Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans (Vegan High-Protein)

These Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans are saucy, packed with juicy butterbeans, caponata herbs and vegetables and are ready in 30 minutes. These beans are loaded with Mediterranean flavours and are delicious with breads or pasta.

If you love all things Italian and Mediterranean then you are going to love these caponata-inspired beans. They have all the classic flavours of the Italian dish with capers, olives, oregano and garlic with the added benefits from butterbeans, vegetables and extra flavour from sun-dried tomatoes. Every caponata recipe will be different, but this is my spin on the classic recipe that is great for lunch, dinner and meal prep and is very versatile, so the whole family can enjoy it.

A bowl of Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans with focaccia
Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans

Why will I love these beans?

These caponata beans are amazing:

  • Saucy, tomatoey, warming and delicious
  • Richly flavours with Mediterranean ingredients
  • Sweet, tangy, rich and umami
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • High in fibre and protein
  • Naturally plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free
  • Easily nut-free
  • With hidden vegetables
  • Great to make ahead of time (the flavours keep getting better)
  • Ideal for meal prep
  • Ready in 30 minutes, so it’s great for midweek meals
  • Delicious for lunch or dinner
  • Great served with bread or focaccia or even wholegrains like rice or pasta

If you already love the sound of this recipe 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 listed with weights in the recipe card and you can see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section below.

For the beans:

  • Olive oil: for frying off. Or you can use your preferred oil like avocado or walnut.
  • Small red onion: or use a shallot, white onion, leek or spring onions.
  • Garlic: fresh is best for adding tons of flavour.
  • Aubergine: cube this into chunks to add into the mix. This adds a lovely “meaty” texture, while absorbing lots of the caponata flavours and softening with the mix.
  • Fresh tomatoes: use fresh cherry or plum tomatoes to create a lovely saucy base for the beans.
  • Herbs: I use a mix of dried oregano and fresh parsley for this recipe which are both quite traditional for caponata dishes.
  • Jarred essentials: these are all so good for adding tons of flavour and a jar goes a long way, so it’s good to keep your cupboards well-stocked. This recipe uses capers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Butterbeans: I will always use Bold Bean Co butterbeans are they are so plump and juicy but you can use any beans. You can also try this recipe with cannellini beans or chickpeas.
  • Tomato passata: this is rich and tomatoey and is perfect for this dish.
  • Balsamic vinegar: for the tang.
  • Salt and pepper: for seasoning.

To serve this dish:

  • Coconut yoghurt: this might not be very traditional but I love the creamy element this adds.
  • Vegan pesto: this works so well on top, and you can use shop-bought or homemade pesto.
  • Pine nuts: for sprinkling on top. If you are making this nut-free, swap these for sunflower seeds or leave them off all together.
  • Fresh parsley: or even try some basil.
  • Fresh bread or focaccia: to mop up all the sauces. I have a lovely focaccia recipe here, or try some sourdough bread, or pitta breads.

Are these beans gluten-free and nut-free?

These are naturally gluten-free, just check the bread or wholegrains that you serve alongside the beans. To keep this nut-free, leave out the pine nuts on top. Also check that your breads, yoghurt and pesto do not contain nuts.

How do I make this recipe?

This recipe is ready in a few steps:

  • Fry off the onion, garlic and aubergine: to soften the vegetables with a big pinch of salt.
  • Add in the fresh tomatoes and oregano: and allow the tomatoes to soften and burst.
  • Now add in all of the other ingredients and stir well: bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Spoon the caponata into bowls and top with the yoghurt and pesto: adding any other toppings.
  • Enjoy with breads or other wholegrains: like pasta, rice or quinoa.

How long will it last?

Once cool, keep the caponata in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 1 month in airtight containers. Allow the beans to defrost before warming back up on the stove.

Close up of Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans
Caponata Butterbeans

What else can I make?

If you are looking for more 30-minute ideas:

A bowl of Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans with focaccia

Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans (Vegan High-Protein)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans are saucy, packed with juicy butterbeans, caponata herbs and vegetables and are ready in 30 minutes. These beans are loaded with Mediterranean flavours and are delicious with breads or pasta.


For the Beans:

  • 1 shallot or small red onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 aubergine, cubed
  • 120g cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 60g olives, sliced
  • 60g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 x 700g jar butterbeans (500g beans and 200g liquid)
  • 200g tomato passata
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

To serve:

  • 4 tbsp coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp vegan pesto
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh parsley
  • Focaccia or other bread


  1. Prepare all the vegetables: peeling, chopping and slicing.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan until hot. Now add the shallot or onion, garlic, aubergine and a pinch of salt. Fry for 5 minutes, until the aubergine is softening.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and oregano and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes to soften the tomatoes.
  4. Now add in the parsley, capers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, beans and their juices, passata, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a bubble.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the pot to bubble away for 10 minutes, until juicy.
  6. For the toppings: add 1-2 tbsp of water to the coconut yoghurt to thin out. Also add 1-2 tbsp water to the pesto to make it runnier.
  7. To serve: ladle into bowls and swirl on some yoghurt and pesto. Garnish with pine nuts, fresh parsley and serve with focaccia or other bread.
  8. To store: allow to cool and then keep in a sealed container for 2-3 days in the fridge or for 1 month in the freezer. Allow the beans to defrost before warming back up.


For the beans, you can also use 2 x 400g tins of butterbeans, with 480g total weight of beans and add only the liquid from one tin (it tends to be more watery).

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Caponata Aubergine Butterbeans so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make this, 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

Leave a Reply

Skip to Recipe