Ratatouille is an easy healthy recipe full of vegetables! Eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, peppers and more come together in this savory dish.
This recipe is not only vegan, gluten free, paleo, and whole 30, but it's downright delicious. You can serve it as a main dish or on the said of some decadent homemade lasagna or with an easy bolognase sauce if you need the meat.
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Chances are that if you do a search for Ratatouille, you're gonna find the Disney movie before you find any recipes!
I'm guessing there are a lot of people out there who don't even know what ratatouille is. Well, let me explain.
What is ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, and sometimes referred to as ratatouille niçoise.
And here I was thinking it was an Italian recipe!
I should have known it was French. Wasn't the mouse in the movie French?
What is ratatouille made of?
The original ratatouille dish was basically a course stew.
Fast forward to current times and travel around the globe, and you'll find most ratatouille recipes use a base of tomatoes along with garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and fresh herbs.
Of course, you can vary these ingredients to your liking and there are a ton of cooking methods to have them all come together in a delicious harmony.
No matter how you cook it, though, you're going to end up with one tasty and healthy dish.
What is ratatouille supposed to taste like?
If you ask me, it tastes a whole lot like a very chunky marinara sauce. The use of tomatoes in my recipe really gives it that Italian sauce feeling and taste.
I've also made recipes like my Roasted Vegetable Lasagna which is basically this ratatouille with a bunch of cheese and sheets of pasta.
Because you're using such a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, however, I don't think this dish tastes like any one vegetable in particular. Also, if you don't like all the veggies I use (ahem... a lot of people detest eggplant for some crazy reason), you can leave it out.
Is Ratatouille a main course?
You can most definitely serve ratatouille as a main course or as a side dish. Since this is vegan and basically all vegetables with a little bit of oil, I personally need some protein and/or carbohydrates in order to make it a complete meal.
If you're used to eating a plant based diet, you would probably consider this recipe a complete meal.
What do you eat with ratatouille?
My most favorite thing to serve with ratatouille is polenta. Not the hard kind that comes in a log, but loose polenta that you cook on a stove. My Goat Cheese Polenta is a particular favorite!
When I made this particular ratatouille, I served it up with some of my Homemade Pasta tossed in olive oil with some grated parmesan. Pure heaven!
- 1 eggplant (half of the peel removed in vertical stripes)
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 2 medium sized yellow squashes
- 2 medium sized zucchinis
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped , from 8-10 leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 orange bell pepper (diced)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes ((one large can))
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (from 8-10 leaves)
- Preheat the oven for 375˚F.
- Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into thin rounds, then set in large bowl. Toss with basil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.
- Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in large (12-inch is ideal) oven-safe dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper, then add the crushed tomatoes. Add more salt and/or red pepper flakes, if desired. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from heat, then add the basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula.
- Add sliced vegetables to the top of the sauce and spread into a uniform layer. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
- Serve hot as a main dish or side. Serve with additional fresh basil as well as grated pecorino romano cheese.