I’m back! Slaying the slow cooker once again. If you read Tuesday’s confessional post you know the slow cooker and I had a bit of a falling out. But now, we are friends again.
Today I have a super easy take on a French classic, Ratatouille. The first time I ever made it was because I was inspired by the Pixar movie. I didn’t even have kids yet but it is just a really good movie that always makes me want to cook! I have a ratatouille recipe in my upcoming cookbook that is made partially on the stove and partially in the oven. It is a delicious dish that takes a little bit of time but it is 100% worth it.
Both the cookbook version of ratatouille and the slow cooker version below are a slight departure from the traditional French fare. First, I put a little Italian spin on mine (cheese). Second, ratatouille normally has red peppers in it. I don’t like red peppers so I leave them out. You could easily add a layer of peppers if you like them.
This slow cooker version takes almost no effort on your part at all. You have to do some chopping and sprinkling but that is it! This is a super healthy and delicious vegetarian meal. Let’s get to the chopping…
First, dice your eggplant and throw it in the slow cooker. Season it with salt and pepper, scatter chopped garlic all around, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
Next, arrange zucchini over the eggplant. It is important to season each layer. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.
Layer sliced onions next (don’t forget to season with salt and pepper).
Mushrooms go on top of the onions. I add another little drizzle of olive oil on top of the mushrooms. (I really took a short cut here by buying cleaned and sliced crimini mushrooms. Sometimes the extra money is worth the time saved. Chopping mushrooms- no big deal. Cleaning mushrooms- big pain.)
Tomatoes are the final piece of the puzzle. Layer the slices over the mushrooms and liberally season with salt, pepper and a heavy sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
Set the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Voila! Ratatouille!
You can serve this as a side dish if you want. Go buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and call it a day. But that is not how I serve it. I like it as a main course.
My favorite way to serve ratatouille is over Acini de Pepe noodles. They are little noodles that look like dots. You can boil them in salted water like normal or if you want to punch up the flavor boil them in some chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you are trying to stick with a vegetarian meal).
Put some of the noodles in the bottom of a flat bowl and spoon your ratatouille right over the top. Add some extra ratatouille broth and the noodles will soak it up and become just that much more flavorful. Garnish each dish with some more Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and dig in! Yum!
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
Serves 6-8 (as a main course over noodles)
2 Eggplant, ½“ dice
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1-2 T chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt & Pepper
4 T Olive Oil, divided
¾ – 1 c grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 Zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 Onion, sliced into half moons
8 oz Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
3-4 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer the diced eggplant in the bottom of the pot.
Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and several grinds of pepper.
Sprinkle eggplant with garlic and parsley.
Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.
Layer zucchini on top of eggplant.
Sprinkle with more salt, pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
Layer onions on top of zucchini; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Layer mushrooms on top of onions; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Layer tomato slices on the top; sprinkle with salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve in a flat bowl over noodles.
Ladle some of the broth on top and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish.
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
- 2 Eggplant ½“ dice
- 4 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1-2 T chopped Fresh Parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 T Olive Oil divided
- ¾ - 1 c grated Parmesan Cheese divided
- 1 Zucchini sliced into rounds
- 1 Onion sliced into half moons
- 8 oz Crimini Mushrooms sliced
- 3-4 Roma Tomatoes sliced
- Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
- Layer the diced eggplant in the bottom of the pot. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and several grinds of pepper. Sprinkle eggplant with garlic and parsley. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.
- Layer zucchini on top of eggplant. Sprinkle with more salt, pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Layer onions on top of zucchini; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Layer mushrooms on top of onions; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Layer tomato slices on the top; sprinkle with salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.