This homemade baked ratatouille recipe has tons of flavor! Roasted garlic sauce is covered in paper-thin spiced vegetables. This would be perfect for an impressive summer dinner or appetizer! Originally posted June 24, 2015.
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Yesterday afternoon my sisters and I were hanging out eating cold pizza that was at LEAST 4 days old. And not just any 4-day old pizza: hot-dog stuffed-crust 4-day old pizza.
I thought we had reached the depths of trashiness, when Nikki turns from where she was standing at the counter: “I have to say, putting butter on your cold pizza is the way to go.”
And there you have it my friends: What’s Wrong With America.
When I was little I used to be grossed out by how much butter my mom put on her rolls, but these days I’m the one slathering it on. Nikki was just telling me yesterday that when her friends comment on the yummy-looking food on my blog, she tells them, well yeah, if I started every recipe with a stick of butter, my food would be that good too. (Butter is where it’s at guys.)
Well, if butter-slathered cold hot dog pizza is what’s wrong with America, here’s what’s right about France: Ratatouille. More specifically, Roasted Garlic Ratatouille. Full of vegetables, and no butter in sight.
Why this recipe for Ratatouille is the best
The first time I had Ratatouille I was not exactly overwhelmed with joy. The vegetables were cooked right, they just didn’t have anything special about them. Then I added MORE: more roasted garlic, more seasoning in the form of a ranch dressing packet, and more flavors and textures by serving it on top of a slice of crusty, toasted French bread slathered generously in goat cheese. If you’re not drooling I don’t know what to tell you. I guess make this as soon as possible so you, too, can start craving veggies!
Why is it called Ratatouille?
Ratatouille comes from a French word meaning “to stir up.” Basically it was any kind of coarse stew where the ingredients were cooked just enough, not too much, so that they held together and retained their shape. Now it’s a dish of zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and eggplant, made beloved by that famous Pixar film we all love.
Baked Ratatouille ingredients
Here’s a quick shopping list so you can grab what you need at the store. Scroll down to the recipe card below for a complete list.
- Olive oil
- Heavy cream
- White wine
- Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning packet
- Parmesan (fresh!)
- Fresh thyme (optional)
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow squash
- Eggplant (Italian or American)
- Goat cheese
- Crusty French bread
How to make Ratatouille
Have you ever had Ratatouille? I first heard of it from the movie, of course, and I tried my first traditional version just a couple months ago. Honestly? Kind of bland! After all that hype and rat endorsement, I was like really, this is it?
Enter ranch dressing, king of flavor! I sprinkled a packet of ranch dressing mix into some of the roasted garlic sauce and on top of the veggies, and it was pretty magical. I made this here at my sister Nikki’s house and she LOVED it. I didn’t use an entire packet in the original version, and she kept going back to sprinkle more on top, even after it was baked. (No, she didn’t add butter this time.)
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this Ratatouille. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for complete instructions!
- Preheat your oven and roast your garlic.
- Mash the roasted garlic and add cream, wine, onion, and a small amount of the dip package. Add the Parmesan and stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Add fresh thyme to taste. Pour the sauce into a cast iron skillet and set aside.
- Slice the zucchini, squash, peppers, and eggplant. Layer the vegetables in the skillet with the sauce, starting on the outside edge. Sprinkle the remainder of the ranch packet over the vegetables.
- Bake the ratatouille, then serve with crusty French bread and goat cheese.
What to eat with this Ratatouille Dish
You could eat ratatouille with potatoes, polenta, couscous, pretty much any grain you can think of. I spread softened goat cheese on a slice of toasted French bread and put the veggies on top, like in this photo. SO GOOD. We ate nearly the whole pan, and then tonight I had a ratatouille taco with the leftovers.
How to store this Ratatouille Recipe
Ratatouille can be kept covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for 2-3 months, as an entire dish or in individual portions. Make sure that they’re tightly sealed so they don’t get freezer burned.
Ratatouille Dish FAQs
Ratatouille doesn’t traditionally involve meat, but I love meat and I give you permission to add it. Some Genoa salami or prosciutto would be nice tucked in here and there among the veggies. And just imagine when you get all that goodness on a piece of French bread spread with goat cheese, yummmm.
Having a little French rat hide under your chef’s hat, duh! If you can’t make that work, I recommend choosing high quality ingredients. I’m talking about fresh vegetables, fresh Parmesan, a nice bottle of olive oil, and seasoning everything with Ranch dressing mix. Of course the whole thing is ten times more amazing when you add some soft goat cheese and crusty French bread!
The vegetables in your ratatouille are going to release moisture. As the ratatouille cooks, the moisture will release, and then the heat of the oven will evaporate the moisture. Your ratatouille may need a little longer in the oven if it’s still watery.
More summer dishes like this Baked Ratatouille
- Poblano, Corn, and Zucchini Lasagna >> This recipe surprised me with its amazing flavor!
- Grilled Squash, Red Pepper, and Feta Sandwich >> (This ones an oldie but a goodie, I’ve made it so many times)
- Easy Caramelized Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella >> A great weeknight meal
- Tomato Tart with Blue Cheese >> like Ratatouille it is both delicious AND beautiful
- Spicy Smokey Ratatouille Casserole from Tori Avey
- Ratatouille Pizza from The Healthy Foodie << that sounds amazing
Best Ratatouille Recipe
- 1 head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon white wine
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning packet, not made, divided
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, fresh
- thyme, fresh, optional
- 1 long red bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash
- 1 eggplant, *
- Parmesan, grated, to garnish
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened, for spreading
- French bread, crusty
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the head of garlic so that the inner flesh is revealed. Remove the papery layers on the outside that come off easily (don’t take them all off though, you want the head to remain intact.)
- Place the head of garlic on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic, place on a baking sheet, and roast for about 25 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft cloves of garlic into a small saucepan. Mash with a fork. Turn the heat to medium and add cream, wine, onion, and 1 tablespoon of the dip package. When is starts to bubble slightly, add the Parmesan. Stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Add fresh thyme to taste, if you want.
- Pour the sauce into a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut out the top of the red bell pepper. Remove as much of the core as you can, leaving the pepper in it’s original shape. Use a sharp knife or mandoline to slice the pepper into rings.
- Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice the zucchini, squash, and eggplant.*
- Layer the vegetables in the skillet with the sauce. Start on the outside edge. Layer them in whatever order you want, I did eggplant, zucchini, squash, then pepper. Continue layering until you run out of vegetables.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the remainder of the ranch packet over the vegetables. You don’t have to use all of it.
- Cut out a circle of parchment paper that is about the size of your skillet and lay it on top of the vegetables. This keeps it from getting brown and dried out.
- Bake at 375 for about 38-40 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Toast a slice of bread, spread it with goat cheese, and spoon some of the ratatouille on top. Enjoy!