This ratatouille recipe is made with thinly sliced squash, bell peppers, eggplant, and potatoes, all cooked in a homemade marinara sauce for a delicious naturally vegan and gluten-free dinner.
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How many of you have made a homemade ratatouille recipe before?
The first time I made (and ate) ratatouille wasn't that long ago. Last fall, on the 2nd date with my now partner, I discovered the romantic deliciousness that is ratatouille.
As a naturally vegan and gluten-free meal, it's one that vegans and omnivores can enjoy together. Pair it with a glass (or two) of wine, some crusty artisan bread, and a kale Caesar Salad, and you might find yourself falling in love.
With ratatouille, of course.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a French stew that celebrates the late summer harvest consisting of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, marinara sauce, and fresh herbs. Occasionally additional vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and summer squash are added.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
This recipe can be made either by cubing the vegetables and sautéing them together to be stew-like or with thinly sliced vegetables layered in rows or spirals and baked underneath a bed of marinara sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Summer Vegetables - Traditional vegetables for this dish include eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and red bell pepper. I also sometimes add red skin potatoes.
- Marinara Sauce - Either homemade or store bought.
- Fresh Thyme
- Quality Olive Oil - Bari Olive Oil is my go-to brand for high-quality oils.
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
If you don't have a mandoline, I highly recommending getting one. Mandolines are affordable, simple, and perfect for slicing any vegetable.
In addition, you will need a 2-quart baking dish. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Homemade Ratatouille
There are two methods for making homemade ratatouille: the oven method and the stovetop method. This recipe is for the oven method, however, I do share quick tips on how to make it on the stovetop below.
Step one - Slice the Vegetables
With your mandoline set at ¼ inch, carefully slice all your vegetables so that you have even round disks. You can also use a sharp chef's knife, although I do highly recommend a mandoline for this recipe.
Step Two - Assemble and Bake
Evenly spread marinara sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
With the vegetables sliced, stack the vegetables in a pattern and lay them in the baking dish. This can either be done in a spiral or in rows. Once the casserole dish is full, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkled the remaining thyme and red pepper flakes over the top.
This is the more common method, however not the method I prefer.
Stovetop ratatouille is a matter of cubing and dicing vegetables and sautéing them with a little bit of olive oil until they are brown, tender, and stew-like. This method takes about 45 minutes to cook and does not involve thinly slicing the vegetables.
You can read a step-by-step guide here.
Serving and Storing
Let the ratatouille cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve ratatouille with some crusty artisan bread, and a kale Caesar Salad
Leftover ratatouille can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. Gently reheat in the oven or microwave.
Tips and Tricks
- When picking out your veggies, try and find vegetables that all have a similar width. That means look for skinny eggplants and fat zucchinis and summer squash. This both affect the appearance of the dish as well as baking quality.
- You'll be really glad you used a mandoline slicer. Mandolines are very affordable and easy to use kitchen tools that allow you to get thin and evenly sliced vegetables. It's important that you have thin even slices for this ratatouille recipe so that you get an even bake on the vegetables.
- When stacking, find a pattern that works for you and stack one or two of these patterns between your fingers. Lay them snuggly in the baking dish and continue with this method. Stacking them first between your fingers is both faster and, more importantly, will get the vegetables better packed into your baking dish. More vegetables = more food = more enjoyment!
- Do not be shy on the spices and oil for this recipe. These bring out the flavors of the vegetables making this one of the most tender and delicious dishes when properly seasoned.
More Healthy Vegan Dinners
- Mushroom Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles
- Mediterranean Rice and Lentils
- 30 Minute Rice and Beans
- Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo
- Tofu Pad Thai
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Set your mandoline slicer to ¼" thick and thinly slice all your vegetables. Set aside.
- Evenly spread marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoon of fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Stack vegetables in a pattern and lay them in the baking dish. This can be done either in a spiral (as in the photos) or in rows if using a rectangular baking dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle remaining thyme and pepper flakes over the top.
- Cover with tin foil and bake for 50-55 minutes until vegetables are tender and the marinara sauce is bubbling up from underneath.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.