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Homemade Nduja – a touch of Calabria in your kitchen

In this post, I’ll show you how to make your own Nduja. It takes a little time to prepare, but it’s definitely worth it! 

Nduja is a spicy, spreadable sausage from Calabria, Italy. Nduja is typically made with Calabrian Peppers and peperoncini. It is known for its intense flavor and versatility in the kitchen.

For a good taste, it is important to use good ingredients. The original Nduja is prepared with a Calabrian bell pepper. That is roasted and puréed. However, you can also use a standard red bell pepper if you do not have access to Calabrian ones. It is important that your puréed bell pepper does not end up with too much water. 

But enough chatting now…

Here you can find the complete Nduja recipe as a video or to read through.

Have fun and good luck making it!

Nduja – What do you need to make it?

Nduja - all ingredients

Ingredients per 1 kg 

  • 65 % fatty pork belly (650 g)
  • 25 % Puréed Calabrian pepper (250 g)
  • 10 % Calabrian peperoncini (100 g)

Important: For the original preparation, you need both peppers and peperoncini from Calabria. These are available in various italian and online stores.

However, you can also make this type of sausage with your own peppers or “normal” bell pepper puree and other peperonis, peperoncinis.

If you want to make your own bell pepper puree, I recommend scalding the peppers, then peeling off the skin, pureeing the flesh and boiling it down slightly so that around 20-30% of the liquid has already been reduced.

Spices per kg

Sometimes black pepper or other spices are added in various recipes. In my opinion, however, a good Calabrian Nduja focuses on the Pepper and the spiciness of the peperoncini, which is why I have left out all other spices after my recipe tests.

The equipment to make Nduja

Meat Grinder

You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks and can then be mixed.

Place to dry and mature the sausage

To age this raw sausage, you need an environment where both humidity and temperature are relatively constant. There are several possibilities for this. I have already matured cured sausages in the fridge or cellar without any problems.

Optional: If you want to be on the safe side, then a ripening cabinet is the best choice. My recommendation: Dry Ager DX 500


For maturing cured sausages you need special artificial casings. I recommend fiber casings in caliber 55/25.

The casings can also be smoked and support the ripening process ideally.

Make Nduja – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut the pork belly into cubes or strips. You can vary the size depending on how big your meat grinder is. 

Nduja - cut

2. Place the pieces of meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help you later when mincing and ensures that the mixture does not get too warm.

Nduja - freeze

3. Now grind the meat. I have used a 3 mm perforated disk here. You can also use a larger perforated disk. This is a matter of taste. 

Nduja - grind

4 Place the meat in a bowl together with the salt, cure #1, the pureed peppers and the peperoncini.  

Nduja - meat

5. Mix the mixture well for a few minutes. The sausage meat should have a good binding.

Nduja - mix

6. Fill your meat mixture into an artificial casing. To do this, pull the casing onto the stuffing horn and fill slowly with enough pressure.

Nduja - fill

7. Tie the end with kitchen twine. Make sure there are no air holes in the casing. If there are, you can easily pierce them with a needle. 

Nduja - tie

8. Hang the Nduja to ferment for 48 hours at high humidity (>90%) and temperature (approx. 25 degrees Celsius (77.0°F)). This promotes the maturing process. You can keep spraying the Nduja with water to keep the humidity as high as possible.

Nduja - 48h

9. You can then hang them up in any cool place. The humidity should be around 80 % and the temperature no more than 15 C° (59.0°F). If you don’t have a maturing cabinet, then often you can also hang them in the cellar if the parameters are reasonably suitable. I did this for a long time.

Nduja - dry

10 Theoretically, the nduja is ready after just one week of ripening 😄. But in terms of taste, it naturally develops best over several weeks and months. The following picture is after three weeks, as I had no other choice but to shoot the video like this due to private appointments. In my tests, I found the taste and consistency to be perfect at 3 months. The duration also varies depending on the caliber you use and your humidity and maturing conditions. Important: The maturing process takes time. Be patient until you achieve your desired taste. Have fun making your own!

Nduja - ready

How long is the shelf life of the Nduja?

Your Nduja will keep for several months. However, it will gradually lose more moisture and eventually dry out completely. It therefore makes sense to store it vacuum-sealed in the fridge. Once cut, you should be able to eat it in approx. 1 – 2 weeks.


Cured Sausages

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