This Easy Ratatouille Recipe is a classic French vegetable stew that’s packed with summer veggies, fresh basil and plenty of flavor. It’s healthy comfort food and it’s so easy to make!

Ratatouille in a Dutch oven with basil on top

I’ll never forget when we saw the Ratatouille movie in the theater for the first time. My boys were so little and we all adored it. I loved the message that anyone can cook! Even a rat. 🙂

At the time, I was a blossoming cook. I had taken some cooking classes but hadn’t gone to cooking school yet, and had no clue that one day I’d earn a living running a food blog.

I also had no idea what the dish Ratatouille was. It sparked my interest, but I didn’t try it until I was in cooking school years later. I was thrilled to finally try it, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

This is the perfect time to try this ratatouille recipe as the vegetables and herbs are in peak season. It’s summer comfort food!

Bowl of ratatouille with a spoon buried inside

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s a rustic, healthy vegetable stew that’s packed with summer vegetables, herbs and plenty of flavor!
  • It’s extremely versatile and may be served as-is, with crusty bread, or over pasta, polenta or grains.
  • Ratatouille is easy to make and great for meal prep lunch or dinners. It’s freezer friendly too!
  • This recipe is great for special diets. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and low carb.

Recipe ingredients

Traditional ratatouille recipes include summer vegetables and herbs that are easily accessible as shown below.

It’s often prepared with red wine, but I’ve found that it’s simply not necessary for a nice flavorful stew.

Ratatouille recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Vegetables. Eggplant, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes and herbs are all found in traditional ratatouille recipes.
  • Fresh herbs. Fresh is best for this recipe, especially basil, but you may substitute dried if needed.
  • Olive oil. I love the flavor of olive oil, but it may be substituted with what you have on hand.
  • Canned tomatoes. I used canned diced tomatoes for this recipe, but you can substitute two large fresh tomatoes, if desired. I highly recommend using fire roasted diced tomatoes for added flavor.
  • Tomato paste. The tomato paste adds a deep flavor and also thickens the stew, so I don’t recommend leaving it out.
  • Capers. The capers add a tart, briny pop of flavor that really makes this ratatouille recipe special. Be sure to rinse the capers well before adding to the stew as the liquid can be overpowering.

How to make this recipe

This ratatouille recipe is very easy to make and requires just a bit of prep chopping the vegetables. It’s simmered on the stove top until tender and flavorful, so it takes a bit of time to cook.

If you’d like this dish in a fraction of the time, be sure to try my Instant Pot Ratatouille!

Pro tip: Prep the vegetables up to 1 day in advance to make this recipe even easier, or prep the entire dish ahead for meal prep lunches or dinner.

How to make ratatouille collage
  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened.
  2. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the eggplant.  Sauté until the eggplant has softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the peppers and squash. Sauté 2-3 minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Cover the pot during the first 10 minutes of cooking time to allow the vegetables to steam, then remove the lid to for the remaining cooking time to allow the liquid to evaporate. Remove from heat and stir in the capers and chopped basil, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
French ratatouille in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon digging in

FAQs

What is ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a classic Provencal French vegetable stew. It includes eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes and herbs, so it’s healthy comfort food.

Is there meat in ratatouille?

Traditional ratatouille recipes do not include meat as it originated as an inexpensive peasant dish. It’s a rustic, simple vegetable stew.

What do you eat ratatouille with?

Ratatouille is great served as-is for a healthy, low carb meal. It may also be served with crusty bread, over pasta or polenta, or served as a side dish with chicken or fish.

Serving suggestions

Ratatouille is a versatile vegetable stew that you can serve as is for a healthy low carb meal, or with crusty bread like my focaccia bread.

For a more satisfying meal, serve over pasta, polenta or your favorite grains, or add protein such as shredded chicken or broiled salmon.  

It’s also great in my quinoa casserole or vegetarian lasagna!

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Prep the vegetables up to 1 day in advance to make this recipe even easier, or prep the entire dish ahead for meal prep lunches or dinner.
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes may be used in place of the canned tomatoes if desired.
  • While you can certainly use dried thyme and rosemary, fresh herbs really make a difference in this recipe.
  • Leftovers will keep for about 5 days stored in an air tight container in the fridge and also freezes well.
  • Serve with crusty bread, over pasta or your favorite grains.
Bowl of ratatouille with fresh basil on top

More vegetarian dinner recipes:

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Ratatouille in a Dutch oven with basil on top

Easy Ratatouille Recipe

This Easy Ratatouille Recipe is a classic French vegetable stew that's packed with summer veggies, fresh basil and plenty of flavor. It's healthy comfort food!
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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 onion peeled, halved and sliced along the lines
  • 1 medium eggplant cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large red bell pepper stemmed and chopped in 1″ chunks
  • 1 large zucchini cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large yellow squash cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 14 ounces low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon capers rinsed
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the eggplant.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until the eggplant has softened.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the peppers and squash. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are the desired level of doneness. Cover the the pot for the first 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to steam, then remove the lid for the remaining cooking time to allow the liquid to evaporate.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the capers, chopped basil and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip: Prep the vegetables up to 1 day in advance to make this recipe even easier, or prep the entire dish ahead for meal prep lunches or dinner.
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes may be used in place of the canned tomatoes if desired.
  • While you can certainly use dried thyme and rosemary, fresh herbs really make a difference in this recipe.
  • Leftovers will keep for about 5 days stored in an air tight container in the fridge and also freezes well.
  • Serve with crusty bread, over pasta or your favorite grains.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 128mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

**This post was originally published in January 2014. The recipe and text have been modified, and the photos have been updated.

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