This tasty vegetarian stew, studded with plenty of eggplant and protein-rich chickpeas, is reminiscent of ratatouille. The eggplant breaks down and makes a saucier stew if you peel it before cooking, but you can certainly leave the peel on if you prefer. Serve over quinoa or soft polenta with sautéed spinach on the side.

Judith Finlayson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011

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Recipe Summary

total:
8 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine dried mushrooms and hot water in a bowl. Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve lined with a paper towel and set the liquid aside. Finely chop the mushrooms.

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  • Meanwhile, peel eggplants, if desired, and cut in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides liberally with 2 tablespoons oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker (see Tip).

  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper, bay leaf and the chopped mushrooms; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the eggplant.

  • Cover and cook until the chickpeas are very tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and parsley.

Tips

Tips: To quick-soak chickpeas (or other dried beans), place in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4 and refrigerate (in a container other than the slow cooker insert) for up to 2 days. To finish, transfer to the slow cooker and continue with Step 5. The cooked stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Equipment: 4-quart or larger slow cooker

Use leftover stew to make Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta.

Nutrition Facts

220 calories; protein 8.6g 17% DV; carbohydrates 33.3g 11% DV; exchange other carbs 2; dietary fiber 11.1g 45% DV; sugars 11.1g; fat 7.3g 11% DV; saturated fat 1g 5% DV; cholesterolmg; vitamin a iu 526.7IU 11% DV; vitamin c 19.9mg 33% DV; folate 143.2mcg 36% DV; calcium 90mg 9% DV; iron 3.4mg 19% DV; magnesium 63.5mg 23% DV; potassium 766.6mg 22% DV; sodium 391.8mg 16% DV; thiamin 0.6mg 59% DV.

Reviews (19)

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19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 3 stars
01/08/2018
I agree with many of the other reviewers who said this was too bland. I added parmesan cheese. I also didn't bake the eggplant very long so mine wasn't too mushy. My other issue with this though and maybe I"m just lazy but for me the point of the slow cooker is that I can throw things in there go do what I need to do and come home to a finished meal. Considering I had to use both the oven and stove top this was far too labor intensive for a crockpot meal. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
02/19/2016
Bland For the work and time required--forget this one. For starters eggplant 400 degree oven 25 minutes = MUSH. And for the taste--it simply is not there. It is clear to me that no one at EastingWell web site never made and tasted this dish. Lesson learned: read the reviews before starting! Pros: Vegetarian Cons: Little Unique Taste Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/24/2014
Great with adjustments We really enjoyed this stew -- so much that it never made it to the casserole stage. However this is going to be one of those annoying reviews that doesn't follow the recipe. I took the previous reviews to heart so I took steps to prevent mushiness and add flavor. I didn't use the slow cooker. We had roasted eggplant in the freezer. I chose a bag that was chunkier. I slightly undercooked the chickpeas (pressure cooker) then combined everything to simmer on the stove (could have done that in the slow cooker too). I added a couple tablespoons of chile powder. Pros: flexible vegan tasty fits our pantry Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
09/04/2014
Healthy and multi functional meal I was excited to use my Aunts freshly picked eggplant from her garden and looked for healthy recipes. I am on an anti-inflammation food program so there is no dairy gluten etc. I ate 3 servings at 3 different meals and it was delicious. The remainder I substituted the pasta with quinoa for 40 mins. 1 cup rinsed mixed into the juices. I then topped with sliced chicken and added about a cup of sodium reduced chicken broth. No cheese no pasta and I kept to my program:) It tasted even better a few days later in the baked casserole Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/16/2013
Delicious (with modifications) Fortunately I read the reviews before making this dish but it's easy to recognize that it would be bland just by reading the list of ingredients. I took many of the suggestions and put them together by adding chili cumin and cayenne. I also diced the eggplant before roasting. Because it takes so much prep time on the stove top I just made the entire dish on the stove rather than using the slow cooker. It came out great and I'd make it again (but definitely not as outlined in the standard recipe). Pros: easy Read More
Rating: 2 stars
06/04/2013
A bit bland for my taste I really wanted this to taste better than it did. After eating a serving from the exact recipe I knew I had better work on it or my girls would resort to fast food. So first I added soy sauce not much better then a can of low sodium black beans and a good bit of salsa. We had it over rice and it was okay. I will definitely keep looking for more eggplantrecipes Pros: very healthy no guilt for eating Cons: missing flavor Read More
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Rating: 3 stars
01/16/2013
Edible but needs tweaks It was mediocre. I halved the recipe and added a cup of brown rice to the crockpot in order to make it a complete meal so it might be better without those changes. I also used canned diced tomatoes. I needed more flavour - I didn't try other people's suggeations to add chili and curry powder but I agree that it might help. As it was it was warm and filling and made a complete meal with the rice but it was still bland and slightly mushy. I loved the idea of the mushrooms but didn't actually notice them in the dice. I'll need to add some extras (cheese? more spice?) if I want to bring myself to eat it tomorrow as leftovers. Pros: quick simple budget-friendly Cons: bland kind of mushy unappetizing colour Read More
Rating: 3 stars
11/18/2012
Bland but with potential For our palates that like a bit of heat the basic recipe was too bland. Moreover we did not taste the dried porcini and could have left them out. With the addition of some cumin cayenne and double the black pepper this was a very tasty meal. We have a 'heat register' in my bald head: too hot and sweat pours off... you get the idea. For this meal we added enough cayenne that my head was just slightly damp and the mouth a wee bit tingly. Pros: nutritious easy Cons: bland Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2012
ymmuy vegetarian This was great. I used can of diced tomatoes. Just threw it im. I modified it a little with addimg come curry and some wine. So healthy low calorie and filling! Pros: slow cooker Read More
Rating: 3 stars
08/13/2012
Missing ingredient I made this after craving vegetables and looking for something that I could eat soon after getting home from work without too much work (I did steps 2-4 the night before then threw it in the crock pot the next morning). I left out the mushrooms because I'm not a fan but otherwise followed the directions. I saw tips of cubing the eggplant prior to roasting which I think would make it a lot less messy. When it was finished it was good but I felt that it was missing something. It took me a while to figure out but now seems so obvious that missing ingredient is cheese! The only cheese I had on hand were grated parm and cheddar so I opted for the parm and it was immensely better. I imagine mozzarella would be ideal so when I reheat it (I plan on freezing the batch) I'll be sure to have some. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
04/10/2012
Don't Even Attempt This One I ate all of this since I'm on a budget and I made it. I will admit that it froze well. When I finally got rid of the last frozen container I was never so glad. No more bad lunches. The flavors seemed like they were going a bit for Moroccan but this isn't anything like those heavenly flavor combinations. I wanted to find something to entice with eggplant and the eggplant was good after being roasted but that flavor didn't transfer to the stew itself. This stew was a bit on the mushy side--nothing new with a stew--but the combination of flavors never melded together well. It was edible but not something to savor. It felt like it was missing a base flavor that something on the bottom of the palate to give it a steadiness. Even adding in a dollop of sour cream didn't make it any better. In fact it was easier to get it down without the sour cream which is a feat. Look away -- cook something else! Pros: It freezes well. Cons: It doesn't taste very good mushy texture. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
03/14/2012
Very tasty but recipe could be improved For starters it tasted delicious! Some things I would change though: Cut up the eggplant BEFORE roasting and only cook just barely long enough to get it a bit cooked a full 20 min. leaves it mushy. The tomatoes are messy but you can just barely chop them and add the sauce from the can. I also doubled most of the spices especially the bay leaf cinnamon salt and pepper made the whole thing have a bit more depth of flavor. Pros: delicious! crock pot recipe Cons: ingredients can be difficult Read More
Rating: 1 stars
01/19/2012
odd flavor/mushy I really like eggplant garbonzo beans tomatoes and mushrooms but for some reason the flavor of this seemed odd to me and I would have liked the eggplant to have more texture. Perhaps it is the porcini mushrooms that threw it off for me flavor wise. It overpowered the dish. If I were to make it again I would skip the mushrooms add cumin and chili and cook it on a stove top with precooked garbonzo beans to keep the eggplant from getting quite so cooked down. Pros: Some of my favorite ingredients Cons: Ingrediends did not work together well Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/12/2012
Tasty and filling Found it tasty and very filling. Served it over quinoa yesterday and am going to serve it over polenta tonight. My husband loved it too. Pros: slow cooker recipe Cons: Took a little more prep time Read More
Rating: 2 stars
01/10/2012
Tips for easier cooking I actually have not even eaten this yet but I would give two tips to make the prep easier. 1 dice up the eggplants before you roast the. Has anyone tried to dice after roasting? What a mess! 2 just buy chopped tomatoes if they are going to be chopped anyway. I ask again....has any tried to chop canned whole tomatoes? What a mess! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Tasty and Satisfying I can only assume that they call for dried & soaked chickpeas so that they absorb the flavor of the stew during cook time. Since I couldn't find that I used canned and added them with the tomatoes in the last hour of cooking. I really enjoyed this. The roasted eggplant adds a toothsome texture though the dominant flavor profile seems to come from the tomatoes. That's not a problem for me since I love them. We ate this as a standalone stew but sure would be great on top of grains like quinoa pasta or rice. Also might consider adding hot sauce and topping with cheddar cheese. Pros: Delicious versatile Cons: Long prep time Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Great Flavor! I served this with cheesy polenta and kale. It was delicious! My three young children gobbled it up. For a slowcooker meal there was a lot of prep time. Next time I will take the tip and prep the night before. Pros:. Good use of garbanzo beans delicious Cons: long prep time Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
It's a winner! This stew was great! I served it over rice but also had some just by itself. Both times it was fantastic! A friend randomly stopped by tonight and after we hung out she left with a tupperware full of the leftovers.:) Pros: tastes good nice texture Read More
Rating: 1 stars
10/29/2011
the only thing from eating well I couldn't stomach ever This is the only thing I have ever made from Eating Well that was ever bad. The texture was mushy and terrible. I served it over quinoa. My kids couldn't eat it. They were literally gagging. We ended up ordering pizza. I set an example by getting mine down but couldn't tolerate it the next day. I thought "What a waste of food!" so I had the bright idea to make the accompanying pasta dish thinking that might make it better. I was wrong. It was just as terrible. I am actually surprised that the other reviews were so positive. Pros:? Cons: just plain terrible Read More