No idea what to serve with ratatouille? Should you consider it as a main dish and choose a side to go with it? Or is it really only a veggie side dish? The amazing thing is that ratatouille can be both. We collected 25+ delicious recipes to enjoy it in both ways.
What is ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a French veggie stew using summer vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and tomato. It is considered a “peasant dish” meaning the stew is meatless and made up of cheap ingredients. Furthermore, it is also a type of stew that gets better with every passing minute. Isn’t it wonderful?
There is no exact ratatouille recipe, so everybody interprets it a little bit differently. Since the movie with the same name was released in 2007, the baked ratatouille (similar to confit byaldi) became really trendy. However, originally the French has cooked it on a stove.
Here is our One-pot Easy French Ratatouille recipe that you can make within 30 minutes! We use juicy diced tomatoes, Globe eggplant, yellow bell pepper, and young zucchini topped with fresh herbs. See the result for yourself in the below picture.
But how do the French eat it?
Ratatouille is a fresh summer vegetable dish that is originated from Provence, South France. They serve it
hot as a side dish with meat or fish or cold as an appetizer on baguette.
3 top tips to choose the perfect complement dish
Whether you eat ratatouille as a side dish or a main dish, here are a couple of tips you can consider if you want to keep it more or less authentic:
- Choose a dish using typical French herbs. These are thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. If you choose sides/mains seasoned with these, they should be a perfect match for ratatouille.
- Look for typical Mediterranean ingredients. Provence is located in Southern France, so Mediterranean recipes are usually a safe bet to choose from. Look for recipes with ingredients like kalamata olives, capers, artichoke hearts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, pasta, bread, seafood, meat, dairy, legumes, and wine.
- Keep it simple. France is famous for its intricate recipes even for stews and soups, although ratatouille is one of the lightest French stew ever (especially compared to a hearty, meaty Beef Bourguignon). So keep it simple and choose a side or main that highlights the delicious variety of summer veggies in ratatouille.
Below you will find some of our favorite recipes we recommend to pair it with ratatouille.
What sides to serve with ratatouille?
If you would like to enjoy it as a main dish aka as a light summer veggie stew, here are a couple of delicious side dishes that go great with it.
Bread, the good old classic
It is a stew so take a slice of rustic crusty bread or ciabatta and dunk.
You might not know this about us, but we eat gluten-free. So we would like to show you also some homemade gluten-free options to choose from.
- Socca Flatbread from Emma Eats and Explores
- Healthy GF Cornbread from Nutriciously
- Artisan GF Bread from Allergy-Free Alaska
- Old Fashioned GF Buttermilk Biscuits from Strength & Sunshine
Rice is one of the best
Our favorite side dish to accompany ratatouille is simply cooked brown rice. However, here are some creative variations that match perfectly with the French flavors of fresh thyme or fresh basil.
- Mushroom Risotto from My Pure Plants – that’s us 🙂
- Kale and Tomato Risotto from Health My Lifestyle
- Cauliflower Rice from Happy Kitchen Rocks
- Cypriot Lentils and Rice from Kopiaste
- Green Pesto Risotto from Moon and Spoon and Yum
- Jollof Rice from This Old Gal
Polenta is comfortable
It is also a popular side dish to serve with ratatouille. The sweetness of the cornmeal complements the crunchy cooked vegetables nicely and turns them into a cozy, heart-warming bowl of comfort food.
- Grilled Polenta from Vegan Huggs
- Creamy Polenta from Vegan Huggs
- Polenta Chips from Yuzu Bakes
- Seared Polenta from Go Dairy-free
If you want to turn your ratatouille experience up a notch, here are some delicious sides you can try. If all cards are on the table, let’s get creative, shall we?
- If you consider it as a light veggie stew, then it can easily be used to make a Veggie Shepherd’s Pie topped with Mashed Potatoes.
- Similar to any stew-type dish, ratatouille is also delicious to stuff in Portobello Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini boats, or butternut squash.
- Serving it with pasta is also quite common, but how about mixing it with Gnocchi.
- You tried all of the above, but this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from Seitan Beats Your Meat will definitely make it a healthy and nutritious full meal.
What mains to serve with ratatouille?
Now, you might think – well – it looks like a yummy veggie side dish, rather than the main course. We got you covered. The French usually serve ratatouille with grilled meat or fish, although here are some vegetarian options as well. Why? Because it is a delicious, but “accidentally” allergy-friendly dish. Which means a wide variety of people love it. To make a full-on vegan/vegetarian meal out of it, there are lots of meatless options to choose from:
Vegetarian main courses
What a vegan would need to enjoy ratatouille as a complete lunch or dinner? I would say something hearty and filling aka protein-based. There are several delicious high-protein recipes using legumes like lentils, chickpeas or other beans that complete any roasted vegetable-type dish. Here are our favorite ones:
- Eggplant Meatballs from My Pure Plants
- Lentil Veggie Nuggets from This Healthy Kitchen
- Lentil Loaf from My Pure Plants
- Baked Falafel from Shivani Loves Food
It is hard to enjoy heavy meals during the hot summer, isn’t it? So a light summer salad for a light summer stew is just what you might need. They are a refreshing and colorful combination that will not leave your tastebuds hanging.
- Easy Mediterranean White Bean Salad from The Fiery Vegetarian
- Gigante Bean Salad from Yuzu Bakes
- Lentil Salad with Green Olives from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Rainbow Three Bean Salad from Marathons and Motivation
Ratatouille for breakfast
Last, but not least ratatouille is a scrumptious savory breakfast alternative. If you make it a day before, all the flavors and the juices come together and make it even more delicious and rich. The French serve it with poached egg or omelet and sausages. If you need an eggless/meatless alternative, we have some tips for you here:
- Vegan Frittata from My Pure Plants
- Vegan and GF Sausages from Healthier Steps
- Tofu Scramble from Nora Cooks
- Savory French Toast from My Pure Plants
More stew and soup recipes
If you like ratatouille, you might also enjoy other stew-type veggie recipes like
- Italian Minestrone Soup
- Vegetable Stew with Jackfruit
- Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
- Easy Bean Chili
- Cabbage Sausage Soup
We hope that you could find some inspiration from the above list. Let us know in the comments, what is the best way to eat ratatouille as per your taste.