Try this traditional ratatouille recipe. It is a one-pot vegetable dish that can be served as a side dish or as a main course. It’s fresh, colorful, and full of veggies, and it’s made with simple ingredients. 

If you are like me and have an abundance of produce from your garden during the growing season and you are thinking of ways to prepare them, making Ratatouille is my go-to recipe.

It is a great way to prepare a dish to feed a crowd and include the bounty of summer; it is delicious served over rice or bread,

You can make a double batch and freeze the extra so you can enjoy the taste of summer later. Serve it with my Garlic Bread,  Turmeric Coconut Rice, and Vegan Gluten-Free Cake for a flavorful summer brunch or dinner.

Ratatouille!

Most of us remember Ratatouille from either Disney’s movie or the ratatouille recipe Julia Child brought to the world. However, it is usually seen as a very sophisticated dish that takes way too much time and effort to make. Well, it is true in a way.

Many of us picture the Ratatouille as a vibrant circular dish full of thinly sliced vegetables that are arranged in a perfect array meticulously. The dish undoubtedly delivers ultimate sophistication. But the thing is, that’s not the only Ratatouille you can make!

If you are a vegan, you will simply love this recipe. Why? Because it is so awesome on so many different levels. For one, it is made with vegetables. Furthermore, it is:

  • Low calories
  • Low carb
  • Super healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Fulfilling
  • Delicious

And above all, it is super easy to make! If you don’t believe me, that’s alright. Once you get to know this ratatouille recipe, you will fall in love with it. I bet it is going to be your favorite dish instantly. Still wondering how? Read ahead to find out!

Easy vegan ratatouille

What is ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a hearty vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, summer squash, and tomatoes. In some recipes, the veggies are mixed and cooked for an extended amount of time, almost melting.

Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable dish from the Provencal region in the south of France. The word Ratatouille comes from the Occitan word “ratatolha” and the French terms “rata” (chunky stew) and “touiller” (to toss or stir food). Originating in the eighteenth century in the Provencal district of Nice, it is referred to as a peasants stew because impoverished farmers produced it in order to use the harvest of fresh summer veggies that had grown all at once and were available to eat from the garden.

Ratatouille origin:

This dish is typically served alongside meat or fish meals, although it can also be served as a main course over rice. This stew can be served hot or cold. The flavor is said to get better the next day.

There are many different variants of Ratatouille that include these key ingredients, as well as various schools of thought about how to make Ratatouille properly:

  • One way is to fry all of the vegetables at the same time until they are softened.
  • A second alternative is to cook the eggplant and zucchini separately and then join them with the onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes towards the conclusion of the cooking process for the ultimate stewing. Then bake in a baking dish.
  • Another way is to layer the veggies, beginning with caramelizing the garlic and onions, then incorporating the eggplant to soften down, and then adding the zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs to stew together everything.
  • To make a more modern version, finely slice the eggplant, squash, and bell peppers and stack them in a casserole dish to bake.

The word Ratatouille first appeared in the English language in 1877, thanks to Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery.

In 2007 a layered ratatouille dish from the Disney Pixar animated film “Ratatouille,” about a small French rat having cooking ambitions, won over a tough food critic. The term ratatouille became well-known in American culture because of this animated film.

Why should you make ratatouille?

Ratatouille has a lot of reasons that force you to try it.

  • It’s vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can eat it. You’ll have to be picky about your accompaniments.
  • It’s a great way to use up whatever late-summer vegetables you have on hand. If you have a lot of vegetables at home, you should cook Ratatouille.
  • The veggies used are low-cost, readily available, and nutrient-dense.
  • It’s a nutritious, colorful dish that’s also flavorful and delightful.
  • Ratatouille transforms ordinary vegetables into culinary works of art. You’ll love Ratatouille even if you don’t like either yellow squash or eggplant.
  • Making Ratatouille is a great way to get some tasty veggies into your diet, and it’s a great option for meal prep because it keeps well. You can heat it up, put it over pasta, use it as a filling for tacos, or just eat it on its own!
  • This Ratatouille recipe is a low-calorie dish that is beneficial for weight loss as it allows you to eat more while consuming fewer calories. It’s high in nutrients and a great way to take your daily vegetable requirements.
  • It’s an excellent make-ahead dish because it tastes even better the second day and reheats well.

What is a ratatouille?

Ratatouille is basically a classic French dish that is made with vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. The traditional ratatouille recipe is a bit complex and sophisticated and takes time and effort.

It is very satisfying and utterly delicious. However, if you are a busy person and don’t find yourself interested in long preparations or cooking time, it doesn’t mean you can’t make Ratatouille at home.

This recipe is unlike the ratatouille movie recipe, but it is super delicious and easy to make. It is made using the same ingredients but in a different form. So, instead of slicing up all vegetables, I dice them.

It is a more deconstructed form of the Disney ratatouille recipe, but it is very easy to make. In fact, it only takes 30 minutes to prepare this delicious dish. How cool is that!

ratatouille ingredients, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, onion, garlic tomatoes, fresh herbs

Traditional ratatouille recipe:

This Ratatouille recipe is super simple and 100% vegan. It is made from simple ingredients and several seasonings that add flavor to the dish. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients that are used in this recipe.

Vegetables

The vegetables are the star of this recipe. I keep the traditional feel of this recipe alive by using all the vegetables that are used in the French way. These vegetables include:

  • Eggplants: Eggplants are among the main vegetables that are used in this dish. These bring a unique texture to the dish. These not just add color but also an awesome flavor to the dish. I love eggplants, especially in Ratatouille, so they bring the whole dish together for me.
  • Zucchini: It is yet another main vegetable in Ratatouille. It also adds a nice texture to the dish and binds every ingredient together.
  • Bell pepper: Bell peppers make the dish vibrant and colorful. However, they contribute to the aesthetics of the dish and add to the flavor.
  • Yellow squash: Yellow squash again gives not just color but a distinct flavor to the dish. It makes the dish more filling and wholesome.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes give color to the dish. They also bring in a tangy taste to the dish. Their presence brightens up the whole dish at so many levels.

Herbs

I love fresh herbs. They not only add flavor but also make the dish so aromatic. The aroma alone makes your mouth salivate. I use fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and oregano for this easy ratatouille recipe. Furthermore, I also add chopped basil leaves. I love its aroma and unique sweet flavor.

Seasonings

The best thing about this dish is that salt is the only seasoning you require. This dish uses the natural flavors of vegetables and herbs. As a result, the flavors are unmatched. Furthermore, I also add tomato paste to this dish. Tomato paste enhances the tomato flavor and gives this dish a fresh red color that makes it look rich and mouthwatering.

Vegetable broth

Vegetable broth helps in cooking your vegetables to perfection. It also adds a nice flavor to the dish and is better than adding water to soften the vegetables.

How to make traditional ratatouille recipe?

Making the Ratatouille recipe might not be a piece of cake if you follow the traditional ratatouille recipe. However, my recipe is probably the best one out there. This easy ratatouille recipe required a few steps only.

All you have to do is gather the vegetables, dice or chop them up, and start cooking them in olive oil one at a time. I start by adding chopped onion and sautéing it for some time.

As the recipe progresses, I add more and more ingredients into it along with vegetables, i.e., garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, squash, zucchini, and eggplant, and seasonings that include fresh herbs. I cook the ingredients until they get tender, and that’s it. Yes, that’s it! The Vegan ratatouille is done and ready to serve. See how simple and easy that is!

What to serve with ratatouille?

This dish is quite versatile. So, you can serve it up with almost anything. For instance, I love to pair it up with boiled rice. However, you can also serve it alongside pasta. And if you are looking for a healthier option, serve it with quinoa. It will pair up with almost any dish and taste just as amazing.

You can serve this delicious dish with boiled rice.

Traditional ratatouille recipe tips:

To make the perfect and most tasteful Ratatouille, here are a few tips you need to follow:

  • Firstly, it is important that you keep dicing the eggplant, sprinkle sea salt on top, and leave it in a colander for about 20 minutes. This helps in getting rid of excess water from the vegetable. Furthermore, it is also good for its flavor. As with water, the bitter flavor is also balanced.
  • Chop the eggplant first before starting with the rest of the cutting, as they’ll require about 20-30 minutes in a colander. You’ll have enough time to prepare the remaining vegetables in that period of time.
  • Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. This makes it easy to eat and ensures that the vegetables cook evenly.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs available, you can use dried herbs instead as well.
  • Rub dry herbs like oregano between your palms as you add them into the stew. This helps in the “awakening” of the flavors of dried herbs.
  • Make sure the vegetables aren’t overcooked. If you overcook them, they’ll turn mushy, and you’ll end up with a soupier consistency.
  • Choose vegetables that are firm in texture. This is the best vegetable combination I’ve found, as well as the most traditional. Other vegetables that could be used include mushrooms, red onions, and various colored bell peppers.

overlay of ratatouile cooking in a skillet

Is ratatouille healthy?

Yes, Ratatouille is a healthy dish! Because it is composed entirely of veggies, it is high in essential vitamins and minerals. This delicious ratatouille recipe is a good source of Vitamin c, folic acid, vitamin B6, potassium, fiber, as well as antioxidants.

The nutrients in Ratatouille are beneficial for your health in many ways.

For example, the antioxidants in tomatoes are linked to improved heart health and lower cancer risk; the chlorogenic acid in eggplants may reduce blood pressure levels; the antioxidants in zucchini may improve brain function; the antioxidants in bell peppers may reduce inflammation which is linked with chronic diseases.

Is ratatouille for peasants?

It was traditionally regarded as a peasant dish due to the use of leftover veggies, sometimes even vegetable scraps, and the “rough cut” vegetable preparation manner. It could be served with low-cost side dishes such as rice, pasta, or bread.

What does ratatouille taste like?

Ratatouille has a very distinct flavor that comes from the combination of summer vegetables. It tastes as good as it looks because of its simplicity: Each vegetable retains its distinctive flavor and texture, which perfectly complements the others. The underlying tomatoes and garlic provide a unifying sauce that ties everything together.

It can also be explained as… It tastes like a summer night. The air is hot and sticky, but you don’t mind because it’s full of the smell of fresh basil and tomatoes. You hear the crackle of a nearby campfire and feel the warmth of the flames. It’s not hot enough to make you sweat, but it’s nice and toasty. You’re sitting under the sky with friends, eating Ratatouille, and telling stories while you wait for the stars to come out.

Difference between caponata and ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a Provence-style dish prepared with eggplant, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, and fresh herbs cooked in olive oil. Caponata is a Sicilian dish made of eggplant, onions, anchovies, tomatoes,  olives, capers, pine nuts, and vinegar, all stewed together in some olive oil and frequently sweetened with raisins or sugar.

Is ratatouille good for weight loss?

Ratatouille is great for weight loss because it’s packed with healthy vegetables and herbs. It’s low in calories but high in nutrients, so it keeps you full for a long time. That means you can eat a lot of it without having to feel guilty about consuming too many calories or gaining weight. Ratatouille contains very little fat but high amounts of vitamins and minerals, making it the perfect addition to any healthy diet! So, if having the same old soup or salad is making you bored, try this easy ratatouille recipe.

Should you peel eggplant?

Peeling the eggplant is optional, but I prefer not to because the dark purple skin contains potent antioxidants.

Can you substitute yellow onion for red onion?

To be sure, yes. But I like the red onion as it provides visual appeal and is sweeter and milder than the yellow onion, which allows the delicate flavors of the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and yellow squash to show through.

How to add protein to ratatouille?

Although I didn’t add any protein, you can add it if you like to make your meal more filling and healthy. For example, add a can of drained chickpeas, white beans, or baked tofu to the ratatouille.

Can you make ratatouille in advance?

Ratatouille, a classic French cuisine, is a terrific make-ahead food since it gets better with time. Proceed as directed to the point where fresh herbs are added (add other vegetables, just save fresh herbs). For optimal results, allow it to cool completely before refrigerating for 2-3 days. Sprinkle some water if needed, stir, and warm gradually over medium-low heat. When ready to serve, add the fresh herbs.

How to store ratatouille?

Refrigerate any leftover ratatouille for up to three days in an airtight container.

When you want to eat, reheat them in the pan over the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave until thoroughly heated. Add a splash of water or broth if the vegetables are sticking to the pan. Enjoy!

Can I freeze ratatouille?

Yes, you can freeze this dish for up to 3 months. So, as you want to eat it, you can take it out of the freezer, thaw it and reheat it in a saucepan or skillet. It is a super easy and convenient dish for someone who is busy and doesn’t have time to cook a new dish every time.

overlay vegan ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic in a white bowltomato,

More delicious vegan stews to try:

Try this traditional ratatouille recipe today and indulge in the unique and heartwarming flavors. This dish is not only a perfectly healthy option but is also utterly delicious. Serve this recipe at your next friends or family gathering and impress them with your culinary skills. And, don’t forget to thank me later! 

As always, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave any feedback or share your own experience with us in the comments section below.

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Traditional Ratatouille on a black bowl

Traditional Ratatouille Recipe

Vegan Ratatouille is a delicious, flavorful, hearty, filling, and healthy French dish made from fresh vegetables. It is a perfect treat for summer and the best way to feed the crowd. Made with fresh, colorful vegetables and herbs, this easy ratatouille recipe is a perfect way to satisfy your hunger.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Traditional Ratatouille Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 105kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant diced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini trimmed and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow squash trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a colander, sprinkle sea salt and set it aside for about 20 minutes. This way, the excess water will be drained from the eggplant.
  • Place a saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they turn translucent.
  • Add garlic and continue to stir for a minute.
  • Next, add red and orange bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplants, thyme, basil, oregano, tomato paste, rosemary, vegetable broth and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables start the water is released from the vegetables.
  • Place the lid on the saucepan and let it cook on low heat for about 10 more minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Season with salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 519mg | Potassium: 461mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg