Caponata Eggplant Meatballs

eggplant_meatballs_in Sauce

Caponata Eggplant Meatballs

A perfect meatless Monday meal, these eggplant meatballs are inspired by Sicilian Caponata ingredients like olives, eggplant, bell peppers and capers.  Super easy to make and equally easy on the budget, eggplant meatballs should be a regular on your meal rotation. 

Interesting to note, much of Sicilian cuisine is influenced by the sweet-versus-sour (known as agrodolce) themes brought to the island during centuries of Arab domination. Caponata—a mixture of chopped eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, raisins and capers—is full of sharp flavor contrasts.   While a traditional caponata has raisins, I did not include raisins in the meatballs as I wanted them to be more savory than sweet. 

The agrodolce in these meatballs comes from the sweet red pepper and balsamic vinegar and briny olives with sharp parmesan flavors.  It’s a fantastic flavor combination and different from all the other eggplant meatball recipes out there. 

I keep the skin on the eggplant as I feel it gives the meatballs a great texture and flavor.  Not to mention, the skin is where the nutrients are typically found. 

I paired the eggplant meatballs with the new Signature RESERVE Tomato & Garlic Pasta Sauce, available exclusively at Safeway/Albertsons affiliate stores.  The premium Italian pasta sauces are available in 6 delicious flavors.  I chose the tomato and garlic flavored sauce for this dish as the flavors perfectly complemented the meatballs. 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 red bell pepper (or 1/4 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon olive tapenade (mixed black olives, green olives)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper to taste

How to Make Eggplant Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 425° F. 

Cut the eggplant and red bell pepper into 1/2 inch cubes.  Place on 2 baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat each piece.  

Roast the eggplant and peppers for 25 minutes, then stir and roast an additional 10 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown and caramelized.   If using jarred peppers, they are already roasted, so you would just add them to the food processor and not roast with the eggplant. 

Reduce the heat of the oven to 375°

Place the cooked eggplant and peppers into a food processor and add the olive tapenade, minced garlic, capers, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, balsamic vinegar and black pepper. 

Pulse about 10 times until the mixture is combined.  You want it to be coarse, but all the eggplant to be pureed. 

eggplant_Caponata_meatballs

Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons to form the meatballs.  The meatballs will not roll like traditional ground meat meatballs, rather you have to shape them with your fingers.  Repeat until the mixture is gone. 

Place the meatballs on the baking sheet used to roast the veggies.  Place in the oven and cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. 

If desired, heat your favorite pasta sauce in a large skillet and add the meatballs until warmed through.  Top with grated parmesan cheese and minced parsley or fresh basil. 

 

eggplant_meatballs_ingredients

 

Additional Eggplant Recipes

Sicilian Eggplant Caponata Over Grilled Swordfish

Creamy Eggplant Dip With Caramelized Onion and Roasted Chickpea Flatbreads

Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)

Grilled Eggplant With Romesco, Basil & Feta Cheese

Easy Eggplant Pizza

caponata_Eggplant_meatballs_in_Sauce

Caponata Eggplant Meatballs

No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: eggplant meatballs, vegetarian eggplant recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 15 meatballs
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 red bell pepper or 1/4 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon olive tapenade mixed black olives, green olives
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs or whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Cut the eggplant and red bell pepper into 1/2 inch cubes.  Place on 2 baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat each piece.
  • Roast the eggplant and peppers for 25 minutes, then stir and roast an additional 10 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown and caramelized.   If using jarred peppers, they are already roasted, so you would just add them to the food processor and not roast with the eggplant.
  • Reduce the heat of the oven to 375°
  • Place the cooked eggplant and peppers into a food processor and add the olive tapenade, capers, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  Pulse about 10 times until the mixture is combined.  You want it to be coarse, but all the eggplant to be pureed.
  • Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons to form the meatballs.  The meatballs will not roll like traditional ground meat meatballs, rather you have to shape them with your fingers.  Repeat until the mixture is gone.
  • Place the meatballs on the baking sheet used to roast the veggies.  Place in the oven and cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • If desired, heat your favorite pasta sauce in a large skillet and add the meatballs until warmed through.  Top with grated parmesan cheese and minced parsley or fresh basil.

 

caponata_Eggplant_meatballs_in_Sauce

SuperSafeway is a blog devoted to helping you find the best deals at Safeway in the Denver division.  Every week we slice and dice the ad and tell you the best deals at Safeway with and without coupons.   

For more low prices, check out the Safeway weekly ad and the Safeway coupon matchup page. Would you like to stay updated on the best deals? If so, make sure to like Super Safeway on Facebook, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our Instagram, or head over to Pinterest. Also, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

* Please note – Savings information is based on Colorado pricing and the Safeway Coupon Policy for the Denver Division which includes Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota. Your market may vary. Prices may vary per location*

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Scroll to Top