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Ingredients

What Is ‘Nduja, and How Do I Use It?

Spreadable meat, you say?
By Published July 18, 2022

The world of salumi is vast—the term encompasses all manner of Italian cured meats, mainly those made from pork. While many of these cured meats are firm and sliceable, like soppressata and prosciutto, there’s also a spreadable variety called ‘nduja.

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What Is ‘Nduja?

‘Nduja (pronounced en-DOO-ya) is a soft, spreadable salume that hails from the small town of Spilinga, Italy (near the tip of the boot), but is now also produced outside Italy, including in the United States. It is thought to be so named because it resembles French andouille.

The brick red, meaty spread is made from a combination of pork parts, such as shoulder, belly, and fatback (as well as other less valuable cuts). The high fat content of these cuts is what keeps the ‘nduja from firming up like other salumi. Hot Calabrian peppers give the spread plenty of heat. The whole mix is slow-fermented, resulting in a soft spread with a tangy funk.

How Do I Use ‘Nduja?

‘Nduja is a versatile ingredient. Safe to eat right out of the package, it can be spread over bread, crostini, or crackers; served with cheese; added to sandwiches; mixed into tomato sauces; and more.

We use it to add heat and richness to our Sheet-Pan Pizza with ‘Nduja, Ricotta, and Cherry Peppers. We stir some ‘nduja into the pizza sauce to give it a complex savory richness, and we mix the rest of it with creamy ricotta cheese. The ricotta tempers the ‘nduja’s heat (just slightly) and its saltiness. Smearing it on the pizza creates creamy pockets that complement the more fiery tomato sauce.

Where Can I Buy ‘Nduja?

‘Nduja can be purchased online, in specialty Italian markets, at some cheese shops, and at many grocery stores. It should be refrigerated after opening.