Patio baby eggplant from my garden

‘Tis the season for comfort food. For me that means soups, stews, & casseroles.

Have you ever noticed how the most satisfying food is also usually the simplest? I’ve seen (and tried) ratatouille recipes with SO many steps involved & multiple pots & pans. Honestly, sometimes I’m too lazy for all that & just want a simply delicious dish. THIS is it – the best & most simple ratatouille recipe ever!

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So many recipes, including my previous fave, have you cook most of the ingredients separately in a frying pan with oil before transferring to a stock pot. I’m not completely sure why but all I can guess is that its because everything takes a different amount of time to cook. Maybe?

After cooking it my new-ish way the last few times, I’m convinced that this is just as good if not better than the traditional method. Especially great that cleanup is a lot easier too!

Other than the process, the ingredients are the same as the pan & pot 1 hour recipe. Also this one is ready in 30 minutes or so, not including pre-salting the eggplant.

I’m using patio baby eggplant because we have 2 plants in the garden that are still loaded with fruit. Because they are so small – up to 2″ in diameter & length max – they aren’t as bitter as the globe variety so they don’t need much soaking. With these, you could get away with no salt soaking at all.

simple ratatouille recipe

The process in pictures

Yield: 4-6 servings

Simple 1 Pot Ratatouille

Simple Ratatouille Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium globe eggplant (or 15- 20 patio baby eggplants)
  • 2 medium zucchini or squash (can even substitute very young tender luffa)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used ½ green + ½ red)
  • ½ large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 sprig each rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Instructions

  1. Cut eggplant & zucchini into 1" cubes. Put them in a large bowl & salt liberally. Set aside for later.
  2. Add enough EVOO to coat the bottom of a heavy stock pot over medium low heat.
  3. Add the peppers, garlic, and onions & sweat until barely translucent.
  4. Drain the eggplant mixture and add it to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes until veggies start to soften.
  5. Add the tomatoes & stir to combine. Add a little salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Remove herbs from the stems if using fresh & stir into the ratatouille.
Let it sit for a few minutes to incorporate the flavor of the herbs. Serve hot with crusty garlic bread & your favorite wine, if you'd like.
Enjoy!

This dish gets better as it sits because all the flavors really get married & meld together. And just like most soups, stews, & casseroles, it’s even better the 2nd day. It even freezes great! Just make sure to slightly undercook & under season it for freezing. That way the veggies won’t turn to mush when you reheat it.

Speaking of the next day… here are a few things I love to do with leftover ratatouille:

  • reduce it into a (meatless) ragu & serve with pasta, chicken or rice
  • add a hearty pasta to the stew (penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, etc)
  • add white beans for a little extra protein & fiber

Give it a try & let me know what you think. Also would you be interested in more eggplant recipes? There’s a few here on the blog & I’m working on adding more since we had so much eggplant from the garden this year.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 💞

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