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Ratatouille is a vegetable casserole that mainly consists of seasonal vegetables. As simple as it may sound, preparing grilled ratatouille is intense – you will need at least 2 hours of grilling.
I first encountered ratatouille while visiting my cousin. Since I tend to poke my nose in every meal, I had to dig out for the recipe. From that time, I have prepared the dish several times for my family and guests.
The presentation of your dish is basically a matter of preference. In this recipe, I am going to be more creative and unique; the vegetables look yummier when sliced and arranged in a specific pattern. However, you do not have to follow this pattern. You may choose to mix all vegetables and still get an equally tasty ratatouille.
How To Grill Ratatouille?
Considering that this dish is predominantly made up of summer vegetables, this doesn’t mean that you should only prepare your dish during summer. In fact, you can prepare your meal at any time, as long as you have the right ingredients.
Those who have baked ratatouille in an oven before may experience a bit of confusion when it comes to grilling vegetables. This is mainly because grilling requires the vegetables to be softened by slow cooking at 225 degrees F in the smoker, or using indirect heat. This temperature is perfect for smoking ratatouille, as it gives you indirect heat while at the same time allowing your recipe to gain the smoky flavor.
You don’t necessarily need a smoker to attain such results. You may use dual-zone cooking on your gas or charcoal grill. You will, therefore, need to light one side of the grill and leave the other without heat. This way, you be able to create an indirect heat zone that can be used to slow cook the vegetables.
After braising your ratatouille on the smoker at 225 degrees F for 2 hours, you may increase the heat. The second phase includes increasing the heat to 375 degrees or shifting to the direct heat side of the grill. In this section, roast your ratatouille for about 45 minutes.
The last step is cooling and serving. I prefer serving after 30 to 40 minutes of cooling.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 55 mins
- 2 zucchini – Slice into thin round discs
- 2 yellow squash- Slice into thin round discs
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes- Peel and slice into thin rounds
- 4 Roma tomatoes- Sliced into thin rounds
- 4 cups of marinara sauce – You can prepare your own at home.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of homemade seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil chiffonade- Garnish
Step 1: Prepare the grill and Vegetables
Start by preheating your grill to about 225 degrees F. This temperature is perfect for indirect heating – you are advised not to go higher or lower than this.
In the meantime, prepare your vegetables and slice them as mentioned above. Also, peel off the potatoes and cut them into round discs by carefully slicing from one end to the other. Try keeping the thickness as even as possible. However, this step is not absolutely necessary, unless you want to follow my format of slicing and arranging your pieces.
Step 2: Prepare the skillet and arrange your vegetables
Once you have sliced and cleaned your vegetables, pour the marinara sauce at the bottom of your skillet. Smooth out the sauce such that the entire bottom of the skillet if fully covered in sauce.
Now, arrange the vegetables in a repeating pattern. As mentioned earlier, you may choose any order since there are no rules that dictate the types of patterns to follow. However, if you want to be more presentable, you may start from the outside. Once you have a full circle on the outside of the pan, move on and create an inner circle and another one until you have just one piece of the vegetables at the center.
Now drizzle the top of your vegetables with olive oil (oleic acid) and sprinkle your seasoning on top. The type of seasoning that you make entirely depends on your preferred flavor and spices.
Step 3: Slow cook your ratatouille
Once you have arranged and seasoned your vegetables, it is time to grill. First, place the skillet on the grill at 225 degrees F and then cook your vegetables for about 2 hours. This allows the vegetables to soften and pick up flavor.
Step 4: Cook on direct heat
After 2 hours of slow cooking, adjust your smoker to 375 degrees F, or if you are using a grill, move the skillet to direct heat. The second phase of grilling takes about 45 minutes in a smoker, but the duration may be shorter for direct heat grilling.
To ensure that your vegetables do not burn out, start observing after just 30 minutes. In some cases, the dish may be ready in 30 minutes!
Step 5: Remove from heat and serve
Once you observe the vegetables caramelize, remove from the heat and let the ratatouille sit for about 10 minutes. You can then garnish with the fresh basil before serving.
With that, you have prepared your spicy and tasty ratatouille. This is one of the healthiest foods you will be able to grill. Made up of 100 percent vegetables, you will be sure that your meal is rich in vitamins, minerals, and low carbohydrates content. It is also a perfect meal for people who want to break from taking meat.
There are different variations of ratatouille recipes. This can be inferred from the fact that the summer vegetables, which are used to make this recipe, are very diverse. These include zucchini, tomatoes, and yellow squash. With the rise plant-based diet fads, people can also use vegan meat alternatives to mix into this dish. We’ve documented the booming plant-based meat industry.
The most important takeaway from this recipe is that you have to slow cook the vegetables first before grilling on direct heat. The good news is that this recipe gives you options for grilling and smoking.
READ MORE: Celebrities Who Were Once Vegan.