How to integrate Express.js with Nuxt app

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  • Install Express.js
  • Add Express.js to Nuxt.js
  • Handle CORS

When you start a new project you can use a template made by the nuxt community that handles integration of Nuxt and Express. But what if you started your project without Express.js and want to add it now? Fortunately the integration is very easy and you don't need any template at all. Seriously, you can do it yourself in just a few minutes. Nuxt is a really well designed framework which gives you a lot of flexibility on what's on your backend. In this post I write about Express.js integration but you can use this technique to add almost any backend framework.


Install Express.js


Start with installing Express using command line. This have to be done from your nuxt root folder.

npm install express --save


Next create a new folder named api in the root of your nuxt project where you can put your backend. You can go with any other name descriptive to you but keep in mind that you will have to refer to this name accordingly in the following steps.


nuxt express integration basic structure


In the folder create index.js file with at least minimal express.js config as shown below and a single endpoint that can be tested.

// api/index.js

const express = require('express')

const app = express()
app.use(express.urlencoded({ extended: false }))

app.get('/test', function (req, res) {
  res.send('Test successful')

export default {
  path: '/api',
  handler: app


Add Express.js to Nuxt.js


In your nuxt.config file add a new variable responsible for communication with your backend. This is basically done by serverMiddleware  property.

// nuxt.config.js


** Server Middleware
serverMiddleware: {
  '/api': '~/api'



If you happen to work on static mode remember to change this property in nuxt.config to server mode.

Create a new nuxt page to test the integration. I recommend using the Axios library for nuxt, if you don't have it yet just install it using the console.

 npm install @nuxtjs/axios


In the created page create a button and register a function that can send get requests to the express.js test route. Open the dev toolbar and check if it works. Notice that all your requests to the express have to be prefixed with the name previously registered in the serverMiddleware property, in this instance is just api. Thus you get /api/test request in nuxt for your backend endpoint /test.

// pages/index.js

  <button @click="showMessageFromBackend">Show message from backend</button>

export default {
  methods: {
    async showMessageFromBackend () {

      try {
        const response = await this.$axios.get('/api/test')
      } catch (err) {



Handle CORS


During your work in the development environment everything should just work fine in terms of your integration with the backend. But when you build your app and start using some proxy server like Apache or Nginx you may encounter errors triggered by CORS policies. This happens because your backend uses slightly different domain urls. Thankfully there is a simple solution to fulfill this policy in a secure way. Go to the nuxt.config and add or change a property named axios. The following example is made for domain but you should get your app addresses from the error saw in the toolbar and fill them appropriately in the Axios config.

// nuxt.config.js

axios: {
  baseURL: '',
  browserBaseURL: 'http://localhost:3000',


What more thing to remember if you migrated from static mode. Use npm run build and start instead of nuxt generation or nuxt start from now on.

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