Authentic Italian Beef Braciole

This Authentic Italian Beef Braciole Recipe is perfect for a Sunday family dinner with tender beef rolled up with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, and cheese, then simmered all day in a rich red wine tomato sauce.  

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A dark wooden table with a cutting board and plate with braciole on them along with a purple napkin, fork and a glass of red wine.

If you've never had braciole (pronounced brah-schole) before, it basically tastes like a warm hug from an Italian grandmother. Thin slices of beef are rolled up with a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs, then stewed in a red wine tomato sauce until tender. It’s one of my favorite classic Italian recipes, right along with my authentic meatballs and marinara sauce

This recipe uses the classic Sicilian combination of garlic, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, seasoned bread crumbs, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins and lots of parmesan cheese. But this recipe is highly customizable, and you’ll see recipes using different types of cheeses, herbs, vegetables, and even additional meats like prosciutto. 

You may also see braciole made in little individual bundles with really thin pieces of meat, similar to how we make spiedini. In this recipe, we’re making one large bundle and slicing it for individual servings. 

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s easy to make ahead. 
  • Rich delicious flavor with little hands-on time. 
  • Leftovers taste even better the next day!
  • Beautiful to serve, perfect for entertaining, family gatherings or date nights. 
Overhead shot of a plate of beef braciole on a dark wood table with a glass of red wine.

Essential Ingredients

  • Flank steak - This steak can also be called a London broil or a plank steak. It’s inexpensive, flavorful, and easy to use. Look for a steak that’s around ½ an inch in thickness, or plan to butterfly it (slice it in half down the thickness of it) so that you have a ½ inch thick slice of meat to roll with. 
  • Canned tomatoes - I like using canned whole peeled tomatoes for this recipe (and a lot of others!). You always know what you’re going to get, and they’re so easy to turn into a rich and flavorful sauce.  Just use your hands or the back of a spoon to crush the tomatoes when adding them to the pot. 
  • Parmesan cheese - I highly recommend looking for genuine Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano and shredding it yourself. The taste is incredibly fresh and you’ll know that it’s free from artificial additives and preservatives.
  • Raisins  -You technically can leave the raisins out if you really want to, but I highly suggest trying it with them! I really like using golden raisins, also called Sultanas, but dark raisins can be used too.

Helpful Equipment

  • Butchers Twine - The braciole must be tied up before being cooked, otherwise it will fall apart and the filling will spill out. Butchers twine is inexpensive and helpful to have on hand for many uses. You can use several toothpicks to hold it together in a pinch, but the twine is much easier to use.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Add the raisins, chopped parsley, grated cheese, minced garlic, bread crumbs, pine nuts, and two tablespoons of olive oil to a bowl, then mix to combine.
  2. If the flank steak is very thick, use a knife to butterfly it to make it about ½ inch thick. 
  3. Pound the flank steak out with a meat mallet to tenderize and flatten.
  4. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, then spread the breadcrumb mixture out evenly over the flank steak, leaving a ¼ inch border on all sides.
  5. Starting with a short end, roll the meat up, being sure to keep as much filling inside as possible. 
  6. Use some butchers twine to tie it up about 3-5 times around to keep the roll intact.
  7. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-large saucepan
  8. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the braciole and brown the meat on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. 
  9. Remove the braciole from the pan and lower the heat. Add in the minced onion and sliced garlic and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. 
  10. Add the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  11. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then place the braciole back in the pan and spoon some sauce over top. 
  12. Turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 3 hours, rotating the braciole every 20-30 minutes.
  13. Use a fork to check to see if the meat is tender, then remove the braciole from the sauce and let it rest for about 20 minutes. 
  14. Slice the braciole into rounds and serve with the sauce.

Tips for Success

  • Tie the steak together loosely enough that the filling is not squeezed out of the steak, but tight enough that it doesn't fall apart while you’re rotating it in the pot. 
  • Make sure the oil is hot in the pan before adding the meat so that you get a nice sear on each side. 
  • Keep the pot to just a simmer and not a boil while the braciole is braising. If you have the heat too hot, the sauce will evaporate too quickly and burn.

What to serve with Braciole

For a complete meal, serve your braciole with:

An extreme close up of the side of a whole beef braciole rolled up.

How to Store and Reheat

I like to make my life easy and store braciole in the pot with a lid if I only keep it overnight. This way, you can just put the pot back on the stove and heat over low-medium until everything is warmed through. 

If you only have a small amount left or aren’t planning on eating it the very next day, place everything into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. When ready to eat, add it to a small pot over the stove and reheat over low-medium heat. 

FAQS About Italian Braciole

What cut of meat is braciole made from?

Braciole is often made from a long roll of flank steak. If making small individual rolls, slices of top round may be used. Pork or veal can also be used in place of beef. 

What is the difference between spiedini and braciole?

While they are quite similar, Spiedini means "skewer" in Italian and can refer to a number of different Italian meat preparations. My recipe uses pecorino Romano, lots of onions, and bay leaves and gets baked, while my braciole uses parmesan, a little bit of garlic, and parsley and is braised.

Close up of 3 slices of braciole over red sauce on a white plate with a fork.

Did you LOVE this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and comment to let other readers know! I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing your creations so please tag me on Instagram @ColeyCooks!

Close up of 3 slices of braciole over red sauce on a white plate with a fork.
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Authentic Italian Beef Braciole

This Authentic Italian Beef Braciole Recipe is perfect for a Sunday family dinner with tender beef rolled up with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, and cheese, then simmered all day in a rich red wine tomato sauce. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 500kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup golden raisins or dark raisins
  • ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely grated good quality parmesan cheese recommended: Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 4 large cloves garlic divided, half minced and half very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 1 ½ lb flank steak
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ small yellow onion minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes crushed with your hands or the back of a spoon
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Add the raisins, chopped parsley, grated cheese, minced garlic, bread crumbs, pine nuts, and two tablespoons of olive oil to a bowl, then mix to combine.
  2. If the flank steak is very thick, use a knife to butterfly it to make it about ½ inch thick.
  3. Pound the flank steak out with a meat mallet to tenderize and flatten.
  4. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, then spread the breadcrumb mixture out evenly over the flank steak, leaving a ¼ inch border on all sides.
  5. Starting with a short end, roll the meat up, being sure to keep as much filling inside as possible.
  6. Use some butchers twine to tie it up about 3-5 times around to keep the roll intact.
  7. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-large saucepan.
  8. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the braciole and brown the meat on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. 
  9. Remove the braciole from the pan and lower the heat. Add in the minced onion and sliced garlic and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  11. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then place the braciole back in the pan and spoon some sauce over top.
  12. Turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 3 hours, rotating the braciole every 20-30 minutes.
  13. Use a fork to check to see if the meat is tender, then remove the braciole from the sauce and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  14. Slice the braciole into rounds and serve with the sauce.

Notes

  • Tie the steak together loosely enough that the filling is not squeezed out of the steak, but tight enough that it doesn't fall apart while you’re rotating it in the pot. 
  • Make sure the oil is hot in the pan before adding the meat so that you get a nice sear on each side. 
  • Keep the pot to just a simmer and not a boil while the braciole is braising. If you have the heat too hot, the sauce will evaporate too quickly and burn. 

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 234mg | Iron: 5mg

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42 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Coley!
    I plan on making the Beef Braciole for Easter this weekend. Question, would I be able to make it on Thursday and keep it refrigerated until Easter with the same results as making it the same day? Trying to manage a tight schedule of cooking, traveling at the same time. Thanks Agatha

    1. Yes! The braciole will be great made a few days in advance. Just keep it in the sauce refrigerated, then heat it back up and let it simmer for a bit before slicing and serving. Hope it turns out great! 🙂

    1. Hi Mina!! SO glad John made this (hi John too!) and you both enjoyed it. That's a huge compliment coming from two great Italian cooks! <3

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of my favourite dishes to order at my local Italian restaurant, so I was thrilled to come across your recipe. So delicious and the flavour of the red wine tomato sauce is spot on. Thanks for the great recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    This Authentic Italian Beef Braciole was out of this world! The delicious filling and the tenderness of the beef were amazing! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi, I was just . looking up braciole to find out what it is . Yay, I found you ! I haven't made the recipe yet , but can't wait. It sounds delish.! On the TV show that I heard about it on , they used cranberries instead of raisins. I like cranberries more than raisins, but what do you think ? I also want to send your recipe to my sis who just married a very Italian guy. I think she would love to prepare something to surprise him. I'll be sending the recipe to her 😁 . So far, I really like your recipes and how clear you are about instructions. Thank you !

    1. Hi Tina! I'm so glad you found my website, too! 🙂 Raisins are traditional, but I think dried cranberries would be delicious as well. Use what you like! Thanks for commenting!

  5. 5 stars
    This Italian Beef Braciole was delicious!. The beef turned out tender and juicy, and the fillings of cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs added a wonderful depth of flavor.

  6. 5 stars
    Sadly, I can no longer eat beef due to alpha-gal syndrome, a tick-borne food allergy to all mammalian meats, but I am excited to try this with emu or ostrich -- alpha-gal friendly alternatives that taste close to beef.

  7. 5 stars
    I was looking for a braciole recipe since I moved back from Rome (I lost the one my landlord's mom gave me!) This one hit the mark. Succulent, delicious, and filling - it was perfect for a Sunday potluck dinner with friends.

  8. 5 stars
    WOW was this good! I come from an Italian family and this was everything I was hoping it would be.

  9. 5 stars
    Braciole is one of my favorite comfort foods and I was nervous about the raisins but wow- it gives a slight sweetness that complements the other savory elements really well! Great recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    My grandma always made the smaller style braciole not the sliced like this but I gave it a try anyway and it was SO GOOD. Definitely making this again on a cold day.

  11. 5 stars
    This was fabulous! We used more garlic and onion because we always do and I cooked it for a couple more hours in my dutch oven on the stove with the lid on, but everything else we followed exactly and it was excellent. The raisins added such a wonderful flavor!

        1. Hi judie - the recipe calls for one whole flank steak that weighs approximately 1.5 lbs (it does not have to be exact, just a ballpark). Hope this helps!

  12. 5 stars
    I'm in love with braciole! Your filling sounds really great, too. I've never had it with raisins and pine nuts, but the Sicilian in me thinks that would be amazing 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    I've never had, or even heard of, spiedini or braciole. Both sound divine. And thanks for the heads-up on who is sneaking wood pulp into our cheese. Besides, how are you supposed to snack on thin slivers while you cook if you only buy grated?

    1. If you had to make one first, I'd push for spiedini. But boy are they both good. It's my childhood on a plate.