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

  • Loved this easy to follow ratatouille recipe. Delicious!

    • — Kathleen on September 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a great quick recipe for Ratatouille, thanks! I did it with all fresh veggies from the garden including San Marzano tomatoes and a couple types of summer squash in addition to zuke. It came out great and cooked up in about an hour, including prep. Perfect!

    • — Peter on September 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and my family loved it! Especially my 11 month old baby!! I will be making this again for sure. Thank you for this great recipe 🙂

    • — Meghan on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is so delicious. I served mine with shrimp. Now that the end of summer is coming, I want to use up my garden tomatoes. I was going to cook the onion, pepper, garlic, tomato paste, seasonings, and tomatoes together and freeze, take it out in late fall, then cook and add the eggplant and zucchini to the tomato mixture. I would hope this would taste like summer again.

    • — Linda on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this this morning. Total yum. I may need to make another batch.

    • — Bob on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Turned out great. Used leeks instead of onion as I had a lot. Sautéing the ingredients in succession kept them all perfectly cooked and identifiable. Other times I put everything together at once and some of it was mushy. I found the prep fairly time efficient, by prepping the eggplant and zucchini, then used the time they were sautéing to cut up the rest. Thank you for an end of summer hit.

    • — JoAnn W. on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely wonderful, I didn’t think a vegetarian dish could taste this good! I served it over pasta with freshly grated Parmesan, perfect!

    • — Kara on August 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! However, I found the prep time was a lot longer than 30 minutes. I must be a slow chopper :). Good thing I prepared this a day ahead for guests tomorrow.
    I omitted the sugar altogether, and it still tastes a little sweet. Really delicious! Thanks!

    • — Anne on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • I used tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and peppers from our organic garden it was delicious! I appreciated the one pan approach. Thank you for a wonderful summer recipe.
    I always appreciate your tips.

    • — Joyce J Adams on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Turned out fantastic! Followed the recipe exactly. My husband who turns his nose up at zucchini and eggplant LOVED IT!! He didn’t know what he was eating! 🤣
    Would add a pic, but don’t know how 🤣

    • — Nancy Wroblewski on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad it was a hit (and that your hubby was none the wiser about what was in it)! 🙂
      And unfortunately, the blog isn’t set up to receive pictures but you can email them to me at jennifer@onceuponachef.com, or if you’re on Instagram, you can share it there; be sure to tag me @onceuponachef!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Boy was this good. I served it hot but have found that we actually like it better at room temp. It made a lot which is fine with me. I didn’t have the fresh tomatoes but used a 28oz can of diced tomatoes (as you had stated in another comment) and it was perfect.

    Thank you so much for always feeding us so well. I haven’t found one of your recipes that we all didn’t like.

    • — Mary on August 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a great summer side! Very versatile. I added a splash of balsamic vinegar just before serving.

    • — Ellen on August 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • My favorite ratatouille recipe by far! Takes time to chop all those veggies but it is perfect! Used fresh cherry tomatoes and a few spicy peppers and we gobbled it up! Love it to use up summer veggies! Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    • — Sharon on August 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is fool proof! I picked all of the veggies from the garden and followed each step except I omitted the garlic. It was amazing, highly recommend!

    • — Stephanie on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, We have a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes. Could they be used (halved) in this recipe?

    • — Linda on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep definitely 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • What is the equivalent is using the long Italian eggplant and canned tomatoes, rather than fresh ones? When I’ve made other recipes in the past, I did not find a big taste difference between using fresh, versus canned tomatoes.

    • — Susan on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, You’ll need a total of 1-1/4 pounds of eggplant as the recipe indicates. And regarding the tomatoes, I’d recommend a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • 5 stars- this is the best ratatouille recipe, hands down! I add summer squash in addition to the zucchini and eggplant. All of Jenn’s recipes are winners…I have yet to try one that doesn’t come out perfectly.

    • — Christina on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • So delicious! This is my go-to recipe as garden produce is ripening throughout the summer. Sometimes I start with spicy Italian sausage to give it a hardworking, day lasting heft for our midday meal. My formerly veggie averse husband very often asks for this dish. Simple and perfect.

    • — Cathy on July 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • So healthy and good – perfect for a Keto diet. My sweet husband/sous chef helped with the chopping. Added a small splash of Balsamic vinegar. Delicious with grilled chicken thighs.

    • — NanaJoan on July 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Relatively easy and straight forward with a very yummy outcome!! Thanks Jenn, your recipes really are always delicious!

    • — Debby on July 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • do you seed the tomatoes before adding?

    • — Heidi Friedman on July 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • No, it’s not necessary here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wow! Was this ever good! Even hubby who is an avid meat eater liked it.

    • — Helen on June 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do you need to sweat the eggplants before putting them on the pan?

    • No, it’s not necessary here. Hope you enjoy!

  • How large does the pan need to be?

    • Hi Edwin, I’d recommend one that is between 11 and 12 inches in diameter.

      • Would a 12.5 inch pan still work?

  • May I use dried basil and thyme? If so, what measurement do you suggest? Thank you!

    • If you don’t have fresh on hand, dried will work. When substituting dried herbs for fresh, the rule of thumb is to use 1/3 of the amount, so you’ll need just over half a teaspoon of thyme and 1 tablespoon of basil. Hope you enjoy!

  • So delicious! Beautifully put together and flavoured. Some ratatouille recipes can feel quite oily, but this is big on taste and freshness. Thoroughly recommended, thank you.

  • Great recipe

  • What a lovely meal! Tasted so light and fresh and healthy but satisfied the desire to have something hearty and “nurturing,” too — kind of a magical dish. Your recipe was easy to follow and cook, and only required a bit of extra time to dice all of the vegetables (I’m possibly a bit slower than most since my carpal tunnel can get “whiny” and I occasionally have to pause dicing for a few minutes to calm it down). It was a gigantic hit with the five adults I served it to for dinner. I wish I could cook a quadruple amount of this ratatouille all at once so we could have ginormous bowls of this and still have a lot left over! I can’t wait to eat this again.

  • This is absolutely the BEST Ratatouille I have ever eaten. My granddaughter and I cooked it together and we both had three servings. I am making it again today and serving with spaghetti squash. Thank You!!

  • My favorite Ratatouille recipe. I’ve made this several times, and each time it comes out delicious! Thank you!

    • Marscapone is delicious on Ratatouille!

      • Just finished making this recipe for the first time for a dinner party tonight and my sampling was excellent. First time I’ve made ratatouille where I diced the vegetables and I think I like it. Serving this with a Caesar salad, Italian meatloaf and a side pasta with Alfredo sauce.

  • Made this tonight and it is delicious! Paired with baked cod.

    Jenn, question for you – If I wanted to add a bean to this to make it a complete meal, what is your suggestion? I was thinking maybe chickpeas? TIA!

    • Hi Elizabeth, Glad you liked it! I think either chickpeas or cannellini beans would be a nice addition. 🙂

  • Delicious!! The best I’ve ever made!

  • Loved this recipe, 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!

  • Hi Jenn~ I love so many of your recipes so naturally came here to find a recipe for Ratatouille. Yours doesn’t include cheese but my husband and teens insist everything is better with cheese (I *may* agree). Any suggestions what cheese would be a great addition? Thank you!

    • I may agree as well! I’d use Parmigiano-Reggiano here.

      • Best ratatouille recipe ever. I added yellow squash too, and a generous splash of red wine. Cooking the veggies separately is the key to each retaining its distincinct flavor. Used Ichiban eggplant which is sweeter than regular. Posted a pic on Facebook, it was so colorful! Got lots of great comments and credited your recipe.

        • — Sharon Clover on December 14, 2022
        • Reply
  • I’ve been making ratatouille for years and decided to try this recipe because Jenn is the best!😀 I liked this one better than my older recipe because it was simpler and equally as good. It uses less oil, doesn’t require salting the eggplant and zucchini and letting it sit for 30 minutes to draw out moisture. The size of the vegetable dice is smaller and holds its shape because it doesn’t have to cook as long. Love there were leftovers as the recipe is ample!

  • Made this tonight (27th July ) , added a few button mushrooms and a little red chilli pepper skipped the sugar – it was delicious – great recipe . Going to freeze half for a rainy day.

  • I’d like to cut the receipt in half, as there are only 2 of us.
    Can you guide me, please?
    THANK YOU.

    • — ESTELLE CRAWFORD
    • Reply
    • Hi Estelle, You can just call all the ingredients in half. This freezes nicely if you wanted to go ahead and make the full recipe. 🙂

  • I made a similar version of this on July 15…. the day after French Independence day! 🙂 Loved it. I must say, I had fresh veggies from my sweet sister’s garden…..yellow summer squash, zucchini, her homegrown tomatoes really made it! Eggplant from local market. I did not have fresh basil and parsley….it would have been even better with that. I did not use the sugar or tomato paste but used one yellow bell pepper, one orange bell pepper and a Vidalia onion. That gave it a sweet flavor. Great way to use up summer veggies!! Thanks for the recipe and instructions on how to saute, simmer, etc. 🙂

    • — Nancy McCreight
    • Reply
  • I used a can of diced tomatoes with their juices and used the tomato paste as well. Came out delicious. But now I want to use the leftovers and it’s a little thick. What do you recommend I use to thin it out?

    • Hi Sandi, I think you could thin it with a little vegetable or chicken broth (and glad you liked it)!

  • Delicious! I would say my tomatoes were naturally sweeter than normal, because the next time I make this I will skip adding the sugar. The final dish was tasty but just a touch too sweet. I am considering adding a dash of balsamic vinegar and feta when I have the leftovers.

  • Absolutely delicious. I preferred serving it without the fresh thyme and basil, it was perfect the way it was without those. I had yellow squash I needed to use so I substituted this in for some of the eggplant volume. Still came out beautifully.

  • I had never had ratatouille prior to making this recipe. My partner, OTOH, had it at various high end restaurants. I felt making this for him was a challenge! I made it, and he loved it. I loved it. I’ve made it thrice more times, each time as fabulous as the first.

  • This was the first recipe I tried! It’s simply amazing! My sister always said if you can read a recipe you can cook! That’s was a false statement for me until I found YOUR site and immediately purchased your cookbook! Such detailed instructions for incredibly delicious food! Thank you!!!

  • First time I made ratatouille was by accident after coming home from a two week vacation and finding my garden full of tons of veggies. I wound up chopping everything and throwing into a fry pan with onions and a few seasonings. I imagine that is where this originally came from in France but with your spices its terrific — much better than my original!!!!

  • Yes, I have made this Ratatouille recipe several times and it perfect and delicious each time.

    • — Marshall Byrum
    • Reply
  • I have made this ratatouille twice in the last 2 weeks. I had made it in the summer and then remembered how much I liked it so I made it again when I wanted an all vegetable meal. It was just as delicious as I remembered and my family enjoyed it. I sent some home with my son when he visited and he texted me to say he really enjoyed it as well. I made it exactly as the recipe stated except used monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar.

  • This is one of my favorite veggie-loaded recipes! It always turns out so, so good, hot or cold! Sometimes I toss up a batch with pasta and baked chicken for easy, healthy, and delicious meal prep!

  • Thanks Jen for another wonderful recipe! Wonderful textures and flavours and tasted even better the next day.

  • Let me start by saying, I had never eaten nor made ratatouille until I made yours a few weeks ago. My boyfriend is a huge foodie, and prior to 2020, would only eat at high-quality restaurants. He had had ratatouille many times; some real losers and a few winners. I asked him if he’d like me to make this recipe, and he was totally on board. After all, we aren’t going out to eat AT ALL and I’ve been cooking 95% of our meals. Thank God for Uber eats. Anyhow, I made this recipe, and I’m pretty sure I rocked his world with it. He proclaimed it is hands down the best ratatouille he has ever had. This is saying a LOT, because one of our favorite restaurants here in Austin is a high-end French place downtown. This is also the first recipe of yours, Jenn, that I made. This sold me on your mad skills and imagination. Thank you for helping me make this time more bearable. xoxo

  • I used to make this by taste so it was nice to have an exact recipe! At work I would dice most all ingredients small (1/4″) & oven roast them, then toss in some tomato paste & water, sautéed garlic & fresh thyme.. & cook it stove top a bit to soften & meld flavors… This yields a dryer version – not so stew-like.
    As for the ratatouille on this site, I Loved it!
    I used 28 oz canned tomatoes as I didn’t have fresh on hand. I also used 1 tsp dry thyme & a nice grinding of fresh black pepper…no basil…
    We added chickpeas to make it meal & the next night we also added some smoked mozzarella which was fantastic in it!
    Thanks for a recipe that works!

    • — Helene Pecora-Montalto
    • Reply

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