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
    This has a permanent place in our rotation! The flavors are amazing. We often eat it with naan bread and sprinkled with feta.

  2. 4 stars
    I tried making it in a Ninja foodie, using salute for the first part and bake/broil for the second - it's too warm now to heat my kitchen with a 400* oven! It burned a little on top and dried out a bit, all my fault for experimenting., but overall flavor was still great. Maybe next time I'll try the pressure feature.

  3. 5 stars
    I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while! Eggplant was on sale this week so I went to work I don't have a braiser so after I was done cooking on the stove, I transferred everything to a baking dish. It was so good. I served it with rice!

  4. Has anyone tried pressure cooking this recipe? I'd like to be able to skip using the oven in the summer.

    1. I haven't tried pressure-cooking this one myself, I think it would be possible. I would use the saute option first, then cook on manual 20 mins or so. Again, this is just my guess. Hopefully another reader can offer some advice.

    2. Suzy

      My wife and I are considering the Mediterranean type of diet, we want to cut back on meat.

      I made this recipe yesterday along with an ozro fennel side. The results were amazing! My wife has a misconception about eggplant and on it's own I can understand. But in a recipe like this it can truly replace meat.

      I need to explore the recipes on this site but if they're anything like this I'll be purchasing your book

  5. 5 stars
    Made this last night for dinner. Baked it one hour in a long shallow baking dish to just the right thickness. It was delicious! The whole family loved it. Served it over basmati rice and with tzatziki sauce and toasted pita triangles. I sprinkled feta on mine. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! That’s all I have to say about this recipe.

    I’m always looking for new ways to cook with eggplant and not only did this recipe give me that, it also had me cooking with chickpeas for the first time!

    This dish is hearty, cosy, full of flavour and my new obsession! I had it with pita bread “buttered” with hummus and a simple salad on the side. Best. Supper. Ever!

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazingness with us. This is the first time I’ve tried one of your recipes and won’t be the last!

  7. 5 stars
    LOVE THIS recipe and will likely be making it a staple in my meal plan. Added a bit of sliced andouille chicken sausage for my carnivore husband. Served with chopped cilantro and freshly grated parm...but I could see adding crumbled feta and Basil. Lots of variations but do love the earthiness of the spice and herbs!!!

  8. 5 stars
    Outstanding recipe. I made this once before and will be making it tonight for dinner. I thought the cinnamon quantity would be too much but it was spot on! I wouldn’t alter a thing! This recipe is perfect especially now during lent.

  9. 5 stars
    Another spectacular recipe from Suzy. This will definitely be in rotation, as so many of her recipes already are. She mentioned needing to check once or twice to see if liquid needed to be added. I didn’t want to take the time to check, so i added a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes. The flavor wasn’t altered, but I think I added too much liquid. My fault I should know by now to follow these recipes closely. Suzy knows what she is doing. The flavor was outstanding!

    1. Hi, Maud. Yes, you can freeze leftovers for later. Thaw in your fridge overnight and add a little liquid when reheating.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and loved it. My eggplant was less than a pound but the amount was perfect. I didn’t make any adjustments and loved the flavors. I served it with Israeli couscous and roasted asparagus

  11. I’ve been trying some vegetarian & Mediterranean recipes lately. Unfortunately we found this one just a little bland. I’ll keep trying different recipes.

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Gert. A few recommendations here if you'd like to try this one again would be to check your spices to make sure they are good quality and fresh. They can loose some of their punch over time. Also, you can always increase the amount of spices to your liking.