Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata (Vegan High-Protein)

This Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata is fully of plant-based protein, fibre and vegetables and is creamy, rich and tomatoey. Like the much-love caponata, it has aubergine, olives and capers with beans while a creamy sauce takes this to the next level.

I love caponata and the flavours are ones I go back to time and time again. If you’re unsure what caponata is, it’s a Sicilian dish of fried off aubergines (and other vegetables oftentimes) with olives, capers (usually celery too) and a tomato sauce. I’ve taken this to the next level by adding beans for protein and a bean-filled creamy sauce. This makes for a such a delicious, cosy and family-friendly meal that’s also great to prep ahead of time and is fantastic over rice, quinoa or other wholegrains or served with some bread to mop up all the sauce.

A bowl of Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata with a spoon
Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata

Why will I love this dish?

This recipe is so delicious:

  • Tomatoey, creamy and saucy
  • Packed with zingy, rich and Mediterranean flavours
  • Loaded with vegetables
  • Packed with fibre and protein
  • Full of white beans
  • Easy and quick to make in 30 minutes
  • Great for meal prep or midweek meals
  • Freezes well and lasts 2-3 days in the fridge
  • Delicious for all the family
  • Great with bread or served over wholegrains
  • Healthy, nourishing and great for your gut
  • Naturally vegan and dairy-free
  • Also gluten-free and nut-free

If you already love the sound of this dish then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The ingredients are simple and you can find weights in the recipe card as well as my favourite brands and products in the “shop the recipe” section below.

For the pan:

  • Aubergine: also known as eggplant, this is traditionally used in caponata recipes and it’s great to absorbing all the lovely flavours. Chop the aubergine into small chunks for this recipe.
  • Courgette: I always love toa d more veggies to my recipes and courgette (or zucchini works so well but you can also use a red/orange pepper, too.
  • Olive oil: aubergines love olive oil, so be generous in the pan as they absorb all the flavours from the oil and turn lovely and tender.
  • Spring onions: I had some large spring onions which I love using instead of onions but you can use white or red onions or try shallots, too.
  • Garlic: for flavour. I love using roasted garlic, when I have some leftover from making traybakes and soups, but fresh is also great.
  • Balsamic vinegar: adds tang and a rich Mediterranean flavour while de-glazing the pan to ensure we get all the lovely flavours in the sauce.
  • Capers and olives: these are classic for caponata recipes and add tons of flavour. I prefer green olives but you can use black ones, too.
  • Fresh herbs: these also add a pinch of flavour and I use parsley and basil, which is also traditional for this type of dish.
  • Fresh tomatoes: I love working with juicy beef tomatoes when I can, but small ones will also work, or swap for 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, too.
  • Sultanas: it may seem strange but these add a little bit of sweetens and fruitiness that make this dish so special. Raisings will also be great, here.
  • White beans: this is the first part of the bean-iness for this recipe and I use cannellini beans but butterbeans will also be great or try chickpeas, failing that.
  • Salt and pepper: make sure to season the vegetables as they fry as the salt will also draw out excess moisture.

For the sauce:

  • White beans: as above, I use cannellini beans and the most important thing is to use the beans and their brine (water they are in). I use the Bold Bean Co ones as the liquid that comes in the jars are thick and lovely for making sauces with.
  • Tomato puree: this adds tomatoey goodness,
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: I love adding thick yoghurt to make sauces creamy without the cream. I use the Cocos Organic natural yoghurt.
  • Nutritional yeast: this adds richness and umami flavour without being overly cheesy.
  • Plant based milk: to thin out the sauce, make sure it’s unsweetened where possible.

To serve:

  • Pine nuts: these taste delicious on top of this Sicilian-inspired dish but you can use other nuts like toasted almonds or keep it nut-free and use pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • Bread or wholegrains: my favourite way to enjoy this is to mop it up with hearty bread like Super Seedy Grain Free Bread or Buckwheat Bread. It is also great served with wholegrains like quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

This is naturally gluten-free and nut-free (just skip the pine nuts on top).

How do I make this?

This is so easy to make and follows my favourite principal of adding some beans to the pan and some to make the sauce:

  • Add the spring onion and garlic to the pan: with hot oil and fry off for a few minutes.
  • Add in the aubergine and courgette: and fry for 10 minutes to soften and add the balsamic vinegar.
  • Make the sauce by blending together all the ingredients: until smooth.
  • Add the herbs, capers, olives and tomatoes to the pan: and simmer down.
  • Str in the sauce and beans: and cook for 10 minutes to warm through.
  • Serve as you like with extra yoghurt, herbs and pine nuts: or allow to cool and save for later.

How long will this last?

This will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in sealed containers, once cool, or keep in the freezer for 1 month. Allow to defrost and warm up to enjoy.

A bowl of Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata with a piece of bread
Bean and Aubergine Caponata

What else can I make?

If you are looking for other cosy recipes:

A bowl of Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata with a piece of bread

Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata (Vegan High-Protein)

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata is fully of plant-based protein, fibre and vegetables and is creamy, rich and tomatoey. Like the much-love caponata, it has aubergine, olives and capers with beans while a creamy sauce takes this to the next level.


For the Pan:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large spring onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 aubergine, cubed
  • 1 courgette, sliced into ½ moons
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 80g pitted olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp each fresh chopped parsley and fresh chopped basil
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 400g white beans (approx. 300g beans with 100g of brine)

For the Sauce:

  • 300g white beans (approx. 200g beans with 100g of brine)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 60g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 60ml plant-based milk

To Serve:

  • 4 tbsp thick coconut yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Extra herbs e.g. parsley and basil
  • Olive oil, sliced olives


  1. Prepare all of the vegetables: slice, chop and crush as needed.
  2. For the pan: heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan and fry off the spring onion and garlic for 2 minutes, until softening. Now add the aubergine and courgette, season with salt and pepper and fry for 10 minutes, until softer. Pour in the balsamic vinegar to de-glaze the pan before stirring in the capers, olives, parsley, basil and the fresh tomatoes. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, to soften the tomatoes, with a lid on.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: blend together all of the ingredients until smooth, with some salt and pepper.
  4. Into the pan: add the beans, the sauce and the sultans and stir well. bring toa gentle bubble and cook for 10 minutes, until warmed through.
  5. To serve: ladle into bowls and top with coconut yoghurt, pine buts, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and some extra olives. Serve with your favourite bread or over wholegrains like quinoa or brown rice.
  6. To store: keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in sealed containers or freezer for 1 month and defrost before warming back up.

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Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Creamy Bean and Aubergine Caponata so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With caponata love x

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