Bright, flavorful, and flecked with herbs, this ratatouille recipe showcases summer produce at its best. Enjoy it with your favorite rosé and good bread!
Every time I make this ratatouille recipe, I think about a trip I took to Provence, France, a few years ago. While I was there, I stayed with a local family. When they met me at the train station, I was exhausted and hungry, worn out from hours of traveling alone. But when my hosts announced that they were serving ratatouille for dinner, I felt my energy come flooding back. I’ve always loved ratatouille, a Provençal vegetable stew, and I was so excited to try it in France! That night, we sat on my hosts’ patio, drinking rosé and scooping up ratatouille with big hunks of crusty bread. I couldn’t have asked for a better first day in France.
So when the tables at Chicago’s farmers markets start to sag under the weight of late summer bounty, I always fill my bags with ratatouille ingredients. The dish is a wonderful reminder of the generosity of my host family and the magic of traveling abroad, but it’s also just delicious. Summer vegetables melt into a rich, silky stew that’s bright with vinegar and flecked with fresh herbs. If you’re able to try it in the next few weeks, do. Eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and herbs are all in season. This ratatouille recipe is the perfect way to use them.
Ready to try this ratatouille recipe? Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Onion and garlic – They create the stew’s flavorful base.
- Eggplant – Any kind!
- Zucchini – I’ve been obsessed with Italian striped zucchini (pictured above) this summer, but other varieties of summer squash are also fair game. Feel free to use regular zucchini, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, or whatever you have on hand!
- Peppers – Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers all taste great! I’ve had good results with red pimento peppers too.
- Cherry tomatoes – I add them in two parts. Half get really soft and saucy, while the rest become tender and bursty, but still hold their shape. I love this combination in the final dish!
- Dried oregano, fresh thyme, and herbes de Provence – They add aromatic depth of flavor.
- White wine vinegar – It makes the ratatouille tangy and bright.
- Fresh herbs – For garnish! Basil and thyme are fantastic, but I especially love ratatouille with fresh oregano on top.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – Use it to sauté the veggies first. Then, drizzle it over the finished stew for extra body and richness.
- Red pepper flakes and salt and pepper – The red pepper flakes add heat, and the salt and pepper make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Ratatouille
Ratatouille has a reputation for being a labor-intensive dish, but if you don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, don’t worry! My ratatouille recipe is simpler than a traditional one, and the results are just as flavorful. Here’s how it goes:
- First, sauté the veggies. In a traditional ratatouille recipe, you would brown each vegetable separately before adding it to the stew. In my recipe, I streamline this process. You’ll sauté the veggies in two parts. First, cook the eggplant and onion. Then, add the zucchini, peppers, thyme, half the cherry tomatoes, and dried herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften.
- Next, take it off the heat. Stir in half the vinegar and pile the remaining cherry tomatoes on top.
- Then, bake. French ratatouille is usually cooked entirely on the stove, but I like to finish mine in the oven. That way, the stew gets thick and velvety, and the cherry tomatoes on top become really juicy and start to burst.
- Finally, season and enjoy! Remove the ratatouille from the oven, add the remaining vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it right away, with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs, or store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. I like it best on days 2 and 3, when the flavors have had more time to develop. Most often, I eat it hot from the stove on day 1 and at room temperature after that. It’s delicious both ways!
Ratatouille Recipe Serving Suggestions
My favorite way to enjoy ratatouille is the simplest: in a big bowl with lots crusty bread on the side! Before you eat, top it with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs to deepen the flavor. Make it a full meal by pairing it with a simple cooked protein, like my lemon marinated lentils. Here are a few more delicious ways to serve it:
- Use it as the filling for an omelet, or top it with a sunny-side-up egg.
- Spoon it over pasta or creamy polenta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Pile it onto cooked farro or couscous and sprinkle it with roasted chickpeas for crunch.
How do you like to eat ratatouille? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Summer Recipes
If you love this ratatouille recipe, showcase your late summer veggies in one of these recipes next:
- Classic Caprese Salad
- Panzanella Salad
- Easy Gazpacho
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Eggplant Parmesan
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- ½ yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound eggplant, stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced into ½-inch thick half-moons
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar, divided
- Fresh basil and/or thyme leaves, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, eggplant, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, half the tomatoes, the bell pepper, zucchini, thyme, herbes de Provence, oregano, the remaining salt, and pinches of black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Top with the remaining cherry tomatoes and bake uncovered for 17 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes start to burst.
- Remove from the oven, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with fresh herbs. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, as desired.