Eggplant & Lentil Stew

This robust, hearty, and flavorful eggplant and lentil stew will satisfy any eater, vegan or not. It’s so easy to make, comes together mostly from dry goods, freezer friendly, and great for batch cooking! The eggplant in this stew gets so silky and yummy, and pairs beautifully with fire roasted tomatoes and jarred bell peppers and a kick of smoky paprika. This dish is yummy by itself, or served over a bed of rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes.


Types of Lentils

Brown, green, or black lentils work best in this recipe. Do not use red lentils, as they are very quick cooking and will disintegrate into mush. This is great in a soup situation, but not in a hearty stew. Note that the type of lentils you choose and the age of the lentils will affect the cooking time.


Eggplant is the star of the show in this stew, adding a melt-in-your-mouth silkiness. I love jarred peppers here over fresh ones, because their fire-roasted slightly briney quality lends amazing flavor. Feel free to add other stew veggies like carrots, bell peppers, or potatoes.


I use cumin and smoked paprika for a more Moroccan-style stew, and a slight kick. If you don’t want your stew spicy, you can use sweet paprika instead of smoky. If you don’t have cumin it’s okay to leave it out, but whatever you do don’t skip the garlic!!

Why You’ll Love This Eggplant Lentil Stew:

  • You only need one pot!
  • It’s great for batch cooking and freezes wonderfully
  • It’s hearty and comforting, perfect for the cold seasons
  • It’s versatile and great for using whatever you have on hand
  • It’s simple enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for company!

Making This Stew in a Crockpot or Instant Pot

I prefer to make this eggplant lentil stew in a dutch oven, but it works great in an Instant Pot too. I don’t recommend cooking it in a crockpot, as the lentils get too mushy. Check out the recipe below for instructions on how to make this recipe using an Instant Pot.

Other Delicious Eggplant Dishes To Try:

Eggplant & Lentil Stew

This robust, hearty, and flavorful eggplant and lentil stew will satisfy any eater, vegan or not. This dish is yummy by itself, or served over a bed of rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Ratings & Comments
Active Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 large eggplant, large dice
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained, roughly chopped

Protein & Fat

  • 1.5 cups brown or green lentils, dry, 10.5 oz
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 oz


  • 4 cups vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika, or more to taste


  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish


Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot, cast iron pan, or dutch oven medium heat. Add the diced onions and eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It's ok if the eggplant sticks, it will release from the pan when the liquid is added.
  • Add the garlic, and stir for a minute or two until fragrant.
  • Add the lentils, peppers, tomatoes, and the rest of the seasonings.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until the lentils are fully cooked, stirring occasionally and adding broth or water as needed.
  • The cook time will vary depending on the type and freshness of your lentils. Sometimes mine take 30 minutes, and sometimes they take over an hour. The stew is done when the eggplant is soft and falling apart. You want the lentils to be soft but not mushy, with some texture and bite to them.
  • Season to taste and garnish with some chopped parsley if desired.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Cut the amount of liquid in half, and consult your pressure cooker manual for the suggested time for lentils.
  • Add everything to the pot and cook on high pressure for however long it takes to cook lentils with your particular machine.
  • Be sure to use green or brown lentils, not red ones. The seasonings can taste different depending on cooking method, so adjust the seasonings after cooking to your liking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 496kcal (25%)Carbohydrates: 70.6g (24%)Protein: 22.8g (46%)Fat: 15.6g (24%)Saturated Fat: 2.2g (14%)Sodium: 442mg (19%)Potassium: 1661mg (47%)Fiber: 31.5g (131%)Sugar: 15.9g (18%)Iron: 7mg (39%)
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  1. Katie, I think a couple of the ounce measurements may be off. A cup of tomato sauce weighs 8 ounces, not 4. And 4 tablespoons of oil is 2 ounces, not one. It’s on my stove cooking now and smells fabulous. As you know, I love your recipes…

    • Oops, good catch Andi. Thanks! I originally had this recipe at 2 servings, and scaled it up, but I forgot to scale up the ounces apparently. Fixed it!

  2. Maureen Corbett

    Another winner recipe! Beautiful combo. I used marinara because I didn’t have tomato sauce, and was even short on that so I used salsa to complete the measurement. Used 6 cloves garlic, or actually the little frozen Dorot garlic cubes. My eggplants were big, and I experimented slow cooking this with the 4 cups broth, but after 7 hours on low in the slow cook mode of the Instant Pot, it was still too “al dente.” So when I got home I pressure cooked it on high for 3 minutes and it was perfect. Talk about a forgiving recipe! You’re right, the olive oil gives it a nice lovely depth and flavor. Thanks for your wonderful recipes Katie!

  3. Anonymous

    This was my first recipe of yours that I made; it was fantastic. I cooked it in my pressure cooker minus the oil and it turned out wonderfully.

  4. Rachel Epler

    I just made this for the first time and it is amazing! Another home run 🙂 Very nice alternative to the chilli I usually make. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Fern Sheinmel

    Katie I couldn’t find instant pot directions

    • Oops, that’s strange, I wonder where they went! I removed that note, but to make it in the IP I would cut the amount of liquid in half, and use whatever timing your pressure cooker manual suggests for lentils. Be sure to use green or brown lentils, not red ones. The seasonings might get a little funny in the IP, so adjust them after cooking to your liking. Hope that helps!

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  9. Guessing that Step 3 should say tomato “sauce.” It says tomatoes, but they’re not listed in the ingredients.

    • Katie Gates

      Oops, thanks Jane! I just made some updates to the recipe that should clarify things.

  10. 5 stars
    Thanks! I’m going to make tomorrow yum!

  11. Oops. I goofed too. It should be tomato “paste,” not sauce.

  12. Hi Katie,
    I’m looking forward to making this tonight 🙂 Question – how much water are you using in this recipe? I’m going to be doing mine in an instant pot so I just want to get it right. Thanks!

    • Katie Gates

      Yum! The recipe calls for 4 cups of veggie broth, so for the IP you can cut the liquid in half. 2 cups should be fine. You can always thin it out after cooking or simmer it longer on saute mode to reduce the liquid.

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