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Caponata - A super flavorful and delicious Sicilian vegetable dish that is fantastic served hot or cold. Delicious spread on bread or as a side dish.

On those days when you’re looking to eat a little lighter – but you still want to enjoy some bold and fantastic flavors – then Caponata is the perfect option!

Caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish made from cooked eggplant, celery, green olives, onions and capers – and more modern-day recipes also include diced tomatoes as a key ingredient! A caponata is flavored in a sweet and sour dressing made from extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and sugar. And – some local variations include raisins, bell pepper and even carrots.

Caponata - A super flavorful and delicious Sicilian vegetable dish that is fantastic served hot or cold. Delicious spread on bread or as a side dish.

Although the vegetables are cooked – caponata is most often served chilled or at room temperature as a side to fish or meat.  It’s also very delicious spread on toasted bread as we did here. We even stir our leftover caponata (when we have it) into pasta or rice or add it to a fresh greens salad!

Our recipe today is adapted from a version found in Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis – and we stayed fairly true to her delicious original recipe except we used fresh garden tomatoes instead of canned, and we tweaked the proportions of the ingredients slightly to suit our own personal tastes.  Enjoy!

Caponata - A super flavorful and delicious Sicilian vegetable dish that is fantastic served hot or cold. Delicious spread on bread or as a side dish.

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Caponata - A super flavorful and delicious Sicilian vegetable dish that is fantastic served hot or cold. Delicious spread on bread or as a side dish.


  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups


Note: The flavors in this dish get even better once it has had a chance to sit – so feel free to make this a day ahead if you’d like!


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • 1 medium eggplant cut into one inch cubes, skin left on (about 3 cups or so)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 whole red bell pepper, cored and seeded and cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh juicy tomatoes, cored and cut into large chunks
  • ¼ cup golden raisins, regular raisins or currants
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to medium high heat and add celery. Cook for two minutes until it starts to crisp. Add eggplant and cook for two more minutes. Add onions and cook for about three more minutes then add red peppers. Cook for about three minutes then add tomatoes, raisins and dry oregano.
  2. Reduce to a medium simmer and simmer for about ten minutes or until the liquid has thickened and the vegetables tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil. Caponata can be eaten hot, at room temperature, or chilled.


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  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    What a great way to use up eggplant…yum!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Marjory @ Dinner-Mom wrote:

    This looks amazing! I am such a fan of eggplant and have been in a bit of a rut. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Marjory!

  • Angela |Mind Over Batter wrote:

    I’ve never had caponata before, but I do love eggplant. The photos are amazing, by the way. If I could reach out and pluck put a piece of eggplant I sooo would!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Angela! I think you’ll love this if you like eggplant!

  • Anita wrote:

    What a beautiful looking dish! I love classic Italian food, can’t wait to try this out!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Anita!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche wrote:

    I have never made a caponata before! Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe.. looks totally packed full of yummy flavours. Pinned!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Thalia!

  • What a beautiful version of this classic Sicilian recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lana!

  • Karissa | Sweet as a Cookie wrote:

    Gorgeous photos! This looks and sounds amazing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • valmg @ From Val’s Kitchen wrote:

    Wow it’s so colorful! The raisins must give it a very unique flavor!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Val – Yes – the raisins add a nice sweet contrast among the other savory flavors!

  • Melanie wrote:

    As usual, your pictures are drool worthy. Maybe it’s because I’m Italian, but this recipe screams for a bottle of wine and putting the kids to bed early!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Melanie! This is perfect with a bottle of wine…

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition wrote:

    This is right up my alley! I can’t wait to make this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lauren!

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    this looks amazing

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes wrote:

    Gorgeous photos of such a delicious looking dish!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ashley!

  • Amanda @The Kitcheneer wrote:

    I LOVE this! I come from an Italian family and this dish is truly one I must try! Pinning this to make very soon!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Amanda – I think you’ll love this recipe!

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) wrote:

    This looks so yummy! I’ve never had caponata before but it’s time to change that!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy it Kim!

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