Ratatouille: A Beginner-Friendly Recipe Inspired by Disney’s Classic

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ratatouille copycat recipe

What’s up, Hungry People?

Remember Linguini’s memorable rant from Disney’s Ratatouille? “Ratatouille doesn’t sound delicious. It sounds like ‘rat’ and ‘patootie.’ Rat patootie! Which does not sound delicious.” Well, despite Linguini’s skepticism, we’re diving headfirst into this French classic today. Why? Because like Chef Gusto says, “Anyone can cook!” And trust me, you’ll want to cook this one.

In the 2007 animated film “Ratatouille,” we follow Remy, a rat with a highly developed sense of taste and smell, who dreams of becoming a chef. He befriends Linguini, a garbage boy in a Parisian restaurant, and together they strive to cook great food. With Remy hidden under his hat guiding his movements, Linguini rises through the ranks of the kitchen. The climax involves impressing a harsh food critic, Anton Ego, by serving him a simple but perfectly prepared dish of ratatouille, bringing Ego back to his own mother’s home cooking and earning the restaurant a glowing review.

As for the dish itself, ratatouille hails from the Provence region in France. It’s a rustic, peasant dish traditionally made of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes—all sautéed separately before being combined and simmered together. The name “ratatouille” comes from the French term “touiller,” which means to toss or stir. Over time, it has evolved in preparation and presentation, but the base vegetables and Provencal herbs have remained the same.

Why was it the perfect dish to serve Anton Ego? The beauty of ratatouille lies in its simplicity and humble origins. Despite being a simple dish, when made well, it can truly be transcendent. In the movie, it serves as a poignant reminder that great cooking is not about high-end ingredients or complicated techniques, but about soul and a true understanding of flavor. The dish touches Ego’s soul, brings him back to his roots, and perfectly encapsulates the film’s message: “Anyone can cook.”

Why Ratatouille Is Your Next Go-To Dish

While the name “ratatouille” may conjure up images of rodents and well, patooties, don’t be deceived. This dish is a simple yet elegant assembly of vibrant vegetables. Inspired by the lovable Remy the rat, and just as Chef Gusto would advise, I grew nearly all my ingredients right in my garden. Because of that, my zucchini is Hulk-sized, and my tomato sauce? Completely homegrown and home-made, my friends.

ingredients for ratatouille

Here’s What You Need

Let me tell you, the only ‘hard part’ about this dish is dealing with the size of your veggies. In my case, the zucchini and eggplant were so massive I barely used half of each. Call it a win in the sustainability department!

  • Zucchini: Adds a mild, earthy flavor and holds its shape well when baked.
  • Eggplant: Provides a rich, meaty texture and soaks up the flavors of the sauce.
  • Yellow Squash: Complements the other vegetables with its slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Offers a pop of color and a sweet, slightly tangy taste.
  • Yellow Bell Pepper: Brings in another color dimension and a milder sweetness compared to the red bell pepper.
  • Tomato: Adds juiciness and a natural acidity that balances the dish.
  • Chopped Onion: Foundation for the sauce, contributes a depth of flavor.
  • Pasta Sauce: Serves as the base layer, lending richness and a complex flavor profile.
  • Minced Garlic: Enhances the sauce and provides a robust, aromatic kick.
  • Fresh Thyme: Adds an herbal note that elevates the flavors of the vegetables.
  • Olive Oil: Used for drizzling, it helps the vegetables roast and enhances their natural flavors.
  • Salt & Pepper: Basic seasoning to bring out the flavors of each ingredient.
  • Mascarpone Cheese (optional): Adds a creamy texture and richness if used as a topping.
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional): Provides a tangy contrast, brightening up the dish if used as a topping.
chopped veggies

Let’s Cook!

The sauce is the unsung hero of ratatouille. It’s more than just the base; it’s the rich, flavorful stage on which your veggies perform their dance.

sauce in pan

While store-bought pasta sauce can work in a pinch, nothing compares to making it from homegrown tomatoes. Trust me, it’s like you can taste the love (or maybe it’s the absence of preservatives?).

layering ratatouille

Building The Layers: More Than Just Veggies

After sautéing some onions and garlic, you’ll stir them into your pasta sauce, setting the stage for your veggie ensemble. Then comes the fun part: artistically arranging those thinly sliced vegetables on top, like you’re Remy presenting a dish to food critic Anton Ego.

Season with fresh thyme, cracked salt, and pepper, and you’re almost at the finish line.

veggies in ratatouille

Oven Time: Bake, Then Bake Some More

Once your artful array of veggies is ready, you’ll want to drizzle them with olive oil and cover them with a sheet of parchment paper, cut to fit the dish.

Bake your masterpiece at 375°F until the vegetables soften and the pasta sauce is doing a bubbly dance—about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to get that ideal texture.

cooked ratatouille

Tips for Nailing Your Ratatouille

  • Vegetable Slicing: Use a mandoline slicer for even, thin slices of vegetables. This ensures that all the veggies cook at the same rate and look aesthetically pleasing.
  • Pasta Sauce Choices: If you’re not making your own sauce, opt for a high-quality, low-sodium brand. You’ll be seasoning the dish yourself, so a less salty base gives you more control.
  • Baking Time: Keep an eye on your dish in the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Veggies should be tender but not mushy; sauce should be bubbly but not watery.
  • Serving Options: Ratatouille is versatile! Aside from rice, you can also serve it over couscous, quinoa, or even pasta. Play around with the grains to match your taste.
  • Parchment Paper: Don’t skip the parchment paper step; it helps to steam the vegetables, ensuring they are cooked but not dried out.
  • Herb Alternatives: If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried thyme or even a mix of Italian herbs can work as a substitute. However, fresh herbs will give you a brighter flavor.
ratatouille over rice

Linguini might have had his doubts about the name, but this dish speaks for itself. And hey, if Anton Ego found his redemption in a simple plate of ratatouille, imagine the culinary smiles you’ll bring to your own kitchen.

easy ratatouille

With garden-fresh vegetables and a sauce so rich you might forget you’re eating plants, this is a recipe that screams, “Anyone can cook!” Whether you’re serving it as a humble side or the star of your dinner table, ratatouille is a true testament to the magic that simple ingredients can create. Chef Gusteau was onto something, wasn’t he?

Enjoy – and don’t forget: “Anyone can cook!”

easy ratatouille

Disney Copycat Recipe: Ratatouille

The Starving Chef
Unleash your inner Chef Gusteau with this easy, yet impressive, ratatouille recipe packed with garden-fresh vegetables and homemade tomato sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Copycat Recipes, Fictional Feasts
Cuisine Disney, French, International
Servings 8


  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 4 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 5 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • mascapone cheese optional, for topping
  • balsamic vinegar optional, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Thinly slice all the vegetables (except the onion and garlic) into evenly sized pieces. Roughly chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, then pour in the pasta sauce. Stir in the chopped garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the slices of vegetables in a repeating pattern until the pan is filled and no more pieces can fit.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on half of the thyme. Cover the vegetables with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove the parchment paper and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta sauce is bubbling through the vegetables.
  • Serve on a bed of white rice or as a side dish. Garnish with mascarpone cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, as desired. Serve hot to Anton Ego and enjoy!
Keyword Disney, root vegetables, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!