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Comforting, hearty ratatouille is full of seasonal vegetables simmered in a richly flavored tomato broth, and is traditionally a French dish. It’s super satisfying, healthy, and works well as a main or a side dish. This Italian ratatouille recipe (or Ciambotta) is a twist on the French version, and adds potatoes along with the traditional vegetables you’re used to in a vegetarian ratatouille! Packed with herbs, full of flavor, perfect for the whole family!
Ratatouille has always been one of my favorite dishes. I recently found out that there are actually two versions: ratatouille with potatoes (also known as a Ciambotta stew, the Italian version), or veggie ratatouille without potatoes (the French version). Because I love potatoes as a way to bulk up vegetarian dishes, I knew I had to try to make a vegan friendly Italian ratatouille at home!
Be prepared to fall in love with this veggie ratatouille Italiano. The summer vegetables make this hearty stew feel light and refreshing. With a slight Italian twist on traditional ratatouille, this recipe will quickly become a favorite in your house. The zucchini, potatoes, and eggplant give this vegetarian ratatouille an almost creamy texture that is so satisfying and flavorful.
Try this easy ratatouille recipe over vegan mashed potatoes or vegan moussaka, and air fryer garlic bread for a healthy and satisfying meal. It’s simple, packed with flavor and fresh herbs, and super easy to make. I love using the garlic bread to soak up all the flavorful tomato sauce at the end!
If you’re serving it for brunch, try it alongside this eggs in a basket or this healthy omelette, or simply top it with a poached egg! You can also serve it as a main course, topped with some parmesan cheese, or over this pressure cooker quinoa for added protein.
This healthy ratatouille is full of summer produce and is one of my favorite Italian recipes! You’ll find that it’s easy and can be made in several different ways to suit your preferences.
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Healthy and delicious
- Seasonal veggies can be substituted
- Easy vegetarian ratatouille recipe
- Budget friendly
- Family friendly
- Works as a main dish or a side dish
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Best ratatouille recipe ever!
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This Italian version of ratatouille requires fresh veggies and just a handful of herbs, all easily found at any grocery store! Here’s what you need:
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is used for sauteeing the onions and garlic. It adds a richness in flavor to the dish, but you can always water saute if you are oil-free. Just 3 tablespoons of the olive oil are used to saute all your veggies for a deeper, more decadent flavor.
- Onion & Garlic Cloves: A yellow onion probably works best for this recipe, but white and red onion can also be used. Cooked garlic adds a sweet buttery flavor to any dish.
- Eggplant & Zucchini: The classic base for any vegetarian ratatouille recipe. Both of these ingredients have a mild, rich flavor and soft texture. Yellow squash would also work instead of zucchini.
- Sweet Bell Peppers: Yellow bell pepper and red bell pepper have an almost fruity, sweet flavor that offers a great contrast in this ratatouille-like recipe. Green bell peppers can be used, but will slightly change the flavor since they aren’t as sweet as yellow or red bell peppers.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are what make this ratatouille into an Italian ciambotta recipe! They give this classic dish a starchy heartiness, making it more filling and satisfying.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: Tomatoes make up the base of the “sauce”, and provide much needed acidity to this eggplant ratatouille.
- Herbs And Spices: Oregano, dried and fresh basil, salt and black pepper are essential to this recipe. Fresh basil adds bright citrusy aromatics and pairs nicely with the dried Italian herbs. Salt and pepper are essential to any recipe for adding tons of flavor – don’t leave them out!
While this recipe does require a lot of prepping and chopping of veggies, it’s actually really easy to make! Here’s how to make this authentic Italian ratatouille recipe:
Saute Onions And Garlic: In a large hot pan or large skillet on medium-high heat, heat oil and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent.
Add Veggies: Place peppers, diced eggplant, and zucchini in the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
Add Remaining Ingredients, Except Basil Leaves: Add the potatoes, canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Cook Through: Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure to scrape up the fond (The fond is the brown bits that stick to your pan after cooking vegetables or meat on the stovetop, or roasting them in the oven. They are packed with flavor and taste great when mixed into the sauce!)
Adjust To Taste And Serve: Adjust seasoning to taste, top with torn fresh basil leaves. Serve this easy vegan ratatouille recipe warm with some crusty bread on the side!
💭 Expert Tips
- Use a deep and large pan so the veggies can cook well. This will help the heat spread evenly and avoid the dish from becoming overly watery.
- If you prefer, you can peel the eggplant, but the skin can be left on.
- To temper the potential bitterness of your eggplant, soak the diced cubes in plain milk or unsweetened plant based milk for 30 minutes before cooking. Be sure to dry the cubes before adding them to the recipe.
- To speed up the process of thickening this potato ratatouille, you can add up to a half-can of tomato paste and/or raise the heat.
- To avoid mushy vegetables, make sure to cook them in the right order (as listed in this recipe!) Also, I recommend seeding the zucchini, eggplant, and peppers before dicing, to remove the most watery parts.
- To save on prep time, feel free to prep and chop the vegetables ahead of time and store in airtight containers in the fridge. Then you can just dump the veggies into the pan and begin cooking on the day you make this Italian ratatouille!
- Italian Ratatouille With Baked Eggs: Make this into a breakfast dish or have breakfast for dinner by adding eggs to this recipe! Scoop your potato and aubergine ratatouille into an oven safe dish, scoop out a well, and crack an egg into it. Bake until the egg whites are set.
- Change Up The Veggies: While this ciambotta stew has summer veggies like squashes and tomatoes, you can really make this recipe with any vegetables that are in season, so you can enjoy it year round! Feel free to try baby spinach, other yellow summer squash, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes or green beans!
- Add Other Herbs: Fresh thyme, or even fresh or dried rosemary would taste great in this dish. For a little more heat, add red pepper flakes.
- Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille: Add a crunch to your ciambotta recipe by adding freshly roasted chickpeas to your finished product. You can also just add regular chickpeas into the stew for added protein, but they won’t be crispy. It’s totally up to you!
- Mediterranean Ratatouille: Add olives, capers, and artichoke hearts to the traditional recipe to give it a Mediterranean flavor.
- Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille: Roast your vegetables instead of sauteeing them in a pan for a more smoky, caramelized flavor.
Ratatouille is so widely known, you might be wondering “Is Ratatouille French or Italian?”. Ratatouille is a dish that originated in the Provence region of France, the south of France. This French Provençal stew is made with stewed vegetables. While recipes vary, it is commonly made with tomato, garlic, onion eggplant, and zucchini with fresh herbs.
Italian ratatouille, also known as ciambotta, is basically the same dish as French ratatouille, with one major difference: Italian ratatouille includes potatoes!
Ciambotta is a vegetable stew that is a popular dish in southern Italy. The word “ciambotta” comes from the southern Italian dialect and does not have a direct translation in English. However, it is similar to the French dish ratatouille and the Spanish dish pisto, which are both vegetable stews made with similar ingredients.
Like ratatouille, ciambotta typically includes tomatoes, eggplant, onions, bell peppers, and sometimes zucchini or other vegetables, all cooked together in a tomato-based sauce. So what is the difference between Ratatioulle and Ciambotta? Ciambotta has potatoes, ratatouille does not!
This Italian ratatouille recipe is a flavorful vegetable stew that can be served as a main dish or a side dish. Here are some ideas for what to serve with ratatouille:
** With Grains: Serve it over brown rice, quinoa, bulgar, couscous, or your favorite grain.
** With Bread: Warm crusty bread goes great with this stew to mop up the delicious sauce.
** With Pasta: This is a great topping for pasta, or as a side dish for lasagna or other pasta dishes. It also tastes delicious over mashed potatoes.
** With Eggs: Top it with your favorite type of egg! Scrambled, sunny side up, fried, or poached all work well.
Yes! This vegetable stew is a super healthy dish for a few reasons:
1) Packed With Nutrients: Bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes are all loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
2) High In Protein: Believe it or not, vegetables have protein! Each serving of this delicious stew has 8 grams of protein. You can increase the protein even further by serving it with white beans, chickpeas, quinoa or eggs!
3) High In Fiber: Each batch of this vegan ratatouille has 11 grams of heart healthy fiber – almost half of your daily fiber needs.
You can store both ratatouille or ciambotta in the fridge or the freezer! Ratatouille freezes and reheats really well, and tastes even better the next day.
To Store In The Fridge: Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4-5 days.
To Freeze: Cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe container, making sure to remove any excess air. Label with contents and date. It will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.
To Reheat: When ready to reheat, you can warm in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl with a paper towel overtop. Or transfer to a pot and bring to a simmer on low heat. If reheating from frozen, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a pot to warm all the way through.
🍲 More Tasty Vegetable Dish Recipes!
- Vegetable Au Gratin
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Greek Fries
- Stewed Beans
- Baked Vegan Pasta With Roasted Vegetables
- Hearty Healthy Vegetable Lasagna
- Indian Vegetables
- Vegetable Polenta With Parmesan
- Roasted Broccoli And Potatoes
Love this vegetarian italian recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
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Italian Ratatouille (Ciambotta Recipe)
- In a large pan, heat oil and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent.
- Add in the diced eggplant, zucchini, and peppers, and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
- Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust seasoning to taste, top with torn fresh basil leaves and serve with crusty bread.
- Make sure to dice all vegetables evenly to ensure consistent cooking.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Fresh oregano can be used instead of dried.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- For some added heat, add some dried red chili flakes when sautéing the onions and garlic.