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Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Micah Marie Morton
  • Active Time

    30 minutes

  • Total Time

    40 minutes

Ratatouille is a classic French dish that combines summer vegetables—usually eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic cloves. Ratatouille recipes vary when it comes to the cooking method, though. Some call for roasting the vegetables separately, then combining them; others start with a tomato sauce and cook the other ingredients in its liquid. This fairly traditional ratatouille recipe keeps things simple, with whole veggies stewed in a skillet on the stovetop in extra virgin olive oil until they are tender and their flavors have blended together beautifully.

This warm weather vegetable stew (which originated in Provence) is also flexible, so you can swap in any summer vegetables you have on hand. If you have too much yellow squash in your garden, for instance, use that in place of the zucchini. If you grow herbs, try using fresh thyme instead of dried. However you make it, you can serve it in a variety of ways: It makes a great appetizer with slices of French bread (or any crusty bread); it’s a lovely vegetarian main course served with couscous; and it’s an excellent, flavorful side dish for fish. Like most stews, ratatouille is also excellent the next day; store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For the best flavor, let it return to room temperature before serving.


4 servings

1 onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp. olive oil
¾ lb. eggplant, cut into ½" pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¾ lb. small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1¼ cups)
¼ tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
¼ tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
⅛ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. fennel seeds
¾ tsp. salt
½ cup torn fresh basil leaves

Step 1

In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 Tbsp. of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp. oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened.

Step 2

Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5–7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. 

Do Ahead: The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving. 

Editor’s note:This recipe was originally published in the June 1991 issue of ‘Gourmet’ and first appeared on Epicurious in August 2004.For more of our best summer dinner recipes, head this way →

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  • I love the way the onions almost melt away into the dish—it turns out so mellow and savory! Made this tonight for the two of us, and there is almost none left over. The basil came from our garden, and everything was so FRESH and delicious. Five stars.

    • Anonymous

    • Tucson, AZ

    • 9/7/2022

  • Similar to our recipe. Different every time. We serve it over a few think slices of hot French bread

    • Nanlou

    • Plymouth mi

    • 8/27/2022

  • My only complaint about this recipe is the instruction to slice the onion thin. For me, this meant that by the end of cooking everything, the onions were a sort of stringy mush, even though I didn’t slice them super thin. I’d go with a 1/4 inch thickness minimum next time to avoid this.

    • Anonymous

    • Portland OR

    • 8/27/2022

  • I haven't made this, but my go to recipe is almost exactly the same, with the addition of sweet or mild Italian sausages. Much more hearty.

    • Fran

    • Cambridge, MD

    • 8/17/2022

  • Followthe recipe carefully and the results is 5 star. Aler it at your own risk. I've played with it and the result is never as good a this.

    • Alton Ego from the movie.

    • Ashland, OR

    • 8/4/2022

  • This is my go-to recipe. Best ratatouille ever. I generally make it exactly as directed. I've sometimes added mushrooms along with zucchini and red pepper, and once or twice I've thrown in a splash of red wine. Very straightforward, yet delicious!

    • at88

    • Ontario, Canada

    • 5/26/2020

  • Just made this this evening as written except that I did each step when they looked ready rather than adhering to suggested times (that would have taken too long). It was excellent as written but is of course the kind of recipe that can be worked with what's at hand. Actually I just remembered that I didn't have fresh tomatoes so I used a 14 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and it was really good.

    • ss in VA

    • Richmond, VA

    • 3/18/2020

  • After reading reviews, I added extra herbs and some kalamata olives. This recipe is easy to modify to include veggies on hand. I didn’t have as much eggplant as called for, so included mushrooms. The only other addition was some red wine. Served this over creamy polenta from this site. Will make this again.

    • swiersem

    • Elk Grove, CA

    • 9/22/2019

  • I love this recipe and it works every time. Recently I had a ratatouille in aspic which loked great and was delicious. But I can't seem to find a recipe, do you have one?

    • sangela5351

    • Wombarra NSW

    • 9/8/2019

  • This is a terrific recipe - just the right proportions of vegetables and flavourings - coriander, fennel and all! I have made it twice in the last week. It tastes even better the next day. it is going to be a regular on my menus.

    • Moneesha

    • Calcutta, India

    • 9/3/2019

  • Excellent ratatouille. I added Kalamata olives to give it some salty pungency and my herbs were fresh from the garden. A burst of summer!

    • lisasimpsonmbmph2607

    • washington, DC

    • 8/13/2019

  • I haven't made this recipe yet, but it is very much like one that I "throw together". The differences are I add plain old button mushrooms and my approach to cooking recipe. After sauteing each of the vegetables, I transfer to a slow cooker, add seasonings and continue to cook until desired tenderness of vegetables is achieved. This allows the flavors to mingle nicely without overcooking the ingredients because I've not gotten the timing down correctly. Sometimes even us "old cooks" have to adjust.

    • Asuetoo222

    • Cincinnati, OH

    • 5/22/2019

  • Very good recipe! Adjustments: spices x1.5 added a can of fire roasted tomatoes added a yellow squash blanched the eggplant raving reviews from guests

    • techsan518

    • McKinney, TX

    • 5/18/2019

  • Hey guys Remy Rat from everyone’s favorite movie, Ratatouille. I find this recipe insulting to how much olive oil and salt in the pepperoni. It took me 3 rat years to perfect my ratatouille to a level even God is afraid of (❌🧢). If any of y’all find another ratatouille recipe, bring them to me, so I can tear their tongue out of their body and hang them with it because they shouldn’t ever be able to taste again. 2/5

    • Remy Rat

    • Ratatouille (my classic movie)

    • 5/14/2019

  • Great recipe i loved it!the whole family ate it and even my picky child ate it so i think the recipe is a really good one .

    • giya:)

    • england

    • 12/19/2018

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