Have you been avoiding trying to make ratatouille because it seems like too much work? I've eliminated much of that by using my slow cooker! This easy Crock Pot Ratatouille cooks gently in the slow cooker with only 25 minutes of prep time! It is perfect for your end of summer produce and you won't have to hang out over a hot stove the whole time! Using the slow cooker also allow us to reduce the amount of oil used substantially, making this a lower calorie version of the French classic.
Ratatouille - and I'm not talking about the adorable 2007 Disney movie - is a dish of stewed vegetables that originated in France. Ingredients and preparations vary widely, but the stew most often includes some combination of garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini. It's finished off with some kind of herby green (like basil).
Typically, the vegetables are all cooked separately, and then combined toward the end, and cooked slowly so the result is a creamy, smooth consistency. We use the crock pot to cut down on the active cooking time substantially.
Ratatouille can be served on its own, as an entrée, but typically it is a side dish. To make it an entrée, add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. As a side dish, it pairs well with some crusty bread - or Olive Oil Buckwheat Biscuits for a gluten free option.
We are using mostly traditional ingredients for our healthy ratatouille recipe.
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Yellow Bell Pepper
- No Added Salt Tomato Paste
- Dried Thyme
- Herbs de Provence
- Green Olives
- Yellow Squash
- Fresh Basil
See recipe card for quantities.
I love when things are easy. I'm not into spending hours over a hot stove - especially in the throes of summer. In this slow cooker ratatouille version, all the vegetables cook down to a perfectly soft, creamy consistency, and I can spend my time doing something else! The sauce is made on the stove to allow for depth of flavor, and it only takes about 15 minutes - it can even be made up to 5 days in advance!
Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
Add the pepper, and continue to cook until soft.
Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for another minute.
Pour in the diced tomatoes.
Add the herbs and olives (if using).
Simmer 5-10 minutes.
Dice the eggplant, zucchini, and squash, and add to the slow cooker.
Pour the sauce into the slow cooker, and stir to combine.
Cook for 4-6 hours, until all the vegetables are cooked down, and very soft.
Finish with some basil chiffonade.
Hint: It's easy to dice the tomatoes (and neater, too), using a food processor. Just add your tomatoes to the bowl and blitz it a few times until they're broken down. You really can't process them too long, either, since you're making a sauce with them!
Use any variety of tomatoes you have!
Process them until you reach a consistency you like.
Just a few substitutions you may wish to try!
- Canned tomatoes - use no added salt varieties. You will need a 28 oz can, and a 15 oz can for this recipe.
- More zucchini - omit the yellow squash and use another zucchini
- Without eggplant - use extra zucchini and/or yellow squash to make ratatouille without eggplant
Note: I do not recommend using dried basil in place of the fresh. While certainly possible, it really doesn't compare in flavor. If you absolutely must use dried, add 1 tablespoon into the sauce with the rest of the herbs, instead of at the end.
This crock pot ratatouille is already gluten free, low fat, low sodium, vegan, and overall healthy. It is a vegetable side dish after all! But here are some variations you may enjoy.
- Make it an entrée - add a can or two of chickpeas (no added salt), or any other bean you like
- Spicy - add 2 teaspoons, or more to taste, crushed red pepper flakes
- Less salt - while already really low sodium, if you omit the olives it will be even lower
You'll need some basic equipment for slow cooker ratatouille:
- 6 quart slow cooker (or close)
- Cutting board and chef knife
- Large skillet
- Food processor (optional)
- Measuring spoons
This healthy ratatouille recipe will store well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Chopping all those veggies can take a while, especially if you aren't a pro with a chef knife. For this recipe, all the chopping can be done a day ahead. Combine the sauce with the vegetables and refrigerate. Then you can toss everything in your slow cooker on your way out the door in the morning!
To make chopping faster, I recommend investing in an all-in-one vegetable chopper with a vegetable dicing blade.
Yes! Most ratatouille recipes are quite healthy. Traditionally made versions are sometimes high in fat, due to the oils used in cooking, but overall healthy.
There are so many options for pairings with ratatouille! Here are some of our favorites:
Crusty, rustic bread
Over whole grain pasta
Over creamy polenta
With brown or wild rice pilaf
As a dip for whole grain crackers (dice all ingredients very small before cooking)
With poached white fish
In a pita as a sandwich
Looking for more healthy zucchini recipes? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Crock Pot Ratatouille:
Crock Pot Ratatouille
- Slow Cooker
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 1 Yellow Pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon No Added Salt Tomato Paste
- 1 ½ - 2 lbs Tomatoes, diced or crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried Thyme (or 2 teaspoon fresh thyme)
- 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- optional ¼ cup minced Green Olives
For the Ratatouille:
- 1 large Eggplant (about 1 lb)
- 1 medium Zucchini (about ½ lb)
- 1 medium Yellow Squash, or another zucchini (about ½ lb)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced Basil
- Make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.
- Add the yellow peppers and continue to saute until soft.
- Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for a minute before adding the diced tomatoes, herbs, and olives if using.
- Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- While the sauce is cooking, dice the eggplant, zucchini, and squash into cubes about ½ inch, and add them all to your slow cooker.
- When the sauce is thick, pour over the vegetables in the slow cooker, and stir to combine.
- Slow cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours. If you like your ratatouille less soupy, remove the lid of the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow evaporation.
- Just before serving, stir in ¼ cup of thinly sliced fresh basil, or more if desired.
- Serve with crusty bread, or on whole grain pasta or polenta.