Easy Ratatouille Recipe

5 from 25 votes
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Ratatouille is a hearty and healthy French dish that’s packed with flavor. This classic recipe is made with hearty summer vegetables that you may already have on hand. Follow along for all the tips and tricks to make this delicious dish.

Ratatouille is a hearty and healthy French dish that's packed with flavor. This ratatouille recipe is made with summer vegetables that are stewed perfectly together. 


 

One of the things I love the most about Mediterranean recipes is that they use vegetables a lot. From eggplant caponata to Greek briam and vegan chickpea stew, classic Mediterranean dishes always have so much flavor within every bite. Ratatouille is another classic that checks all the boxes: fresh, flavorful and filling!

About this recipe

Ratatouille (pronounced Rat-uh-Too-ee) is a classic French stew that’s originally from Provence, a region of France that’s famous for its produce. Essentially, this dish is a celebration of fresh summer produce. It’s a healthy and hearty dish flavored with herbs and extra virgin olive oil. Did I mention that it’s easy to cook, too?

I suggest you make a big batch of this summer stew over the weekend and enjoy it all week long because it always tastes better after 24 hours in the fridge. 

There are a few approaches to making this rustic dish. You can add everything to the pot at once or sauté each ingredient separately and mix them together. Some also roast the vegetables before making the stew.

All these approaches are acceptable and would work. However, the recipe I have for you is the easiest one that can be made in one pan. No roasting is required.

Ingredients

To make this recipe, you need the following ingredients: 

  • Onion and garlic: The base of the dish. We need one large diced onion to start the base of this dish. You can use white or yellow onion for this recipe. I used 4 cloves of garlic, but you can use less if you prefer.
  • Eggplant: The best eggplants to use in this recipe are Italian eggplants because of their size and flavor. Make sure the eggplants are bright and heavy for their size.
  • Zucchini: I like to keep the peel on for the zucchinis since they’re very tender.
  • Spices: As for flavoring, you can use fresh or dry thyme and oregano plus salt and pepper.
to make ratatouille you need onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and olive oil.

As you can see, this easy summer stew is made with humble ingredients.  You could even call it a Mediterranean comfort food, ideal for the days you crave a hearty yet simple dish. 

Instructions

  • Chop all the vegetables: Dice the onion and garlic finely, peel strips on the eggplant and cut it into large cubes. Cut the zucchini into cubes as well and dice the bell peppers and the tomato. Place all the veggies in separate containers or bowls.
  • Cook the onion and garlic: Heat some olive oil in a large pan and saute onion and garlic until they start looking translucent.
  • Add the eggplant: Add in the eggplant to the onion and garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until it starts getting golden brown. You might need to add more olive oil at this stage.
  • Add the zucchini and peppers: Now it’s time to add your zucchini and diced peppers. Stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Tomatoes and spices: Finally add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to the vegetables in the pan. Give it a good stir, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until all the vegetables are fully cooked.
saute onion and garlic, add in eggplant and cook. Add zucchini and peppers. Add in tomatoes and spices. Cook for about 25 minutes.

It’s best to make the ratatouille a day in advance and let the flavors bind together in the fridge. I usually make a big batch on the weekend and have it as a main or side dish during the week. Trust me, the flavor gets better as it sits in the fridge. 

Oven instructions

You can also make this dish in the oven. To make baked ratatouille, you need to make a base sauce before adding the vegetables.

  • Saute onion and garlic until translucent. 
  • Add finely chopped peppers to the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes. 
  • Pour in one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes) and cook for about 5 minutes. 
  • Season with thyme, salt and pepper. 
  • Pour the sauce in a baking dish or a cast iron skillet.
  • Slice the eggplant, zucchini and tomato into medallions.
  • Place them in the baking dish in an alternating pattern. 
  • Cover with an aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350°F for 45 minutes. 
  • Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. 
Mediterranean stew made with summer vegetables. Served in a bowl and with a fork.

Instant Pot directions

You can make ratatouille recipe in the instant pot very easily:

  • Press the “saute” function and pour extra virgin olive oil into the instant pot. 
  • Saute onion and garlic for a minute until golden. 
  • Add in chopped eggplant, zucchini and peppers. Cook for a couple of minutes and add more olive oil if needed. 
  • Add one can of diced tomatoes (15 oz.) to the instant pot. If using fresh tomatoes, add 1/2 cup water as well. 
  • Season with oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and lock the lid. 
  • Press the “pressure cooker” function and set the time for 8 minutes. Make sure the valve is on “sealing.”
  • Once the cooking time is done, do a quick release. Place a small kitchen towel on the valve before using quick release to absorb the steam.  

Serving suggestions

Ratatouille is ideally served at room temperature or cold. While you can serve it as a main dish with a piece of crusty toasted bread, it also makes a delicious side. Consider serving it with Garlic chicken, Italian chicken or beef kabobs.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to peel the eggplant for this recipe?

This depends on the eggplant and of course, your preference. Traditionally, eggplant is peeled. However, I simply peeled strips off of the skin as I like the color to pop and the texture that comes with a little skin. 

Should I salt the eggplants?

Depending on the eggplant, you may be able to skip this step. I don’t fry the eggplant much as I let it cook completely with the tomatoes and other ingredients. However, if you’re going to fry them longer or are worried about the eggplants being bitter (mine weren’t), go ahead and salt them generously after you cut them into chunks. Let them sit in a colander for about 30 minutes until they start “sweating.” Then rinse them and pat dry with a paper towel. 

Can I use canned tomatoes?

Absolutely. The only risk associated with using canned tomatoes is that they have more liquid than fresh tomatoes, therefore your stew will have more liquid in the end (which is fine). For this recipe, you can use one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes. 

Can I freeze ratatouille?

Yes, this French classic freezes beautifully. Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers in an airtight container. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight or in the microwave. Heat in a pan over medium heat and serve. 

Two bowl of vegetable stew on the table and served with a fork.

Notes and tips

  • Italian eggplants work very well for this recipe as they’re usually small and less spongy than other types of eggplant. 
  • You can use yellow squash instead of or in addition to zucchini. 
  • The most common herbs to use in this recipe are basil, thyme and parsley. You can use any or all of these herbs. I love topping mine with some freshly chopped parsley. 
  • When it comes to chopping vegetables, you preference comes first. You can have the vegetables in bigger chunks, or dice them into small chunks. 

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5 from 25 votes

Easy Ratatouille Recipe

Ratatouille is a hearty and healthy French dish that's packed with flavor. This recipe is made with hearty summer vegetables that you may already have on hand.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 Italian eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 2 zucchinis, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Saute onion and garlic until translucent and golden.
  • Add in the eggplant and cook for a few minutes until it's soft and brown.
  • Add in zucchini and peppers. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add in tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  • Put on the lid and cook for about 30 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked completely.
  • Top with chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Italian eggplants work very well for this recipe as they’re usually small and less spongy than other types of eggplant. 
  • You can also use yellow squash instead of or in addition to zucchini. 
  • The most common herbs to use in ratatouille recipe are basil, thyme and parsley. You can use either or all of these herbs. I love topping ratatouille with some freshly chopped parsley. 
  • When it comes to chopping vegetables for ratatouille, you preference comes first. You can have the vegetables in bigger chunks, or dice them into small chunks. 

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 2309IU | Vitamin C: 104mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    That looks really good. The color of vegetables are so appetizing. I’ve always wanted to make ratatouille. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. You’re welcome Christine! It’s such an easy dish to make and very little ingredients give a lot of food!

  2. 5 stars
    Peasant food is some of my favorite kind of cooking. Somehow it always seems perfect for relaxed get togethers with family and friends.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Shadi. I can see why everyone loves this vegetable dish. i would love it too if I went to your food festival.

    1. Hi Tania! Thanks for your kind comment! Well yea those were good days for me! I really like this dish because it’s really easy to make! 🙂