Healthy and fresh Ratatouille! It’s one of the best ways to use up the abundance of summer vegetables and it’s perfectly foolproof dish. It’s a pretty, colorful, vegetable stew-like recipe that makes a hearty side or nutritious main dish.
A Traditional Ratatouille Recipe
This is the perfect dinner you’ll want to make all summer long! I think it’s the best ratatouille recipe, and the key is sautéing the vegetables in stages which leaves room for the vegetables to brown and add flavor.
Then another key is to let everything simmer together to let the flavors meld and marry and you’re left with a crave-able, satisfying dish you’ll feel great about eating and serving to your family. What’s not to love about that?!
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille might sound like a fancy dish that you can only get at an expensive French restaurant, but that’s not the case at all!
This dish is actually a causal and super simple recipe that only sounds fancy because of it’s French origin and name. What you’ll find in most classic ratatouille recipes is summer vegetables like eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers, along with a mixture of fresh herbs and spices.
It all comes together and is cooked up into a light and fresh stew that’s you can still enjoy even in the dead of summer.
- Olive oil – use standard refined olive oil here to toss with vegetables (not extra-virgin) since veggies are roasted at a high temperature. Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point.
- Eggplant – this amazing squash is full of nutrients that makes this recipe both healthy and delicious.
- Yellow onion – a red onion will work well here too.
- Zucchini and yellow squash – this recipe is the perfect way to use up the abundance of this summer vegetable in season right now!
- Minced garlic – as always stick with fresh garlic for best flavor.
- Tomatoes – I suggest using fresh Heirloom or Roma tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Fresh thyme, basil, parsley and rosemary – take note to use fresh ingredients here not the dried spices. You can also check out this video that will teach you how to perfectly mince rosemary.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper – this will keep it from tasting bland.
- Bell peppers – I used one red and one yellow, but you could use whatever combo you like.
How To Make Ratatouille
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and saute until golden brown in spots and transport to a large pot.
- Pour the oil into the skillet, add onion and saute until just starting to brown, then add bell pepper saute. Lastly, add the garlic, saute another minute and transfer to the pot.
- Next, you will add the tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary to the mixture in the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to low, cover and simmer.
- Meanwhile, heat more oil in the same skillet and add zucchini and squash, and saute until golden brown, tossing occasionally. Transfer to a sheet of foil and repeat with the rest of zucchini and squash.
- Add zucchini and squash to the mixture in the pot. If you prefer the just tender texture serve right away. If you want it softer like a stew let it simmer on low heat, covered.
Serve warm garnished with basil and parsley.
Can I Make Ratatouille In Advance?
Yes! This is a great recipe to prepare in advance. You can make ratatouille at least a day ahead of time. Its actually even better once it sits for a while because the flavors get the chance to soak into each other.
So, if you have a party to host and want to get some recipes out of the way early, just make this one the night before and you’ll have a ready to go ratatouille to serve as soon as everyone arrives.
What to Serve with Ratatouille?
- Bread (rustic loaf, toast, garlic bread, etc.)
- Couscous and chick peas
- Whole grain like farro or rice
- Chicken or meat
- Seafood (fish, shrimp, etc.)
- Eggs or omelets
How Do I Store Ratatouille?
- Before you store this ratatouille recipe, you’ll want to make sure it has cooled completely.
- Once the dish has had the chance to cool, you will place it into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
- Eat within 5 days for best results!
- You can also store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months, keep in mind vegetables will soften more.
Tips for the Best Ratatouille Recipe
- For the freshest flavors try getting farm-fresh produce. Summers are full of great farmers markets, so try browsing the selection at one near you to make this delicious dish even better (regular produce will work too, this is just a suggestion).
- Use fresh herbs for best flavor.
- Use a variety of vegetables for a colorful blend.
- If you prefer the just tender texture serve right away. If you want it softer like a stew let it simmer on low heat, covered.
- If you want to have your ratatouille leftover for this weeks lunch, store any leftovers in separate serving size containers. That way you can grab and go in the morning and still get a nutritious lunch.
More Easy Dinner Recipes To Try!
- Tortellini With Pesto and Roasted Veggies
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Vegetable Soup
- Stuffed Peppers
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- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium (16 oz) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/3 cups)
- 2 medium bell peppers, preferably 1 red 1 yellow, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced ( 1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 2 medium (10 oz each) zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium (10 oz) yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add eggplant and saute until golden brown in spots, about 8 minutes, transfer to a large pot.
- Add 1 Tbsp oil to skillet, add onion and saute until just starting to brown, about 6 minutes, add bell pepper saute 2 minutes. Add garlic saute 1 minute longer. Transfer to pot.
- Add tomatoes, thyme and rosemary to mixture in pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat (you should hear the juices bubbling), reduce to low cover and simmer 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp oil in same skillet. Add half of the zucchini and half of the squash. Saute until golden brown, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes, transfer to a sheet of foil or plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp oil and remaining half of zucchini and squash.
- Add zucchini, squash, basil and parsley to mixture in pot. If you prefer the just tender texture serve right away, if you want it softer like a stew let it simmer on low heat, covered, up to 45 minutes longer.
- Serve warm garnished with more basil and parsley.