Chicken with Tonnato Sauce in Pita Pockets

July/August 1992

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Inspired by the northern Italian dish vitello tonnato, or veal in tuna sauce, this sandwich features the unusual combination of chicken or turkey with creamy tuna sauce and roasted peppers.

Chicken with Tonnato Sauce in Pita Pockets

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 3-ounce can chunk light tuna packed in water, drained (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 clove clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 pita breads, cut in half crosswise
  • 6 large lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 12 ounces cooked skinless chicken or turkey, thinly sliced (see Tip)
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted and sliced (see Tip), or 3-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and sliced


  1. Combine tuna, mayonnaise, yogurt, broth, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic and cayenne in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. To assemble the sandwiches, line pita halves with lettuce and fill with chicken or turkey, red pepper and a dollop of the tuna mixture.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.
  • Tips: To poach chicken or turkey: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • To oven-roast peppers:
  • 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Arrange whole bell peppers on the rack.
  • 2. Roast peppers in the center of the oven, turning occasionally with tongs, until blackened in places, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 3. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
  • 4. With a paring knife, remove stems, skins and seeds. If serving as antipasto, combine accumulated juices with peppers.


Per serving: 235 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 58 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 3 g fiber; 485 mg sodium; 369 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Total Time
30 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Ease of Preparation
July/August 1992
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