Vitello Tonnato Recipe as Cold and Warm Variant

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Today I’ll show you my Vitello Tonnato Recipe.

Vitello Tonnato is a classic and internationally renowned Italian recipe from Piedmont.

The cooked veal is a great starter and popular as antipasti.

Warm you can serve this dish of the Italian kitchen as a main course.

The dreamlike combination of noble, delicately sliced veal and a finely pureed garnish of tuna, anchovies and capers results in this great taste experience.

This you may know from your holidays in Italy.

Today we want to treat ourselves to this at home 🙂

Let’s go…

1. Recipe Vitello Tonnato

Vitello Tonnato hot or cold

Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 4
Calories 854
Total Time 170 Min.
Preparation Time 20 Min.
Cook Time 90 Min.

Simple guide to prepare boiled veal with tuna sauce in hot and cold variant.

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Vitello Tonnato Recipe Image
Vitello Tonnato Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


800 g calf topside
1 bunch Soup vegetables
1 pc clove of garlic
1 tbs butter
100 ml dry white wine
0,5 l Water
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 pc Bay leaf
1 tbs anchovies
40 g tuna from can
3 pc gherkin sweet sour
200 g Créme Fraîche
1 tbs capers
1 pc Lemon


Prepare veal

Let the butcher clean the topside for cooking.

Wash the meat and pat dry.

Wash the soup vegetables consisting of carrots, celery, parsley roots and leek.

Peel and chop the root vegetables and cut the leek into leaves.

Peel and prepare the garlic.

Cooking veal

Season the veal with salt and pepper and fry over medium heat with the butter.

Add the prepared soup vegetables and fill up with white wine and water.

Add the bay leaf and cook the veal on a low heat with a lid until soft.

Prepare warm variant

Remove the meat from the pot and cut into thin slices.

Arrange the veal on preheated plates.

Prepare warm sauce

Put the anchovies, finely plucked tuna and finely chopped pickled gherkins in a deep cup and mix with a little warm broth.

Add the mixture to the rest of the stock and finish with the crème fraîche.

Season the sauce again with salt and pepper and serve lightly heated to the meat.

Prepare cold variant

The cold sauce is as follows: Let the meat and the broth cool.

Put the anchovies, finely picked tuna and finely chopped pickled gherkins in a deep cup and mix with a little cold broth.

Finish the cold sauce to Vitello Tonnato with the crème fraîche, the sauce should be creamy, add some broth to taste.

Season the cold sauce with salt and pepper and generously spread the sauce on the finely sliced veal.


You can sprinkle both Vittello Tonnato variants with a few capers – chopped or left whole.

The lemon as a decoration can be extra.


2. Nutritional Values

3. The Right Meat for Vitello Tonnato

For a wonderful Vitello Tonnato, the best advice is from a butcher.

It doesn’t always have to be a topside!

There are also various pieces of meat from the shoulder that are excellent for the Vitello Tonnato.

Vitello Tonnato – the German name “(gekochtes) Kalbfleisch Thunfisch” (boiled veal – thuna) does not take on the Italian name by far. This is similar to Maserati Quattroporte – the whole republic would laugh about a four-door Mercedes :-). To see in the picture: Vitello Tonato served with gnocchi.

For the perfect preparation of Vitello Tonnato, a well cooked veal is important.

After frying the veal for a short time and cooking it for a long time, let it rest and cool in a combined wine and vegetable stock – please use fresh soup vegetables.

This way you can cut the meat perfectly into thin slices.

Soup vegetables for Vitello Tonnato

4. Creamy Tuna Anchovy Sauce for Vitello Tonnato

I like the hood for the Vitello Tonnato generous.

An important ingredient is the fish:

The tuna comes from the can and the anchovies from the glass or the can.

Everything is therefore well available for you in the supermarket.

The spicy sauce captivates with its fishy-seay component, which is very salty.

Tip from chef Thomas Sixt
Tuna in a glass photographed from above.
White tuna from the glass deserves your attention. You can duck the fillets wonderfully and the fish tastes incredibly delicious.

For the preparation I always use a blender stick or blender.

The preparation takes place in a deep bowl or cup.


For the sauce I use the broth after cooking the veal.

I also add cream or crème fraîche.

A little butter can’t hurt when pureeing.

This is something new!
Add butter to the Vitello sauce – Star chef tip – tastes guaranteed 🙂 delicious!

Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt
Vitello Tonnato – veal with a creamy sauce of tuna and anchovies garnished with capers

5. Side Dishes with Vitello Tonnato and Arranging

Vitello Tonnato goes well with a nice crispy ciabatta or baguette.

You can prepare Vittello Tonnato in the cold version very well for the guest kitchen and store it in the refrigerator.

Be sure to coat the meat completely with sauce.

This way the meat does NOT dry out!

You can let the warm Vitello Tonnato rest in aluminum foil or put it in the oven at 80°C for 10-15 minutes.

Be sure to add the juices that come out when you cut the meat to the sauce.

For the warm version I like to make baked potatoes or gnocchi.

Boil the gnocchi floating in salted water
I’ll show you how to make gnocchi yourself step by step elsewhere. © Thomas Sixt Food Photographer

6. Other recipes with tuna

Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers

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