Baked Ratatouille

Baked ratatouille

One of my absolute favorite dishes to make in the summer time is ratatouille. A traditional dish hailing from the Provence region of France (and pronounced rat-eh-too-ee…it took me forever to get it right), ratatouille is traditionally made by stewing together tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, squash and herbs. There’s much debate about the ‘proper’ way to make it, and like many French dishes, it seems like the right way to make it is the way your grandmother did.

In any case, I had yet to make a batch this summer, and was dying to get back in to the kitchen after several weeks of vacationing and dining out. I had also had this image pinned on Pinterest for a while, and it inspired me to try my hand at a sort of baked ratatouille, made a bit more decadent (and very non-traditional) with a crusty, cheesy topping. All the same flavor, but it would look much prettier when it was finished! As I was making this, I remembered another French dish called confit byaldi, which is a variation on ratatouille and was also featured in the 2007 Pixar film by the same name. Mine is definitely not as fancy as that, but it was SO simple to put together and it tasted like summer. On a Wednesday night in August, who can ask for more?

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Baked Ratatouille

Serving: The recipe below makes enough for one large round baking dish. I divided my vegetables up in to one medium oval dish, and another smaller one. Depending on whether you were serving this as a main course or as a side dish, the recipe can easily feed between 2 and 4 people, perhaps 6 for small servings as an accompaniment.

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • pinch crushed red pepper flake
  • 1 medium-large zucchini
  • 1 medium-large yellow zucchini
  • 1 orange heirloom tomato
  • 4 medium vine tomatoes
  • 1 small Japanese eggplant
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Note about the vegetables: Be sure to purchase squash, eggplant and tomatoes that are roughly the same size in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you end up with a really skinny zucchini and a fat eggplant, you may have to do some trimming to get the dish to look as nice. When I made this dish, I used a regular bell shaped eggplant, and that made things more difficult, which is why I’m recommending the use of Japanese eggplant. They tend to be more cylindrical.

For garnish:

  • Asiago or your choice of cheese (I’d try Parmigiano Reggiano, or even goat cheese! But whatever you have around and will melt well.)
  • Fresh basil, julienned

Preheat your oven to 400°.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onions and let cook for a minute until they just begin to soften. Add in half of the chopped garlic, the crushed red pepper flake, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occassionally, while you prepare the vegetables. Lower the heat if you notice the onions are browning too quickly.

While the onions cook, slice the ends off the squash and eggplant, as well as the stems off of the tomatoes. Then, slice each vegetable so that it is about 1/4″ thick. You can make this more thick or less thick — the most important thing is that you make your cuts consistent, so the vegetables will all cook evenly. If you make the cuts thinner, keep in mind they can cook faster; thicker, and they will take a bit longer (though the flavor can develop more).

Once the vegetables are prepped, add in the tomato paste to the pan with the onions. Stir to distribute and “melt,” until the paste has coated the onions and the mixture is fragrant. Transfer the onion mixture to the bottom of your baking dish, and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Baked ratatouille

Next, begin arranging your sliced vegetables in the dish, alternating by color. You can arrange these in whatever pattern you want; I like to stack them in an outer circle first, then fill the inside area with leftover pieces. Sprinkle the rest of the garlic over the top of the arranged vegetables, then season the whole thing with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Baked ratatouille

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, or until the mixture is very bubbly and the vegetables look tender. Remove the dish from the oven, and turn your broiler on to high. Layer shaved or sliced cheese on top of the cooked vegetables, then bake underneath the broiler until the cheese gets bubbly and brown. Let the dish sit for a couple minutes, garnish with freshly chopped basil, and serve. This is delicious with grilled steaks, roasted chicken, and would also be awesome with pasta or cous cous!

Baked ratatouille

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32 Comments

  1. Lara Matos wrote:

    This looks seriously amazing. And if you ignore the cheese, not too unhealthy either! Great recipe for summer, thank you for sharing.

    4 Aug 2011 · Reply
  2. Julip Made wrote:

    Ahhh Victoria, this looks amazing and mouthwatering and yummy. Once again you’ve read my mind because ratatouille is one of my all time favorite dishes either as a meal or a side to a protein. Add some fresh baked bread to soak up the juices… perfection. Sometimes I also do a mix between a ratatouille and caponata with capers or olives, but never baked so I will definitely have to try this. Although it is wayy to hot for oven use here yet.

    4 Aug 2011 · Reply
  3. kat tanita wrote:

    MMMM this looks absolutely delicious! I am going to make this next week for dinner! Healthy and easy what could be better :)

    4 Aug 2011 · Reply
  4. I’m totally making this for a Thanksgiving side. I don’t care if its not summer anymore :)

    22 Nov 2011 · Reply
  5. Denae wrote:

    This was amazing! thank you for sharing your recipe!

    10 Feb 2014 · Reply
  6. Britain wrote:

    I made this recipe yesterday, and it was delicious; however, if it became a bit “juicy” after cooking, did it go too far. The “juice” was delicious, but I wanted to ask if that is typical. I don’t see it on yours.

    18 Mar 2014 · Reply
    • Victoria McGinley wrote:

      Hi Britain,

      It really depends on the vegetables you used and how much moisture was in them. Some tomatoes or squash might have more liquid; others might be drier. One thing you can try is to let it sit for a bit before you serve it — maybe 10 minutes or so. Like a lasagna, this can help some of the juices settle and re-distribute/re-absorb! At the end of the day, if you have some juice, that’s what good crusty bread is for :)

      18 Mar 2014 · Reply
  7. GLORIA KOUROUNIS wrote:

    Can’t wait to try this! I’m diabetic and looking for low carb recepies of foods I like. I think this will be one to keep. Thankx.

    11 Sep 2014 · Reply
  8. Beth wrote:

    I watched the movie today and decided I would try to find a recipe online so I could try Ratatouille for myself and I found you awesome looking picture. I cooked it and just now had my first bite and it was so good. This is something I look forward to cooking for my kids every fall! What a tasty way to get kids to eat veggies. I only wish I had found your recipe sooner. Thanks so much~Beth

    16 Oct 2014 · Reply
  9. Abi wrote:

    Made this tonight. Left off the cheese for dieting friends and used less oil but served with feta cheese and toasted bread. It was delicious! It was a bit juicy but I think if I left the foil of. For the last twenty mins of cooking it would evaporate a bit. I love the flavours the onions give in the bottom, and it looks so pretty! A nicer alternative to our usual slow cooker version.

    3 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Abi! Yes, baking without the cover would definitely encourage evaporation, however all those veggie juices would be delish over rice or pasta too! ;)

      3 Mar 2015 · Reply
  10. Sharon wrote:

    This is one of my favorite recipes. I’ve made it dozens of times. I leave off the cheese and add a tablespoon or two of Herbs de Provence. It is so delicious. Chopped up next day and tossed with pasta is wonderful too. I wanted to thank you for a great recipe that has made many happy meals.

    16 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Sharon, this comment made me so happy! I’m so glad that you love it so much. Keep enjoying it — especially as summer time approaches! :)

      19 Mar 2015 · Reply
  11. Danielle C wrote:

    Let me start by saying I am NOT a cook! But I wanted to try to make a dish that would really be liked by the family, and that’s when I came across this recipe. I have made it several times now, and each time is better and better! I enjoy making it and it’s delicious! This is the only recipe I use now for baked ratatouille. Everyone loves it! Thanks for the easy recipe, and for making me enjoy cooking ; )

    7 Apr 2015 · Reply
    • Hi Danielle! I am thrilled that this is a family favorite now! My husband loves it too when I make it each summer — I’m glad to be able to share with your family! Happy cooking.

      7 Jul 2015 · Reply
  12. Jess H wrote:

    I made this recipe tonight and it was simply amazing. I hosted a dinner party and one of my guests is a vegetarian… she absolutely adored this dish, as did the rest of us! The vegetables sang and the parmesan cheese gave it a beautiful depth. Kudos and thank you for making my dinner party a huge success!

    3 Jul 2015 · Reply
    • Jess, I am SO happy to hear this! Your comment made my night the other night! I am so glad it was a hit at your dinner party. Enjoy the leftovers, if there are any! :)

      7 Jul 2015 · Reply
  13. Kae wrote:

    This was one of the most straightforward ratatouille recipes I found! I followed your recipe (but swapped baby bella mushrooms for the eggplant) and it was so delicious! My family (and guest) loved it. We paired it with some garlic naan bread and it was fantastic. We are using the leftovers tonight as a cold bruschetta! Thanks for the recipe!

    23 Jul 2015 · Reply
  14. v wrote:

    The sadly gone restaurant, Magic Pan, a crepe restaurant used to make a Ratatouille crepe that was outstanding. I’ve never had Ratatouille since because nothing could compare. I wonder if this could be stuffed in a crepe!

    3 Aug 2015 · Reply
    • I think so! I think you could follow the recipe as is, then let it cool a bit, and scoop the veggies out and place them in the crepe. Should be really good!

      3 Aug 2015 · Reply
  15. sandra reinbold wrote:

    I made this dish with a few changes that turned out very delicious and is now a family favorite. I mixed half a can of tomato paste with water and a few glugs of balsamic vinegar to make a cup. I then sauted a cup of cherry tomatoes and added the tomato paste mixture and the cherry tomatoes over the onions. I proceeded with layering the veggies and crumbled feta cheese on top with shredded basil. Covered it for thirty minutes, cooked further for ten minutes with the top off.

    23 Aug 2015 · Reply
  16. Sheri wrote:

    AMAZING!!! Made this for the first time ever last night, it will be a frequent side dish!

    25 Feb 2016 · Reply
  17. Kathleen wrote:

    Is there a way I could cook this at 350?

    25 Feb 2016 · Reply
    • Hi Kathleen,

      Yes, absolutely. You may find it takes longer to achieve the golden brown caramelized spots, and the dish will take longer to bake overall, but it’s still doable!

      26 Feb 2016 · Reply
  18. Roseanna wrote:

    I’ve wanted to make this ever since I saw the movie… forgot about it till now !

    6 Jun 2016 · Reply
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