Oven baked ratatouille is an extremely versatile dish. Super easy to make, and delicious served hot or cold, it is an ideal hearty vegan main dish or simple side dish. And ratatouille also freezes well, so why not stock the freezer with this easy meal.
TOTAL TIME INVESTMENT: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES
If I could cook everything in the oven, I think I probably would. I use my oven all the time to whip up easy side dishes, create pasta sauces, cook entire main meals, preserve the tomato harvest, cook lunchbox treats for The Princess, and then there is (always) dessert.
I love my oven so much that I constantly convert conventional recipes just so I can cook them in the oven instead. And this easy baked ratatouille recipe is case in point.
There are many things to love about my roasted ratatouille recipe. It is packed full of vegetables, so big tick on the nutrition front. It is also delicious served hot or cold, it works well as either a side dish or the main event with crusty bread, and the biggest tick (in my opinion) is that it freezes brilliantly.
Bake a huge batch of this easy ratatouille recipe at the height of summer when eggplants and zucchinis are in season, then stock up the freezer for that little reminder of summer in the dead of winter.
And if you are looking for other ideas for easy freezer meals, make sure you grab the free freezer meals guide from my library. Simply click the link below or request the password for my Resource Library at the end of this post.
Table of contents
- Why Oven Bake/Roast Ratatouille?
- Ingredient Substitutions for Oven Baked Ratatouille
- Baked Ratatouille Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
- How To Freeze Ratatouille
- Baked Ratatouille Recipe: A Few Tips & Tricks
- How to Enjoy Your Baked Ratatouille Recipe
Why Oven Bake/Roast Ratatouille?
Whilst I know a slow cooker provides all the convenience of the oven, what a slow cooker cannot do is add that extra dimension to a dish that an oven does. In the oven, flavours concentrate, the edges of foods darken and caramelise, and crispy bits develop; which all adds to the eating experience.
I also love the freedom that the oven gives me. I don’t stress about a dish catching on the bottom of the pan and burning, and I can carry on with other things whilst dinner is cooking. I can even put something in the oven and dash out to run errands without fear of burning the house down.
This simple vegan ratatouille recipe will take a good hour and a half in the oven, needing little attention aside from the occasional stir. This leaves plenty of time to finish those other chores or put your feet up. Me, I’m off to the shops.
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Ingredient Substitutions for Oven Baked Ratatouille
Ratatouille is all about the vegetables, and the synergy that develops between the eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and tomato as it cooks.
You can play around with the quantities of these vegetables to achieve a balance that suits your personal palate, but I don’t advocate removing any one type of vegetable completely if you wish to retain the flavour of the dish.
Other ways you might consider to make it your own:
- Use only one type of capsicum (pepper). I use the red and the yellow for visual appeal, but you can easily just use one colour. Red and yellow peppers are sweeter than green, but if green is all you have then use them instead.
- Replace the red onions with brown onions.
- Try a good tomato pasta sauce in place of the tomato passata.
- Use 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme in place of the fresh thyme, or omit it completely.
- Replace the fresh garlic with 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
- Use 1 teaspoon of dried basil in place of the fresh basil.
- Fresh or dried bay leaves may be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Baked Ratatouille Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Ratatouille is a vegetable stew made with eggplant (aubergine), capsicum (peppers), zucchini (courgette), tomatoes, garlic, and herbs and spices.
You do not need to peel your eggplant to make ratatouille. I don’t. Nor do I salt it.
However, if you have a family member that dislikes eggplant, I would peel it before adding it to the other ingredients. The removal of the skin will allow the eggplant to melt into the sauce, effectively hiding it from suspicious or picky eaters.
Ratatouille is a French dish that originated in Nice.
Ratatouille is delicious served either hot or cold.
Classic ratatouille, and this oven roasted version, is vegan.
Ratatouille freezes extremely well. See my tips below for freezing and reheating the dish.
How To Freeze Ratatouille
Freezing Oven Baked Ratatouille
Oven roasted ratatouille is a great way to use up a glut of summer vegetables, and as it freezes so well why not make a double batch and stash it in the freezer for the winter months.
To freeze ratatouille:
- Cook the dish as instructed in the recipe below.
- Allow the cooked ratatouille to cool slightly.
- Spoon the cooled ratatouille into freezer safe containers. I like to use a few different sized containers so I have some flexibility for future meals. For example, large meal sized containers need nothing but fresh bread added for dinner, smaller containers make great side dishes and a cup of frozen ratatouille is great for pizzas or pasta.
- Seal and label the containers, and transfer to the fridge to cool completely. I like to cool mine overnight but a minimum of 3 hours in the fridge is acceptable. This step is important as it minimises the development of ice crystals (which affect the texture of the defrosted dish) during freezing.
- Once cold, transfer the ratatouille to the freezer and freeze for up to four months.
Defrosting Oven Baked Ratatouille
Defrost the baked ratatouille in the fridge overnight, although I will admit I usually defrost mine on the kitchen bench for a few hours before using.
You can also defrost your ratatouille using the defrost setting on your microwave oven.
Reheating Baked Ratatouille
I usually reheat frozen ratatouille in a large saucepan on a low heat on the stove. Stir occasionally to ensure the ratatouille does not catch on the bottom of the pan and burn.
If the ratatouille is quite dry, you can add a splash of water whilst reheating.
You can also reheat the ratatouille in the oven. Place the defrosted ratatouille in an oven proof dish (preferably with a lid) and spread the vegetables out to cover the base of the dish.
Add a splash of water, cover the dish with a lid or a sheet of foil and place in a 160C oven. I cannot give you an accurate reheating time here as that is very dependent on the volume of ratatouille being reheated – although I would check after about 20 minutes in the oven. Stir the dish once or twice during reheating.
Baked Ratatouille Recipe: A Few Tips & Tricks
My baked ratatouille recipe is so easy that once you try it I promise you that you will never make it any other way again. As easy as this dish is, I do have a few extra tips for you to ensure your dinner is delicious:
- It is key that you roast the zucchini, capsicum, onion and eggplant before adding the tomato passata. Roasting concentrates the flavours of the vegetables by removing some of the water, which will result in a thicker sauce.
- I like to roast my garlic at the same time as the vegetables, then squeeze the silky puree into the base of the pan when adding the tomato passata. If you are using garlic powder, just stir this is with the rest of the dried herbs.
- Make sure your roasting tray is large enough that the vegetables aren’t overcrowded, as they will stew instead of roasting. I use my largest roasting pan for this dish. If your tray is not big enough, split the vegetables between two baking trays for the initial roasting. Once the vegetables are roasted, combine them on one tray to finish the dish.
- To freeze this baked ratatouille recipe, allow the ratatouille to cool before dividing it into freezer-safe containers (See my freezing tips above). Label the containers and freeze for up to three months.
How to Enjoy Your Baked Ratatouille Recipe
Turn your oven roasted ratatouille into a more substantial meal by:
- Layering it with bechamel sauce, pasta sheets and cheese to create a delicious vegetarian lasagne.
- Tossing a large scoop through cooked pasta for a super-quick meal.
- Serving the oven roasted ratatouille as a side dish with poached or fried eggs.
- Loading up a baked potato for lunch, or
- Spreading it over a pizza base for a simple after work dinner.
And if none of these ideas tickle your fancy, then try these suggestions instead.
Other Meals From The Freezer You May Like
Nothing makes you feel more successful at the whole “feeding the family” gig than having a few meals stashed in the freezer for those days when everything goes pear shaped, or when you really just can’t be bothered cooking.
Some of my favourite freezer meals are:
- Baked Italian Meatballs
- Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup
- Slow Cooker Mild Chicken Curry
- Healthy Shepherd’s Pie
- Homemade Frozen Pizza
Made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below.
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Easy Oven Baked Ratatouille Recipe
It also freezes well, so why not keep a batch on hand in the freezer for an emergency meal.
- 2 red onions
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 yellow capsicum
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large zucchini
- 4 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
- 2 bay leaves fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 750 ml (3 cups) tomato passata
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced)
- Chop the onion, capsicum, eggplant and zucchini into similar size pieces. I try to make them about 1.5 – 2cm in size.
- Place the chopped vegetables and garlic cloves in a large roasting tray.
- Drizzle over the olive oil, season with salt & pepper and toss everything together gently until all of the vegetables are coated in oil.
- Place the tray in the oven and roast the vegetables for approximately 40 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are starting to brown. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- When the vegetables are cooked, remove the tray from the oven.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Squeeze the garlic cloves out into the bottom of the tray and discard the husks.
- Add the tomato passata, bay leaves and fresh thyme to the tray and stir to coat.
- Place the tray back into the oven, and cook for a further 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and noticeably thickened.
- Remove the tray from the oven and stir in the chopped basil.
- Serve hot or cold.
- The key to this dish is roasting the zucchini, capsicum, onion and eggplant before adding the tomato passata.
- Roast the garlic at the same time as the vegetables, then squeeze the silky puree into the base of the pan when adding the tomato.
- If you are using garlic powder, just stir this is with the rest of the dried herbs.
- Make sure your roasting tray is large enough that the vegetables aren’t overcrowded, as they will stew instead of roasting. If your tray is not big enough, split the vegetables between two baking trays for the initial roasting. Once the vegetables are roasted, combine them on one tray to finish the dish.
- Freeze this baked ratatouille recipe for up to three months
Update notes: This post was originally published on 22nd March 2015. It was updated on 22nd August 2018 to include nutritional analysis, serving suggestions, frequently asked questions and ingredient substitutions. Additional updates were made on 26th February 2020 to include a Table of Contents and freezing instructions.