What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, and give them the “pizza treatment” (herbs + marinara + cheese)? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.”
This dish is kind of a cross between a classic ratatouille and the ever famous Summer Vegetable Tian. I used classic ratatouille vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, squash, and eggplant, added some dried basil and oregano, a little marinara, and then topped it all with melty mozzarella cheese. This version fixes one of the draw backs of the original vegetable tian: a soupy bottom. By adding marinara into the mix, you not only get more flavor, but the soup turns into a delicious sauce. Get yourself some crusty bread and dip it in all that goodness. You’ll be sopping up every last drop!
I have to admit… Multi-tasking got the best of me when I was making this and I didn’t hear my timer go off. My cheese got pretty burned on top, but honey badger don’t care. She just keeps eating. It’s still amazing! (I added a little cheese on top to make it prettier for the photos, though).
Vegetables can still a bit pricy this time of year, which made my total cost a bit higher than I would have liked. So, if prices haven’t come down in your area yet, tuck this one away for later this summer when your neighbors are trying to unload their bumper crops of tomato and zucchini!
Oven Roasted Ratatouille
- 1 cup marinara sauce $0.52
- 1 small yellow onion $0.28
- 1 small eggplant $1.53
- 1 medium zucchini $1.73
- 1 medium yellow squash $1.62
- 3 medium roma tomatoes $1.21
- Pinch of salt and pepper $0.05
- ½ tsp dried basil $0.05
- ½ tsp dried oregano $0.05
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella $1.20
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread ½ cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a deep pie dish or a rectangular casserole dish. Thinly slice the onion and sprinkle the slices over the marinara.
- Thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes (about ¼ inch thick). The vegetables are easiest to layer when they are the same diameter, so if one of your vegetables is much bigger around than the others, slice the rounds in half or into quarters to make it more similar in size. Layer the vegetables in the casserole dish like dominos. Fit as many of the vegetable slices in as possible.
- Season the top of the layered vegetables lightly with salt, pepper, dried basil, and oregano. Lastly, add the remaining ½ cup of marinara to the top of the vegetables (it doesn't have to be even).
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and add the shredded cheese to the top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
This makes about four bigger “Oh YUM!” servings, or six smaller side dish sized servings (you know, when your meal actually has multiple parts?).
Step by Step Photos
A word on choosing vegetables for this… no matter how small you think you’re going, once they’re sliced you’ll probably have too many. So try to scale back a bit. Pick the smallest eggplant you can find. A long skinny one works best, so that it will be close in diameter to the squash. I wish I had more tomato in mine, so I listed three in the ingredients. My yellow squash were super small, so I listed one medium sized squash instead of two small.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bottom of a deep pie dish or a rectangular casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce (I just used generic, nothing fancy) and one small, thinly sliced onion.
Thinly slice 1 small eggplant, 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium yellow squash, and about 3 roma tomatoes (roma’s tend to be the least expensive in my area, but you can use whatever variety is priced well). Aim for 1/4 inch thick slices. If one of your vegetables is much larger around than the rest, like this eggplant, you can cut the rounds in half or into quarters to make them closer in size to the rest. It will make your life easier.
Layer the vegetables in the dish like dominos. If you’re using a round dish, like me, it’s easiest to start with the outer ring, then fill in the center part. When you start, they’ll all be laying down flat, but as you squeeze more into the lineup, they’ll start to stand up because there is no room.
Here’s a bird’s eye view. I started with the outer circle, then filled in the inner circle. I squeezed a few pieces right in the center, too. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the vegetables, as well as 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.
Add a little more marinara for good measure. I just loosely poured the remaining 1/2 cup of marinara over top. You don’t have to spread it around or anything. Cover the dish with foil and bake it in the preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top (Parmesan wouldn’t be too bad to add in there, too). Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly brown.
Oops. I burned my cheese a bit. :P STILL DELICIOUS!. If your vegetables aren’t as soft as you’d like after the cheese has done its thing, you can actually cover it with foil again and return it to to the oven. That will allow it to continue baking without further browning of the cheese.
So delicious… and it’s just begging for a beautiful baguette to bathe in it. Mmmmm. You’ve gotta spoon some of that sauce from the bottom of the pan into your bowl.
Closer look? So pretty. <3 Vegetables!