Eggplant & Chickpea Stew

Eggplant & Chickpea Stew

19 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011

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.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 large eggplants (about 1½ pounds each)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 small (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and soaked overnight (for a quick-soak method, see Tip) and drained
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes (see Note), drained and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Variation: Turn 3 cups of leftover stew into Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Combine ½ cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Note) and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Toss the pasta with 3 cups stew, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (or basil) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a large bowl. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the topping is golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (or basil).
  7. Per serving: 496 calories; 17 g fat (7 g sat, 7 g mono); 33 mg cholesterol; 71 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 21 g protein; 13 g fiber; 686 mg sodium; 612 mg potassium.
  8. Nutrition bonus: Iron (33% daily value), Folate (30% dv), Calcium (28% dv), Vitamin C (26% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Zinc (22% dv), Potassium (17% dv), Vitamin A (16% dv).
  9. 4½ Carbohydrate Servings
  10. Exchanges: 4 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 2 fat
  11. Note: To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled "Panko breadcrumbs." Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
  • Make Ahead Tip: 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
  • 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.
  • Note: Look for Italian San Marzano tomatoes—they are particularly rich in flavor and taste best in this dish.
  • 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.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 220 calories; 7 g fat(1 g sat); 11 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 143 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 527 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 90 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 392 mg sodium; 767 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (36% daily value), Vitamin C (33% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 19

January 07, 2018
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By: Paula
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.
February 19, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
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
November 24, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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
September 04, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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
October 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
June 03, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
January 15, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
November 18, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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
August 26, 2012
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By: scholand
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
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