Here's What You Can Substitute For 'Nduja

'Nduja is a truly unique gem of a food that is like no other ingredient, but it can sometimes be a challenge to find. In that case, there are a few substitution options that can certainly work – but truthfully, 'nduja stands alone, and no other ingredient can totally replace it.

A piquant, rich, spreadable salami, 'nduja has experienced a boom of popularity in recent years (via Food52). It hails from a tiny Calabrian municipality called Spilinga, according to Serious Eats. The unique name is actually an Italian iteration of the French "andouille." Serious Eats also notes that 'nduja was and originally the food of poor farmers and included almost every part of the pig – nothing went to waste. 'Njuda has a buttery and spreadable texture that is partly explained by the fact that it's fatty. 'Nduja is also fermented, which was originally done to ensure the product was long-lasting. 

It makes for an amazing pizza topping and pairs well with pasta (via Cuisine Vault). It can even elevate a standard roast chicken to a celebratory affair (via It is a lovely inclusion in soups and stews, deepening their flavors in almost no time, and also pairs with shellfish, such as clams or mussels. It also spruces up eggs and is a perfect addition to grilled cheeses. How delicious does that sound?

How do you make an 'nduja substitute?

'Nduja is essentially a pork product that is studded with chile, tomato, and olive oil – so if you're totally unable to find 'nduja, make your own! According to, any spicy Italian sausage will do. Bon Appétit even references a particular brand of 'nduja which is actually made with prosciutto and speck! Cuisine Vault states that chorizo, soppressata, pepperoni, sobrassada are all great substitution options, and vegan/vegetarian 'nduja made with sundried tomatoes or Calabrian chili paste is always welcome, too. Be careful with the chili paste, though – a little goes a long way!

Cuisine Vault also notes that soppressata is frequently seasoned with fennel, oregano, garlic while the addition of chili flakes gives it a 'nduja-like kick. Chili oil can crank up the heat in chorizo, and the vegan version of 'nduja can benefit from extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and paprika. If you're making your own, you can also dictate the level of spice that you're most comfortable with. Once you've assembled your desired ingredients, just blend in a food processor until relatively smooth and spreadable, and you're ready to enjoy.