Tonnato is a creamy and tangy sauce made with anchovies, capers, and canned tuna that tastes waaaaay better than it sounds. It’s a Whole30- and keto-friendly sauce that tastes delicious drizzled on veggies and roasted meat!
Okay: what do you think of tonnato? For those of you smiling—high five! And if your nose is wrinkled in anchovy-hating disgust or bafflement, hear me out. I was once in your shoes, but this umami-packed paleo sauce is truly a cinch to make from pantry staples and tastes good on EVERYTHING.
What is tonnato sauce?
If you’ve never tried tonnato sauce, you’re in for a treat! This traditional Italian sauce is made with anchovies, capers, and canned tuna—it sounds wacky, but it tastes so dang good! Plus, this version is rich, savory, Whole30- and keto-friendly, and totally versatile!
How do you use Tonnato Sauce?
This classic Italian sauce is typically paired with chilled poached veal (vitello tonnato) and served as a picnic dish. Sadly, I almost never have poached veal lying around the house, so after I blitz a fresh batch of tonnato, I pour it on crudités (raw vegetables), hard-boiled eggs, sliced heirloom tomatoes, cooked chicken, or steamed vegetables. Or all of the above.
How long does it keep in the fridge?
You can keep the tonnato sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. I don’t normally freeze it because the texture gets wonky when you thaw it. Just put it on all the things already!
Time to blend up a batch of tonnato sauce!
Makes 2 cups. Serves 8.
- 1 (7-ounce) can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
- 5 anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Paleo Mayonnaise
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Start by cracking open a can or jar of your favorite olive-oil packed tuna. Drain it and toss the fish in the blender.
Add two tablespoons of capers…
…and five anchovy filets.
Don’t be afraid!
Grab a large lemon…
…and add the juice (about 3 tablespoons) to the fishies and capers.
Then, pour in the olive oil…
…and the mayonnaise.
Cover the blender and give the ingredients a whirl…
…until a thick and creamy sauce forms.
The consistency should be that of a pourable cream.
Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and/or freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Now go dip some raw veggies in it…
…or dress up a boring old chicken booby!
Doubters: Try it and let me know what you think.
[Originally posted on May 28, 2013. Updated on January 19, 2020.]
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
- Dump all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
- Adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- The sauce can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for a about a week.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.