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. Be sure to check out my tips and the video tutorial for how to make this ratatouille recipe below!
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
This ratatouille recipe is not fussy. It is not fancy. But it’s so darn tasty and satisfying. It’s 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 one-pot-wonder is plenty flavorful and hearty enough to stand on its own as the star dish, ladled on top of some rice or served with a good piece of crusty bread. But it can also be served as a side to your favorite grilled or roast chicken.
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 appropriate stages.
Important Ratatouille Tips
Cooking ratatouille in one pot is absolutely possible. And it’s what makes it the perfect weeknight meal. Just three tips for you here:
1. Add ingredients to the pot in stages–first, the onions; then bell peppers; then garlic, zucchini, tomato, and eggplant. This allows the vegetables each appropriate time to cook.
2. Salt the eggplant. But before we even get to cooking, there is one thing I do to the eggplant that I think makes all the difference. My very first step is to salt the eggplant and let it “sweat for 20 minutes or so. In this ratatouille recipe, this step helps 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)
3. If you have the time, allow ratatouille to rest in its warm pot for 1 hour or so before serving. This will allow the flavors to settle and deepen beautifully. You do not need to heat before serving, ratatouille is great just warm.
How to Serve Ratatouille
One note about serving ratatouille, it is not one for extremes, too hot or too cold mutes its bright soft flavors. So allowing it to rest a bit is a great idea.
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. If I’m serving ratatouille as the main dish, which I often do, this is exactly how I serve it.
Can you make Ratatouille ahead of time? What about leftovers?
Another thing I love about ratatouille is that it’s even better the next day. If you make it ahead,or if you have leftovers, simply store in a tight-lid container (preferably glass) and refrigerate. It will keep well refrigerated for three to four nights. My advice is to take it out a while before you’re ready to serve; warm it through slightly over gentle heat or just bring it to room temperature.
Can you freeze ratatouille? You can freeze ratatouille. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and again, take it out a while before you serve and only warm over gentle heat or bring to room temperature. If, as a result of freezing, you find the texture to have softened too much, you can puree and serve ratatouille more as a creamier soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Watch Video Tutorial for How to Make Ratatouille
More Recipes to Try:
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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
- Eggs over-easy fried in extra virgin olive oil
- 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. (See Cook’s Tip)
- Cook’s Tip: If you have the time, allow ratatouille to rest in its warm pot for 1 hour or so before serving. This will allow the flavors to settle and deepen beautifully. You do not need to heat before serving, ratatouille is great just warm.
- Make Ahead and Leftovers: You can make Ratatouille ahead and refrigerate in a tight-lid container (preferably not plastic) for 4 days or so. Take it out a while before you are ready to serve it. Warm it through over gentle heat or just bring it to room temperature.
- Can you Freeze Ratatouille? You can freeze ratatouille. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and again bring out a while before you serve and only warm over gentle heat or bring to room temperature. If, as a result of freezing, you find the texture to have softened too much, you can puree and serve ratatouille more as a creamier soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- 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.
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Easy Ratatouille, How to Make Ratatouille, Vegetable Stew