The French classic ratatouille is a fantastic fall side dish! Filled with in-season veggies like zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomato, ratatouille pairs well with fattier meats and fish (like tuna). For a meatless entree, serve it with some creamy polenta, pasta, or crusty bread.
This roasted veggie ratatouille is my favorite – the roasting of all the vegetables individually before combining, allows the flavors to remain distinct. Roasting also helps the dish from becoming too watery, a common complaint with ratatouille.
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When we belonged to Fresh Fork Market, a local CSA, the owner put out this recipe for ratatouille in one of the deliveries. He later came up with a second variation and I’ve noted those items below. The original is my preferred of the two and even those who would normally never touch eggplant have enjoyed a helping or two of that version!
Roasted Veggie Ratatouille Recipe
- 2 cups chopped zucchini (1-2 small/medium)
- 2 cups chopped yellow squash (1-2 small/medium)
- 2-4 cups chopped eggplant (1 medium/large, can peel it or not, the peel adds an additional nice color)
- 2-3 whole cloves of garlic, still in their paper
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 5-6 cups roughly chopped tomato (5-6 large tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, squash) by cutting into half-inch to one-inch cubes. Keeping the veggies separate, toss with olive oil and salt then place on an oiled or parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Add the garlic (in skins) as well. Roast in a 400-425 degree oven, turning once or twice until they start to have color, and a lot of the water is baked out. Remove each ingredient as it finishes (they won’t be at the same time).
Meanwhile, prep the tomatoes. To skin them (optional), bring a pot of water to a boil. Slice a small ‘x’ in the bottom of each tomato and drop into boiling water for about one minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes and set in a bowl of ice water. Peel back and discard the skin. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the roasted vegetables as well as the garlic (pressed from the skins after roasting). Saute a few minutes then add the tomatoes and stir regularly, until the veggies start to take on one character (20-30 minutes). Add basil towards the end of cooking time.
Season to taste with salt and pepper as well as a tablespoon or two of honey. The honey is another secret to this recipe as it helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes and makes for a very smooth tasting ratatouille.
Variation: Add 1 roughly chopped bell pepper (any color) and saute along with the onions. For a thinner ratatouille, add tomato sauce along with the chopped tomatoes until you reach the desired consistency.
NOTE: I personally prefer ratatouille a bit chunkier and with less liquid. The second variation, with bell pepper and tomato sauce, is shown in this post.
Serve as a side dish or as a stand-alone meatless meal! It works well with polenta, pasta, rice or crusty bread.
Check out some of my other tried & true recipes HERE.