Ratatouille

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Ratatouille: the perfect way to enjoy all your favorite summer veggies. This vibrant stew combines eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes with the rich flavors of olive oil and garlic for a dish that’s both comforting and fresh.

bowl of ratatouille with spoon and white linen napkin

Hailing from Provence, a sunny region in the south of France near the Mediterranean Sea, ratatouille is a vibrant summer vegetable stew. This dish features eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, all richly seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs. It takes some time to prepare, so making a large batch over the weekend is ideal. This way, you’ll have a tasty and colorful base ready for meals throughout the week.

Ratatouille is incredibly versatile. Serve it as a vegetarian main with grains or creamy polenta, alongside Italian sausage, grilled steak or cedar planked salmon, or tuck it into omelets or frittatas. It’s also fantastic spooned over crostini with a smear of goat cheese or even enjoyed cold from the fridge as a healthy snack.

“What a great way to use the summer harvest. Enjoyed it with a little goat cheese on top. My husband loved it too – this is a keeper!”

Ruth

What You’ll Need To Make Ratatouille

Ratatouille ingredients including tomato paste, zucchini, and bell pepper.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables and adds flavor. A drizzle before serving really makes the dish shine.
  • Eggplant, Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Tomatoes: These core vegetables provide a mix of textures and flavors—eggplant adds meatiness, zucchini offers a mildly sweet flavor and tender-crisp texture, bell peppers bring sweetness and crunch, and tomatoes contribute tartness and moisture, creating a saucy base.
  • Onion and Garlic: Essential aromatics that form a flavor foundation for the dish.
  • Tomato Paste: Intensifies the tomato flavor, adds depth in color, and helps thicken the stew.
  • Fresh Thyme and Basil: Thyme provides a subtle earthiness, while basil adds a fresh, sweet touch that really brightens up the dish.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional): Introduces a hint of heat, adjustable to taste preference.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by heating 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Eggplant cooking in a skillet.

Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

cooked eggplant for ratatouille

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Zucchini cooking in a skillet.

Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.

cooked zucchini ratatouille

Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper.

onions and peppers

Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Onion and bell pepper in a skillet.

Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Tomatoes in a skillet with bell peppers and onions.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.

cooked tomatoes ratatouille

Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.

eggplant tomatoes ratatouille

Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

zucchini eggplant tomatoes ratatouille

Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme.

Basil in a skillet with ratatouille.

Drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled.

bowl of ratatouille with spoon and small bowl of fresh basil on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can ratatouille be made ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, you should make ratatouille at least a day ahead of time if possible. Like most stews, the dish improves after the flavors have a chance to mingle in the refrigerator. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days

Can ratatouille be frozen?

Yes, ratatouille freezes very well. Make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months for a taste of summer once the cooler weather arrives. Before using, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat gently to preserve the texture of the vegetables.

Why does each vegetable need to be cooked separately?

Cooking each vegetable separately before combining them in ratatouille ensures that each component cooks to the right texture and retains its distinct flavor. Different vegetables have varying cooking times; for instance, eggplants and peppers take longer to become tender compared to tomatoes and zucchini. By sautéing them individually, you can ensure they are all perfectly cooked.

Video Tutorial

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Ratatouille

Ratatouille: the perfect way to enjoy all your favorite summer veggies. This vibrant stew combines eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes with the rich flavors of olive oil and garlic for a dish that’s both comforting and fresh.

Servings: 8 (Makes about 7 cups)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large (1¼ lbs) eggplant, cut into ⅓-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb), cut into ⅓-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1¾ lbs), cut into ⅓-inch cubes, with their juices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.
  3. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Let the dish cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. (Keep in mind that the zucchini won't stay crisp after being frozen.) This is delicious served cold, or reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 392 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I’ve made a few ratatouille recipes and this is by far the best! There is so much flavor.

    • — Kate Kuhn on April 24, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is the best ratatouille recipe ever. I make it all the time and my husband loves it.

    • — Carol on April 20, 2024
    • Reply
  • One of the best ratatouille recipes I’ve come across on the internet. Can’t wait to make this with my own home grown veggies later in the summer (I’m based in the UK).
    I used a mix of fresh and good quality tinned tomatoes, also added a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end.
    Thank you.

    • — Lawrence on April 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • The Rat was right! Hand down the best ratatouille ever! I did Mc Giver it a little. Canned tomatoes instead of fresh, the whole can of tomato paste rather than 1TBS, a bay leaf rather than thyme. Oh! And I added 8 oz of mushrooms, because I like them! I added the rest of the can of tomato paste because I found the flavor a little sharp, the added T-paste mellowed it right out. Every cook has their special twists but, like all the other reviewers, this was just incredible! Love love love it!

    • — Jo Scoby on March 30, 2024
    • Reply

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