This simple vegan eggplant recipe with chickpeas and tomatoes is all the comfort! And you'll love the Greek flavors thanks to a little extra virgin olive oil and a combination of warm spices including oregano, paprika, and a pinch of cinnamon.

Eggplant stew with chickpeas and tomatoes in Dutch oven

Eggplant is one versatile ingredient you can use in many delicious and satisfying ways.

Roasted. Fried. Stuffed. In hearty dinners like eggplant rollatini, eggplant parmesan or moussaka. You can even make eggplant fries. Yes, I said fries!

You can also turn an eggplant into one wholesome stew like in today's vegan eggplant recipe with chickpeas and tomatoes.

I've been making a lot of simple vegan recipes from pantry staples lately, and this eggplant recipe totally fits the bill--easy, comforting, and it takes one pot.

Why this recipe works? The quick braising process cooks the eggplant to tender perfection, it seriously melts in your mouth. Plus, you'll love the Greek vibes thanks to a little extra virgin olive oil and earthy, warm flavors including oregano, paprika, and pinch of cinnamon.

A few important eggplant tips before we get to this tasty recipe.

Tips for buying and preparing eggplant

Some are intimidated by eggplant's spongy texture. And many worry about the likelihood that their eggplant dish will taste bitter. Regardless of what eggplant recipes you try, a few tips are helpful to follow before you start:

  1.  Choose eggplants with smooth, shiny skin that are uniform in color. If the eggplant skin looks shriveled or somewhat discolored, do not buy it.
  2. Choose eggplants that are smaller and feel heavy for their size. Smaller eggplants tend to be less bitter and they have thinner skin and less seeds.
  3. Test your eggplant for ripeness before buying. Lightly press a finger against the skin and if it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe.
  4. Salt your eggplant before cooking. I've talked about this before. Salt the cut eggplant and let it "sweat" for a few minutes (or an hour, if you have the time) before cooking. Some don't think this step is necessary, but it can help in a couple of different ways: salting will draw out moister and help break down the spongy texture of eggplant. It can also rid the eggplant of some of it's bitterness.
eggplant stew ingredients. Eggplant, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, spices, garlic, and parsley

Ingredients for this Eggplant Stew

This recipe takes three humble ingredients--eggplant, chickpeas, and canned tomatoes--paired with a few spices and some extra virgin olive oil. Here's what you'll need:

  • Eggplant- about 1 ½ pounds of globe eggplant (that's 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller ones)
  • Yellow onion, green pepper, carrot, and garlic- these chopped veggies are sauteed with the spices in extra virgin olive oil to form the flavorful base for this recipe
  • Spices and such- dry bay leaf, dry oregano, sweet paprika (or smoked paprika if you prefer), coriander, cinnamon, hint of turmeric, and black pepper. This combination of earthy and warm spices is really what makes this dish so comforting. If you don't have all the spices, don't let that deter you from making this easy dish. You can omit some of the spices and do more of the ones you have. (You can find all-natural and organic spices at our online shop).
Spice bowl with paprika, coriander, oregano, turmeric, and black pepper. Three spice bottles to the side
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil to cook this vegan stew. And if you want the full Greek effect, drizzle some of this tasty EVOO to finish this comforting dish. (You can learn about this olive oil at our online shop here).
  • Chopped Canned Tomatoes- one large can of chopped or diced tomatoes with their juices brings this stew together and provides sweetness and beautiful umami
  • Chickpeas- canned chickpeas are a great option here. They're ready to use, no need to soak overnight.
  • Fresh Parsley (optional)- If you have it, a little fresh parsley or mint is a great garnish to add to this dish. Totally optional.

Greek-style eggplant recipe: step-by-step

Step 1: Salt eggplant

Cut up the eggplant into cubes or large bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and leave in a large colander in your sink or over a bowl. Let it sweat for 20 to 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry.

Salted cubed eggplant in a large colander

Step 2: Sautee chopped onions, veggies, and spices 

Warm up some extra virgin olive oil and add onions, peppers and carrots. Toss around for a few minutes, then stir in garlic, bay leaf and spices (paprika, coriander, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper). Cook just briefly till fragrant.

This is this is where all the flavor in this recipe comes from.

chopped onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, and spices sauteing in big pot

Step 3: Add chopped tomatoes, eggplant, and chickpeas and bring to a boil

Now, pour in the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas (and chickpea liquid or water), and eggplant. Bring this party to a boil for a good 10 minutes (this is the start of the braising process).

eggplant, chickpeas and tomatoes added to the pot

Step 4: Transfer to oven 

Now to finish cooking, cover the eggplant stew and transfer it to a 400 degree heated oven. Let it cook to tender perfection for another 45 minutes or so. Tip: be sure to check on the eggplant stew part-way through cooking, adding a little liquid if you feel it needs it.

Step 4: Serve

When ready, fish the eggplant stew with a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO). Add a garnish of fresh parsley, if you like.

Transfer to serving bowl over my 15-minute couscous or just a side of warm pita bread. A dollop of Greek yogurt or even Tzatziki sauce and some olives make a great addition here. And, to keep with the Greek theme, you can start with a traditional Greek salad.

Eggplant stew served with side of pita a bowl of olives to the side

More eggplant recipes:

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4.91 from 230 votes

Easy Greek-Style Eggplant Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh
Eggplant stew with chickpeas and tomatoes in Dutch oven
All-star eggplant recipe, prepared Greek style! Eggplants cooked to velvety tender perfection with chickpeas and tomato. A perfectly satisfying meatless dinner or side dish. Low-Fat. Vegan. Gluten Free.
Prep – 20 mins
Cook – 55 mins
Cuisine:
Greek
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb eggplant cut into cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper stem and innards removed, diced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon sweet paprika OR smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 28- oz can chopped tomato
  • 2 15- oz cans chickpeas reserve the canning liquid
  • Fresh herbs such as parsley and mint for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place eggplant cubes in a colander over a large bowl or directly over your sink, and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes or so to allow eggplant to "sweat out" any bitterness. Rinse with water and pat dry.
  • In a large braiser, heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, peppers, and chopped carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, then add garlic, bay leaf, spices, and a dash of salt. Cook another minute, stirring until fragrant.
  • Now add eggplant, chopped tomato, chickpeas, and reserved chickpea liquid. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes or so. Stir often. Remove from stove top, cover and transfer to oven.
  • Cook in oven for 45 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked through to very tender. (While eggplant is braising, be sure to check once or twice to see if more liquid is needed. If so, remove from oven briefly and stir in about ½ cup of water at a time.)
  • When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and add a generous drizzle of Private Reserve EVOO, garnish with fresh herbs (parsley or mint). Serve hot or at room temperature with a side of Greek yogurt or even Tzatziki sauce and pita bread.

Video

Notes

    • Slow-cooker instructions: you can prepare the recipe up to step #3 as written. Then transfer ingredients to your slow cooker. Add 1 cup water and the remaining ingredients from step 4. Cook on low for 4 hours or until eggplant is very tender.
    • Visit our Online Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices used in this recipe.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 144.3kcalCarbohydrates: 28.1gProtein: 6.8gFat: 2.1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 430.5mgPotassium: 746.7mgFiber: 9.6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1980.3IUVitamin C: 34.2mgCalcium: 104.6mgIron: 2.9mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2018 and has recently been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious! It had my house smelling so good that when I opened the door to get a package, the carrier said, “oh my God! Whatever you’re cooking smells delicious! I shared the link to the recipe.

    1. Hi, Jackie! While I haven’t tried this particular recipe in an instant pot, I think you could, using the sautee option first, then cook on manual 20 mins or so. Again, this is just my guess. Would love to hear your feedback if you give it a try!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of my go to dinners! The ingredients together are perfect - the warm and fragrant aromas from the spices, the heartiness of the eggplant and chickpeas are a great combination for a meatless dish, and there’s a touch of sweetness from the cinnamon and tomatoes but full of savory flavor from the other spices. I will serve this over a bed of rice sometimes. Fresh herbs to top it off before eating is the crowning touch! I recommend this recipe to anyone! Easy to cook, elegant presentation, and most of all, delicious!

  3. Love this recipe as a vegan dish.
    I would like to make this as a low protein version. what could I use instead of chickpeas?

  4. 5 stars
    Turned out beautifully! Had all ingredients except dried coriander but stirred in chopped fresh coriander & spring/green onions before serving. Yum with fresh buttered bread rolls. Great simple dish, definitely make again, thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious. We ate with fresh pita from local market. I have switched to Mediterranean diet lifestyle and this recipe will not disappoint you!

      1. 5 stars
        I have made this several times. Don't change or add anything. It is simply perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was outstanding! My neighbors garden produced an overload of eggplant and she dropped by and gave me some.-I wanted something other than "Eggplant Parm"for a change .Your recipe fit the bill and was easy to follow.I served it over pasta and received tons of compliments. I am looking forward to make it again!
    THANK YOU

      1. 5 stars
        How can tinned chickpeas and canned tomatoes taste so amazing??? Absolutely delicious recipe and my house smells fabulous. And thank you for the tip on salting/rinsing the eggplant - removed all bitterness. Another regular rotation recipe!!!

  7. 5 stars
    I am not a vegetarian, because I seldom find vegetarian main dishes that are hearty and satisfying enough, but this, THIS recipe does it all for me. I initially made it as a side for Mediterranean pork medallions, tabbouleh, and loubia (stewed Italian green beans and tomatoes), but this made the meal a meal. I served it as-is for that meal, but have since served it overbrown Jasmine rice, and it's hands down delicious!

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The eggplant was indeed mouth watering, and the combination of eggplant, tomatoes and garbanzo beans were inspired by the spices, This will be a staple recipe. It might even make me a vegetarian!

  8. 5 stars
    I just made it! I only had 1 can chickpeas, but followed the rest of the recipes. I was looking for some new eye-opening eggplant recipe, and I am glad to made this! Yummy. It can be also good pasta sauce? Thanks for wonderful recipe, Suzy!

  9. 2 stars
    I was looking for a new eggplant recipe and was so excited to make this after looking at so many of the good reviews. I’m sad to say that I found it to be very bland and soupy. I left mine in the oven for a full hour and it still didn’t thicken up, but I had to pull it out since the veggies were getting mushy. The spices smelled delish on the stovetop yet somehow disappeared in the final dish so that all I could really taste was the cinnamon. Maybe I did something wrong, but I followed the directions! I might try making it again at some point but add tomato paste to amp up the tomato flavor and increase the spices (minus the cinnamon - I would personally use less!)

  10. 5 stars
    Just made this and am already in love. Can't wait to eat it again tomorrow after everything I've read about it being even better the next day. Made a few changes to fit my tastes and what I had on hand. I cubed some lamb (always looking for an excuse to have lamb lol) and cooked it with the onion, carrot, and pepper (red onion cuz it's what I had on hand and orange bell pepper since I don't like green). Some red pepper flakes in the spice mixture for a hint of heat. Deglazed the pan with some red wine. Small can of tomato paste mixed into the cooked veg before adding the canned tomatoes, chickpeas, and eggplant. I also only used one can of chickpeas, but added zucchini and spinach for some more vegetables. Definitely the kind of stew you can alter to fit to your preference or what's on hand.

  11. 5 stars
    This is such an easy, rich and healthy recipe, makes great leftovers and tastes better the next day. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    Really lovely flavours, extremely happy how it turned out, I did add zucchini and changed the bell peppers to yellow which I think is really nice in it but definitely something I will be cooking again. Thank you so much sharing, looking forward to more of your recipes.

  13. This is one of my go to recipes for the abundant eggplant that I fortunately receive from my sis-in-law! Had it last year for my anniversary party dinner and this year I'm cooking it on my anniversary! It is so tasty and even freezes well!! thanks for my anniversary fav! today is my 35th!!

  14. 5 stars
    This was a resounding hit. I added chicken, cumin, more salt, kalamata olivies and red pepper for a hint of kick. Used red onions because that was what I had from the garden. Will definitely be making again. May experiment with adding other veggies.

  15. If using dry chickpeas (soaked and cooked), do I need to replace the reserved liquid with anything? I don't know what ingredient would replace aquafaba.

  16. 5 stars
    This astounded me. So simple, savory and delicious. Served it with small breaded pork cutlets. Got raves from our household of picky eaters.