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Easy Ratatouille

This easy ratatouille recipe is made in one pot with colorful vegetables like zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes then simmered until hearty and flavorful with herbs and seasonings. It’s a classic summer vegetable stew that is full of the best fresh taste!

Ratatouille in a white bowl.


Full of a vibrant vegetable medley, this easy ratatouille recipe is not only visually appealing but full of delicious taste! It’s fresh, healthy and you will be amazed how simple ingredients develop into a rich and flavorful summer vegetable stew. 

Ratatouille recipes often are made with a long simmer time but with a few simple techniques this version is ready in just over an hour for a weeknight dinner while still retaining all the classic flavors. 

Serve this dish with some crusty Italian bread on the side and it ranks right up there with other favorite vegetarian meals like this ricotta eggplant casseroleasparagus quiche or broccoli cheese bake

Why You Will Love This Easy Recipe For Ratatouille

  • Wholesome: This dish is naturally healthy, gluten-free, low carb and suitable for both vegan and vegetarian diets.
  • Flavorful: Fresh seasonal summer vegetables cook down into a saucy, jammy texture and the herby seasonings add classic, savory taste to the best ratatouille recipe!
  • Versatile: Ratatouille is such a flexible dish! It can be served hot or cold, anytime of the day on its own as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish.

What Is Ratatouille?

This flavorful dish has roots all the way from Provence, France in the 18th century (so long before the adorable animated cartoon movie). It was a practical way for peasants to use seasonal fresh produce from their garden to create a flavorful yet hearty meal.

Simple yet delicious, a traditional ratatouille recipe showcases the vibrant flavors of Mediterranean cuisine with its fresh ingredients and bold taste. It is often made into a stew like I have done in this recipe but you can also find it baked as a layered casserole. 

Easy Ratatouille Recipe Ingredients

If you are able to source your vegetables during summer or warmer months from a local farmers market it will produce the best results!

  • Fresh vegetables: Onions, garlic, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers (any color) and zucchini simmer together into a velvety texture. 
  • Dried seasonings: Oregano, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes, which are optional but recommended. 
  • Fresh herbs: Parsley and fresh basil add light, fresh taste. 
  • Olive oil: A quality olive oil imparts rich taste to this delicious ratatouille recipe.

Substitutions And Variations

  • Vegetables: Instead of zucchini try summer yellow squash! Feel free to use any color of bell peppers you prefer.
  • Tomatoes: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can substitute quality canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.
  • Balance the acidity: Adding some shredded carrots can help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. 
  • Deepen the flavor: A splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar can help deepen the flavors. 
  • Brighten the taste: You could also brighten the flavors with some sherry vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Herbs and spices: Along with the other dried herbs, add some sweet paprika and dried rosemary to the ratatouille dish. 
Ingredients for the recipe.

How To Make Ratatouille 

To start, add chopped eggplant to a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and stir to combine, let rest then drain, place in a cloth and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture.

Draining the eggplant in a sieve.

To a large pot or Dutch oven, add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent then add the bell peppers and cook. 

Cooking the onion and peppers and spices in a silver pot.

Add chopped tomatoes and half the spices. Next, add reserved eggplant and zucchini and top with remaining spices. 

Adding the remaining ingredients and cooking.

Cook on low heat, stirring often until the vegetables are cooked to desired doneness. Let the ratatouille rest then enjoy! 

Vegetables in a silver pot.

Expert Tips

  • Chopped vegetables: Aim to chop the vegetables roughly about the same size so they cook evenly. You can dice them small or keep them in larger chunks for a more rustic feel.
  • Salt the eggplant: Don’t skip this step! Salting the eggplant sweats out any bitter taste, improves the spongy texture and also helps it cook more quickly.
  • Flavor development: If time permits, let the ratatouille rest for an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to deepen and become more pronounced when you serve it at room temperature. 

Serving Suggestions

The options are endless when it comes to what to serve with ratatouille from serving it as a main vegetable dish or it also makes a great side dish! 

  • Grains: For a vegetarian main serve it over rice, quinoa or any other grain of choice.
  • Pasta: If you have time serving it over homemade pasta is a real treat!
  • Protein: Simple meats like lamb, pan fried chicken or Italian baked fish pair well f
  • Bread: A family favorite is just to serve this with crusty bread or Italian focaccia bread and some dipping oil on the side.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make Ratatouille ahead of time?

Yes and I encourage you to do so as the flavors develop even further as it sits in the fridge. Make it up to a day ahead of time to really get the best taste.

How to store leftovers.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It tastes great cold or warm. You could even serve it for brunch with a fried egg on top. 

Can I freeze Ratatouille?

Yes! This is a great way to preserve the fresh taste of summer. Cool completely then store in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw and then reheat to desired temperature.

Ratatouille on a wooden spoon.

More Summer Vegetable Recipes

Besides, being April, and between cool, rainy and still wanting to be comfy, Ratatouille is the perfect Comfort Dish for this time of the year. Buon Appetito!

Ratatouille in a white bowl.


Rosemary Molloy
Ratatouille, a classic easy fresh vegetable dish recipe, the perfect side or main dish. A delicious vegan, vegetarian healthy recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings
Calories 126 kcal


  • 1 large eggplant (or 2 medium) (chopped medium large)
  • ½-¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste) divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 onions (chopped medium large)
  • 1-2 medium bell peppers (sliced thin)
  • 2 large ripe firm tomatoes (chopped and seeded)
  • 2 medium zucchini (chopped medium large)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1-2 dashes hot pepper flakes (optional)


  • In a large bowl add the chopped eggplant and sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt, stir to combine, let sit 20 minutes.  Drain and gently squeeze to remove a little moisture (before adding to pot)
  • In a large pot (dutch oven) add the olive oil, garlic and onion, when onion becomes clear add peppers, stir and cook on medium for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and half the spices, add eggplant and zucchini, top with other half of spices.  Stir often and cook on low for approximately 45-60 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked to desired doneness. (I found 50 minutes was good for me)  Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It tastes great cold or warm. You could even serve it for brunch with a fried egg on top. 
To freeze –  cool completely then store in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw and then reheat to desired temperature.


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 598mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1355IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Updated from April 27, 2017.


  1. 5 stars
    This is the third recipe I have tried over the summer and by far the best. This is a no mess, no fuss, easy and quick recipe that produced phenomenal results. Absolutely delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    I made your recipe today and it was great!! I added mozzarella when serving. Even my picky husband liked it.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this great recipe. Vegetable dishes are always welcome to my healthy diet. Definitely going to make it during summer!

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