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January 17, 2024


Tomatoe-y, hearty, and comforting, are just three of our favorite things about this herby, flavor-packed vegetable stew


homemade ratatouille in a skillet with a spoon made with diced vegetables, spices, olive oil and fresh basil
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More Veggie Filled Dishes From The Modern Proper

Best Ratatouille Recipe

Nothing beats this easy ratatouille recipe when you’re looking to impress a mostly vegetarian crowd. It’s up there with our Vegetable Pot Pie for top veggie recipes. We say mostly because even the biggest meat eaters will love this ratatouille dish. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth, golden brown veggies in a tomatoey, garlicky, herby sauce from scratch elevates any menu. The flavor will continue to improve and develop day after day if there are any leftovers (which we doubt!). If you are wondering what to serve with ratatouille, we recommend our Lemon Rice, White Rice, Creamy Polenta, Cauliflower Gnocchi, or Perfect Couscous.

homemade ratatouille in a skillet made with eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, bell peppers & basil

What is Ratatouille

While many of us know ratatouille as a movie about a small, adorable rat who can cook, most of us don’t actually know what ratatouille is usually made of! In most cases, this vegetable-filled, stew-like dish that originated in Nice, France, is made best in season due to the fact that it’s made with a variety of fresh, slow-roasted summer vegetables such as zucchini, squash, and tomatoes and paired with herbs like basil and thyme. You’ll definitely need some Parker House Rolls or Sourdough Bread to soak up all of the ratatouille's saucy goodness!

diced eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, peppers, basil, salt and pepper in bowls for ratatouille

Ratatouille Ingredients

While many traditional ratatouille recipes call for the use of a mandolin for thin, layered slices and hours in the oven, in our stove top ratatouille we cube everything and cook it in a heavy-bottomed pan to keep it super simple. For this ratatouille recipe, you’ll need:

  • Eggplant

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow summer squash

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

  • Garlic powder and garlic cloves

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Yellow onion, chopped

  • Fresh thyme

  • Roma tomatoes

  • Bell peppers

  • Fresh basil

  • Crusty bread

diced eggplant, zucchini & squash in a bowl with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil
eggplant, zucchini and squash seasoned with salt and pepper being cooked in a skillet with olive oil
onion, garlic and thyme being cooked in olive oil in a skillet
onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes and bell peppers being cooked in olive oil in a skillet

How to Make Easy Ratatouille

Follow our step-by-step instructions for a rich, flavorful, and easy ratatouille recipe:

  1. Chop everything! There are a handful of vegetables to cut up for this colorful garden vegetable stew – but – don’t fret, pop on your favorite album and enjoy! Pro tip: try to cut everything uniformly so it cooks evenly and looks beautiful!

  2. Cook in batches! The vegetable mix should turn a golden brown color and slightly caramelize on the bottom, deepening the flavor! The easiest way to achieve this is by making sure there is only a single layer so the vegetables don’t steam but rather roast. After the large diced vegetables are finished, you’ll remove the mixture and cook the onion, garlic, tomato, and herb mixture!

  3. Let the flavors marry! Add the vegetable mixture into the tomato mixture and allow the stew to cook until you’re satisfied with the texture. We recommend cooking the vegetables for at least 30 minutes until they are nice and tender. However, you can continue to cook the ratatouille for up to 1 hour until they have gotten even softer and almost stew-like.

homemade ratatouille in a skillet made with eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, bell peppers & basil
homemade ratatouille in a skillet made with eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, bell peppers & basil

Simple Tools You’ll Need For Homemade Ratatouille

Main Dish Idea to Pair With Ratatouille

Ratatouille makes a delicious main dish paired with a simple starch like rice, polenta or potatoes, but sometimes we like to pair it with a meaty main dish. Here's a few of our favorites.

A Comforting Yet Healthy Side: Ratatouille

Did you impress your guests with this vegetable ratatouille? For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

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  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min
  • Calories: 212


  • 1 pound eggplant, large diced
  • 1 pound zucchini, large diced
  • 1 pound yellow summer squash, large diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large bell peppers, diced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)


  1. Place the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash in a large bowl. Add one teaspoon of the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss until coated.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches, add the eggplant, zucchini, and squash in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes total. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil as needed. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the eggplant and zucchini.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender 45-60 minutes.

  5. Remove the thyme stems and stir in the basil. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil, additional basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories212
  • Protein5 g
  • Carbohydrates20 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber8 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium320 mg
  • Total Sugars8 g


Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Farah

    Hi! Can the eggplant, zucchini, and squash be roasted in the oven instead of browned on the stovetop?

    Sure! that would work fine! Hope you enjoy Farah.

  • Jenn

    Absolutely LOVED THIS!

    Thanks Jenn!