicken. They thought that there would be no way the Nando’s sauces could ever be vegan friendly. They just couldn’t fathom boxing veganism in together with Nando’s. Which didn’t really surprised us because Nando’s has build up quite the reputation of being a chicken eaters paradise. It’s the go to favourite restaurant for many meat eaters. So who’s right in this situation? Are Nando’s sauces plant based or not?




Vegan Or Not Vegan?

Now for the answer to the burning question on everyone’s mind. Much to the Caavakushi team’s surprise we found out that Nando’s sauces are actually not vegan friendly. The entire hot sauce range available at Nando’s is unfortunately not plant-based. What a shock indeed!

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What Nando’s Had To Say

The Caavakushi team wanted to get to the bottom of this. So we went straight to the source. We contacted Nando’s directly to find out whether their sauces are vegan friendly or not. The Nando’s team informed us that most of their sauces are not plant-based. They also broke down what exactly was in the sauces that made them untouchable for vegans. They said that the PERi-PERi sauces and marinades all contain traces of shellac while their other PERinaise sauces all contain eggs. The Nando’s team kindly sent us this spreadsheet to help our team and readers correctly identify the vegan friendly sauce options that Nando’s has.


Nando's Vegan Sauces Guide


What Exactly Is In The Nando’s Sauces?

Do you know what’s in the Nando’s sauces that you eat? We think that some of the ingredients might surprise you. That’s because they sure did surprise us. Most of the Nando’s hot sauces contain ingredients that are not vegan friendly. These ingredients are derived from animal by-products. One of the ingredients that is not plant-based actually comes from chickens. Yes, you guessed it. It’s Eggs. The other less commonly known ingredient that can be found in Nando’s sauces is shellac. You may have heard of shellac in the beauty industry. Shellac nail polish is in high demand in beauty salons around the world. But it’s probably something you have not heard of when it comes to food ingredients. To be honest neither had we until very recently. Shellac is actually a resin like insect by-product. Nando’s uses this insect by-product as an ingredient for their PERi-PERi sauces and marinades.

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Is There Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

The good news is however that one of the sauces is actually vegan-friendly. Can you guess which one? It’s the Nando’s Vegan PERInaise. The team actually could not believe that Nando’s only has one vegan-friendly sauce available. It’s quite sad. How are vegans meant to season there food at Nando’s? Do vegans have to bring their own cruelty-free hot sauces to Nando’s in order to enjoy their food?

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Is The Nando’s Vegan PERInaise Any Good?

Although we did not want to like this particular sauce because the company is not exactly vegan-friendly. We actually ended up enjoying it immensely. In fact we would go as far as to say it’s one of the best vegan mayonnaise options that we’ve ever tried. Which leads us to think if they can make such an amazing vegan PERInaise then why can’t they make vegan hot sauces? It’s not really out of the realms of possibility, is it? We know they’re capable of making at least one vegan sauce. So we’re pretty confident they can make an exceptional vegan hot sauce too.

The Nando’s Vegan PERInaise Ingredients

The famous Nando’s vegan PERInaise consists of an interesting collection of ingredients. This is exactly what the ingredients label states is in each bottle off Nando’s vegan PERInaise: 

Rapeseed Oil (27%), Vinegar, Cornflour, Apple Vinegar, Red Chilli Pepper, African Bird’s Eye Chilli, Paprika, White Pepper, Black Pepper, Potato Protein, Thickeners (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate), Onion Puree, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Lemon Puree, Sugar, Green Chillies, Garlic Puree (Garlic, Sea Salt, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)), Salt, Antioxidants (Calcium Disodium EDTA, Ascorbic Acid), Rosemary Extract, Water.

How We Feel

It’s actually a shame that Nando’s feels the need to include animal by-products in their sauces. There are plenty of sauces on the market that taste just as good and they don’t use animal by-products. We’re 100% sure that the Nando’s sauces would taste just as good with a few plant-based substitutions. They may in fact even attract a whole new customer base if they changed the recipes of their sauces to accommodate vegans.

Nando's Tissue Napkin

A Message To Nando’s

We do however encourage Nando’s to widen their vegan range of products. The Caavakushi team hope to hear about new vegan food additions to the Nando’s family in the near future. It’s just a pity that they can’t offer vegan sauces at this very moment in time. But we definitely have faith that they will make changes to their hot sauce recipes to make them vegan friendly very soon.




Let Nando’s Know How You Feel

Maybe if more people from the plant-based community let Nando’s know they are interested in more plant-based sauce options, they may change their recipes. It would be nice if Nando’s made their sauces available to the vegan community too. All we can do is ask them on social media or via email to consider changing their recipes to be more inclusive to plant-based individuals. We’re sure if we persevere with our efforts Nando’s will eventually hear us and change will follow.


Did have any idea that most of the sauces at Nando’s weren’t vegan? Do you think that Nando’s should start making their sources vegan friendly? Ask questions and learn more about these sauces and others on the new Caavakushi vegan forum. You can find out more about Nando’s vegan sauces on the Caavakushi vegan search engine.



Nando’s Vegan Sauces, Do They Really Exist?

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