Ratatouille is one of the more known classic French dishes. And it’s the perfect example of a dish that is truly way grander than the sum of its ingredients. My easy ratatouille recipe makes a satisfying one-pot dinner for any night of the week. Vegetarian (vegan without egg) Gluten Free.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a traditional dish from the home kitchens of Provence, France. It’s a simple stew of glorious summer vegetables—zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers.
Why this ratatouille recipe works
It is not fussy. It is not fancy. Yet, every time I make this ratatouille recipe, not only does it fill the air with goodness, successfully enticing everyone to rush to the kitchen asking, “Is dinner ready yet?!” Ratatouille is the kind of meal that gives me so much joy to make and allows me to feel like I somehow obtained a little culinary wisdom.
This ratatouille recipe is plenty flavorful, hearty, and satisfying enough to stand on its own as the star dish.
Some classic ratatouille recipes call for cooking each ingredient separately, so you’ll end up using like four separate pans. This is a simpler recipe using mainly one large pot, adding ingredients in stages.
Important Ratatouille Tip
Cooking ratatouille in one pot is possible. And it’s what makes it the perfect weeknight meal.
But there is one helpful first step in this ratatouille recipe: salt the eggplant and let it sweat for 20 minutes or so.
I realize there is some dispute around whether it helps to salt eggplant before cooking it. I personally believe it does. In this ratatouille recipe it helped in two ways:
- The eggplant sweats its bitterness
- More importantly, salting eggplant will help its spongy structure is weakening the cells as they collapse. So, the eggplant will cook more quickly (this really helps avoid overcooking and turning the rest of the veggies into mush as we wait on the eggplant to soften)
How to serve Ratatouille?
There is a small French bakery nearby called Douceur de France. Without fail, every time we visit, I order their ratatouille. They serve it in the best traditional way—topped with a perfectly runny, golden fried egg and a piece of crusty French baguette to the side. The bread is essential to sop up all the tasty juice.
One last note, ratatouille is even better the next day. If you make it ahead, simply store in a tight-lid container (preferably glass) and refrigerate. It will keep refrigerated for three to four nights.Print
This easy ratatouille recipe is a flavorful, hearty and satisfying weeknight dinner. Ratatouille is best served hot with a perfectly runny sunny-side up egg on top. Don’t forget to add your favorite crusty bread to sop up all the goodness.
- 1 lb eggplant, peeled (or part-peeled in striped pattern), and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled, and minced
- 2 lb vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 zucchini, halved length-wise, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces (half moons)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 springs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Fried eggs (sunny-side up)
- Crusty bread
- Place eggplant pieces in colander over your sink. Sprinkle with salt. Leave for 20 minutes as eggplant sweats out its bitterness. Pat dry.
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven like this one, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions. Cook, stirring regularly, until translucent (about 5 minutes). Now add red peppers and green peppers, cook for another 4 minutes, and continue to stir.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, wine, and fresh thyme springs. Stir in black pepper, paprika, rosemary. Season with kosher salt.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring once of twice. Turn heat down, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or so.
- Remove ratatouille from heat. Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Add sherry vinegar and a generous drizzle of Private Reserve EVOO. Top with fresh basil.
- To serve, transfer ratatouille to dinner bowls, top each with a fried egg (sunny-side up) and add crusty bread on the side.
- Make Ahead Note: You can make Ratatouille ahead and refrigerate in a tight-lid container (preferably not plastic) for 4 days or so.
- Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives.) SAVE! Try our Greek EVOO Bundle
- Recommended for this recipe from our all-natural and organic spice collections: sweet paprika and dried rosemary. SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle; or Create your own 6-pack or 3-pack from our all-natural or organic spice collections.