Friends, meet the ultimate summer meal! It doesn’t require turning on the oven or fussing with a complicated list of ingredients. Just throw a bunch of colorful summer vegetables into a pot with seasonings and olive oil and watch it transform into hearty, flavorful ratatouille. It’s absolutely perfect paired with any carb your heart desires (think bread and pasta and polenta, oh my!).
Our inspired version is easy to make, requiring just 1 pot and 10 simple ingredients, and it’s ready in less than 1 hour. Let us show you how it’s done!
What is Ratatouille?
But first, what is ratatouille and where did it come from?
Ratatouille is a stewed vegetable dish that originated in Nice, France. It’s commonly made with onion, garlic, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and leafy herbs. And while dishes called “ratatouille” date back to the 18th century, a dish resembling the ingredients mentioned above didn’t make it into cookbooks until around 1930.
The following is an inspired version made with simple methods, accessible ingredients, and bold flavor.
How to Make Ratatouille
This ratatouille begins with cooking cubed eggplant in a pot with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to allow it to release moisture and soak up flavor.
We then set the eggplant aside to give the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic a chance to cook without being overcrowded in the pan.
Next, we add the eggplant back in along with a duo of herby goodness: fresh basil and dried oregano. Additional salt and pepper provide even more flavor, while optional red pepper flakes add subtle heat and thyme provides more herbal notes.
For the tomato element, we opted for canned diced tomatoes for simplicity and bold tomato flavor!
After another quick 10 minutes of cooking, the vegetables become melt-in-your-mouth tender.
And lastly, we like to finish it off with additional basil for freshness and a swirl of good-quality olive oil for richness.
We hope you LOVE this ratatouille! It’s:
It’s the perfect recipe for weeknights or for celebrating an overflowing garden of summer veggies (we see you, zucchini!).
What to Serve with Ratatouille
Wondering what to serve with ratatouille? The options are endless! We love serving it over our Easy Vegan Polenta or Easy Gluten-Free Pasta, but it’s also delicious served alongside The Best Vegan Grilled Cheese or with a hearty piece of Easy Homemade Wheat Bread. It could also be served over cauliflower rice, rice, quinoa, millet, or your favorite grains!
More 1-Pot Summer Recipes
- 1-Pot Smoky Lentil Vegan Taco “Meat”
- Socca Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Pesto
- 1-Pot Vegan Minestrone (Gluten-Free)
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Ratatouille (Versatile, 1 Pot!)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, DIVIDED
- 1 medium eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (1 eggplant yields ~5 cups chopped)
- 2 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (can use green or yellow // 2 zucchini yield ~2 ½ cups chopped)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (1 bell pepper yields ~2 cups chopped)
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely diced (1 onion yields ~2 cups chopped)
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced (4 cloves yield ~2 Tbsp minced)
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (or sub 2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, diced)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (plus more for serving)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more for seasoning eggplant)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
FOR SERVING optional
- Pasta (gluten-free as needed)
- Crusty bread (gluten-free as needed)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Heat 2 Tbsp (30 ml // adjust if altering number of servings) of olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large rimmed skillet) over medium heat. Once hot, add the eggplant and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant softens and begins to brown — about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat another 1 Tbsp (15 ml // adjust if altering number of servings) of oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook until tender and slightly browned — about 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant back in, along with the diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, thyme (optional), and red pepper flakes (also optional). Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or until the liquid has slightly reduced and the vegetables are soft. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt for overall flavor, basil or oregano for more herb flavor, or red pepper flakes for heat.
- Leftovers will keep stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.