Tuna and potato loaf

The tuna and potato loaf (often called salame di tonno = “tuna salami” in Italy) is an ideal dish for the summer season, when there’s a craving for cold and light meals that don’t require turning on the oven. The uniqueness of this canned tuna loaf lies entirely in its cooking method: instead of being baked, it’s boiled after being wrapped in a baking paper and aluminum foil. The result is a soft and flavorful tuna loaf that practically melts in your mouth, and absolutely must be served cold after a few hours of resting in the refrigerator. This summer cold dish is made from simple, inexpensive ingredients but rich in flavor: canned tuna, potatoes, oil-packed anchovies, and capers. The tuna and potato loaf can be enjoyed as it is, or accompanied by a little mayonnaise or an emulsion of oil and lemon juice.
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boiled tuna and potato loaf italian recipe for a cold dish for summer by tastycorner

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time30 Minutes
  • Rest time3 Hours
  • Cooking time30 Minutes
  • Serving4 servings
  • Cooking methodBoiling
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalitySpring, Summer

Ingredients for the boiled tuna and potato loaf

1 lb potato (500 gr)
9 oz tuna in oil (255 gr.)
3 fillets anchovies in oil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (70 gr – 2,4 oz; gluten-free for me)
1 tablespoon capers (salt-packed)
2 eggs (medium size)
1 sprig parsley
2 pinches salt

351,33 Kcal
calories per serving
Info Close
  • Power 351,33 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 34,62 (g) of which sugars 2,13 (g)
  • Proteins 28,96 (g)
  • Fat 10,43 (g) of which saturated 3,46 (g)of which unsaturated 6,22 (g)
  • Fibers 3,51 (g)
  • Sodium 653,65 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 220 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: https://www.crea.gov.it/alimenti-e-nutrizione https://www.alimentinutrizione.it ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov


1 Chopping Board
1 Knife
1 Bowl
1 Potato Masher
1 Tablespoon
1 Pot
Baking paper

How to prepare the boiled tuna and potato loaf

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Start by boiling the whole potatoes with their skin on for about 40 minutes. It’s important that the potatoes don’t absorb water during cooking, otherwise, your tuna loaf will be too soft and difficult to shape. While the potatoes cool down, rinse the salt-packed capers under running water and finely chop them with a knife along with the anchovy fillets.

finely chop capers and anchovies

Finely chop the parsley as well. In a large bowl, combine the drained tuna with the chopped capers, anchovies, and parsley. Work everything together with a fork for about a minute to crumble the tuna and mix it with the other ingredients. Add the mashed potatoes to the tuna mixture.

mix tuna, capers, anchovies and mashed potatoes

Add two good pinches of salt, a grind of pepper, and mix with a spoon until you get a homogeneous mixture. Then add the cracked eggs. Work the tuna loaf mixture with a spoon to blend the eggs with the potatoes. Then add the grated Parmesan, if you like, and the breadcrumbs.

add the breadcrumbs to give consistency to the tuna and potato meatloaf mixture

Continue to mix with a spoon for a minute or two until you get a homogeneous mixture, rather firm and slightly sticky. If you find it too soft, you can add a little more breadcrumbs.

the tuna meatloaf dough is ready

Now it’s time to shape your tuna and potato loaf: on the work surface, place a sheet of aluminum foil and overlap it with a slightly smaller sheet of baking paper. Pour the mixture onto it and, using your hands and the parchment paper, shape it into a cylindrical shape, adjusting it according to the size of the pot you’ll use to cook it.

shape the tuna and boiled potato meatloaf

Compact it well with your hands, then wrap it first in parchment paper, folding the ends well. Then flip it over so the closure is facing downwards, and wrap it in aluminum foil, sealing all the closures tightly.

pack the meatloaf in baking paper and foil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, preferably a shallow and wide one with a lid, then immerse the tuna loaf, making sure it remains perfectly horizontal in the pot, and cover with a lid. Cook the loaf for 30 minutes, turning it halfway through cooking, then drain it and let it cool slightly.

boil the tuna meatloaf wrapped in foil in boiling water

When the package is no longer hot, open it and remove the aluminum foil and parchment paper. If a little water has entered the package, it’s not a big problem, just briefly pat the loaf with kitchen paper. Let the tuna and potato loaf cool first at room temperature, then, when it’s no longer warm, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve the tuna and potato loaf as an appetizer or main course, on its own or garnished with a little mayonnaise.

en_v_ boiled tuna and potato loaf italian recipe for a cold dish for summer by tastycorner

How to store

You can store the tuna loaf in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Tips and variations

Compared to tuna loaf cooked in the oven, the boiled version is softer and moister, but it won’t have the crispy crust that forms with oven baking.

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