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Vitello Tonnato (Vitel Tonnè)

Vitello Tonnato, also called Vitel Tonnè or Tonned Veal, is a tasty appetizer typical of Piedmont. It's made with thin slices of veal that are served cold with a creamy tuna sauce.
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Vitello Tonnato (Vitel Tonnè)
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Prep 20 minutes
  • Cook 1 hour and 31 minutes
  • Servings 8 people

The Vitello Tonnato, also called Vitel Tonnè (that’s Piedmontese dialect) or Tonned Veal, is a typical specialty of Piedmont. It’s an authentic Italian dish and it’s not from Argentina nor for France. Originally created as a classic appetizer, it is also increasingly served as a light main course, especially in summer.

What is Tonned Veal? Basically it’s a dish of thin slices of veal that are served cold with a creamy tuna sauce. And how do you prepare Tonned Veal you might be asking? The veal is typically cooked and then chilled, allowing it to become firm and easier to slice. The tuna sauce is made by blending canned tuna, anchovies, lemon juice, capers, olive oil, and other seasonings to create a smooth and flavorful sauce. You then assemble the dish by combining the veal and the sauce, either by spooning the sauce over the veal or by layering the veal and sauce in a dish.

If you then want to prepare a side dish for your Veal with Tuna Sauce you can prepare some Cabbage Salad, some Confit Tomatoes or some Sauteed Courgettes.


Copy Ingredients


  1. To prepare Tonned Veal, take the veal top round and wrap it in kitchen twine, then place it in a pot. Wash and clean the carrot, celery and onion, then cut them into small pieces and add them to the pot with the veal. Also add the peppercorns, white wine, oil, salt and finally cover everything with water. Cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.

  2. For the Tuna Sauce first prepare the hard-boiled eggs. Meanwhile, drain the tuna and capers. When the eggs are ready, shell them, cut them into small pieces and put them in a blender along with the tuna, capers and broth and blend until smooth.

  3. When the meat is ready let it cool then cut it into slices as thin as possible and spread them evenly on a serving plate. Pour the tuna sauce evenly over the veal, then garnish with capers. Serve the Vitello Tonnato immediately or store it in the refrigerator.


Some people do not like the taste of Capers, so we recommend that you prepare at least one dish of Tonned Veal Without Capers.

If you want a more flavorful Tuna Sauce instead, you can add anchovies as well.

For a quicker Tuna Sauce you can replace the Hard Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise.


If you cannot cut the veal into thin slices by hand, you can help yourself with a slicer or a meat-cutting tool.


Tonned Veal will keep in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for one day. To keep the Tonned Veal an extra day, simply store the Tonned Sauce on the side.