Traditional French Ratatouille


The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
114 Calories
3g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 453mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 49mg 246%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 765mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ratatouille is a traditional vegetable stew that originated as a budget-friendly dish in Nice, France. Though it may have had humble origins, the stew has gone on to be known and loved around the world.

It is imperative when making this dish to ensure you stick to its roots in the south of France, where peppers, tomatoes, and garlic all grow in abundance. Use any color bell peppers you prefer, from brown to green, and anything in between. Also, use only good-quality olive oil (if you can get French extra-virgin oil from Provence, even better, though not imperative), as this contributes to the overall flavor of the dish. The danger with cheap oils, especially those not from France, is they can taint the taste, and the dish will also lack authenticity. 

This version lightly caramelizes the onions and peppers before adding them to the rest of the dish, giving it a fantastic complex flavor without much additional effort. Finally, one of the secrets to making a perfect ratatouille is not to stir too much or overcook so all the vegetables merge. 

Ratatouille can be served over rice or potatoes, or with slices of homemade Italian bread.


  • 1 pound eggplant, cut into cubes

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, loosely packed, chopped

  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed, chopped

  • 1 1/2 pounds white onions, thinly sliced

  • 3 bell peppers, red or yellow, cored, seeded, and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, good-quality extra-virgin, plus additional for serving

  • 2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices

  • 2 pounds yellow squash, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ratatouille ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Put the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes; this process is known as degorgement, in which the salt extracts liquid from the eggplant, and the liquid is then absorbed by the paper, making the dish less soggy. 

    Eggplant drying
    The Spruce
  3. In a large saucepan, gently cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. Do not boil the vegetables, as this will turn them into a soggy mess; cooked slowly, each of the vegetables will remain distinct.

    Cooking tomatoes for ratatouille
    The Spruce
  4. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat, and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture.

    Peppers and onions cooking
    The Spruce
  5. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it along with the zucchini and yellow squash to the tomato mixture.

    Add eggplant
    The Spruce
  6. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy.

    Cooking ratatouille
    The Spruce


Ratatouille can be made up ahead of time. In fact, it's one of those dishes that tastes better the next day.

How to Store and Freeze

  • You can keep leftover ratatouille in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to four days.
  • Freeze ratatouille in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to three months. Choose whether to freeze in individual portions or larger-sized portions.