Easy Ratatouille recipe, just like in the movie! This summery French classic vegetable stew is quick, easy and makes the most of seasonal veggies.
This easy ratatouille recipe 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 requires very little cooking skills.
Plus, as an added bonus, it’s naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, making a fantastic allergy-friendly option.
Where does it come from?
The name of the recipe comes from the French ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the verb touiller, which means "to stir up".
The origin of the ratatouille dish is in the area around Provence and Nice and compared to many other classics, 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.
This traditional French dish is close to the bohémienne , also Provencal recipe, both of peasant origin.
The Sicilian caponata is also close, but slightly more on the tart side, thanks to the addition of capers and vinegar.
When it comes to ratatouille ingredients, I'm sticking to the classic recipe, which calls for simple vegetables such as:
- courgette (squash zucchini or yellow zucchini)
- red or yellow peppers
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 courgette and aubergine 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 tinned 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.
Recipe instructions and tips
The recipe is super easy to make and you'll only need a big pot (make sure it's oven-friendly) and a blender.
Before starting prepping the sauce, get all the veggies ready. Slice them all evenly, and set them aside.
Step 1. Prepare the sauce
- Heat some olive oil in a pan, add in garlic and onion, followed by the tomatoes and bell peppers, sugar, balsamic vinegar, thyme and oregano.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Now, transfer the sauce into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth (or leave it a bit chunky if you like the texture).
- Pour the sauce over the bottom of a large shallow cast-iron pan, or baking pan.
Step 2. Top with the veggies and bake
- Arrange one slice of each thinly-sliced 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 salt and pepper, oregano and a nice swirl of olive oil.
- Now that you have layered up all the veggies, it's time to transfer the pot in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Check after 20 minutes if the veggies are cooked through and the sauce is nicely bubbling on the sides.
- Remove the pot from the oven, allow to cool slightly and serve.
Cooking tip: To make things quicker, you can simply cube all the veggies.
For a pretty presentation, I like to slice them up separately and line them up in order.
It takes a few more minutes but will make this dish look like you spent the whole day on it!
Use a baking dish, dutch oven or cast-iron pot
For minimum washing up, I like to use a cast iron pan when prepping up this dish.
You cook the sauce in the pot, then fold in the veggies and transfer the pot in the oven to finish off cooking.
However, you can definitely opt for a classic baking dish or dutch oven.
What to serve it with
This side dish pairs well with many different dishes, but can also easily be served on its own, with some grilled crusty bread.
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 to serve it with your favourite protein.
Some of my favourite dishes to serve it with include:
- Grilled meat, fish, poultry
- Italian chicken cutlets
- Classic French omelette ( or Japanese omelette, to make things more interesting)
- 20-Minute Baked Fish Croquettes
- Italian potato frittata
- Vegan quinoa summer salad
Can I freeze it?
I usually make a big batch, store leftovers into individual freezer-friendly containers, and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Easy Ratatouille Recipe
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ large red or white onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 can organic tinned tomatoes, drained, (400 gr)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly teared thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly dried oregano
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 large courgettes, finely sliced
- 3 small long aubergines, finely sliced
- 2 salad tomatoes, finely sliced
- 2 small red onions, sliced into rings
- 2 thyme sprigs
- a pinch of freshy dried oregano
- a glug of extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 375°F.
- Heat the olive oil in a shallow cast-iron pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, then add the tomatoes and bell pepper.
- Stir-fry all the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add in the sugar, balsamic vinegar, thyme and oregano. Mix all the ingredients together and gently crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the sauce into a food processor and blend until creamy but still a bit chunky. Add a splash of boiling water if necessary.
- Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of your shallow cast-iron pan.
- Arrange one slice of each vegetable (courgette, aubergine, tomato, onion) 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 finish off with a swirl of olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, checking after 20 minutes if the veggies are tender and the sauce is gently bubbling on the sides.
- Remove the pan from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was firs published in August 2017 and updated with more info.
Do you bake the ratatouille covered or uncovered?
Hi Vera, I bake it covered with a lid, then I take it off half way through baking time ( the lid helps the veggies to cook evenly, then, removing it, helps browning the veggies and adding a little crispness)
I have been meaning to make this dish forever, looks so colorful!
Leslie Haasch says
Ratatouille is the go to veggie dish in our house, and it just never gets old!
Jaclyn Anne says
I have never made a Ratatouille before and can't wait to try this easy Ratatouille recipe - looks so simple and so yummy!
Jessica Levinson says
This ratatouille is so pretty! I just love all the colors from the vegetables! It's an easy and impressive dish!
Helen of Fuss Free Flavours says
I love Le Creuset cookware, so classic and brilliant to use. Plus they make great stove to table ware. Your Ratatouille is also a classic and beautifully made, for a truly delicious and simple dish.
Cindy Gordon says
I have always wanted to make ratatouille but haven't. I have been intimidated until now. Thank you for this great recipe!
Simply gorgeous! This looks delicious and I'll be adding it to next week's meal plan for sure. Thank you.
Melissa Zahn says
Can you share exactly what type of red pepper is used? Thanks
Looks amazing, would like to try it, but how many degrees should the oven be?
Thank you Alexandra! Oops, I forgot to add oven temperatures (fixed now!), you should bake it at 180C. Hope you like it 🙂
This is certainly the prettiest ratatouille I have ever I love it and this is the perfect excuse to use the Herbs de Provence I picked up in Nice this year.
This beautiful presentation of delicious dish, you made a simple dish so gourmet with this arrangement. I don't know I can do it,
This looks absolutely stunning! Shared!
Liren | Kitchen Confidante says
What a beautiful ratatouille! I agree - the shallow Le Creuset is one of my favorite pieces -- so versatile!
Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch says
Such a gorgeous dish! Love the flavors.
How absolutely gorgeous! I love the simplicity of this meal...it looks marvelous dear!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
This is one beautiful looking dish!!
Adriana Martin says
simple yet incredibly beautiful and the use of le crueset is perfect I love those pots perfect dishes all the time.
This is such a stunning dish and the flavors are so classic and amazing! And I love le creuset!
Veena Azmanov says
This looks so fresh and delicious. I love how to sliced the veggies. Makes for such a pretty presentation. Would be a great party dish. Very Impressive
Gloria Duggan says
This looks like such a pretty and delicious dish. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Le Creuset. This is easy and delicious.
Joanna Everyday Made Fresh says
This ratatouille looks so fresh and flavorful! I love the bright colors, which make for a beautiful dish!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
This looks so yummy and elegant! I might have to try it to impress some guests! 🙂