Easy Stovetop 'Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

Gooey, spicy, meaty mac and cheese—all it takes is four pantry-friendly ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.

Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • The soft, spreadable texture and high fat content of 'nduja allows it to easily emulsify and meld into the sauce, giving our famous easy, creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese a spicy, meaty, funky kick.
  • Cooking in a small volume of water concentrates the starch from the pasta, helping the cheese form a creamy emulsion.
  • Evaporated milk contains protein micelles, which help keep an emulsified sauce smooth and creamy.
  • Every ingredient in this recipe has an extended, pantry-friendly shelf life, making this the perfect pasta for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

It's hard to improve on the beautiful simplicity of Kenji's three-ingredient stovetop macaroni and cheese, known in some circles as the "6-6-6 mac," but if there's one ingredient that can easily meld into the mac mix, it's our favorite Calabrian sausage, 'nduja.

'Nduja's high fat content allows it to quickly and easily emulsify into a creamy sauce with the evaporated milk and melty cheese in this four-ingredient recipe (well, technically six ingredients if you want to be like that, counting water to cook the pasta and a tiny pinch of salt to season it). All of the ingredients, including the 'nduja, have long shelf lives, making this a perfect pantry-friendly comfort food recipe for these uncertain times.

Recipe Details

Easy Stovetop 'Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 10 mins
Serves 2 to 4 servings

Gooey, spicy, meaty mac and cheese—all it takes is four pantry-friendly ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.


  • 6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 ounces (180mlevaporated milk

  • 6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup; 56g) 'nduja (see notes)


  1. Place macaroni in a medium saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently with a heat-resistant flexible spatula to prevent pasta from sticking. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

  2. Immediately add evaporated milk, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Add cheese, stir to incorporate, then add 'nduja, continuing to stir to combine.

  3. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted, 'nduja is fully emulsified, and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary ('nduja is quite salty, so pasta shouldn't need any additional salt). Serve immediately.


Special equipment

3-quart saucier or medium saucepan


'Nduja is a spicy spreadable pork salume that originates from the southern Italian region of Calabria. In the US, it can be purchased at specialty shops that carry salumi/charcuterie, Italian markets, or online from producers like Tempesta Artisan Salumi. Look for 'nduja made with just four ingredients: pork, Calabrian chilies, salt, and lactic acid.

For a milder and less 'nduja-forward mac and cheese, or if you're looking to make your 'nduja supply last as long as possible, reduce the amount of 'nduja by half, and use just 1 ounce (2 tablespoons; 28g).

Make-Ahead and Storage

Macaroni and cheese is best enjoyed immediately.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
489 Calories
31g Fat
27g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 1097mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 468mg 36%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 487mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)