Beef Braciole (Braciola) is a company-worthy, classic, hearty, homestyle southern Italian dish that's perfect for a winter night or Sunday dinner. Thin slices of beef with a savory filling slowly braise in a wine-infused sauce for a dish you'll fall in love with!
"I love how easy and flavorful these are. Hands down the BEST beef braciole recipe on the web!"
What is Beef Braciole (Braciola)?
Beef Braciole (also known as braciola) is a classic Italian dish with many variations.
It can be made with thin, individual slices of beef such as round or as one large roll using flank steak. It can also be made with pork and it always has a savory filling.
The filling for Beef Braciole may be any number of things including cheese, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, and preserved meats such as prosciutto or salami. Another combination might be spinach, pine nuts and raisins.
No matter what you fill it with, Beef Braciole is a delicious, hearty, Italian home-style dish you will fall in love with!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
I adapted this Beef Braciole recipe from one in The Sopranos Family Cookbook. A client, who was a fan of the show, requested I prepare that specific recipe. A couple of tweaks later, it’s been a favorite on my personal chef menu ever since.
Beef Braciole also featured very prominently in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond as the only dish Ray Barone's wife, Debra could make!
It's a dish that reheats beautifully, freezes well and has received hundreds of high ratings!
How to make Beef Braciole (Braciola):
- For this version, you'll need thinly sliced beef top round, which you can get your butcher to do. The slices should be ⅛ to ¼-inch thick.
- Pound it out first to tenderize it.
- Slices of the top round can be quite large so if they are, you'll want to cut them in half widthwise to make it the perfect size to accommodate a slice of prosciutto. (Prosciutto is a dry-cured Italian ham. Prosciutto di Parma is imported from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and can be quite expensive. Less expensive domestic brands are available in most supermarket deli departments.)
- Place a piece of prosciutto over the pounded beef.
- Top with a combination of Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic and fresh Italian parsley...
- Tuck the sides in to secure the filling, roll it into a cylinder and secure it with a toothpick.
- Brown in olive oil to a lovely deep brown.
- Add the remaining ingredients then braise in the wine-infused sauce for a company-worthy dish!
- If cooking Beef Braciole on the stovetop, you may not need the flour to thicken the sauce as it's going to reduce as it simmers. I prefer cooking Beef Braciole in the oven or slow cooker because those cooking methods don't require much attention.
- If you do need to thicken the sauce, make a slurry with flour and slowly add it to the sauce. Simmer until thickened.
What to serve with this dish:
- Thick, tube-shaped pasta such as penne, ziti or rigatoni
- Cauliflower and White Bean Puree
- Celery Root Puree
- Spinach Parmesan Ranch Twice-Baked Potatoes with Parmesan Crumb Topping
- Mashed Potato Casserole
For more great beef recipes, try my:
- Slow Cooker Boneless Beef Short Ribs Bourguignon
- Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro - Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cauliflower - Leek Puree
- Feijoada (Brazilian Beef Stew)
- Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Moroccan Beef Stew
- Stout-Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon
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Beef Braciole Recipe
- 6 thin slices boneless top round - about 2 pounds, preferably sliced ⅛-inch to ¼-inch but no more
- 12 cloves garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley - (flat-leaf parsley), plus more for garnish
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese - plus more for serving if desired
- 2 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 12 thin slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes - preferably a good imported Italian brand
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Cut top-round slices in half widthwise so that you have 12 equal pieces. Place beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound to ¼ to ⅛-inch thickness.
- Mince 4 cloves of garlic; slice the remaining 8 cloves.
- Combine minced garlic, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Place a prosciutto slice over the beef then sprinkle filling evenly over the proscuitto.
- Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pot and brown seam side first to seal it. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the wine and the sliced garlic. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add beef broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Place beef rolls back in the pot and bring back to a simmer.
- Cover and cook on low heat, turning occasionally until beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 ½ hours. Alternately, cook covered in a 325-degree oven for 1 ½-2 hours or in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on medium or 7-8 hours on low.
- To thicken, place pot back on the stove if cooked in the oven. Remove some of the hot cooking liquid to a bowl. Add the flour and stir until smooth to create a slurry. Slowly add it to the hot cooking liquid, bring to a slow simmer and cook until thickened.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove toothpicks and serve over pasta with additional grated cheese if desired.
- Fill, brown and place in pot with sauce and refrigerate. Proceed with cooking as directed.
- Cook, cool and refrigerate. Reheat when needed in the oven, on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
I love how easy and flavorful these are. Hands down the BEST beef braciole recipe on the web! I love your helpful tips and tricks. No more intimidation about this classic. Thank you!!
Hi, Traci, Thanks so very much!! I've been making this for clients for 20 years so I HAD to share it! Thanks again and glad you enjoyed!!
Mary Conway says
My family LOVED IT! So easy and delicious. Will definitely make this OFTEN. Thanks for sharing!
Hi, Mary, Thanks so very much!! Glad you and everyone enjoyed!
Laurie Courter says
This is amazing! The sauce is out of this world!! I'm making it again tonight.
Hi, Laurie, Thanks SO very much and glad you enjoyed!!
Michelle Dawson says
Made the Beef Braciole recipe and it was amazing. I pretty much followed your recipe as posted but I did use thin-cut moose meat (from Canada I had a lot). I marinated my moose meat which is a lean cut with no fat so used half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of beer for 2 hours on the counter. I cooked mine in the oven for 2 hours and did not have to thicken the sauce. I don't like the texture or taste flour gives it. Used very good quality Italian tomatoes, good robust wine and very good beef stock--only 1 cup of stock. Everyone raved. Served my with yam Gouda stuffed ravioli and used the sauce from the Braciole. So good husband gave it 5 stars!
Hi, Michelle, Thanks so very much!! I love that you adapted this recipe to moose meat; I think it would work with any wild game. Thanks again and glad everyone enjoyed!!
This was excellent! Served over rigatoni. The dish was much easier to prepare than the recipe appeared. Got rave reviews for the rich, tasty sauce. Incredible depth of flavor. Will definitely make again.
Thanks, Carol, for making me look so good.
Cheers from the coast of Maine!
Thank you!!! That is so awesome and YOU did it! So glad everyone enjoyed!
Suzanne Landry says
I used tenderized elk steaks and added Italian venison meatballs. Delicious!!
Thanks so much, Suzanne!! Glad you enjoyed and I love your adaptation! Thanks again!
I would like to make this in a non-tomato sauce recipe......any suggestions? Also, mushrooms are out. Need help on this one.
Hi, Nancy, Thanks so much for your question. What about something that is more beef gravy-based? I've had personal chef clients who couldn't do tomatoes so went more gravy-based. You could add some red wine for some acidity. Also, there are numerous "no-mato" sauce recipes on the web; here's one but it would be a little work first. No-Mato Sauce. You can also purchase "no-mato" sauces on the internet. I haven't tried any so don't know what they taste like. Hope this helps!
If I want to use flank steak would the cooking time be longer?
Hi, Mat, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, the braising time would definitely be longer because it's a much larger cut of beef. Tie, brown, place in the braising liquid and then you'll probably need 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees. Will depend upon the size of the flank steak. Check it and see how tender it is. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!
If I bought the beef sliced too thin. Can I double it and roll two pieces up as one and then fill it?
Hi, Rachelle, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, I think that would be okay. Because the pieces are thinner, just be sure to not over-braise them. Check them and when they're nicely tender which may not take as long as stated in the recipe, take them out--you don't want shoe leather! :). Thanks again and hope that works for you!
This is a recipe that looks hard but is actually very easy. It is one of my favorite recipes for special occasions. I've used prosciutto, provolone, spinach, and hard boiled eggs as the stuffing (along with the breadcrumbs).
Hi, Joe, Thanks so very much! Yes, the variations are pretty much infinite! Glad this works so well for you!
Just got done eating this truly amazing dish! The flavors and everything about it is perfection! Didn't change a thing. This is going to be my Christmas dinner for next Christmas. Hubby said it is the best Italian dish he has ever eaten. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.
Hi, Lisa, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed! I'm truly honored that this recipe will be a part of your Christmas dinner! Thank you again!
It looks sooo delicious, Can I use chicken breast? Instead of beef. Thank you!
Hi, Flo, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, actually you can. I would replace the beef broth/stock with chicken and just simmer or bake until cooked through. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!
I made this exactly as called for and it was extremely delicious. The wife and company raved at the flavor and tenderness. We could cut it with a fork. I served it over polenta with a side of sautéed kale.
WooHoo! Served this to a an Italian friend and he liked it. As a kid, his Aunt would do Sunday dinner in a BIG pot with Braciola, Italian Sausage and homemade meatballs (veal and pork). She cooked it for four hours at 275 degrees. The smell drove everyone crazy. She spread it all out on a long platter with the Braciola in the center. Shredded Parm, Romano and Mizithra cheeses for topping. Now I made myself hungry...
Hi, Bob, Thanks so very much and you made ME hungry! What a feast! Thanks again and so glad you both enjoyed!
I made this with fondue beef, using six little slice per roll. It turned out really good! 🙂 Thank you for this recipe.