Most of the Instant Pot recipes I post are family favorites adapted to the Instant Pot. This ratatouille recipe is an exception. I’m embarrassed to admit that my family’s favorite Ratatouille was the Disney movie with same name! That was until I made this dish for the first time last week and fell in love with it.
I ended up making this Instant Pot Ratatouille purely by chance. I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal about the Instant Pot, and it included a ratatouille recipe that was based on Julia Child’s classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The recipe looked really tempting and I filed it away to try out sometime, adding it to my ever-growing ‘to do’ list. With any luck, I might have gotten to it by next summer.
Then, out of the blue, my dear friend Monica told me she’d love to see an Instant Pot ratatouille recipe on the blog. Monica is a terrific cook and makes a delicious ratatouille the traditional way. She was one of my first blog followers and is one of my biggest supporters. So that did it – I had to learn how to make ratatouille in the Instant Pot.
Ratatouille (pronounced rat-a-too-ee) is a French Provençal vegetable dish of simmered onions, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and fresh herbs. It’s healthy, vegetarian/vegan, and most importantly, it’s delicious!
I took it to Monica’s for a book club get-together one evening last week. She served it on toasted crostini, with goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Tasted a-mazing. You won’t believe that something so healthy can taste so good. Even if you’re not a big fan of eggplant I urge you to give this recipe a try. My kids are not eggplant lovers, but they loved this dish.
The main work involved with this recipe is chopping the vegetables into 1/4-inch pieces and then sauteing them to get them slightly brown. The Instant Pot does the remaining work: just pressure cook and saute at the end to let the liquid evaporate.
And yes, the recipe is correct: you don’t add any liquid because the vegetables release enough liquid to bring the Instant Pot to pressure. However, make sure that there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot after cooking the eggplant and before you begin pressure cooking. Otherwise, your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure (been there, done that). Add a bit of water or white wine if needed, to deglaze the pot.
Don’t skip the balsamic vinegar drizzle at the end; it adds a nice finish to the ratatouille. Be sure to use a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling on the ratatouille before serving.
So the next time you go to the farmer’s market and pick up fresh summer vegetables, consider making this tasty and healthy dish. It tastes even better the next day, so make it ahead and serve it at your next gathering. It makes a great appetizer with crostini and goat cheese, a side dish with roast chicken or lamb (try Instant Pot Coq au Vin), or a main dish served over pasta or polenta.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot Manual / Beginner’s Quick Start Guide blog post first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot Ratatouille.
Instant Pot Ratatouille Ingredients
Instant Pot Ratatouille Step by Step Instructions
- Sprinkle kosher salt on the eggplant, toss to coat and allow to drain in a colander set over a bowl.
- Press ‘Saute’.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to inner pot of Instant Pot.
- Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add zucchini and garlic, saute 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add bell pepper, saute 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add whole basil leaves and stir.
- Press ‘Cancel’.
- Transfer contents of inner pot into a large bowl and set aside.
- Press ‘Saute’ again.
- Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the inner pot.
- Add drained eggplant and saute until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Be sure to not let it burn.
- Add back in reserved vegetables, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and capers.
- Stir gently, allowing the reserved vegetables to deglaze the pan. (If there are brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon of water or white wine.)
- Top with tomatoes.
- Close Instant Pot Lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘10’ (10 minutes)
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 10 to 0; it will switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’.
- Do a Quick Release: move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position. Remove the towel after turning the knob.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- The ratatouille will have some liquid.
- Press ‘Saute’.
- Simmer until the ratatouille has thickened up, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped basil and parsley, drizzle additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top.
- Serve as a side dish to roast meat, as a main dish over pasta or polenta, with a medley of salads, or as an appetizer on toasted baguette topped with goat cheese.
Instant Pot Ratatouille
Instant Pot Ratatouille is a deliciously satisfying vegetarian dish made with summer’s bounty of zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, tomato and fresh herbs.
- 1 small eggplant about 3 cups, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion about 1 1/2 cups, diced
- 2 zucchini about 3 cups, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic about 2 Tbsp, minced
- 2 bell peppers about 3 cups, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 whole basil leaves plus 1 Tbsp thinly sliced basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 2 1/2 cups tomatoes chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- Additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Sprinkle salt on the eggplant, toss to coat and allow to drain in a colander set over a bowl.
In 'Saute' mode, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add zucchini and garlic, saute 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add bell pepper, saute 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add whole basil leaves and stir.
Press 'Cancel' and transfer contents of inner pot into a large bowl and set aside.
In 'Saute' mode, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Add drained eggplant and saute until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Be sure to prevent it from burning.
Add back in reserved vegetables, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and capers.
Stir gently, making sure that there are no brown bits sticking to the bottom of the inner pot. *
Top with tomatoes.
Cook on 'Manual' (or 'Pressure Cook') mode for 10 minutes. Make sure pressure release handle is in 'Sealing' position.
Do a quick release of pressure.
Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
The ratatouille will have some liquid.
In 'Saute' mode, simmer until the Instant Pot ratatouille has thickened up, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped basil and parsley, drizzle additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top.
Serve as a side dish, with pasta, with a medley of salads, or on a toasted baguette topped with goat cheese.
Adapted from Wall Street Journal's Can the Instant Pot Cook as Well as Julia Child?
- * Be sure that all brown bits are incorporated into the dish before pressure cooking begins, otherwise there is a risk of the Instant Pot not coming to pressure. Adding the reserved vegetables should take care of deglazing, but if that doesn't work, add a tablespoon of water to scrape up the brown bits.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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