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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4.92 from 306 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 minutes
Cook – 55 minutes
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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4.92 from 306 votes (81 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Anu says:

    Hi Suzy, tried this recipe but as i dont have a braiser or dutch oven, i used my cast iron pan to cook. Is that a suitable option?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Anu. If using your cast iron worked for you here, I'd say it's a fine substitution. Some people complain that simmering/cooking tomato-based sauces in cast iron for too long can result in a metallic taste, so that it something to watch out for.

  2. Jessica says:

    Hi, what other vegetable can I substitute the eggplant with? Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Jessica. Really any other veggies you might enjoy. Some have suggested Portobello mushrooms, zucchini or other root vegetables as good substitutes.

  3. Lexi says:

    5 stars
    So so flavorful and delicious!!

  4. Alicia says:

    4 stars
    It seems like the only salt in the recipe is when you sprinkle it on the eggplant, but even that is rinsed off and patted dry. Are we supposed to add salt to this dish?

    1. Alicia says:

      Sorry! I just saw in the directions you call for a dash of salt! Thanks!

      1. Suzy says:

        No prob! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    2. Suzy says:

      Hi, Alicia. I usually add a dash of salt along with the other spices (step 3).

  5. Cyndee Garabedian says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! The only things I changed were a fresh red pepper for the green, and a sweet vidalia onion for the yellow. I served it in a bowl with a healthy dollop of whole milk Greek yogurt- yummy ! Love how the sweet and savory and hot and cool dance on my taste buds! Thank you for posting this recipe😁

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds wonderful! Thanks, Cyndee!

  6. Artur says:

    5 stars
    Love the recipe. Used chipotle instead of smocked paprika, so it came out very aromatic. Also, the recipe itself gives very israeli vibes (idk eggplant is just inherently feels more middle eastern ingredient), so I've used cilantro instead of parsley/mint.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Artur!

    2. Hollis Ramsey says:

      5 stars
      I’m making it tomorrow, and I’m adding both parsley and cilantro. Also, I don’t like yogurt — I’m working on that! — so it’s either sour cream or maybe ricotta. If I were religious, eggplant would be my god! Also EVOO! And avocado, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and fresh herbs. I’d be a Mediterranean polytheist!

  7. Laurie Miller says:

    4 stars
    I made this recipe the other night and used my Instant Pot for the entire dish. I felt that the seasonings could use a little tweaking for my taste and the 1 cup of water added to the slow cooker portion of the recipe made the end result too soupy. Next time I would reduce the water to 1/2 cup. All in all, it was very tasty and I served it over brown jasmine rice. I will definitely make it again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for sharing, Laurie!

  8. Tanya says:

    This looks great and uses easy to find ingredients! Could you make it in a crock pot?

    1. Tanya says:

      Nvm, I just saw that part of the recipe

      1. Suzy says:

        LOL 🙂

    2. Suzy says:

      Hi, Tanya. You can! The slow-cooker instructions are listed in the post: 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. Enjoy!

  9. sibyl says:

    Hi Nicole, We loved this. Can it be frozen? sometimes the meal is just as good reheated..

    1. Suzy says:

      Yes, this can be frozen. Just be sure it is fully cooled before freezing.

  10. Flo says:

    5 stars
    Dear Suzy and fans,
    I made this today in my crockpot and it looks and smells SO good, I don't think I can wait for dinner to devour it! 🙂
    4 hours in the slow cooker (after having soaked the chick peas overnight). For working folks, this one potful of deliciousness will be a winner!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Flo!

  11. Donna says:

    5 stars
    I was searching for something to make with the eggplant and peppers coming out of our garden. This recipe is so full of healthy ingredients. It took a bit of prep but came together easily, great instructions and turned out beautifully. It began to thicken after a little time out of the oven and was perfect with the suggested tzatziki sauce which also turned out wonderfully. I don't often subscribe to cooking websites to spare my email but with two winners I plan to explore more of your recipes, thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Donna!

  12. Rachael says:

    5 stars
    Do the leftovers freeze well?

    1. Suzy says:

      They do! Just be sure they are completely cooled before freezing.

      1. Jac says:

        5 stars
        Wow! I was a bit apprehensive of the spice list, and second guessed the cinnamon while cooking because it was so aromatic I thought it would over power the dish - but I’m SO GLAD I made it as written because it was amazing. Served over cous cous with grilled pita, grilled lemons, and a Greek grilled chicken. So healthy, so delicious, and so much left over to enjoy!

      2. Suzy says:

        Love to hear it, Jac! Thank you!

  13. Megan says:

    5 stars
    I'm very much a beginner at cooking, but this turned out really nice and wasn't very difficult to assemble! I'll be making this again 🙂

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you, Megan!

  14. Marilou says:

    This is an exquisite recipe! Simple and so flavorful. Indeed better on the next days. Thank you from Montreal!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Marilou!

  15. Susan says:

    We usually don’t care for eggplant and find it slimy. I’m hoping your tips will help. We can get baby Italian, Asian or Beatrice heirloom eggplants at the market. The Beatrice says it is good for roasting or grilling, with a mild taste. Suggestions?

    Thanks

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Susan. I have never made this recipe with other varieties of eggplant, but doing some quick research on Beatrice, it looks like that might be a good choice! This recipe is really forgiving, though. I think any of those other varieties could work, as well. Would love to hear your thoughts after you give it a try!

      1. Susan says:

        It was great with the Beatrice. I enjoy cooking with heirlooms when I have the chance. Thanks for researching it.

  16. Chris O'Donnell says:

    How soupy should this dish be after 45 min in the oven?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Chris. After 45 minutes in the oven, mine is always on the thicker side. Please note that ovens do vary, which can affect the cooking time/thickness level. If it's too thin for you after 45 minutes, you can always leave it in a bit longer.