Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Slow cooker ratatouille is a delicious twist on the French vegetable stew filled with seasonal, bright, and fresh vegetables slowly cooked together in a rich garlicky tomato sauce. And my simplified version is cooked in the slow cooker, which makes getting in a good dose of vegetables a cinch and will keep your kitchen cool in the warm summer months!
Visual Guide: How to Make Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Robyn’s Testing Notes
If you have a lot of summer vegetables on hand from a CSA, farmers market, or your own garden, and you’re not sure how to use them up, you need to try this crock pot ratatouille!
This is the absolute best way to make slow cooked ratatouille because the process is completely hands off after the initial prep, and also keeps your kitchen cool in the hot months.
Personally, I was on a mission to create a simple, slow cooker summer vegetable recipe that I could meal prep and eat throughout the week in so many different ways – and this recipe was born.
Plus, I wanted an easy recipe that uses a ton of zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes — really all the garden vegetables that are in abundance in the summer.
This is also a great time-saving recipe! While the eggplant marinates in salt (which helps remove the bitterness), chop all the vegetables and saute the onion, garlic, tomato paste, and wine (or broth, if you prefer not to use wine).
And, once all the preparation is done, the cooking is hands off, and then you are left with a big batch of yummy vegetables that you can store in the fridge all week.
Origins of Ratatouille
Ratatouille is a French vegetable stew that is traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and herbs. There are several different cooking methods for ratatouille including arranging the vegetables or mixing them together. In my version, I mix all the vegetables together and cook low and slow in a slow cooker.
How to Serve and Use Slow Cooker Ratatouille
One of my favorite things about crock pot ratatouille is that you can use it in so many different ways! It’s a perfect slow cooker side dish, but is also hearty enough for a simple dinner.
Here are a few of my favorites ways to use ratatouille:
- As a BBQ side dish with any grilled or barbecued meat
- Swirl a spoonful into scrambled eggs
- Spread on toast, top with an egg or fresh mozzarella, and serve with a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette
- Serve on top balsamic grilled chicken or yogurt marinated chicken or grilled fish or shrimp
- Enjoy it as a meal on its own in a bowl with crusty bread on the side and basil and extra olive oil drizzled on top
- Use it as an easy pasta sauce by mixing with your favorite pasta and topping with freshly grated parmesan cheese
And, if you’re looking for more simple summer meal ideas, check out my capsule summer meal plan where I take the guesswork out of meal planning this summer!
Freezing & Storing Tips
Yes, you can freeze ratatoille!
As I’ve mentioned, this easy ratatouille recipe is the perfect meal prep recipe because it stores really well in the fridge as well as in the freezer.
It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week when stored in an airtight container.
To freeze, allow to cool completely in the fridge, then store in a freezer friendly container for up to 3 months.
Ingredient Substitution Do’s & Don’ts
With so many incredible vegetables in this dish, don’t worry if you don’t have one or two.
Simply add a little more of a vegetable that’s already on the ingredient list (using zucchini in place of yellow squash, for example).
However, I do not recommend subbing in a vegetable that’s not on the ingredient list for this particular recipe.
If you don’t want to use wine to deglaze the pan, feel free to use chicken stock or vegetable stock (to keep it vegetarian) instead.
This Recipe Is…
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium red onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers, or a combination (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 medium zucchini (about ¾ pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow squash (about ¾ pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 large Roma or plum tomatoes (about ½ pound), seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried no-salt added Italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To Add at the End
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- Add the cubed eggplant to a colander. Place the colander in the sink, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes while you cook the onions and chop the remaining vegetables.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the red onion. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine, stirring to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Carefully transfer the onion-tomato paste mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Give the eggplant a very gentle squeeze to remove any excess liquid, then add it along with the bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours, or low for 5-7 hours.
- Uncover and add ½ teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- To serve, remove from the slow cooker and allow to cool to room temperature or refrigerate. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve as desired.