Veal tonnato: the recipe of a great Italian classic


Veal tonnato: a great Italian classic

Olio Farchioni
5 from 1 vote
Veal tonnato: the most famous cold dish from Piedmont
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 People
Calories 280 kcal



  • 800 gr Veal (leg or shoulder) cut into thin slices
  • 500 ml White wine
  • 1 Onion peeled and cut in half
  • 2 Carots cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2 stalks Celery cut into pieces
  • 2 leaves Bay
  • to taste Salt
  • to taste Pepper

Salsa Tonnata

  • 150 gr Drained tuna Drained
  • 50 gr Anchovies Drained
  • 2 spoons Capers Rinsed
  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 Lemon juice
  • 150 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • to taste Salt
  • to taste Pepper


  • Place the veal, onion, carrots and celery in a large pot then add a few bay leaves.
  • Cover with 500 ml of cold water and 500 ml of wine, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the meat from the water and allow it to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the tonnato sauce: put the drained tuna and anchovies, the well rinsed capers, the boiled eggs and the lemon juice in a blender.
  • Blend everything together, adding the extra virgin olive oil until creamy.
  • Adjust salt and pepper and set the sauce aside.
  • Cut the veal into thin slices and spread evenly on a serving plate.
  • Generously season each veal slice with the sauce.
  • Cover the dish and let it rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  • Before serving, leave the veal tonnato at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with capers and fresh parsley.
vitello tonnato ricetta

Veal tonnato is a cold dish originating from Piedmont, which can now be found in all Italian restaurants. The traditional recipe involves slow-cooked veal cut into thin slices and then covered with tuna sauce, the distinctive ingredient of this dish.

Preparation tips for a perfect veal tonnato:

The preparation of veal tonnato is quite simple, as long as you follow a few tips:

  • Your veal cut should be lean, from the leg or shoulder (tender and sinew-free).

  • Poach the meat on low heat to preserve its tenderness.

  • Add carrots, onion, celery and bay leaves during cooking to enhance the flavor of the meat.

  • Once the veal is ready, let it cool completely before cutting it into thin slices.

  • Use high quality tuna and anchovies for the tonnato sauce, add capers (after rinsing them to remove their salt) and, of course, extra virgin olive oil.

  • Arrange the meat in a single layer and then top with the creamy tonnato sauce. Chill it in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Take the dish out of the fridge half an hour before serving,

Veal tonnato: the importance of extra virgin olive oil

There are several reasons why we decided to use extra virgin olive oil for our tonnato sauce:  

  • Extra virgin olive oil gives the sauce an extra touch of flavour. It enhances the other ingredients without covering them up.

  • EVO oil added in a drizzle is a perfect binder. It allows the sauce ingredients to blend perfectly well.

  • Extra virgin olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fats that are good for your cardiovascular system as well as antioxidants that fight cellular aging.

  • EVO oil is light and is not heavy on the liver. Your tonnato sauce will be much more digestible than if you had used mayonnaise.


For our veal tonnato we selected Il Casolare Grezzo Natural Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which has a slightly fruity aroma and a very balanced taste. It is ideal as a condiment and you will fully appreciate its flavor in this dish.


Now that you know all the secrets you can get to work and give it a try!

  • Discover all our Italian recipes