Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Eggplant and Zucchini

This traditional Cretan dish is a Mediterranean Diet favorite that will warm you and fulfill you. Rich enough to serve as an entree for a Sunday dinner, yet, quick and simple enough to enjoy any night of the week. Serve with crusty sourdough bread for sopping up the delicious sauce from your bowl. I also recommend the Greek Salad or Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Feta and Fresh Mint to go with this meal.  This slow cooker beef stew recipe was adapted from an original stovetop recipe, Beef Stew with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomatoes (Greece)

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomatoes

In the original version of this recipe, it needed to simmer on the stovetop for 45 minutes. Instead of tending to the stovetop, you put this on in the morning and go about your day. When you get home, you have a delicious tender beef stew waiting for you. The beef becomes spoon-tender. Yes, I said spoon-tender, not fork-tender.

There are some very Cretan characteristics to this dish that I love. First of all, it’s a one-pot meal which is very typical of Cretan food. Extra virgin olive oil, onions, tomatoes, and herbs are the beginning to so many traditional Cretan one-pot meals. Second, it’s the specific herbs in this recipe that give it a very Cretan taste. If you have ever been hiking in the mountains in Crete, the gentle mountain breeze brings you scents of thyme and sage mixed with the scent of wildflowers. Along the sides of the path, you can find bush after bush of sage and thyme. I would always stop and just rub a little on my fingers to smell. Because these herbs grow so abundantly in the Cretan mountains, they are dried and used in a plethora of traditional recipes.

Here are the original and Instant Pot versions of this recipe:

Instant Pot Beef Stew with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

(Original) Beef Stew with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

slow cooker beef stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomatoes (Greece)

George Zikos
4.50 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 372 kcal


  • 2 pounds lean beef, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced
  • 1 pound eggplant, cubed
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp sage, dried
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Add all the ingredients to the slow-cooker. Mix very well.
  • Set the slow-cooker to high and cook for 6 hours.
  • Serve with bread and salad. Enjoy!


Calories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 35gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 615mgPotassium: 1105mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 345IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 5mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: George Zikos
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.


  1. pierrette g arthur October 20, 2022 at 6:55 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I used 2 cups broth, 2 cups chardonnay and a can of tomatoes with juice instead of the water. delicious! I also sauteed everything before placing in slow cooker.

  2. Roger January 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Suggest you fix this…

    Recipe summary: Ready in : 6 Minutes
    Instructions: Set the slow-cooker to high and cook for 6 hours.

  3. Monsieur Fichyssoise December 16, 2018 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Delicious! I love this recipe and many others you have here. Reminds me of when I was a young lad looking over the Mediterranean from my villa in south France. My only gripe is that when I go to print, it wants to print out this 4 page ordeal including color ads, when I just want the recipe! I get so “F—in” mad I start cursing in French at my computer! I may get over it, I may not . . . such is life.

    • George Zikos December 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      We don’t want you to curse! I will try and fix the printing problem and get back to you.

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