How to Cook Brasciole Like an ITALIAN

In this how-to article, we will teach you how to cook brasciole like an Italian.

Before the arrival of pasta and pizzas, brasciole was a ubiquitous dish in southern Italy. Today, you can find braciola more often than not as an appetizer dish. It’s delicious, easy to make and the final product is mouthwateringly tasty!

Brasciole comes from the Neapolitan dialect word “brasciòla,” which means “armor” or “breastplate.” It’s called “brasciole” because it uses flat meat slices, which resemble the metal plates of armor.

What is Braciole?

Brasciole is a traditional Italian dish consisting of rolled beef, veal, or pork cuts with bread stuffing. The cuts are grilled with vegetables, garlic, and oil. The stuffed meat is often served with tomato sauce, but it can also be served with a white wine reduction.

Is There a Difference Between Brasciole and Braciole?

There is no difference between brasciole and braciole. The two words are interchangeable, and both refer to the same dish.


Brasciole Cooking Tips and Variations

There are no strict guidelines when it comes to emulating the authentic Italian brasciole. Even so, there are some tips and variations you can follow to improve your brasciole. For best results, use beef bottom round or pork loin. You can find these cuts at your local butcher.

Instead of using bread, some people use potatoes or rice for their stuffing. If you want to give your brasciole an exotic flair, you can use couscous to stuff the meat. You can also add anchovies and olives for extra flavor. Parsley and basil also work as excellent flavor enhancers.

How to Cook Brasciole Like an Italian

First, it is imperative to realize that this is a family recipe. This Italian braciole recipe has been used by Italian grandparents for many years, and it produces impressive results. 

If you want to cook it like an Italian, the most important rule is that it takes time. If it requires hours to prepare it, then it shouldn’t be cooked in a rush. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting it unless you have at least 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time.

Italian Brasciole Recipe

Recipe Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting board and a sharp knife for meat
  • Grill pan or skillet for cooking
  • Large bowl for braciole
  • Oven-safe glass dish for baking


  • 1.5 pounds of beef round steak
  • ½ cup of grated Romano cheese
  • Four cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • ½  tsp of ground black pepper
  • ½ cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 chopped onion
  • ⅛ cup of raisins
  • ⅛ cup of fresh parsley (chopped)
three braciole


Step 1

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook them until it becomes translucent (about 10 minutes).

Step 2

Add in parsley and garlic. Stir it constantly and continue to cook the mixture until the onion is golden brown. Remove it from the fire and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Step 3

Place bread crumbs, raisins, Romano cheese, pine nuts, and pepper in a bowl. Mix it until it is well combined.

Step 4

Place the beef on a flat surface and pound it until it is thin. Spread it with the onion mixture you cooked earlier, leaving an inch border around it. Sprinkle it with the bread crumb mixture evenly, then drizzle it with one tablespoon of olive oil.

Step 5

Roll it up as tightly as you can, then use string to keep it securely together. This is the most challenging part of cooking braciole because it takes practice to get it right. If it is not rolled tightly enough, it will fall apart.

Step 6

Heat the remaining one tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the braciole and brown it on all sides.

Step 7

Pour it with spaghetti sauce, then add it with water. Cover it, reduce the heat to low, and cook it for at least 2 hours or until tender.

Step 8

Remove it from the pot, then allow it to cool down for about 10 minutes before you slice it into 1-inch thick pieces.

Step 9

Serve it over your favorite pasta, and enjoy it!

Nutritional Information:
Protein: 45.2g
Carbohydrates: 58.9g
Dietary Fiber: 8.1g
Sugars: 25.9g
Fat: 42.6g
Saturated Fat: 12.8g
Cholesterol: 115.5mg
Vitamin A Iu: 1215.6IU
Niacin Equivalents: 22.3mg
Vitamin B6: 1.3mg
Vitamin C: 10.2mg
Folate: 82.7mcg
Calcium: 164.3mg
Iron: 7.1mg
Magnesium: 114.1mg
Potassium: 1468.9mg
Sodium: 1254.5mg
Thiamin: 0.6mg
Calories From Fat: 383.6

What Does Braciole Mean in Italian?

In the northern Italian cuisines, braciole or brasciole (pronounced bra-sho-lay) means pork or veal chops wrapped in meat. The braciole steak is usually bacon or another type of pork meat cut, and it’s rolled up and tied securely with string.

In southern Italian cuisine, braciole meaning “thin beef rolled in different ingredients,” is then braised. The most traditional Italian braciole recipe is wrapped in slices of prosciutto and is smothered in tomato sauce. The braciole meat is usually very tender, and it’s a delicious Italian recipe.

Which Part of Italy is Brasciole From?

Brasciole or braciole is a traditional Italian recipe from the south of Italy. Actually, it is from Sicily, to be more precise! The city that probably brought the braciole recipe to America is Palermo in Sicily. It is believed that the braciole recipe arrived in America during the mass immigration from Italy.

A veiw of Sicily Italy

The History of Braciole

The history of braciole is highly debated because there were many different versions made during the earlier years. While some people believed that braciole is a traditional Italian recipe, others thought it was actually an American dish.

It has been said that braciole was derived from the French dish, beef en croute. Other people believed that the braciole recipe came from northern Italy. It is also possible that it originated from the Roman Empire era because there are some similarities between Roman Empire food and Sicilian traditional dishes.

In America, braciole became popular during the 20th century. By this time, Italian immigrants came to America in large numbers. Many of them were from southern Italy, which is where braciole originated. Brasciole recipes are primarily found in New York City and New Jersey because most original immigrants came from these regions.


The braciole or brasciole is a part of many traditional Italian beef dishes that are hearty and delicious.

The roll-ups can be made from pork, veal, chicken, goat, and even beef. It’s interesting because the meat might change depending on your region in Italy or where your family comes from. Furthermore, this dish is an excellent way to use up leftover bread and/or vegetables.

Braciole Italian meat is usually straightforward because it’s basically ground meat stuffed in another type of meat. However, the long, slow cooking process makes this dish tender and yummy. The addition of vegetables like peppers and onions adds more flavor to the dish.

In addition, braciole meat can be served with pasta, on top of rice, or even inside a sandwich. However you serve it, the Italian braciole recipe is delicious. It’s easy to make and can feed many people, making it perfect for family dinners and other gatherings.