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This vegetarian Eggplant Stew is an amazingly savory and hearty dish made with chickpeas, harissa paste, and tomatoes. It’s full of delicious Mediterranean flavors and is a big bowl of comfort with a bit of heat from the harissa. Busy weeknight? Then you’ll enjoy how quick and easy this Middle Eastern eggplant stew is to make in just one pot for dinner.
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love this Middle Eastern eggplant stew
- Ingredients to make eggplant stew
- How to make eggplant stew with chickpeas
- Tips for making eggplant tomato stew
- Popular substitutions & additions
- What to serve with your
- How to store & reheat eggplant chickpea stew
- Frequently asked questions
- More vegetarian recipes:
- Eggplant Stew Recipe
This Mediterranean eggplant and tomato stew recipe is made heartier with chickpeas for added protein and texture. The chickpeas add a little bite to contrast the softness of the cooked eggplant and tomato base. It’s a tasty rollercoaster of flavor and texture, all nestled in a warm tomato gravy for a cozy vegetarian stew you’ll want to make over and over again.
Why you’ll love this Middle Eastern eggplant stew
- Delicious Mediterranean flavors. Eggplant, chickpeas, and tomatoes make the bulk of this tasty stew and are flavored with harissa for a spicy kick.
- Vegetarian friendly. This stew is so hearty and filled with some really great ingredients for a chunky and filling vegetarian stew recipe.
- Easy to make. While there is a process on how each ingredient is added, this stew is remarkably easy to make and comes together in just 30 minutes from prep to finish!
- One pot recipe. Stew and soups are some of the easiest and best recipes because everything cooks up in just one pot. The eggplant is cooked first and removed. Then the stew is made in the same pot until thickened, stirring in the cooked eggplant before serving.
Ingredients to make eggplant stew
- Eggplant: Cut the eggplant into even-sized pieces and cook in the pot by itself first. Set it aside to add at the end to retain a firmer texture.
- Chickpeas: The chickpeas give this stew a little more texture compared to the softened eggplant and tomato base. Drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding them to the pot. You can also rehydrate chickpeas instead of using canned ones.
- Tomatoes: A combination of tomato paste and diced tomatoes make up the bulk of the stew base. I use canned tomatoes, but you could also use fresh ones.
- Harissa: This condiment is made with chili peppers, garlic, and spices, and it packs a punch of flavor and adds a little heat to any dish. I absolutely recommend making harissa paste homemade, but you can also use storebought.
- Oil: I prefer olive oil, but any kind would work for sauteeing the veggies.
- Onion and garlic. Cook the onions until they have softened and become translucent to release their natural sugars before briefly cooking the garlic until aromatic.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice added before serving is a quick way to brighten this rich tomato eggplant stew.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For serving: plain yogurt and fresh parsley.
How to make eggplant stew with chickpeas
- Heat a large shallow pot with oil and cook the eggplant until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside for later.
- To the same pot, add the remaining oil and cook the chopped onions with salt until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, harissa, and tomato paste and cook until just fragrant.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and water and give it a good stir to combine.
- Bring the stew to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
- Stir in the eggplant and heat through. Squeeze in the lemon juice right before serving.
Tips for making eggplant tomato stew
- Choose your heat. This stew isn’t super spicy, but if you’re nervous about the spice level, you can choose to add only one to two tablespoons of harissa at first (you can always whisk in more at the end!) On the other hand, if you want more spice, feel free to add an additional tablespoon of harissa right away.
- Cut the eggplant into even-sized cubes. Eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes is the best size for this harissa stew for a hearty dish and tender bite. Not sure how to cut an eggplant but really want to try this stew? Check out my quick tutorial on cutting eggplant to prep and confidently create a delicious Middle Eastern recipe.
- Be careful not to overcook the eggplant. I cooked the eggplant separately from the rest of the stew for two reasons: first, so it could brown in the pot (developing more flavor), and second, so it could be cooked just until tender and not a minute longer. To ensure you’re accomplishing both, make sure the pan is fully preheated, so the eggplant sizzles when you drop it in, and cook it just until it’s tender when pierced with a fork.
- Add lemon juice last. Right before serving, squeeze in fresh lemon juice to brighten up this harissa eggplant stew with a pop of citrusy flavor.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Substitute the eggplant. This is a Mediterranean-inspired dish with eggplant and harissa, but you could easily substitute the eggplant for a summer or winter squash.
- Make it creamy. As suggested, add a dollop of plain yogurt when serving your stew. Sour cream would also work here.
- Add meat. If you’re not worried about this being a vegetarian stew, add some shredded chicken or ground beef. Some flaky white fish would also pair deliciously with this rich tomato-based stew.
- Add more vegetables. If you want an extra chunky vegetarian stew, throw in some more veggies like broccoli, peas and carrots, or mushrooms.
- Serve over rice. This is already a filling stew, but you can stretch it a bit by serving it over savory rice like lemon rice or a bowl of plain white rice.
What to serve with your
- Homemade Pita Bread
- Olive Oil Garlic Bread
- How to Make Flatbread
- Garlic Knots
- Zaatar Manakeesh
- Homemade Dinner Rolls
How to store & reheat eggplant chickpea stew
Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container to store in the fridge or freezer.
To reheat, add the stew to a pot over medium-low heat until heated through or warm in the microwave with a vented cover to avoid splattering.
How long will eggplant stew last in the fridge?
This harissa eggplant stew will store well for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze Mediterranean eggplant stew?
Yes! After storing in a freezer-friendly container, you can freeze this stew for up to 3 months! For best results, skip adding the lemon until reheated and right before serving for the best flavor.
Frequently asked questions
Soups are usually in a thinner broth-like liquid and use small cut ingredients, whereas a stew comprises a thicker gravy base with chunkier ingredients.
Adding harissa adds a hot peppery heat and a full-bodied richness to the tomato gravy in eggplant stew.
Absolutely, this stew is a great make-ahead recipe, but I would highly suggest keeping the eggplant separate if possible to retain the best texture. When eggplant is overcooked, it will melt away into the sauce, which is still delicious, but you won’t get the signature chunky vegetable stew.
Fill your bowl with this ultra-comforting and fiery-flavored eggplant stew. It’s quick, easy to make, and perfect for a weeknight dinner recipe. Serve this Middle Eastern dish over rice or with bread to soak up all the harissa tomato gravy because you’ll want to devour every bit of this stew!
More vegetarian recipes:
- Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Chopped Veggie Salad
- Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
- Vegan Tofu Tacos
- Roasted Tomato Penne
- Lentil Chickpea Salad
- Veggie Gyro Bowl
- Avocado Sandwich
- Lentil Tomato Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Steak
If you try this feel good Eggplant Chickpea Stew recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 cups eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¾ teaspoon salt divided
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup harissa
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the cubed eggplant and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove the eggplant to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same pot and heat over medium. Add the chopped onion and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, harissa, and tomato paste, and stir until fragrant, 1 minute more, then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and water.
- Bring the stew to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and heat through, then stir in the lemon juice.
- Serve topped with yogurt and sprinkled with parsley.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Delicious. I served it with fresh mint instead of parsley. A real winner recipe!
I love that idea! Fresh mint sounds wonderful!
Absolutely loved this! Always looking for more eggplant recipes!!
Thank you so much, Ferial!