Easy Ratatouille? Reach for a Sheet Pan!
We love ratatouille made with peak season squash, eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes—this sheet pan recipe is made in the oven, so there is no stirring or babysitting required.
The smartest way to make ratatouille quickly is on a sheet pan. The summer squash, eggplants, and bell peppers roast in the oven and are then combined with fresh tomatoes and herbs. The heat of the oven-roasted vegetables draws out moisture from the tomatoes, creating a light, slightly brothy, and incredibly delicious sauce.
This sheet pan ratatouille is perfect for summer, when you don't want to stand in front of a hot pot of classic ratatouille. It's a mostly hands-off recipe—the vegetables roast for about 45 minutes—perfect for a weeknight supper. It’s easy enough for a casual family gathering and impressive enough for dinner guests.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a classic French vegetable stew made with squash, eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes. The name comes from the French word touiller, which means "to stir up." It refers to how the vegetables are stirred as they cook. Originating in Provence, ratatouille was made to use up vegetables from brimming gardens at the height of summer.
A traditional ratatouille is simple and so lovely, but I often get uneven results. Sometimes, the squash is a bit more cooked than the eggplant or there’s a rogue piece of undercooked bell pepper. Or worse, the vibrant summer vegetables become bland and mushy. Plus, it needs to be stirred and supervised. That's why this easy sheet pan version is very enticing and smart to me.
Tips and Tricks for Making Ratatouille
- Use your knife skills to cut the vegetables to about the same size. That way, they will cook at the same rate.
- Overcrowding the vegetables on the sheet pan will lead to stewing. Use two rimmed sheet pans to spread out the vegetables as much as possible.
- Don’t salt the vegetables until after they have cooked. The salt will pull out moisture causing the vegetables to stew rather than brown as they cook.
- Don’t drown the vegetables in oil. Better to go with a light spritz of nonstick cooking spray. If you want a more luxurious mouthfeel of oil, add a good-quality extra virgin olive oil after cooking the vegetables or even as a condiment at the table.
Lean on Peak Vegetable Season
Cooking ratatouille on a sheet pan allows the vegetables to maintain their individuality while they roast—traditional ratatouille is stirred as it cooks, so the vegetables mash together. Plus, the dry heat in the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables, creating an amazing depth of flavors.
Ratatouille is best when in-season vegetables and herbs are used. Okra, green beans, and even cucumbers—added at the end, not roasted—work well. You can even give it some heat with jalapeños or poblano peppers.
Boost the Ratatouille
Want to make it more substantial? Add a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas with the tomatoes and herbs. Creamy goat cheese, buttery green olives, or briny capers are also great additions. For a pop of flavor, add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or dry sherry.
How to Serve Sheet Pan Ratatouille
This ratatouille is good hot out of the oven, at room temperature, and even served cold—you can't go wrong serving it at any temperature! It’s a simple side dish that is great bed for pan-seared fish or chicken. It can also step up as a vegetarian main dish served with pasta or rice.
Recipes Using Peak Summer Vegetables
- Stir Fried Japanese Eggplant with Ginger and Miso
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Tomato Ricotta Tart
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two rimmed sheet pans with silicone baking mats or foil. Generously spray each with cooking spray and set aside.
Season the vegetables:
In a large bowl, add the eggplant, summer squash, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and Aleppo pepper. Toss to combine.
Equally divide the vegetables between the two prepared sheet pans. Generously spritz them with nonstick cooking spray. Season with the black pepper, but not the salt! Salt will draw out moisture, making the vegetables too wet as they cook.
Cook the vegetables:
Roast the vegetables, rotating the sheet pans and stirring the vegetables once, until they are lightly browned and softened, about 45 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and basil:
As soon as you take the vegetables out of the oven, add the tomatoes and basil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.
Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and black pepper. Want a more luxurious texture? Drizzle in some olive oil to taste or serve it on the side for drizzling on top. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Bon appétit, y’all!
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days in a covered container. Granted the vegetables will become softer, but they will also become more flavorful. So, yes! Bonus points if you have leftovers! Serve it in wrap, on a salad, or smear it on a sandwich. It’s also super as a chunky spread on crackers or crostini.
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