Where Is My Spoon Recipes Other Recipes by Region Eastern European Recipes Eggplant Stew
eggplant stew in tomato sauce
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. There may be affiliate links within the post, see my Privacy Policy.

Last Updated on 24/03/2020 by Adina


An incredibly aromatic eggplant stew in garlic tomato sauce, a vegan eggplant recipe that you will make over and over again.

Melt in your mouth vegan eggplant slices stewed in a full-flavored tomato sauce.




eggplant stew

Romanians like stews, we can pretty much stew anything, I don’t think there is any vegetable sort or meat cut that hasn’t been stewed at one point or another. I could not really say why, but I suppose it has to do with the convenience of stewing.

First of all most of the time you only need one pot and one source of heat and that might be a reason why stewing has become the number one way of preparing food in Romania over the centuries or thousands of years.

Secondly, stewing is cheap and quick, you can throw just about anything you have in one pot, stir a little and get a delicious meal made out of very few ingredients, things that are in season or you happen to have in your house or garden, without the need of going out shopping for anything special.

I don’t do that much stewing nowadays, at least not as much as my grandmother used to do, but still I make more stews than any other person I know in Germany.

The Germans have a quite different way of approaching food. While the Romanians tend to stew, in one pot, anything in their range, the Germans like to have the food separated on their plates, so they typically would cook one piece of meat or fish accompanied by separately cooked vegetables and separately cooked potatoes.

I am a food lover, so I like both approaches, just as much as I like the way Italian people cook or Indian, Chinese or whatever.


eggplant stew



Today’s stew features eggplants or aubergines, which are one of my favorite vegetable sorts. I like them so much, I could honestly eat them at least once a week, cooked in one way or another, unfortunately I am pretty much the only one in the house who likes them.

The kids have their veggie problem like most of the children of their age (and eggplants are particularly intimidating) and my husband seems unable to appreciate the delicacy, flavor and melt in your mouth consistency that properly cooked eggplants have.

He would eat them (most of the times) but rather grudgingly or because he doesn’t want to set a bad example to the kids. A few eggplant recipes that he enjoys as well are the Romanian Aubergine Salad – Vinete, Zacusca or these amazing Spaghetti with Eggplants, and I am happy to say that he did take seconds from today’s eggplant stew.



eggplant stew in tomato sauce



Tomato sauce:

This aubergine or eggplant stew in tomato sauce is a typical Romanian vegetable stew, eaten a lot not only during the fasting times, but mostly in summer when the eggplants fill the markets. I stewed them in the Basic Tomato Sauce from Thursday, but if you choose not to make your own tomato sauce, you can use your favorite brand of tomato/marinara sauce.

The ingredients indicated make 2 large jars. You will only need about 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup for the eggplant stew in tomato sauce.

  • Chop 1 medium onion and 4 large garlic cloves finely. Keep them separated.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, stir it shortly in the pan.
  • Add 2 cans (400 g/ 14 oz each) chopped tomatoes.
  • Add the 1 pack pureed tomatoes (500 g/ 17.6 oz), 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon dried savory/thyme/oreganio/Italian herbs/Herbes de Provence, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon sugar, about ½ teaspoon fine sea salt and black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and cook on a medium-high flame for about 20 minutes.
  • Turn the heat a bit down and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until the sauce has a nice, thicker consistency. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper or a bit more sugar, if necessary.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and puree the sauce with a blender, according to your preference, you can make it as smooth as you like it.
  • Makes about 2 jars, depending on their size, which keep in the fridge for about one week. To keep it longer freeze the jars.

Eggplant stew:

  • Slice the eggplants into 1.5 cm/ 0.6 inches.
  • Place them in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Leave to stand for half an hour, rinse shortly and dry thoroughly on kitchen paper.
  • Heat half of the oil in a large skillet or non stick pan. Fry half of the eggplant slices, about 3 minutes on each side or until golden and soft. Remove.
  • Heat the remaining oil and fry the second batch of eggplant slices. Remove.
  • Add the garlic, stir for 1 or 2 seconds.
  • Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to dissolve the tomato paste and arrange the eggplants slices back into the pan.
  • Carefully cover with the sauce.
  • Cook gently on medium low heat and covered for about 10 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a little. Stir a couple of times in between, but very gently.


  • The recipe for eggplant stew serves two as a main dish with bread or potatoes, for instance or a 4 as a side dish.
  • In Romania we would eat the eggplant stew in tomato sauce with white bread.
  • However, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or pasta are great as well.
  • A green salad on the side.
  • The eggplant stew in tomato sauce can also be served as a side dish for grilled meats, fish or chicken.


Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce – one of my favorite cauliflower recipes, you definitely have to try it.

Potato Stew with Sausages and Vegetables – another typical Romanian stew.

Spicy Cabbage Turmeric Stew – a simple cabbage stew with unusual spices.

Leek and Black Lentil Stew – probably my favorite vegetable stew, you won’t believe how delicious this is.




vegan eggplant or aubergine stew in a serving dish


eggplant stew in a pale dish

Eggplant Stew

Yield: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

An incredibly aromatic eggplant stew in tomato garlic sauce, a vegan eggplant or aubergine recipe.


  • 2 eggplants, 200 g/ 7 oz each
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup tomato or marinara sauce (See note)
  • 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ 2/3 cup water, more if the sauce seems too thick
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small bunch parsley


    1. Slice the eggplants into 1.5 cm/ 0.6 inches. Place them in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Leave to stand for half an hour, rinse shortly and dry thoroughly on kitchen paper.
    2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron skillet or a large non-stick pan. Fry half of the eggplants, in one layer, about 3 minutes on each side or until nicely golden and pretty soft. Remove from the pan. Add the other 3
      tablespoons oil to the pan and fry the second batch of eggplant slices. Remove from the pan as well.
    3. Grate the garlic cloves. Add them to the pan, stir once quickly. They will not need more time as the pan is already so hot, you don't want to burn them.
    4. Immediately add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to dissolve the tomato paste and arrange the eggplants slices back into the pan.
    5. Spoon some of the sauce over them, very gently, so that they are covered in sauce. Take care not to break them. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan with a lid.
    6. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a little. Stir a couple of times in between, but very gently.
    7. Sprinkle the dish with the chopped parsley and serve with bread or potatoes.


You can use your own homemade tomato sauce, my homemade tomato sauce or bought tomato or marinara sauce, a brand that you like.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.




You may also like


KR 11/03/2017 - 14:37

Eggplant is one vegetable I must to use to. I eat this but this is not my favorite. Now I am looking your photos and seems that eggplant gave a second chance 🙂

[email protected]'s Recipes 11/03/2017 - 15:34

This is definitely something I would enjoy for the dinner! Love the simplicity and flavour.

Anca 12/03/2017 - 10:13

It looks delicious, I love aubergines and tomatoes, so I know I would like this stew too. x

mjskitchen 13/03/2017 - 04:43

Always looking for a recipe for eggplant because it’s such a tricky vegetable in both texture and flavor. I love this recipe and will be making it soon! Thanks!

Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary 13/03/2017 - 13:34

Maybe I’m part Romanian, because I will seriously devour anything stewed. 🙂 Like this fabulous eggplant dish, It would be gone in .2 seconds if I was around! Looks absolutely cozy and delicious, girlfriend!! Cheers!

grace 13/03/2017 - 19:10

what a satisfying stew! it’s the kind of dinner i like to take a hunk of bread to and chow down!

Monica 13/03/2017 - 19:49

Tomato sauce is such a magical ingredient to use in so many ways. I love eggplant now as an adult and would love to have this for dinner, any night! I just want to have this with some crusty, warm bread, and a small glass of wine.

Nicoletta @sugarlovespices 14/03/2017 - 00:56

As Italian, I love eggplant, or maybe adore this vegetable! We cook it often, more than any Canadian, here. So many are intimidated by this amazing vegetable, I cannot understand why. Love how you stewed them in tomato sauce!

Beth 14/03/2017 - 01:43

I love stews, too, even though I don’t make them too often. They’re perfect for a cold-weather night!

Kim | Low Carb Maven 15/03/2017 - 16:46

I like stewing meats and vegetables, too. When I first got married, I found that the easiest and most flavorful way to make dinner was to cook it in a full-flavored tomato sauce just like you did here. I love the meaty texture of eggplant and how it soaks up sauce and flavors. This is a knock-out dish, Adina!

Maria 31/05/2017 - 04:16

Stunning dish! Two of my favorite foods combined together… perfect match!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Amy Kugali McWilliams 23/09/2017 - 19:12

This came out very tasty but I think I did it wrong… when I was frying the eggplant in the pan, I started out with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil you put here, but the second I put the eggplant in the pan it sucked up all of the olive oil and the pan was so dry. So when I flipped the eggplant over to fry the other side I added more olive oil and the dish turned out really tasty but a little bit greasy from the extra olive oil. Should I have just left the pan dry when doing the eggplant??

Adina 24/09/2017 - 07:37

You weren’t wrong, Amy. That’s the problem with eggplants, they suck up the oil like a sponge. I like them when fried in oil, they are creamier than when grilled or baked, but I always worry about the calories, so I try to use as little oil as possible. Try using a non-stick pan and maybe start with one or two tablespoons oil, adding more only when adding the next batch. If the non-stick pan is a bit dry when you flip the eggplants over is not so bad. If you keep an eye on them, they will not burn.

Pam West 01/10/2019 - 03:36

Yum! Thank you?

Adina 01/10/2019 - 19:01

Welcome. 🙂


Leave a Comment