Layered Ratatouille

One of the things I love most about Southern California summers is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available. From grocery stores to farmer’s markets, it’s a wonderful thing to know that the produce I need, and plenty more that I don’t need, is fresh, plentiful and grown locally.

So, what better time to make this delicious dish of ratatouille? The zucchini, squash, red pepper and eggplant were perfectly plump and ready for a close shave, and laid on a bed of tomato puree mixed with onion, garlic, spices, and topped with fresh thyme, I knew these veggies would make for one pretty simple, good lookin’ side dish!

The great thing about this dish is that, even if you’re short on time and don’t want to create the pretty pattern, the ingredients can be chopped up and tossed into a pot in the more traditional, rustic French style, such as in this ratatouille recipe from Food & Wine.

Even my meat-eating man was over the moon for this one, which we served with grilled chicken and a warm, sliced baguette. We also agreed that it would also be enough as a full dinner on its own, or served with rice, couscous or polenta.

I know you’ll absolutely love this ratatouille adapted from Smitten Kitchen, too, because the flavors are just as vibrant as the colors. Completing it really makes you feel like you’ve not only made an incredibly delicious dish, but you’ve created a work of art!

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Layered Ratatouille

Yield: Makes 4-6 servings


1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant, such as Italian or Chinese
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 long red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, one tablespoon of the olive oil, and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Trim the top of the red pepper and remove the core.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


39 Responses to “Layered Ratatouille”

  1. #
    Anonymous — December 18, 2010 @ 3:24 am

    Brilliant Dish…!!!

  2. #
    Anonymous — December 21, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    Brilliant Dish…!!!

  3. #
    Elaine — January 3, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    Hi, this recipe looks really fab. I’m gonna try it this week. However, I don’t really know what yellow squash is and I probably won’t find it. Can you suggest another vegetable instead of the yellow sqush?
    Thanks :)

  4. #
    Georgia — January 4, 2011 @ 3:35 am

    Hi Elaine – Yellow squash is usually right next to the green squash (pictured above) in your grocery store’s produce section. But if you can’t find it, you can omit it or maybe replace it with potato or tomato slices. While not traditional, it would still be delicious with either. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy this ratatouille and find it simple.

  5. #
    Debbie — January 10, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Your design is so beautiful, I don’t think I could cut into it! I have never thought about making Ratatouille, but this looks delicious, thanks!

  6. #
    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    I just had my husband look at this because it is stunning! You are able to take such beautiful photographs that capture the essence of your dish. I don’t know if I’ve seen a more appetizing plate of ratatouille. I’m sure your husband was pleased! We would be too!

  7. #
    Angie's Recipes — January 10, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    That’s a masterpiece! Lovely vibrant colours combination!

  8. #
    Snsalzman — January 10, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    beautiful! my kids are fascinated by ratatouille…and on many occasions have tried it.

  9. #
    ItsTheWayShe — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    I really like the presentation of your dish. I have only done the rustic style before. Going to use this pattern next time for a change of pace.

  10. #
    Jessica — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    This sounds delicious! And so beautiful!

  11. #
    Baking Serendipity — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    This looks delicious! I think it’d make my meat-eating husband pleased too :)

  12. #
    Pam — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Beautiful and delicious!

  13. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Your ratatouille looks beautiful! I am impressed by your amazing presentation. I usually just throw all the veggies together in a pot and simmer… in fact I just posted about how I’m too lazy to layer veggies for ratatouille like this!

  14. #
    Jenn's Food Journey — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Very beautiful!!! (and very tasty looking too!!)

  15. #
    Betty @ Scrambled hen fruit — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    So beautiful! That really is a work of art, and I bet it tasted wonderful too!

  16. #
    newlywed — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    That is beautiful! My ratatouille never looks like this!!

  17. #
    Avril — January 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I adore Ratatouille….you have made it into a piece of art! I usually just combine everything in one pot…..I really like how you have made it so beautifully – going to do the same next time I make it. :-)

  18. #
    Candi Pittman — January 10, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Your recipes look fabulous!!! Can’t wait to try some of them out. I also love this ratatouille recipe, looks just like the one made in the Disney movie.

  19. #
    Annie — January 10, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    SO glad you posted this! It looks just like the ratatouille in the movie “Ratatouille”, which just happens to be Andrew’s favorite movie ever (and a close favorite of mine as well)! I think you may have given me the push to finally get a mandoline.

  20. #
    Shauna — January 10, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Stopping by to say hi! Love this site!

    Hope you’ll come visit and follow me too :)

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  21. #
    Christel Loll — January 10, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    well done! it looks EXACTLY like the movie!! produce looks wonderful :)

  22. #
    Brownieville Girl — January 10, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    That is the most beautiful ratatouille I have ever seen :-}

  23. #
    bakingmehungry — July 3, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

    Lovely photos! The Ratatouille looks so fresh and colorful.

  24. #
    Nancy — August 30, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Christel is right–this looks exactly like the movie!

  25. #
    Natalia — September 18, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    I made this recipe tonight for my parents 30th wedding anniversary dinner party and it was a huge hit! Even the kids wanted more veggies and thought it was fun eating real ratatouille.
    I subbed Roma tomatoes for the red peppers, and in the sauce I subbed basil for the oregano, and added asparagus in the sauce.

    Looked beautiful and tasted even better!!

  26. #
    Anonymous — January 6, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I did add basil to mine ( I LOOOOVE BASIL!!) and instead of puree I used 18 oz of paste and added a little splash of water and white wine to thin it out. I also doubled up on the zuchinni and yellow squash. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!! :)

  27. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — July 11, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    STUNNING! This has summer written all over it. I can’t wait for eggplant to hit WI!

  28. #
    Heather — October 7, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    Made this tonight for dinner and huge hit! Used tomatoes paste instead. Of purée and turned out great, will make this again!

  29. #
    Brenda Taylor — October 28, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    Made this dish yesterday…so tasty & so pretty!

  30. #
    Ewa — February 7, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

    I’ve made this dish about 4 times now and the flavors/aromas are out of this world amazing. Simple dish with basic ingredients but packs a flavorful punch! I’ve never been able to recreate my veggies to look so perfectly arranged but I still strive to do so to this day! Great recipe.

  31. #
    Misty — June 26, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    This was fantastic. I actually followed the recipe too, which I never do as most recipes need a bit of tweaking. Not this one! Just fantastic. My 11 mo old and husband agree.

  32. #
    Nikki — July 8, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

    This was awesome!!! Like Misty, I followed the recipe exactly (which I never do either!) and it came out fantastic! SO good

  33. #
    Mika — July 22, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

    I’ve made this recipe soooo many times and it’s always delicious. On a few lazy occasions where I don’t feel like making it pretty all sliced up, I just put the veggies in a blender/food processor. I also like to add meat (italian sausage) mixed with the tomato puree and onions (I don’t even cook the onions as it cooked with everything else). Thanks again!

  34. #
    Rachel Megyery — October 14, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

    Quick question. Do i have to salt and let my eggplant sit and rinse before layering into the ratatouille formation? or just slice and layer?

    • Georgia — October 14th, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

      Just slice and layer.

  35. #
    liz — November 10, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

    I just made this and had it over creamy polenta. So filling and delicious! And of course, watching the movie as well. I will definitely make this again.

  36. #
    Bianca Galea — December 27, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    Absolutely brilliant dish. We crumbled some feta cheese on top when we served this beautiful dish. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful dish, regards from Málaga;in the South of Spain.

  37. #
    Gabriela — May 16, 2015 @ 12:54 pm

    I replaced yellow squash for butternut squash ( always available at grocery stores), used lots of fresh basil and it was delicious!! I also served with quinoa and french bread! This is one of my no fail best dishes

  38. #
    Olya — May 16, 2015 @ 10:32 pm

    I made this dish tonight and the taste was exquisite— so much flavor and a great aftertaste. I will definitely make it again. I have been looking for a recipe like this everywhere. Thank you!

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