Layers of yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, potato, and bell pepper on a bed of flavorful tomato and béchamel sauce... for a comforting veggie dinner
Bringing Ratatouille's ratatouille to your dinner table for meatless Monday! With colorful layers of fresh veggies, and garlicky tomato sauce.. this veggie casserole is perfect to kick-start week with a comforting vegetarian dish without a lots of calories.
Today, I added a hearty serving of red potatoes and layer of béchamel to traditional ratatouille to make it a hearty winter dinner. Serve it over pasta, or steamed rice and enjoy meatless Monday. Or serve as-is with side of chicken and a bread to scoop amazing slow cooked tomato and cream sauce.
If you to loved Ratatouille Movie, you will love making this casserole at home! If you have not, I highly recommend watching it! I promise Ratatouille will make you fall-in-love with joy of cooking!
So, let's get started and make Remy's Ratatouille!!
It has been raining continuously whole week and is even raining today. This put me under weather and my whole week's rendezvous with you got so messed up. :( Feeling better now.. and so so excited to share this recipe. Some recipes are so close to my heart that I don't want to post those in hurry. Like, oh here is a recipe, please enjoy! I just can't imagine doing that. So, I felt, missing one is better than a half-hearten attempt... I hope you with me?
For example, this veggie casserole is my sweet heart. I mean, look at the pictures, isn't it so pretty?
Believe me, it is equally delicious too! Or should I say, delicious, humble and easy! Layer of spiced tomato sauce, creamy béchamel, and layers of veggies - yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, potato, bell pepper. Does this sound complex dish? No, right? Actually, traditional ratatouille recipe does not even have béchamel and no potatoes. These two are my touches to make this, peasant dish, extra special.
Gluten Free and Vegan Ratatouille? I'm sure you have guessed by now, but before I dig deeper into ratatouille, one thing is very clear - If you want gluten free and dairy free ratatouille, just skip béchamel. That's it. Easy, right?
If you have no issues with dairy or gluten, then I highly recommend this layer. Also, if you are in hurry, you can use cheese instead too. To me, layer of cream or cheese makes this homey casserole.. even more comforting.
For more substantial serving, I often serve it over pasta or some steamed rice/quinoa (gluten free).
Ratatouille Movie and Ratatouille Recipe:
I can't sum-up in words how much I love Ratatouille movie. Since we saw it first time (10 years ago). Even today any time it airs on TV, I will watch it. Actually, not just for love of movie but for passion for food which I'm all about... and so was little Remy in movie all about.
Since I watched and fell in love with movie.. I have made ratatouille dish so many times at home. Growing up, I wasn't a zucchini or squash fan. And I seldom liked eggplant. But my mom made zucchini and potato stew with lots of chunky tomatoes that I always ate with rice. When I first made Ratatouille's ratatouille.. I could connect with flavor of my childhood zucchini and tomato stew. Amazingly, in the movie, that's how Anton Ego, the food critic, feels after taking first bite of Remy's ratatouille. This makes my connecting with dish even stronger!
Honestly, the theme of movie "anyone can cook" always resonates with me. So true for me because I never thought I will cook and share my homemade food with the world.
Pixar has done great job in making of this animated classic. Can you believe it made $620 million dollar worldwide?!
Photo Credit: Disney / Pixar via disneyscreencaps.com
How to Make Ratatouille?
When I cook ratatouille for dinner at home.. I don't go that fancy. But today I wanted to share with you ratatouille recipe from the movie... exactly like Remy made for Ego.
Slicing all the veggies evenly is key to make a good looking ratatouille. This also ensures everything cooks evenly. So, I prefer to use my trusty mandoline slicer to slice the veggies evenly. It saves time too!! You can buy a mandoline slicer from any good Kitchen Appliance Store or purchase it online.(affiliate link)
First, I layer tomato sauce with minced garlic, thyme, oil, and seasonings. Sauce gets lots of flavor from slow cooking in oven with veggies.. So there is no need to cook it with garlic separately.
Then, I layer the béchamel layer. Final layer is veggies. Once I find a rhythm with color of veggies, the ratatouille's ratatouille start appearing on the casserole.
I do follow two things to ensure the veggies stay beautiful after cooking:
1) Layer both sauces at the bottom and nothing on top of veggies but some oil and seasoning.
2) Bake ratatouille casserole covered with parchment. So veggies cook but not get charred. In other words, don't loose the color.
In short, layer sauce, layer veggies, cover, and bake! Serve ratatouille jumped right out of the movie. :)
PS: By all means you can go easy on presentation and arrange above three layers as you like. As long as veggies are sliced evenly and potatoes (if using) are par-cooked, ratatouille will come out perfectly.
How about serving ratatouille casserole for a movie-theme dinner? Or for Oscar watching party?
Even though ratatouille movie is 10 years old... food never gets old. Get inspired and try something new for dinner!!
If you love Ratatouille? I highly recommend trying:
1) Eggplant Rollatini: It is low-carb with grilled stuffed eggplant rolls baked on bed of tomato-garlic sauce. Very flavorful and lite weekday dinner.
2)Ratatouille Stew : In this, I captured all flavors of this traditional Ratatouille Recipe in form of a stew, to give you a simple Ratatouille recipe without assembly time. It is ready in half time, is also vegan, and gluten free.
3) Ratatouille Stuffed Zucchini Boats: Looking for summer inspired, low-carb Ratatouille? Then allow me to introduce my Ratatouille Stuffed Zucchini Boats! These look so good, are gluten free, come together in no time and loaded with all delicious Ratatouille flavors.
- 1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Ratatouille Ingredients: Preheat oven at 375 degree Fahrenheit. Bring 2 cups of water to rolling boil. Season with salt. Slice red potatoes. Drop in water and boil for 3-4 minutes or until par cooked. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. While potatoes cook and cool down, slice rest of veggies - squash, bell pepper and eggplant.
- 2. Make Béchamel Sauce: To make Béchamel - Microwave 1 cup of milk in microwave safe container. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp butter in sauce pan. Add 1 tbsp flour and cook until raw flavor of flour goes away. 1-2 minutes. Don't let flour turn brown. Add warm milk 1/4 cup at time and stir well to avoid lumps. Add all of milk and continue coking until sauce thickens and coat back of a spoon. Season with salt, nutmeg, and black pepper. Set aside.
- 3. Layer Sauce: Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Spread layer of tomato sauce, minced garlic, thyme, red chili flakes, salt and olive oil. Mix well while still leaving well spread. Drizzle béchamel sauce on the top, swirl into the tomato sauce. Additional Notes: I spread 1 cup tomato sauce at the bottom. You can use more or less as per liking.
- 4. Layer Ratatouille Vegetables: Layer sliced veggies on top. I like to make a spiral stack of vegetable slices for presentation just like ratatouille. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, thyme, and black pepper on top. Additional Notes: For quick layering, pick slices of each veggie, make a small stack in hand, and then stack into the casserole. This saves time instead of arranging one slice at a time.
- 5. Bake Ratatouille: Cover with parchment paper. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until all veggies are tender. You will see tomato sauce bubbling on the sides.
- 6. Serve: Let it cool for 5 minutes. Serve with side of crusty bread to scoop the sauce. Enjoy!
Slicing all the veggies evenly is key to make a good looking ratatouille. This also ensures everything cooks evenly. So, I prefer to use my trusty mandoline slicer to slice the veggies evenly. It saves time too!! You can buy a mandoline slicer from any good Kitchen Appliance Store or purchase it online. (affiliate link)
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Did you try the recipe? Do you have feedback or a question? Leave a message below.
Louisenot tried yet but can you add any meat to it like sliced sausage.
SavitaAny precooked meat should be fine.
RaymondA fantastic recipe!! I’ve been using this recipe to make ratatouille for years now and it always comes out fantastic. A great Sunday night meal, and also a fun way to impress friends and in-laws 🙂 Pairs well with garlic bread, too. Thank you Savita!
SavitaThanks for the sweet feedback! Indeed the bread goes great with sauce.
JackieThe bechamel works great with the veggies. Big hit.
SavitaBéchamel makes it extra special. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
HarrisonHow do you get the vegetables uniform when an eggplant is bigger in diameter than a zucchini, potato, and squash? I had an issue getting each vegetable the same diameter to make a perfect stack. Also the eggplant was too tough to cut thin with the medallion. Any suggestions? All in all though the recipe was fantastic.
NooWow!! I tried this recipe last night. I used sweet potato with no parboiling and I used oat flour and cashew milk for béchamel sauce - grated vegan cheese added. I didn’t have any tomato sauce so I used some of a carton of chopped toms and added oregano, fresh basil and maple syrup. I also topped with a little grated cheese for last 5 mins. I had three helpings of this. Can’t rate enough will deffo make again
Roxanncan you make this with no tomato sauce?
SavitaI always make Ratatouille with Tomato Sauce. You can use all béchamel and bake it like gratin but I have never tried it.
Denice JohnsonI have watched & love the movie Ratatouille. I love the motto "Anyone Can Cook"! I stop eating meat( beef & pork) years ago & only have been eating Chicken, Turkey & Seafood. I’m in the process of making another healthy health change of trying to become Vegan. I love vegetables & this dish looks so Delicious. Thank You so much for sharing.
Cindy O’ MalleyIf you want to freeze, do you cook it all the way or a half bake?
SavitaI prefer to server it freshly cooked. If freezing, I would cook it all the way.
TheresaVery good! Goes great with garlic bread! Having it for dinner!!!!
SavitaThanks for letting me know.
Linda GreyI make this dish every summer with eggplant and vegetables from my garden..it is great on a cold winter night as well. I do add a little ricotta cheese and Parmesan . I know this one by heart. All fresh herbs too! A bigger bonus today was my first red,ripe garden tomato.
SavitaThanks for sharing your experience with us.
PamThis looks absolutely beautiful. How do you slice the bell peppers to be the same size as the zucchinisquash? Aren’t they going to come out as large rings? Can’t wait to make it!
SavitaI cut bell pepper to 4 pieces- quadrants then thin slice using medallion or knife. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just go for it!
VanessaCan this be made vegan?
SavitaI always make Ratatouille with milk based Béchamel Sauce. For vegan either use a vegan creamer instead of Béchamel Sauce. Or make Béchamel Sauce using vegan nut-milk and nut based butter/vegetable butter. I hope it helps.
AlyssaCan you assemble this dish, put it in the fridge, then bake it in the evening? Thanks!
SavitaHi Alyssa, that should be fine. You can pre-assemble and bake within couple of hours. I would only suggest to cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap while refrigerating.
Deanna ArmstrongWe absolutely love this recipe! Family favorite, my teens request it and help put it together. A side of garlic French bread makes it extra special. Delicious!
SavitaThanks for sweet feedback. A meal is extra special when whole family makes it. Indeed garlic bread is perfect accompaniment.
Thomas KotalikHaven’t made this yet but have made different variations The recipe calls for heating milk but doesn’t say how long or temp. Super ready to make O yea love the movie
SavitaHeat milk until it is lukewarm (not boiling), for duration of 30 sec to 1 min at a time. Or heat until its warm depending upon the power of microwave used. You can also heat milk on low on stove top. Milk should be warm (not fridge cold) when added to flour-butter mixture to make béchamel.
Thomas KotalikHaven’t made this yet but have done different variations. Super ready to do this one. Just had one question recipe says heat milk in micro How long and temp Thanks