If you have been searching for the easiest, most satisfyingly delicious ratatouille dish… you’ve found it. This recipe is so simple that it will collectively blow your mind and make you scratch your head at just how so few ingredients can make so much flavor! Stay for a minute and take a look at the last ratatouille recipe you need to try.
This ratatouille dish is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, low carb, paleo and incredibly satisfying.
A Simple Ratatouille Dish
For my entire childhood and most of my adult life, I couldn’t stand zucchini. Over the years, various people in my life thought it was funny to try and sneak it into different recipes thinking that I might just fall in love with it at some point. Typically, I would walk into the kitchen and immediately ask where the zucchini was hidden because I could sniff it out a mile away. Looking back, I think that it was all a huge waste of energy on my part. Zucchini is just so delicious.
But this post isn’t about zucchini… it’s about ratatouille. Give me a minute to walk down memory lane. All my hatred for zucchini changed about eight years ago when we were visiting family friends at their house in the south of France in Roquebrun. We walked into the kitchen of this beautiful house perched on the side of a mountain and it smelled divine. Sylvie was hard at work in the kitchen making a southern French style ratatouille. She had picked all the vegetables out of the garden that morning. It was nothing short of spectacular and my love for zucchini was born.
The ratatouille recipe that I am sharing with you today is very similar to what she made for us. This recipe is my wife’s ratatouille recipe that we sold through our catering company with huge fan fare here in Cleveland. Sometimes simplicity speaks volumes.
How To Make Ratatouille
Making a good ratatouille starts with the ingredients. For this recipe, we are only going to use 5 fresh ingredients. Let’s take a look at them:
- Onions: you can use just about any type of white onion except the sweet varieties. I’ve found out (much to my surprise) that onions like Mayan Sweets give the ratatouille recipe a cloying flavor that isn’t wonderful.
- Tomatoes: You can use whatever type of larger tomato you would like. If heirloom is your style, go for it. I wouldn’t use any type of cherry tomato in this recipe, although its larger cousin the plum tomato would work fine. We’re looking for about 4 cups total on the tomatoes after they are chopped.
- Zucchini: Typically I try to buy medium sized zucchini. They have good flavor and are really easy to work with.
- Yellow Squash: Again, I like the medium squash size. I find that with the larger squash the seeds are really developed which I just don’t like very much in ratatouille.
- Garlic: I use roasted garlic but fresh will work just as well. If you use fresh garlic, go ahead and mince it and add in at the tail end of when you are cooking the onions to build a bit of fragrance. Instead of 5 roasted garlic cloves, go ahead and use 2 or 3 fresh garlic cloves instead.
Making ratatouille is simple. All you need to do is add these fresh ingredients to a pan, add in some Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. It kind of just makes itself from there. I really don’t know of a more simple ratatouille recipe than this one.
A True French Ratatouille Recipe
Ratatouille is a traditional Provencal vegetable stew. You will see many different ratatouille recipes out there that include eggplant, peppers and other veggies. Guess what… these ingredients are very traditional in just about any French Ratatouille recipe. At our house we like to keep it as simple as possible, which is just a mixture of squash, tomato and onion with some other traditional French seasoning.
If you are having trouble finding Herbs de Provence, you can get these yummy herbs de provence in a cool crock next day via Amazon Prime. We have the same crock on our counter but it has been filled hundreds of times over the years with various versions of herbs de provence. The one version of herbs de provence that I’m not in love with has lavender in it. I find that the lavender overpowers most recipes with a floral headiness.
QUICK COOKING TIP: It is going to seem like you are making enough of this ratatouille dish for an army when you get started, but keep in mind that everything is going to cook down to about half the original volume. Just make sure that you are starting out with a large enough pan to fit everything into!
Ok. Let’s take a look at how to make this yummy ratatouille dish.
RUSTIC PROVENCAL RATATOUILLE DISH
- 2 Onions peeled and sliced (I use Spanish)
- 2 Beefsteak Tomatoes cored and sliced, then chopped (see picture above)
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- 1 Yellow Squash chopped
- 2 Zucchini chopped and divided evenly
- 5 Roasted Garlic Cloves
- 1 TSP Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 3 TBSP Herbs de Provence
- 4 TBSP Grated Parmesan or Parmesan with Asiago (optional)
- Using a stainless steel pan or other non-reactive pan (avoid aluminum and cast iron when cooking tomatoes for any length of time), heat over medium-high heat. Add in the oil. When the oil shimmers, add in the onion and salt. Mix well. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the tomatoes and stir.
- Add in the yellow squash, ½ of the zucchini, garlic, pepper and herbs. Stir well.
- When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- After an hour, add in the remaining zucchini. Cook 1 more hour, stirring occasionally.
- Taste, adjust seasonings and taste again.
- Serve hot and happy eating!
Final thoughts on the French Ratatouille Dish:
You don’t need to top this side dish with parmesan or asiago. Without this addition, it definitely stays in the vegan and paleo world… but the parmesan adds an additional dimension of flavor which is hard to recreate otherwise. I suppose that you could try some TVP on there… not sure about that one though. If you give it a try, please let me know.
So what should you pair the ratatouille dish with? It loves to be on a plate with Roasted Pork Tenderloin or the Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chop. If pork isn’t your thing, try these with my foolproof One Hour Roast Chicken or Oven Baked Chicken Tenders. The ratatouille also loves to pair with fish, particularly thick cuts like Sea Bass or Black Cod.
I hope that you enjoy this ratatouille recipe as much as we do.