Ratatouille is a Classic French vegetable stew that is both hearty and healthy. This Easy Ratatouille Recipe is rich in flavor, gluten-free, vegetarian, and absolutely delicious!
Ratatouille is vegetable stew that originated from Provence, a region in France. This area is known for it’s farms and fresh produce. This easy vegetable stew highlights farm fresh produce–it is really simple food that just let’s the ingredients shine!
Ratatouille also is the perfect way to use up an abundance of fresh vegetables, whether from the farmer’s market or your vegetable garden.
Ingredients for Ratatouille
- Tomatoes–fresh tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, or roma tomatoes are best, but canned whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes will work as well
- Bell Peppers–red, yellow, or green peppers
- Zucchini–feel free to use yellow squash in place of zucchini or use a mixture of the two
- Olives–green Spanish olives give this ratatouille recipe so much tang and flavor, but they are not traditional so feel free to omit. Kalamata olives would be good as well.
- Olive Oil
- Herbs–I use dried oregano, a bay leaf, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Feel free to finish with fresh basil ribbons.
How to Make Ratatouille
Step One: Prepare the Eggplant
To rid eggplant of it’s bitterness, this step is crucial. Skipping it will cause your ratatouille to be a bit sour and the texture to be off. In fact, if you think you don’t like eggplant, you may have not had it prepared correctly–which makes a world of difference.
- Peel and dice the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Place the cubed eggplant on a drying rack over a cookie sheet or in a colander.
- Sprinkle the eggplant generously with salt.
- Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Rinse the salt off the eggplant and let the excess water drain off and pat dry.
Step Two: Prepare the Fresh Tomatoes
- For Cherry/Grape Tomatoes: simply cut in half.
- For Roma/Vine-Ripened Tomatoes:
- Skin the Tomatoes: Score the top of each tomato with an “x.” Place the scored tomatoes into boiling water for 10 seconds and then immediately into an ice bath. The skin will peel right off. Follow my detailed instructions on how to skin tomatoes on my recipe for homemade salsa.
- Cut the tomatoes in quarters and squeeze out seeds over the sink. (Don’t worry if a few seeds remain!)
- Coarsely chop the tomatoes into 1/2 inch to 1 inch chunks.
Step Three: Prepare the Remaining Vegetables
- Slice the zucchini into 1/2 inch slices.
- Cut the peppers in 1/2 inch strips.
- Cut an onion in half, then thinly slice each half. Separate the sliced onion into individual strips.
Step Four: Cook the Ratatouille
- Heat oil in large dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add in onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.
- Add in the garlic and dried oregano and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chopped vegetables, salt, bay leaf, pinch of red pepper flakes if using, and olives to the pan and stir well.
- Simmer over medium-low heat, covered for about 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium.
- Cook for 15 additional minutes to reduce liquid.
- Taste the vegetable stew and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve with fresh basil and an additional drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
How to Serve Ratatouille
- Warm as a vegetable stew.
- With a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to add creaminess to this stew.
- With crusty French bread or Italian Bread.
- Over pasta, rice or polenta.
Summer Produce Recipes
- Zucchini Bread Pancakes
- Italian Baked Vegetables
- Grilled Panzanella Salad
- Skinny Zucchini Casserole from Give Recipe
Easy Ratatouille Recipe
- 1 eggplant peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus additional for serving
- 1 large vidalia onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
- 1/2 cup whole Spanish Green Olives sliced in half
- 3 large green peppers julienned
- 3 cups zucchini and/or yellow squash sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 bay leaf dried or fresh
- 4 large tomatoes seeded, peeled, and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- Peel and dice eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Place eggplant in colander or over cooking rack and generously sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then rinse well and pat dry.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Score the top of the tomatoes by cutting an "X" on the top of the tomato. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove tomatoes from water and place into ice bath. Once cooled, remove tomatoes from ice bath skin should peel off easily.
- Cut tomatoes open and gently squeeze out seeds over the garbage or sink. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
- You can skip this step if using canned tomatoes, or cherry/grape tomatoes. For cherry, grape tomatoes, simply cut the tomatoes in half.
- Heat oil in large dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat. Add in onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onions have softened.
- Add in oregano and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes longer.
- Add in zucchini, peppers,prepared eggplant, prepared tomatoes, olives, bay leaf, red pepper flakes (if using), oregano, and salt.
- Simmer covered for about 45 minutes. Remove lid and turn up the heat to medium and allow to cook for 15 additional minutes to reduce liquid.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper if desired
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
- In place of the large tomatoes, you can use 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes (no need to drain juices.)