Chicken Sausages with Eggplant Caponata

Caponata (pronounced kap-oh-nah-tah) is a Sicilian dish often served as a salad or relish – here, as a topper for chicken sausage. Our lower-sodium variation of this traditional Italian topping with eggplant, tomatoes, anchovies, olives and capers beats sugary relish any day!

Photo: Edward Pond

By Nancy S. Hughes

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 medium eggplant (about 4 oz), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 3-oz natural chicken sausages with sun-dried tomatoes and basil (TRY: Al Fresco Sundried Tomato & Basil Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage )
  • 4 whole-wheat hot dog buns
  • 8 pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high and lightly coat grill basket with cooking spray. Lightly brush both sides of eggplant and onion with oil, then place in grill basket. Cook vegetables until brown and tender, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board.
  2. Place sausages in grill basket. (TIP: It’s best to cook these dogs in your grill basket as smaller links may fall through grill.) Cook according to package directions. Gently open buns, but do not split in half. Grill buns briefly on each side while sausages cook for final 2 minutes.
  3. Finely chop eggplant and onion and place in a medium bowl with olives, basil, garlic and vinegar.
  4. To serve, place 1 sausage in each bun and spoon equal amounts of vegetable mixture over top of each. Sprinkle with additional basil, if desired.

Nutrients per dog (1 bun, 1 chicken sausage, 1 cup eggplant caponata): Calories: 288, Total Fat: 14 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 27 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 21 g, Sodium: 670 mg, Cholesterol: 70 mg

Nutritional Bonus: Eggplant possesses antioxidant properties thanks to the anthocyanins and nasunin found in the nightshade vegetable’s skin.



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