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Slow Carb Ratatouille with Roasted Vegetables

Slow Carb Ratatouille with Roasted Vegetables
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A low carb Ratatouille lends itself perfectly to low carb, slow carb or ketogenic lifestyles, and is a perfect dish for Summer.  I always avoided Ratatouille because it seemed like too much work, but once the vegetables are chopped, it’s simple! And it lends itself to roasting, sautéing, or cooking in the crockpot!

This recipe uses roasted vegetables, which is one of the things distinguishing it from a “tian” or “byaldi”.

Low carb ratatouille dinner in a skillet
Low carb ratatouille dinner

Jump to: RECIPE | Roasted vs Sauteed Veggies? | Ratatouille vs Tian vs Byaldi | What to Serve With

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What is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille originated with French peasants in an attempt to use up their summer vegetable harvest. The vegetables were prepared in a “rough cut” method and served with inexpensive rice.

The French word “rata” means chunky stew, with the “toullier” meaning “to stir up”. Although sometimes viewed as a soup or stew, ratatouille today is often considered a side dish or a vegetarian meal.

The ingredients traditionally include end-of-summer vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Other common vegetables in a ratatouille would be onions, garlic and zucchini.

Roasted vs Sautéed Vegetables

Roasted ratatouille:

I like the rich taste of roasted caramelized vegetables so I prefer the roasted version of ratatouille.  If you don’t mind heating up your house with the oven, the roasted version is also a bit easier.

Although most of the vegetables are roasted in the oven, the onions are best if caramelized on the stovetop along with the spices at the end of the process.

Sautéed ratatouille:

Sautéed ratatouille is basically a layering approach where you sauté one veggie until done, add another layer of vegetable, and then keep adding layers until you have a wonderful, colorful, tasty mixture of late summer produce and herbs.

So, the difference is basically that the sautéed method brings out the flavor of each individual vegetable because of the slow layering approach, whereas the roasted version adds a sweeter richness to the vegetables and to the overall dish.

Can Ratatouille be made in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, easily! You simply layer one-half of each of the vegetables in the slow cooker in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes. Repeat with the other one-half of the vegetables.

Sprinkle with herbs and salt, drizzle olive oil over the top and cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

What to Serve with Ratatouille

Ratatouille can certainly be delightful on its own as a lunch or even a vegetarian dinner. Often however, it is considered a side dish to a protein, especially on a slow carb lifestyle where protein is important.

Here are a few pairing and serving suggestions, whether slow carb, vegetarian or just a food lover:

  • Pork chops with a melted herbal compound butter (tres French!)
  • Serve it as a stew, with crusty French bread on the side
  • Add eggs to it for a great breakfast similar to this chorizo and eggs
  • Use it as a small plate or appetizer spooned over toasted bread
  • Rice, quinoa, or spaghetti squash as a bed for the ratatouille
  • Top it off with grated Parmesan or mozzarella
Cast iron skillet low carb dinner of chorizo and eggs with scallions as garnish.
Skillet meal of chorizo and eggs

Is Ratatouille Low Carb or Slow Carb or Keto?

Tomatoes, eggplant and onions do have more carbs than greens like spinach or cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. The amount of carbs in these three vegetables (and fruit) would prevent the dish from being keto friendly.

Whether it could be considered low carb or slow carb would primarily depend on the rest of the meal and your carb count for the whole day.

It also depends on whether you are in a maintenance mode or if your goal is weight loss. I consider 50-100 grams of carbs per day in the range of low carb or slow carb for me personally.

I have been in maintenance mode for quite a few years however. Back when the goal was weight loss, I would have considered this dish to be too high in carbs. Either way, it’s definitely healthy and delicious!!

Other Versions: Ratatouille vs Tian vs Byaldi

Ratatouille has shed its peasant origins and is often served in upscale restaurants these days. Here are a few other versions of this ubiquitous dish:

Vegetable Tian: While a tian includes the same type of ingredients as a ratatouille, it is a much more “upscale” presentation. In a tian, the vegetables are thinly sliced, alternated in rows then stacked upright rather than layered horizontally.

Ratatouille - Tian style before baking
Ratatouille (Tian style before baking

The bottom of the pan is typically covered with either a layer of cooked onions or tomato sauce then the whole dish is covered for the first half of the cooking time to trap in moisture, making this vegetable tian more of a steamed dish with the roasting of the vegetables.

Byaldi: Byaldi is another Provencal vegetable casserole, often considered fancy version of ratatouille. The original ratatouille fried the vegetables before baking, although modern versions of ratatouille does not fry the vegetables, but rather roasts or sautés them. Byaldi is more of a vegetable “confit” which removes the peppers and adds mushrooms.

There are countless variations of each of these dishes, but the one thing they share in common is that they are all delicious!

Ratatouille with Roasted Vegetables

Low carb ratatouille dinner in a skillet
Slice and chop your favorite summer vegetables and then you have the option of a ratatouille with roasted or sauteed vegetables in the oven, on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Each has its pros and cons
4.50 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 374

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant about 1 lb, peeled & cut lengthwise and then into 1″ dice
  • 1 zucchini about 8 oz size, ends trimmed off and then cut into 1″ dice
  • 1 yellow summer squash about 8 oz, ends trimmed off and then cut into 1″ dice
  • 3 beefsteak type tomatoes meaty rather than juicy, cored and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 large red bell peppers seeded and cut into 1″ dice
  • 4-6 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion red or yellow, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon hatch chile powder or your favorite chile powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two sheet pans with foil or parchment paper.
  • Cut peeled eggplant, peeled zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes and peppers into similar sizes (about 1″ dice or chunk) and lay out on the sheet pan(s) (aka cookie sheets). It may take more than one sheetpan.
    See ingredient list for more specific cutting directions.
    Add several garlic cloves (peeled and thinly sliced) to each sheet pan.
    1 eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 yellow summer squash, 3 beefsteak type tomatoes, 2 large red bell peppers, 4-6 garlic cloves
  • Gather all the vegetables into a mound (or mounds if you have a lot) in the middle of the sheetpan and drizzle the mounds of vegetables with 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle on the chile powder (if using) and about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt.
    Mix the oil, salt and spice into vegetables gently with your hands and then spread veggies out on the sheet into a single layer.
    1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon hatch chile powder, 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
  • Roast vegetables in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, use a flat spatula to turn veggies over and roast for another 15-20 minutes.
  • While the veggies are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with 2 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, crushed red pepper (optional) and season with salt, to taste. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    1 large onion
  • Add the roasted vegetables to the skillet with the sautéed onions, along with the vinegar, oregano and thyme. Toss well to coat and add more olive oil, if needed.
    Taste to check the seasoning and transfer to a platter and serve.
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Notes

To make in a crockpot or slow cooker:
You simply layer one-half of each of the vegetables in the slow cooker in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes. Repeat with the other one-half of the vegetables.
Sprinkle with herbs and salt, drizzle olive oil over the top and cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gSugar: 17g
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