Spring Ratatouille Recipe

I’m a fan of dishes that offer flexibility. That’s why I love making this spring ratatouille. Traditionally a French summer dish of stewed veggies, a willingness to be creative can take you in many directions with this dish.

This ratatouille recipe can easily be made at any time of the year. It’s warming yet light, with perfectly cooked veggies being the biggest component.

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Substitutions and Modifications

While most recipes call for eggplant, onion, zucchini, tomato, and peppers, I’ll sometimes omit the zucchini and use sweet potatoes instead. I find adding sweet potatoes makes the dish heartier and more filling.

That being said, you can stick to the lighter veggies and serve this dish on a big bed of buttery noodles or creamy polenta. My favorite use for leftover ratatouille is atop homemade cast iron pizzas.

Curious about the pizza? Don’t worry, I’ll mention it at the bottom of this recipe.

For canned tomatoes, I prefer San Marzano, but whatever you have access to will work just fine. A splash of red wine never hurt a red sauce either, I mean, it’s already open, right?

Check out my recipe and let me know what you think, and if you tried this at home, tag me @liv_eatslocal!

How to Make this Spring Forward Ratatouille Recipe:

First, preheat your oven to 375˚F and slice your eggplant into 1/4″ thick slices. Place the eggplant in a bowl with two heavy pinches of salt. Toss the eggplant in the salt and set it aside to allow the eggplant to sweat while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Next, make your sauce by sauteing your onion, garlic, and bell pepper until fragrant, and the onions become translucent. Then, add your seasonings and the can of peeled tomatoes. Let this sauce simmer while stirring frequently, and prepare the rest of your ingredients.

I like to sauté my veggies and build the sauce in the same pan I am going to bake the ratatouille in. I chose to use my large cast iron pan, but a dutch oven would work just as well.

Slice your zucchini and tomato into equal-sized pieces, about 1/4″ thick. Drain, rinse, and pat dry your eggplant.

When your sauce is done, even it out with a spatula and nicely top your sauce with the zucchini, eggplant, and tomato in alternating rows. Top everything with parmesan cheese and throw it in your oven for about 45 minutes or until your eggplant and zucchini are nicely tender.

Additional Serving Options:

This ratatouille recipe can be enjoyed with a side of crunchy garlic bread or totally on its own. I like to serve it atop buttery noodles.

If you’re looking to make this recipe even cheesier, you can add some fresh mozzarella and incorporate that into your pattern of squash and eggplant.

For gluten-free options, consider serving this ratatouille atop creamy polenta – I’ve included a recipe below. I have also included instructions on using your yummy leftover ratatouille as a badass pizza topping!

Creamy Polenta:

To make polenta, the easiest way is to follow the instructions on the package. The standard ratio of dried polenta to water is 1:4, and I often prefer to use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water.

Start by bringing water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Slowly add the dried polenta to the boiling water while frequently stirring to prevent lumps.

Next, reduce heat to low and whisk frequently. Once the polenta starts to thicken, you can cover it and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often. When the polenta is creamy in texture, and the grains are tender, remove from heat and add the garnish of your choice.

If serving polenta with this ratatouille recipe, I recommend adding a couple of pats of butter to the polenta and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve it in a dish with the ratatouille on top.

Ratatouille Pizza:

Anyone that has been following me for long knows I am a sucker for cast iron pizzas. They’re really easy to make and can be topped with anything you want.

I usually like to cut corners and buy premade pizza dough from one of my favorite local pizza shops. They’re always super cheap, fresh, and frankly, taste way better than any dough I’ve ever made.

To prepare a cast iron pizza, start by preheating the oven to 425˚F. Then, stretch out your dough large enough to cover your pan.

Next, set your cast iron pan to medium heat. Place the dough on the pan and carefully adjust, if necessary, to cover the circumference of the pan.

While your dough cooks, top it with your leftover ratatouille.

After about 3-4 minutes, using a spatula, lift the dough slightly to see if it has reached a nice pale golden color. If not, let it cook and continue checking every 2-3 minutes.

Once the crust has reached a nice light golden color (not to the point where it looks like a fully cooked pizza dough, it is going to finish cooking in the oven) place the cast iron directly in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and the dough is fully cooked.

Final Thoughts

Voila! If it seems that easy, that’s because it is! I love this recipe because it’s super simple and straightforward, not to mention healthy and easy to customize with whatever veggies you want.

Let me know in the comments if you gave this recipe a try, and check out my IG: @liv_eatslocal, where I do my darndest to post pics of what I’m cooking!

Eggplant, squash and peppers layered in a cast iron skillet.

Spring Forward Ratatouille

This is the perfect seasonal recipe that's as healthy as it is flavorful. Made with fresh produce, herbs, and a flavorful tomato sauce, all that's missing is your favorite cast iron skillet, and dinner's ready in a little over an hour.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife & cutting board
  • 1 Large cast iron skillet 15 inch


  • 1 Eggplant, large Sliced in 1/4" slices
  • 2 Summer squash, small Sliced in 1/4" slices
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt For eggplant
  • 2 Vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes Or 4 smaller tomatoes, sliced in 1/4" slices
  • Oil, to sauté I'm using avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp Fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Grated parmesan cheese Can be omitted if vegan

For the sauce

  • 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp Dried oregano
  • 2-3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Red or yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
  • Salt and black pepper To taste
  • Splash of red wine Optional
  • 2 tsp Crushed red pepper Optional


  • First, preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • Toss eggplant in 1/2 tablespoon of salt and set aside to sweat for at least 10 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, set your skillet to medium heat on the stovetop and add your onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add seasonings: salt, pepper, oregano and optional red pepper flakes and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the peeled tomatoes and optional red wine to your pan. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  • Once your sauce is done, spread it evenly with a spatula.
  • For the eggplant, drain, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.
  • To assemble the ratatouille arrange your eggplant, zucchini, and tomato in alternating patterns on top of the sauce until it fully covers the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the squash and eggplant are tender. Serve with fresh basil.
Keyword Eggplant, Roasted Veggies, Squash
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