This oven-baked ratatouille pairs tender roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini with an herbaceous tomato sauce that’s loaded with fresh veggies. The melted cheese on top is the perfect finishing touch!
The super traditional method of making ratatouille involves cooking each vegetable separately, then combining them and cooking them together. Even if you had time for that, would you want to wash all those pots and pans? I don’t think so!
Eventually, people began combining the tomatoes, garlic, peppers, zucchini, and eggplant on the stovetop and cooking everything at once, and while that’s good too, I think this oven-roasted ratatouille recipe is even better!
Basically, you get the best of two different cooking methods here. You’ll simmer the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes on the stovetop with the herbs to make a chunky, flavorful sauce. Then, sliced zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant are layered over the tomato sauce so they can be roasted to perfection in the oven.
This dish is impressive enough to serve to guests, but easy enough that you can make it on a weeknight—especially if you give yourself a head start and assemble it the day before!
Ratatouille vs. Tian
If you’ve made a tian before, this dish probably looks very familiar. Technically speaking, this is a recipe for tian, not a traditional ratatouille.
Both ratatouille and tians are made with the same ingredients, but they use different cooking methods—ratatouille is made on the stovetop, while tians are made by layering vegetables in a round baking dish and baking them in the oven.
The two became conflated when the Disney movie Ratatouille featured a tian in its ending scene—but for some reason, they called it ratatouille instead. Ever since the movie came out, it’s become common for people to refer to tians made with tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini as ratatouille.
What You’ll Need
Ratatouille is a great recipe to make when you’re planning a trip to the farmer’s market! Here’s what you’ll need to pick up:
- Olive oil
- Red onions
- Yellow bell pepper
- Red bell pepper – An orange bell pepper can be substituted for either the yellow or red pepper.
- Crushed tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar – Choose a thick, syrupy variety for the best flavor.
- Fresh basil
- Fresh thyme
- Herbes de provence – Italian seasoning can be used instead.
- Zucchini – Yellow summer squash can be used instead of, or in addition to, the zucchini.
- Tomatoes – Heirloom varieties are especially pretty in this dish.
What Can I Substitute for Eggplant in Ratatouille?
If you’re not a fan of eggplant, simply use more zucchini or substitute pattypan or yellow squash instead.
How to Make Ratatouille
As I mentioned above, you can make the sauce and assemble the ratatouille, then bake it the next day; most of the cooking time is hands-off, though, so it’s also easy to make in one go.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
Sauté the vegetables for the sauce. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until they’re softened; this should take about 8–10 minutes.
Finish the sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s thickened.
Assemble. Starting on the outside edge of the dish, layer the sliced eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes over the sauce, forming a spiral pattern. Scatter the mozzarella over the top.
Bake. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve. Remove the ratatouille from the oven and top it with the Parmesan and leftover herbs. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
Here are a few hints and tips to help you make perfect ratatouille.
- Thinly slicing the vegetables. If you have a mandoline slicer, this is the best way to get thin, evenly-sliced veggies. Otherwise, use a sharp knife and take your time cutting the eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes—if your slices have different thicknesses, they won’t cook evenly.
- Give the tomato sauce a taste-test. If it seems too acidic, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce.
- Spice it up. Some ratatouille recipes call for a pinch of red pepper flakes, so if you want a little heat, feel free to add that to the sauce!
What Is Traditionally Served With Ratatouille?
You can serve ratatouille as a side dish for a meat (I recommend pairing it with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts or Lemon Basil Chicken), but it’s also a great vegetarian main dish when rounded out with a crusty bread, or served over pasta, rice, or another grain.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days. Reheat ratatouille in the microwave, or in a saucepan on the stovetop set over medium heat.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze this ratatouille after it’s been baked. Wrap it well or transfer it to an airtight container and use it within 2 months. I recommend letting the ratatouille thaw in the refrigerator, then reheating it in a 350ºF oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through. It can also be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop set over medium heat.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 30 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped plus some leaves to serve
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems, plus some leaves to serve
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 6 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish, add the diced onion, peppers and garlic and cook until softened: 8-10 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, thyme leaves and herbes de Provence. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken as it cooks.
- Starting on the outside edge of the casserole dish layer the sliced eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes on top of the sauce. Alternate between the three veggies as you make your way around the dish in a spiral pattern. Add the mozzarella.
- Cover the dish with a lid (or foil) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven sprinkle over the Parmesan and add the leftover basil leaves and thyme.
- Serve immediately.
- You can substitute the herbes de Provence with oregano or Italian seasoning.
- Thinly slicing the eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes is key to this dish. Making sure all the slices are the same width, this ensures the vegetables cook evenly and it is visually appealing! You can use a sharp knife or kitchen mandoline to achieve this.
- Storage: Leftovers should be stored in a container in the fridge where they will keep for 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before eating.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.