Venetian Style Liver and Onions Recipe

Rob Whitrow/Getty Images
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Fegato alla Veneziana (finely sliced liver with gently stewed onions) is one of the most classic Venetian dishes, and even those who do not usually like liver enjoy it. The recipe will serve 4 and pairs very well with a creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.


  • 7/8 pound/400 g. liver (ideally veal and ideally from a young animal,beef will work if need be, sliced thinly, 2 mm or about 1/8 inch)
  • 7/8 pound onions (peeled and finely sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons broth (or unsalted bouillon)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup parsley (finely minced)
  • Optional: 1/2 lemon (juiced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a fairly deep skillet, over a low flame, and gently cook the onions, covered, for about 40 minutes.You want to wilt and cook them without coloring them, so be careful not to set the flame too high. Check them occasionally, and should they be drying out add a tablespoon or two of broth.

  2. When the time is up, increase the flame to color the onions lightly, and when they are lightly golden raise the flame again and add the liver.

  3. Cook quickly, gently mixing and turning the liver slices, for about 3 1/2 minutes. Salt to taste, cook another 30-40 seconds and turn the fegato alla veneziana out onto a heated serving dish.

  4. Season liberally with freshly grated pepper, dust with the finely chopped parsley. If you like, season with lemon juice. 


  • Some marinate the finely sliced liver in cold water acidulated with 1/4 cup vinegar, or in milk, for 2 hours before cooking it.

  • Another option is to use just butter and no olive oil.

  • Others add a quarter cup of broth, meat sauce, or white wine (perhaps with a little vinegar) to the pot when they add the liver.

  • You can also add two tablespoons of heavy cream when they add the liver.