This roasted vegetable ratatouille is a tasty and healthy meal packed with fresh veggies! Plus, it's almost entirely hands-off.
If you follow me on Facebook or you're a member of my lovely private Facebook group (if not - come and join us!), then you'll know that my second baby will be joining us in August. Just like with my last pregnancy, I was a bit wary of vegetables for the first couple of months (pretty tricky for a vegetarian!), and survived almost entirely on carbs and fruit.
But luckily, my love of vegetables has returned, and there's no better way to celebrate than with this roasted vegetable ratatouille - a healthy meal that's absolutely chock-full of fresh veggies!
What is ratatouille?
In case you're not familiar, ratatouille is a classic French dish that's made with all kinds of vegetables in a rich tomato sauce.
As with a lot of old recipes, there's not really one 'right' way to make it - sometimes it's a thick stew cooked on the stovetop, other times it's a vegetable casserole baked in the oven. Sometimes the vegetables are neatly laid out in a pretty pattern, and other times it's all just thrown in a dish. You can even make ratatouille in the slow cooker!
However you make it, ratatouille is full of flavour, and is a really lovely way to showcase your fresh veggies. The ingredients are really simple, meaning the flavours of all the different vegetables are allowed to shine.
My favourite way to make ratatouille is in the oven. Roasted vegetables just always taste so amazing - they become soft and sweet, really melt-in-your-mouth. Definitely my favourite way to cook veggies.
Plus, roasting is a much more hands-off method of cooking, which is great if you have plenty of other things to be getting on with (or you just want to sit and watch a movie while your dinner cooks itself - no judgement here).
You do need to spend ten minutes or so chopping up your veg, but after that, there's very little work needed. Just pop the dish in the oven to get nice and roasty.
Ratatouille with chickpeas
I also threw a tin of chickpeas in the dish with my vegetables. I always try to get some protein into my meals where I can, and tinned chickpeas are such an easy way to do that!
If you're serving your roasted vegetable ratatouille alongside an alternative protein then you can skip the chickpeas if you like, but I do recommend them - they add another lovely texture to the dish, and turn it into an awesome meal in its own right.
Rich tomato sauce
Once the vegetables and chickpeas are mostly roasted, it's time to work on that sauce.
I say 'work on', but actually there's very little work involved.
Just mix a tin of chopped tomatoes into the roasted vegetables, along with a big dollop of my secret ingredient - basil pesto! I often use pesto as an easy way to add heaps of flavour to my cooking - just one spoonful can really lift a dish to the next level. Just remember to use a vegan pesto if you need to.
That's all you need to make the tasty tomato sauce - literally just tomatoes and pesto. Just pop it back into the oven for another half hour until it's thick and rich.
How can I serve my roasted vegetable ratatouille?
This ratatouille is a great meal on its own, so you don't need to serve much alongside it - I just added a bit of couscous.
Couscous makes a lovely alternative to pasta, and it's so quick and easy to prepare - see my full guide about how to cook couscous here. There's really not much to it - it's much easier than cooking pasta!
If you don't have couscous, or you just don't fancy it, this roasted vegetable ratatouille would be great served with any other carb:
It would also be awesome with a bit of grated cheese on top - either baked on top in the oven, or just sprinkled on before serving. The ratatouille doesn't need cheese to be tasty, but it's always a welcome addition in my house. I somehow resisted on this occasion, and just sprinkled a bit of dried parsley on top instead (my favourite way to add a little pop of colour when I have no fresh herbs in the house!).
What other vegetables could I use in my ratatouille?
Feel free to use this recipe as a fridge-clearer - just throw in whatever vegetables you have lingering in the fridge. I don't think I ever make ratatouille the same way twice.
Other great options to include could be:
- aubergine (eggplant)
- tinned sweetcorn (added along with the chopped tomatoes)
- yellow squash
- fresh tomatoes
- black olives
- sun-dried tomatoes
(or anything else you need to use up!)
Roasted vegetable ratatouille with chickpeas
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- 1 medium courgette (zucchini)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 6 medium mushrooms
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes (~ 1 ⅓ cups)
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- Cut all of the vegetables into 1cm dice (the mushrooms can be cut slightly larger). Add them all to a large baking dish (mine measured around 7 x 11 inches), along with the chickpeas. Drizzle with oil, and mix to combine.
- Roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around an hour, stirring halfway, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the basil pesto to the dish, and mix well. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.