If you enjoyed the Ratatouille Disney film, and is very much curious of the taste of their best dish, then this is it! Paleo Vegetarian Ratatouille is not as difficult to make as it sounds like, in fact, it’s simple to make. This recipe comes together quickly for a fresh weeknight dinner. This Paleo Vegetarian Ratatouille recipe does not only help you create an aesthetically pleasing dish. But also a delicious and most importantly, a healthy dish!
This recipe makes a light & fresh dish that’s gluten free, vegan, and paleo. Plus, it freezes well – so go ahead and make a double batch! (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Paleo, and Whole30 Compliant). Ratatouille is a simple and casual dish that originated in France, probably as peasant food. The heart of the dish is stewed summer vegetables, with very little else, so the flavors of the peak-season vegetables shine through.
Got no time? Don’t Worry!
The easiest way to do it is to quickly stir the sauce together and pour it into the bottom of the pan (you could even mix it in the pan if you wanted to) before layering the veggies on top. Slice the veggies up separately and then create an assembly line so you can grab them in order, shove them into the pan and then grab another set. That’s the easiest way to get this dish to look like you spent all day on it, but we’re really only talking about an extra 2-3 minutes of effort.
Don’t worry about perfection here. If you look closely at this version, you’ll notice that the pattern is spotty at best, might betray your limited attention span while putting this together. But look, if you came for perfection, you might be sorely disappointed. We do our best, but surely, you’d rather have stellar flavor and an imperfect veggie pattern any day.
One last thing: French readers will say this is not, in fact, ratatouille. It’s Tian! Traditional Ratatouille is actually more of a stew of chopped vegetables (including green or red bell pepper, which I am not including here), all of which are cooked in a Dutch oven. It’s a slightly less fussy dish. Tian, the version that presents the vegetables neatly sliced in rows or a spiral, is more of a looker. But in America, is generally known as Ratatouille.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 6"x9" baking dish and set aside. (see notes for baking in an 8"x8" square pan)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, oil and vinegar. Stir in the garlic, basil, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
Pour the tomato mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
Stack the veggie slices in alternating patters (e.g.: onion, zucchini, eggplant, tomato; repeat) and place them on their side in the pan, leaning against the edge of the pan. Repeat until you've formed a couple of rows of veggies, filled the pan, and used up all of the veggie slices.
Optionally, spray or brush the exposed tops of the veggies with oil to encourage browning in the oven. This is more for appearance, so feel free to skip this step if you want.
Bake for about an hour, until the tomato sauce at the bottom is bubbling and the veggies are tender.
Garnish with additional chopped fresh basil before serving (optional). Serve hot or cold.
If you'd like to bake this in an 8" x 8" square pan, you can. The bake time is about the same.
The vegetables, including the crushed tomatoes, take center stage in this dish and there is relatively little in the ingredient list to season them, so flavor is very important. Try to get the absolute best quality vegetables you can. It really is worth the splurge, and will take this dish from good to great.
If you can't get Japanese eggplant, you can use Italian eggplant (the fat, inky purple eggplant you commonly see in supermarkets). Try to cut it so that it is roughly the same size as the onions and tomatoes, even if that means cutting each slice into halves or quarters. That way, all of the vegetables will cook evenly.
If you must replace some of the vegetables, try to go with similarly summery vegetables with a high water content (again, for even cooking). Try things like a bell pepper or yellow squash instead of zucchini, shallots instead of onions, or Italian eggplant in place of Japanese eggplant.
Some people have cautioned that Herbs de Provence contains a little bit of Lavender, so if you are especially sensitive to that flavor, replace the herbs de Provence with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each: dried or fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme.
This may seem like a lot but is really enough for 2-3 people. If you're feeding a family or a crowd, double the recipe and bake it in a 9"x12" pan.
Optionally, you can finish the dish by drizzling it with a little bit of good quality olive oil.
As written, this recipe is gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo friendly, low carb and Whole30 compliant.
To make it heartier, you can add vegan or dairy cheese on top, and/or serve over quinoa, mashed sweet or white potatoes, rice, or your grain of choice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Or, if you'd like to make this ahead for a future dinner, cool it completely and transfer it to an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. To prepare, bring to room temperature (just leave it in the fridge for a day or two) and then microwave until heated through.