This easy Ratatouille recipe comes together quickly for an easy one-pot weeknight dinner. It’s a light and fresh French meal that’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
This easy ratatouille is a simplified version of the French classic, and makes a hearty and well-balanced meal to enjoy all year long.
History of Ratatouille
The word ratatouille comes from the French ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the verb touiller, which means “to stir up”.
The origin of the dish is in the area around Provence and Nice and compared to many other French classic, it is a relatively new one.
It appeared for the first time in France back in the 18th century. Its name first appeared in English in 1877.
The ratatouille is close to the bohémienne , also Provencal recipe, both of peasant origin. The Sicilian caponata is also close to the ratatouille, but slightly more on the tart side, by the addition of capers and vinegar.
Ingredients for Ratatouille
Although this version is not the most traditional ratatouille around, I’m sticking to the classic recipe when it comes to the ingredients.
Traditionally, ratatouille calls for simple, hearty vegetables such as:
Try to get the absolute best quality vegetables you can. It will definitely make this dish from good to AMAZING.
When you go shopping for the vegetables, look for veggies that have a similar diameter, so that when you will slice them, they will stack together evenly.
Great fresh vegetables have a fantastic flavour on their own, but also make sure to choose super high quality canned tomatoes for the sauce.
I pick the Italian San Marzano variety whenever I find it, but any great organic plum tomato variety will do.
For the herbs, if you have Herbs de Provence at hand, totally go for it!
Otherwise, you’ll be just as happy with some freshly dried oregano (I used my mom’s Sicilian oregano!) and fresh thyme sprigs.
How To Make Ratatouille
The most traditional recipe for ratatouille calls for cooking each vegetable separately in a pot on the stove.
Then putting everything back into the pot with a bunch of tomatoes added in, and letting it all slowly stew together.
My version is way simpler and requires less time spent over the stove.
It all comes together in less than 1 hour, and it’s one of the easiest one-pot meals around, made with super simple ingredients and requiring very little cooking skills.
Here you slice all the veggies evenly, you prep the sauce, and after layering the prepared veggies on top, you put it in the oven until cooked through.
For the best fuss-free result, stir the sauce together and pour it into the bottom of the pan before layering the veggies on top.
You can simply cube all the veggies, but for a pretty presentation, I like to slice them up separately and line them up in order.
It takes few minutes more but will make this dish look like you spent the whole day on it!
To cook and serve this easy ratatouille, I’ve partnered up with the well-known french brand Le Creuset.
Le Creuset has been making amazing long-lasting cast-iron casserole cookware since 1925 in France, using only the finest materials.
I love using their casserole pots, as they are suitable for all types of heat sources and can be transferred from the stove to the oven, and then straight to the dining table.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with their shallow casserole pot, which comes in different colours including the new Rosemary (showcased here).
I’ve been using it for making anything from classic tomato sauce, chicken stew and this delicious easy ratatouille, of course.
I cannot tell you enough how tasty it is. It is one of those easy one-pan weeknight dinners. It’s super healthy, quick and fulfilling, and all you need to make it a meal is your favourite protein.
What To Serve Ratatouille With
Typically served as a side dish, Ratatouille pairs well with many different dishes, and can be also served on its own, with some grilled bread.
Some of my favourite dishes to serve ratatouille with include:
- grilled meat, fish, poultry
- classic French omelette ( or Japanese omelette, to make things more interesting)
- Italian potato frittata
- Vegan quinoa summer salad
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large red or white onion finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper cubed
- 1 can organic plum tomatoes, drained (400 gr)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp freshly teared thyme leaves
- 1 tsp freshly dried oregano
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the ratatouille:
- 2 large zucchini
- 3 small long eggplants
- 2 salad tomatoes
- 2 small red onions
- 2 thyme sprigs
- a pinch of freshy dried oregano
- a glug of extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- For the tomato sauce: heat a shallow cast-iron pan over medium-low heat. Fold in olive oil, red onion, whole canned tomatoes, cubed red bell pepper and garlic.
- Stir-fry for 5 min, then add in the sugar, balsamic vinegar, thyme and oregano. Mix all the ingredients together and gently crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
- Allow to cook for about 10 min, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180C/375F.
- Transfer the sauce into a food processor and mix until creamy but still a bit chunky.
- Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of your shallow cast-iron pan.
- To make the ratatouille, start by slicing zucchini, eggplants, red onions and tomatoes into even thin slices and set them aside.
- Arrange one slice of each vegetable on the pan and continue until the pan is full. To make things easier, stack the veggie slices in your hand then layer them into the pan.
- Season with a pinch of oregano, sea salt and black pepper on top and a swirl of olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender and the sauce is gently bubbling on the sides.
- Remove the pan from the oven, allow to cool for 5 min, then serve.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
**This post is sponsored by Le Creuset. This is an unpaid collaboration, but I did receive Le Creuset products in exchange for my honest review**