July 26, 2023



The perfect end of summer dish for anyone, but especially for someone with a bountiful garden. Traditionally, ratatouille was used as a way of utilizing all of the vegetables grown during peak season, so that is exactly what we did. Featuring zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, we put the phrase “if it grows together, it goes together” to action to create one of our favorite vegetable dishes of the year!

It’s rich and satisfying, yet wonderfully nutritious.

What Exactly is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille, besides being a fantastic Disney movie (my favorite in fact), is a French dish consisting of vegetables, spices, and herbs, cooked together. Which was originally designed as a dish to utilize leftover scraps of vegetables, ratatouille has become a seasonal favorite around the world, not just in the Provencal region of France, where it originated.

Traditionally consisting of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, garlic, and herbs, cooked together in a manner similar to a stew, ratatouille has evolved into one of those dishes that has a loose definition and can be made with many different ingredients and in many different ways.

The Versatility of Ratatouille

The best part about ratatouille is the fact that it is so versatile. In fact, I rarely make ratatouille the same way twice. The reason for that is that ratatouille was originally a dish that utilized everything that you had growing in your garden. This recipe for ratatouille is my favorite, but if you plan to make this recipe at a different time of the year or you have different ingredients available, you could alter the ingredients entirely and still make a fantastic dish. By changing the vegetables, herbs, or complementary ingredients, you can make a dish with an entirely different flavor profile.

Ingredients for the Best Ratatouille

  • Vegetables: As I have mentioned above, you can use almost any combination you want to make this dish, but I prefer the balance of using zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. I like this combination because they not only taste great together, but they also reach their peak growing season during the same time of year (summer).
  • Herbs: Parsley, basil, and thyme are always safe bets here but using what you have or what you have growing in your garden is always the best bet. I like to use a combination of fresh and dried herbs. When doing this, be sure to add the dried herbs early and the fresh ones towards the end of the cooking process because the dried herbs release their flavors slowly over time and the fresh herbs don’t need much time/heat (if any) to release their flavor.
  • Complementary Flavors: I love to add a few red pepper flakes for some heat, some capers for a briny burst of flavor, and some fresh lemon zest for some freshness and pop!

Making Ratatouille

While ratatouille can be made in a number of ways, I elected to go the route of slicing and layering my vegetables into a casserole dish to be baked and served family-style. I like this method because it not only looks beautiful, but when baking all of the ingredients together, the flavors come together over time and create a fantastic sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish.

This recipe can also be done by dicing all of the vegetables and cooking them together, but you will need to stagger the cooking of the vegetables to account for the variations in the cooking time needed for each vegetable.

To make this recipe, you essentially:

  1. Cut Your Vegetables: When it comes to cutting your vegetables, you want to make sure you are cutting them to the same thickness. This will ensure that all the vegetables cook at the same rate so they will all be fork-tender when complete as opposed to having some vegetables being raw while others are overcooked and mush.
  2. Cook Your Sofrito: Sofrito is the step/technique in which you slowly cook cut vegetables and spices in olive oil to extract the flavors and caramelize the sugars. While sofrito is typically used in Spanish and Italian cuisine, I use it for this French recipe as well because it is a great way of imparting flavor to the dish while cooking some of the vegetables that require longer cooking times. In this recipe, the sofrito consists of garlic, peppers, onions, tomatoes, dried herbs, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Once everything is cooked low and slow, it is then added to the sliced vegetables to be baked.
  3. Layer Your Vegetables and Season: Once the sofrito is complete, you simply layer all of the vegetables into the casserole dish, being sure to season each layer with salt and pepper, and add the herbs and sofrito to each layer, similar to if you were making lasagna.
  4. Bake: Once all the vegetables are layered into the casserole dish, simply bake until all the vegetables are tender and you are done.

Tips for Making Ratatouille

  1. Think of it as a lasagna: When layering the vegetables into the casserole dish, think of the dish as lasagna with the sofrito being the tomato sauce. You want to make sure all of the vegetables get seasoned slightly and stagger the addition of herbs, capers, and lemon zest so that all areas get some of each ingredient.
  2. Cook it in advance: Suppose you want to be able to transfer the ratatouille to a plate and have it keep its shape and look beautiful. Bake the ratatouille a day in advance and let it cook in your fridge overnight with a piece of parchment paper on top of it and something slightly heavy to subtly compress all of the vegetables together.
  3. Use a mandolin:e When cutting the vegetables, to ensure you keep the same thickness throughout, try using a Japanese Mandoline.

This has to be one of our favorite recipes ever! Cheers and eat well.


This delicious and layered Ratatouille is not only beautiful but it is packed with fresh flavor! Featuring zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, we put the phrase “if it grows together, it goes together” to action.















  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced into rounds between ⅛ - 1/16 inch thick
  • 1 medium summer squash (sliced into rounds about between ⅛ - 1/16 inch thick)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (sliced into rounds about ⅛ inch thick)
  • 1 medium tomatoes (cut into a small dice)
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced into rounds about between ⅛ - 1/16 inch thick)
  • 1 head of garlic (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced into rounds about between ⅛ - 1/16 inch thick)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced into rounds about between ⅛ - 1/16 inch thick)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Italian herb blend
  • 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (picked and roughly chopped)
  • 2 ounces of fresh thyme (picked)
  • ¼ cup of capers
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt (as needed)


  1. Cut and prep all of your vegetables and herbs.
  2. Once you have all of your vegetables cut and your herbs prepped, put a pot on the stove and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat on to medium and allow the pot to get hot for about 30 seconds. Once the pot is hot, add the peppers and onions and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until they just start to become translucent. Add a few pinches of salt.
  3. After 5-6 minutes, add the chopped garlic and toast briefly for about 2 minutes.
  4. When the garlic starts to brown lightly, add the one tomato that you cut into small dice, followed by two pinches of salt. Mix everything together and add the dried herbs and the red pepper flakes and turn the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until the peppers and onions become tender.
  5. After 15 minutes, add the capers and turn off the heat.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 F and grab your casserole dish or pan that is about 9”x11”.
  7. Build the ratatouille inside of the dish by spooning some of the sauce on the bottom of the dish, then start layering the vegetables inside of the dish intermittently, in a slightly staggered manner (I usually do three zucchini/squash-2 tomatoes-some of the cooked peppers/onions mixture-repeat) similar to as if you were building a lasagna. Season the vegetables with a few pinches of salt, a few grates of fresh lemon zest, and half of the herbs, and then drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables. Add some of the cooked pepper/onion mixture on top of the layered vegetables and repeat the process again, making a second layer.
  8. Once you have topped the second layer with the herbs, oil, lemon, and salt, transfer the dish to the oven and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  9. Allow the ratatouille to cool slightly before serving.


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