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Close up front shot of a bowl of eggplant caponata served with crusty bread for dipping
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5 from 1 vote

Eggplant Caponata

Like a Sicilian version of ratatouille, Eggplant Caponata is a classic Italian dish made with garlic, onion, tomato, vinegar, capers, pine nuts, olives and of course -- fresh eggplant!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Keyword caponata, eggplant caponata, sicilian caponata recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 (½ -cup servings)
Calories 110kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 large eggplant (about 2 lbs.), cut into large chunks (but not peeled)
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup green olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Place eggplant, onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped (but not completely pureed).
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer eggplant, onion and garlic to the oil and sauté until soft (about 10 minutes). Reduce heat to low; add green olives, capers, pine nuts, tomato paste, water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and season with additional salt, pepper or sugar, as needed. You can stir in additional water to thin the dip until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve at room temperature, warm or cold.


  • Make Ahead: Caponata is typically served at room temperature, but it's also great cold (straight from the fridge) or warm. You can prepare the recipe in advance and keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It just gets better as it sits and the flavors come together.
  • Freeze the eggplant caponata in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Some eggplant caponata recipes include anchovies and/or raisins. Feel free to add either of those ingredients in your dish, too!
  • If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the vegetables by hand (it will just take longer).


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg