Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. Like with my 4-ingredient, 30-minute marinara sauce, this one pot ratatouille rice lets flavorful produce be the star without any fancy seasoning required.
September and October might be my favorite months of the whole year. That’s because 1) the humidity in Baltimore dies down a little bit, but the weather is still pretty warm and sunny, with tons to do outdoors; and 2) tomato season lingers on, but fall veggies start to make an appearance at the market. It means you get to make things like pizza-stuffed spaghetti squash without it feeling weird and forced. It also means you can make eggplant and the seemingly inherent coziness that comes with it, but still pair it with fresh, juicy tomatoes and other more summery produce. (If you’re looking for an even more cozy eggplant dish, try my roasted eggplant risotto!)
I shared ratatouille on this blog once before, in the form of ratatouille garlic bread. I still adore that way of dishing up this humble French-inspired stew, but if you’re looking for the easiest ratatouille meal in the world, try my one pot ratatouille rice. I’m aware that the very traditional recipe calls for cooking each vegetable separately before recombining them, but for me the diminishing returns are strong with that one. If I had a restaurant (the dream!) or if someone else was washing my dishes, I’d probably try it out. 🙂 So rest assured that my ratatouille never has and will not involve a half dozen pans.
This one pot ratatouille rice takes my corruption of French cuisine a step further by cooking the rice in the same pot too. Born of a day when I had a fridge overflowing with CSA items and limited enthusiasm for cooking them, it turned out tasty enough for me to formally write up and test out the recipe to share it here. It’s not quite like a risotto, whose long cooking process I thought might turn the veggies all to mush, but a flavorful rice dish that’s satisfying enough to eat as a meal or pairs nicely with tofu, chickpeas, greens, etc. as a hearty side. Hope you enjoy!
One Pot Ratatouille Rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 1/2 eggplant diced (I used a larger ovoid eggplant - if using Japanese eggplant, which are smaller, you could use a whole eggplant)
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 1 cup white rice (see notes)
- 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth plus more as needed
- fresh basil chiffonade for serving
In a skillet or saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion with a sprinkle of salt, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more, until fragrant.
Add the zucchini, eggplant, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, another pinch of salt; stir; and cook for 60 seconds. Add the bell pepper and tomatoes with another pinch of salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomatoes start to release some liquid.
Finally, add the rice and vegetable broth and stir. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 15 to 18 minutes or until the rice is done. Add more liquid if you notice the liquid is low and/or the rice is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Season to taste with more salt, pepper, dried herbs, and red pepper flakes as desired. Serve hot, topped with chiffonade of fresh basil. Once cooled to room temperature, leftovers can be stored for up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
Time-saving tip: I did some of the dicing of the other vegetables while the onions and garlic were softening. Use your best judgment on what you can get done in that time 🙂
You can use any type of white rice, just pay attention during cooking and add more broth (or water) if needed. If you use short grain rice (like Arborio), I recommend giving it a rinse before you get started. Short grain rice tends to be the most starchy and could lend a slightly gummy quality to your final dish if not rinsed.
Loosely adapted from Damn Delicious.
If you like the look of this one pot ratatouille rice, then you might also enjoy these other rice-based recipes: