This baked ratatouille recipe is super easy to make, and is an extremely versatile dish. Fantastic served hot or cold, it makes an ideal vegetarian main or a great side dish. It also freezes well, so why not keep a batch on hand in the freezer for an emergency 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 dessert. I 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.
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 and edges caramelise, and crispy bits develop, all of which add to the eating experience. I love my oven so much that I am constantly converting conventional recipes to oven baked versions. And this oven baked ratatouille recipe is case in point.
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There are many things to love about my baked ratatouille recipe. It is packed full of vegetables, so big tick on the nutrition front. It is delicious served hot or cold, and works well as either a side dish or the main event with crusty bread. The ratatouille 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.A super easy & versatile #baked #ratatouille #recipe that is delicious served either hot or cold. It is an ideal #vegetarian main or a great #sidedish. And it #freezes well, so stock up on #freezermeals #vegan #paleo #keto Click To Tweet
Ingredient Substitutions for my Baked Ratatouille Recipe
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.
- Use1 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: A few Tips & Tricks
This baked ratatouille recipe is so easy that once you try it I promise you that you will never make any other way again. 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. As easy as this dish is, I have a few extra tips for you:
- The key to this dish is roasting 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. 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. Label the containers and freeze for up to three months.
Baked Ratatouille Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of vegetables are in ratatouille? Ratatouille is a vegetable stew made with eggplant (aubergine), capsicum (peppers), zucchini (courgette), tomatoes, garlic, and herbs and spices.
Do you have to peel eggplant for ratatouille? 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 first as the flesh will dissolve into the sauce as the dish cooks.
Is ratatouille Italian or French? Ratatouille is a French dish that originated in Nice.
Is ratatouille served hot or cold? Ratatouille is delicious served either hot or cold.
Is ratatouille vegan? A classic ratatouille, and my oven roasted version, is a vegan dish.
How to Enjoy your Baked Ratatouille Recipe
Turn your oven roasted ratatouille into a more substantial meal by:
- Layering it with bechamel sauce and cheese to create a delicious vegetarian lasagne.
- Tossing a large scoop through pasta for a super-quick meal.
- Serving the oven roasted ratatouille as a side 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.
One year ago: Baked Italian Meatballs
Two years ago: Dukkah-Crusted Baked Salmon Fillets
Three years ago: Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup
Made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below.
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A Super Easy Baked Ratatouille Recipe
Super easy to make, and an extremely versatile dish. Fantastic served hot or cold, oven roasted ratatouille makes an ideal vegetarian main or a great side dish.
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 has been substantially updated to include nutritional analysis, serving suggestions, frequently asked questions and ingredient substitutions.