Ratatouille

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This colorful, rustic, delectable ratatouille is a veggie-packed vegan dinner bursting with seasonal squash, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes.

baked ratatouille in a pan
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baked ratatouille in a pan

Savory Ratatouille

My interest in ratatouille was aroused when I watch the Pixar movie about the mouse who wanted to be a French chef. I love that movie! And so do my kids so its a movie night favorite. When my garden started producing tons of squash and zucchini, I decided to make this nutrient-rich comforting classic and it’s been a favorite in our home ever since.

Ratatouille is a classic hearty peasant dish that finds its origin in the sun-soaked landscapes of Southern France. It originated in rustic Mediterranean kitchens where, like in Colorado, the farmers had more seasonal vegetables that they knew what to do with. This dish combines the vibrant colors of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, squash, and bell peppers with aromatic earthy herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Ratatouille was originally developed as a stew but for this recipe I like to slice the vegetables thin and arrange them like in the Pixar movie to give it some style!

baked ratatouille on a white plate

How to make Ratatouille

First you will need to assemble the following ingredients:

The veggies:

  • Eggplants – the eggplant skin can be slightly bitter, so I like to peel my eggplant before slicing them. Try to get moderately sized eggplant for a more even pattern.
  • Roma Tomatoes – tomatoes are in the sauce but are also part of the layered pattern on the top of this casserole style ratatouille. Use fresh tomatoes if possible.
  • Squash and Zucchini – these two are the meat of the ratatouille. Squash and zucchini have a savory slightly sweet flavor when roasted, you will want to slice them very thin.

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil – a good quality oil is important since the vegetable that are cooked in it will take on its flavor, I like to use extra virgin olive oil.
  • White onion – onion will give a subtle sweetness to the sauce, you can use yellow or white onion for this.
  • Garlic – garlic has a very pungent savory flavor and is a classic pair to the fresh herbs here.
  • Salt and pepper – salt and pepper will bring out the flavors and add a little heat. Use fresh ground pepper.
  • Oregano, Thyme, Basil – this classic Mediterranean trio will be the dominate flavor in the ratatouille. I recommend using all fresh herbs for this dish but you can substitute dry as needed.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – you can use crushed canned tomatoes or simple cut up 28 oz of tomatoes and let them cook a little longer.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – this modern addition of mine adds a very slight heat to balance out the tart and sweet notes of most of the vegetables in the sauce. It will not make the ratatouille spicy.

Herb Topping:

  • Fresh Basil – fresh basil has a spicy herbaceous flavor that will dominate this herb topping. If you dont have fresh you can substitute dry.
  • Garlic – garlic adds sweetness to balance out the basil when heated.
  • Sea salt and pepper – salt and pepper in the herb topping will season the vegetables on top of the ratatouille.
  • Olive oil – olive oil will help the spices and garlic spread evenly over the vegetables.

Once you have assembled the ingredients, use this method:

  • Make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom oven safe pan then add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, sauté. Add the spices then crushed tomatoes and fresh basil. Let simmer about 20 – 35 minutes to let the flavors combine. Take the pan off the heat, use a spatula to stir then smooth out the sauce in the pan.
  • Prep the vegetables. In a large bowl combine all the herb topping ingredients. Add the sliced eggplant, tomato, squash, and zucchini to the bowl and toss to coat the vegetables.
  • Assemble. Arrange the vegetable slices on top of the sauce alternating. For example, you could do eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini. Start on the outer edge and work inward.
  • Bake. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until the vegetable are softened. Top with fresh herbs or parmesan cheese and enjoy!
baked ratatouille on a white plate

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Ratatouille

Better Later. This is one of those rare recipes that is actually better the next day. The longer you let the sauce and vegetables sit and hang out together the richer the flavors will become.

Fresh is best. For the best possible flavor, it is important to use fresh herbs whenever possible. I keep a hydroponics growing system in my home so I can have fresh herbs even in the dead of winter.

FAQs

How do you store leftovers?

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or the oven.

Is ratatouille keto friendly?

Yes! Ratatouille is a vegan keto dish that is comprised of keto friendly squash, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. These vegetables are all very low carb and qualify as keto compliant.

Can I freeze ratatouille?

While you technically can freeze ratatouille I would not recommend it since eggplant, squash, and zucchini do not freeze well after being cooked and become mushy.

baked ratatouille on a white plate

What to Serve With Ratatouille

If you are a veggie lover than try these delicious vegan recipes next!

Click here to see all our recipes using squash!

baked ratatouille in a pan

Ratatouille Recipe

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baked ratatouille on a white plate

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baked ratatoille in a pan
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Ratatouille

This hearty culinary masterpiece is packed with nutrient rich seasonal vegetables for a dinner the whole family will love!
Course Vegan
Cuisine French
Keyword heart healthy, keto, keto vegan, keto vegetable, seasonal vegetables, squash recipes, vegan dinners
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 249kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

Veggies:

  • 2 eggplants peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 roma tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow squash thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini thinly sliced

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil minced

Herb Topping:

  • 2 tbsp diced basil
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Heat olive oil in a large oven safe pan. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sauté till softened. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Add the crushed tomatoes and fresh basil. 
  • Let sauce simmer for 20-35 minutes to let flavors combine. Spread sauce with a spatula to smooth it out. 
  • In a large bowl make the herb topping by combining the basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add the sliced eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini and toss to coat them in the topping.
  • Arrange the seasoned vegetable slices alternating the vegetables (eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini) on top of the sauce. Work from the outer edge of the pan inward. 
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until the vegetable are softened. 
  • Top with more fresh herbs or parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 413mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 14g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style. Courtney writes the popular creative lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs- a site devoted to delicious everyday recipes, home decor, crafts, DIY inspiration, and photography tips to help make your every day extraordinary.

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1 Comment

  1. Judee says:

    It looks delicious and I love the way you arranged it . Such a pretty presentation for serving and I love that it is another vegan choice! Visiting from Gluten Free A-Z Blog