Vitello Tonnato

Vitello Tonnato

A classic dish from the 80s, but always on Italian tables: all the tips to prepare Vitello Tonnato according to the traditional Piedmontese recipe.

Vitello Tonnato (Veal with tuna sauce) is one of the most appreciated and popular Italian cold dishes!

It is a delicious appetizer but it is also perfect as a second course.

This is a simple but impressive and tasty summer recipe.

Thin and tender slices of veal, garnished with a delicious sauce of anchovies, capers, tuna, hard-boiled eggs yolk, and lemon juice.

What a delight!

This dish was very popular in the 1980s.

In fact, it was present on the tables of the important party, home-made buffets and even on cruise ships!

The Vitello Tonnato and the Prawns Cocktail together were the two king of the Italian appetizers.

Even if nowadays they are no longer so trendy, they remain fantastic dishes to amaze your guests with simplicity and taste.

Vitello Tonnato is a dish with a unique taste.

The combination of veal with tuna may seem strange. But it is the perfect example of how the earth and sea ingredients work well together.

What makes this recipe special is the tenderness of the meat, which should not overcook and become dark and stringy.

So, I will explain how to get tender and succulent slices to dress with the delicious tuna sauce.

Vitello Tonnato - Veal with tuna sauce

Thin and tender slices of veal, garnished with a delicious sauce of anchovies, capers, tuna, hard-boiled eggs yolk, and lemon juice.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Veal with tuna sauce
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 220kcal
Author Authentic Italian Cuisine


  • 1 kg Veal loin or topside
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 750 ml Dry White Wine
  • 3 Bay Leaf
  • 5 Cloves
  • Salt

To make Tuna sauce

  • 300 gr. Canned Tuna in oil
  • 3 Hard boiled Eggs yolk
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 5 Anchovies Fillets in oil
  • ½ Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Place the meat in a bowl, cover with white wine, add 3 bay leaves, 6 cloves.
    veal in marinade
  • Cover the bowl with kitchen film and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  • Then, pour one liter of water in a large pot, add carrots, celery and onion. Boil for about 10 to 15.
  • Drain the meat from the marinade and place it in the pot.
    veal ready to cook
  • Strain the marinade, pour it into the pot, adding water if necessary to completely cover the meat.
  • Cook the meat for about an hour on a low heat since the broth begins to simmer and salt it halfway through the cooking.
    cooking the veal
  • Then let the meat cool in its broth for at least an hour.
  • Meanwhile prepare tuna sauce.
  • In a food processor (or a blending jar if you use a hand blender) blend the tuna, egg yolks, anchovies, capers.
    tuna, eggs yolk, anchovies and capers
  • Add the juice of half a lemon, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and blend for another minute.
    blending tuna sauce
  • The finished sauce should have a similar consistency to fresh mayonnaise.
    tuna sauce ready
  • If it is too thick, add a little cooking broth.
  • Remove the meat from the broth, drain well and cut it into very thin slices.
    cutting veal slices
  • Arrange the slices on a tray or on a serving dish and pour over the tuna sauce spreading it with a spoon.
  • Garnish with some capers and serve on the table.
    Vitello Tonnato- Veal with tuna sauce

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