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 291 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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The eggplant stew was fabulous. I did make a few modifications due to not having all of the ingredients on hand. I will make it again. Leftovers tossed on some leftover rice was delicious as well.

  2. Can I make this a day a head of time and wait till the next day to put it in the oven for 45 minutes as I want to make and take to my sons and grandchildren and prefer to do all this first if possible or just cook it completely and heat it there. thx Greg

    1. Hi, Greg. You can probably do either, here, but I would lean towards cooking it completely the day before and just reheating when you get to your son's house. Keep an eye on it as it reheats... you may need to add a bit more liquid.

      1. Today we met with our son and daughter in law and 4 grandchildren and brought this, I made the 3x the serving and it came out wonderful. There were 10 of us and not one complaint, everyone loved it, they are all vegans and this was a perfect choice. I left them the rest but we will be making again for us 2 again. During our mean we did learn we are having another grandchild.

      2. Congratulations on the announcement of your new grandbaby! What exciting news! Glad to know the whole family enjoyed the meal.

  3. Oh wow! This was SO good!! I halved this recipe but kept the same measurements for the pepper and carrot. It worked perfectly for 2 people. Smoked paprika made this dish. Thank you!!

  4. Hi I was going to sign up for an email account for the recipes but the link is broken.
    Recipes look fantastic and I'll just have to keep checking in.

  5. 5 stars
    Bravo!!! One of the best dishes I’ve ever made!

    I changed almost nothing; the recipe is perfect as written. I used one Sicilian and one Spanish eggplant…they didn’t even need the salting step. I had no turmeric, so I substituted some curry. I served the dish topped with a thick piece of cod.

    I’ll be making this dish again real soon as my eggplants are growing at peak here in September and I’ll have plenty of them.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this wonderful recipe, but without the chickpeas. I did use more of the spices than the recipe called for (to taste). This was a SUPER tasty dish and I highly recommend it. We really enjoyed it. It was delicious. Thank you !

  7. 5 stars
    Really love the freshness and combination of flavors! I am new to this style of cooking and love the recipes you provide!

    I didn't have chick peas and substituted cannellini beans which seem to work great.

    Thanks!
    Ken

  8. This recipe was yummy . The next time I make it , I might not add the liquid from both cans of chick peas .
    The spice blend was wonderful , especially the cinnamon. I added some cumin as well .
    Excellent recipe .

  9. 5 stars
    This dish is an epitome of Mediterranean cuisine. I found this a bit similar to turkish saksuka (very different from original shaksuka), yet there are vast difference e.g. inclusion of chickpea and chickpea liquid.

    Nevertheless, it turned out amazing and I dipped my homemade crusty bread inside. It also paired really well with cacik (Tzatziki's cousin, runnier than tzatziki, more like indian raita)

    Amazing recipe, thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    This is one of my go-to recipes! I cook the stew in the oven for 3+ hours (instead of 45 min) and get rid of the liquid. I love the consistency and always get asked for the recipe

  11. Suzy,
    I made this recipe today and it came out great. This is high eggplant season and I had two beauties from my backyard garden. The recipe is like a Ratatouille but with delicious chickpeas and heavy on the eggplant, so delicious when thoroughly cooked.
    It really is an easy recipe. Did all the cooking on the stovetop.

    Thank you!💕
    George Donner
    Fort Wayne, IN