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Thanksgiving Favorite: Eggplant Caponata

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Eggplant Caponata is a delicious Italian appetizer that can be served with crusty bread.

I first made Eggplant Caponata last summer when my girlfriend Michelle gave me the most beautiful Eggplant from her amazing garden. She also gave me bushels of tomatoes. So I sat down with my cookbooks and devised my own version of this delectable appetizer.

It would make a beautiful addition to a charcuterie tray for Thanksgiving. The wonderful thing about caponata is that you can make it and freeze it and it still tastes like the day you made it!

Eggplant Caponata in bowl next to bread

Now since it’s Fall you’ll have to depend on veggies from the store unless you have frozen or canned tomatoes which would work wonderfully. I used all fresh veggies to make a batch to freeze for Thanksgiving the other day and it was delish!!

Now that you’ve learned about the versatility and deliciousness of Eggplant Caponata, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making this flavorful Italian appetizer.

Eggplant Caponata Ingredients

  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (for roasting the eggplant)
  • 2 TB Olive Oil (for cooking veggies)
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Large Ribs of Celery, Chopped (or use 3 small)
  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs Tomatoes, Chopped (About 5-6)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Heaping TB Capers, Rinsed and Drained
  • 3 Heaping TB Green Olives, Chopped
  • 1 TB Sugar
  • 3 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TB Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste (At least 1 tsp salt and generous pepper)


Eggplant Caponata in bowl next to loaf of bread

1. Roasting the Eggplant

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Dice the eggplant into small squares, toss them generously with 1/4 cup of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
  • Roast the eggplant on a baking sheet for 30 minutes until they become golden and tender.

2. Chopping the Fresh Veggies

  • While the eggplant is roasting, chop the celery, red bell peppers, garlic, and green olives.
  • Also, chop the 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes.

3. Saute and Simmer

  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Saute the red bell pepper and celery for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic, cooking until they soften (about 2 more minutes).
  • Mix in the chopped tomatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Let it cook for 15 minutes.

4. Bringing It All Together

  • Add the roasted eggplant to the skillet with the tomato mixture.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, the rinsed capers, and the chopped green olives.
  • Let this mixture simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Finish by adding 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Serving and Storing

  • Eggplant Caponata can be enjoyed warm or cold, served with crusty Italian bread.

6. Freezing Your Caponata

  • If you want to enjoy your Eggplant Caponata at a later date, it’s a great idea to freeze it.
  • Allow the Caponata to cool to room temperature.
  • Divide the Caponata into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion.
  • Seal the containers or bags, and be sure to label them with the date to keep track of freshness.
  • Store the frozen Caponata in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and heat it gently on the stove before serving.
close up of Eggplant Caponata

7. Gifting Your Homemade Caponata

  • Sharing your homemade Eggplant Caponata with friends and neighbors can be a delightful gesture, especially during the holiday season.
  • Consider packing it in mason jars or decorative containers to make it look even more appealing.
  • Attach a tag with serving suggestions or a personal note to make your gift extra special. It pairs beautifully with fresh-baked bread.
  • Present your homemade Caponata with a smile and enjoy the joy it brings to those who receive it.
Eggplant Caponata in bowl & mason jar

Enjoy Your Eggplant Caponata!

This delightful Italian appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving or a relaxing evening with friends, especially when accompanied by a glass of red wine. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and relish every bite of this scrumptious Eggplant Caponata!

Eggplant Caponata

A delectable medley of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, celery, red bell peppers, garlic and capers. This is a traditional Italian relish served on crusty Italian bread that is literally amazing!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 Baking Sheet For Eggplant
  • 1 Large Skillet
  • 1 Small Strainer To rinse and strain capers


  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil To roast eggplant
  • 2 TB Olive Oil In skillet to cook veggies
  • 1 Med Onion Chopped
  • 2 Large Ribs Celery Chopped Or use 3 small
  • 3 Large Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers chopped
  • 11/2 Lbs Tomatoes chopped About 5-6
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Heaping TB Capers rinsed and drained
  • 3 Heaping TB Green Olives chopped
  • 1 TB Sugar
  • 3 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TB Fresh Parsley chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste At least 1 tsp salt and generous pepper


  • Chop Eggplant in to small squares, toss with 1/4 olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Chop tomatoes, onion, celery, red bell peppers, garlic and green olives while keeping separated
  • Heat 2 TB Olive Oil and saute red bell pepper and celery for 5 minutes
  • Add onion and garlic and cook for two more minutes or so until soft
  • Add tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove eggplant and add to tomato mixture along with rinsed and drained capers, 1 TB sugar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 3 TB red wine vinegar and chopped olives
  • Salt and pepper to taste and cook an additional 15 minutes
  • Add fresh parsley
Keyword caponata, eggplant, thanksgiving appetizer
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Thanksgiving Favorites:

Turkey Cheeseball

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs

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