What Do I Serve with Ratatouille?  Ratatouille, the quintessential French dish known for its vibrant colors, rich flavors, and comforting essence, celebrates summer vegetables stewed together to create a symphony of taste.

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille
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While ratatouille is a stand-alone star with its medley of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes, the question often arises: What do I serve with ratatouille to turn it from a simple dish into a memorable meal? Whether you’re looking to host a sophisticated dinner party or want to elevate your weeknight dinner, the answer lies in complementing its flavors and textures with the right accompaniments. From proteins to grains, this guide will explore various options to pair with your ratatouille, ensuring each bite is as delightful as the last and transforming your table into a gourmet experience that celebrates the best of French cuisine.

Ratatouille, a storied dish hailing from the sun-drenched fields of Provence, France, celebrates summer vegetables stewed together in perfect harmony. This vibrant melange of eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, delicately flavored with herbs, is as versatile as it is delicious. Whether you’re serving ratatouille as a main dish or a side, what to pair it with can enhance its flavors and elevate your meal. Here’s a guide to creating the perfect accompaniments for your ratatouille, ensuring a delightful culinary experience.

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille

What Is Ratatouille?

Ratatouille is a classic French vegetable stew that epitomizes the flavors of Provence and the Mediterranean. It’s a vibrant showcase of summer vegetables, traditionally including zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes, all simmered with onions, garlic, and a rich blend of herbs such as thyme, basil, and sometimes bay leaves and parsley. The vegetables are cooked until tender, allowing their flavors to meld into a harmonious, rich, and slightly chunky stew. Whether you are swerving a juicy steak or want something different to serve at the dinner table, it is an excellent choice.

Originating from Nice, ratatouille has humble beginnings as a peasant dish with abundant summer vegetables. However, its simplicity, versatility, and depth of flavor have earned it a beloved place in home kitchens and upscale restaurants worldwide. Ratatouille can be served as a main dish, accompanied by crusty bread or rice to soak up flavorful juices, or as a side dish, complementing proteins like grilled fish, chicken, or lamb. Its popularity was further cemented in popular culture by the Pixar film of the same name, celebrating the dish’s exquisite simplicity and the joy of cooking.

Ratatouille’s charm lies not only in its taste but also in its presentation, with the colorful array of vegetables making it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. Whether prepared in a rustic style, with the vegetables roughly chopped and stewed, or in the more refined presentation of confit by Aldi, where vegetables are thinly sliced and artfully arranged, ratatouille remains a testament to the beauty and flavor of seasonal produce.

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille —Best Side Dishes For Serving Traditional Ratatouille 

Ratatouille, a traditional French stewed vegetable dish, shines with its medley of summer produce. While it can stand alone as a vegetarian main, pairing it with complementary side dishes can transform it into an even more satisfying meal. Here are ten of the best side dishes to serve with traditional ratatouille:


Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Breast: A simple, seasoned chicken breast offers a lean protein option that balances the richness of ratatouille without overpowering its flavors.

Instant Pot Homemade Rice Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf: Quinoa pilaf, flavored with herbs and a squeeze of lemon, adds a nutty texture and is a gluten-free alternative that soaks up the delicious juices of ratatouille.

Air Fryer French Bread 

Crusty French Baguette: No dish celebrates French cuisine better than ratatouille served with a slice of crusty French baguette, perfect for sopping up the savory stewed juices.


Roasted Lamb Chops: For a more decadent pairing, roasted lamb chops with rosemary, garlic powder, and garlic echo the Mediterranean flavors of ratatouille, offering a robust flavor contrast.

Air Fryer Polenta Fries

Polenta: Creamy polenta serves as a comforting base for ratatouille, its mild corn flavor and soft texture complementing the stewed vegetables beautifully.

Instant Pot Homemade Rice Pilaf (1)

Rice Pilaf: A lightly seasoned rice pilaf can act as a subtle, absorbent side, making it an ideal canvas for ratatouille’s bold flavors. For a twist, try mushroom rice pilaf. 

instant pot sweet bell pepper couscous (fiesta)

Couscous: Couscous, especially when seasoned with a hint of saffron or lemon zest, offers a light and fluffy accompaniment that meshes well with the textures and tastes of ratatouille.


Baked Sweet Potatoes: The natural sweetness of baked sweet potatoes contrasts delightfully with the savory, herbaceous elements of ratatouille, adding a different dimension to the meal.

Fresh Green Salad: A fresh green salad with balsamic vinaigrette provides a crisp, light counterpoint to Ratatouille’s tender, stewed vegetables.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes: For a comfort food twist, serve ratatouille over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes. The creamy potatoes with a hint of garlic complement the vegetable stew for a hearty meal. For added flavor, sprinkle with goat cheese and fresh herbs before serving. 

Each side dish brings unique flavors and textures to the table, allowing you to customize your meal to suit any occasion, taste preference, or dietary need while celebrating the beloved French classic ratatouille.

Pro Tips

When choosing side dishes to serve with ratatouille, the aim is to enhance and complement the beauty of ratatouille’s vegetable-centric flavors. Here are some pro tips to help you select the perfect accompaniments:

  • Consider Texture Contrast: Ratatouille is tender and stew-like, so introducing a side dish with a contrasting texture, such as a crusty French baguette or crispy roasted potatoes, can add an appealing variety to the meal.
  • Balance the Flavor: Ratatouille is full of herby and savory flavors. Select side dishes that harmonize with these tastes or offer a gentle contrast. For instance, a simple grilled chicken or fish can balance the dish, while a lightly dressed salad can add a fresh, acidic contrast.
  • Keep It Light: Since ratatouille celebrates fresh vegetables, it’s often best to avoid overly heavy or rich side dishes that might overshadow the main dish. Opt for light sides, such as quinoa or couscous, that won’t compete for attention.
  • Respect the Origins: Ratatouille is quintessentially Mediterranean, so choosing sides that reflect this cuisine can create a cohesive dining experience. Think polenta, a Southern European staple, or a side of olives and artisanal bread.
  • Add a Protein: For a more filling meal, especially if the ratatouille serves as the main course, consider adding a protein. Grilled or roasted meats are excellent choices, but for a vegetarian option, consider a bean salad or lentils for a complete protein pairing.
  • Play with Colors: Ratatouille is a visually appealing dish with various vegetables. Select side dishes that maintain this visual appeal. A vibrant green salad or golden-brown garlic bread can make the meal more inviting.
  • Consider Dietary Restrictions: When serving ratatouille at a gathering, consider guests’ dietary preferences or restrictions. Offering a range of sides, including gluten-free (like rice pilaf) and vegan options (such as a bean salad), ensures everyone can enjoy the meal.
  • Experiment with Herbs and Spices: Many herbs used in ratatouille, such as thyme and fresh basil, can be echoed in your side dishes to create a harmonious flavor profile throughout the meal. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle these herbs (or even parmesan cheese) over your sides for freshness and aroma.
  • Temperature Contrast: Serving a warm dish like ratatouille alongside a cool, crisp salad or chilled dessert can provide a delightful temperature contrast that refreshes the palate and enhances the overall dining experience.
  • Simplicity is Key:  Finally, remember that ratatouille is a dish meant to showcase the simple beauty of vegetables. Choose side dishes that support rather than overshadow, maintaining the rustic elegance of the meal.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can craft a meal that perfectly complements the flavors and textures of ratatouille, turning a simple dish into an unforgettable feast.

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille


What type of meat pairs well with ratatouille? Ratatouille pairs beautifully with a variety of meats. Grilled or roasted chicken, lamb chops, and baked fish are particularly complementary, offering a balance to the dish’s rich vegetable flavors without overwhelming them.

Is there a specific cut of beef that goes best with ratatouille? For beef, consider leaner cuts like sirloin or tenderloin. These can be grilled, broiled, or pan-seared to perfection. The simplicity of these cuts allows the vibrant flavors of ratatouille to shine through.

Can I serve ratatouille with pork? Absolutely! Pork tenderloin or pork chops, especially when seasoned with herbs that echo those in the ratatouille, make for a delicious pairing. Their mild flavor complements the medley of vegetables without dominating the dish.

What about seafood options? Seafood is a fantastic match for Ratatouille. Baked or grilled salmon, seared scallops, or shrimp cooked with garlic and herbs are excellent choices that harmonize with the stew’s flavors.

How should I season the meat? When seasoning meat to serve with ratatouille, it’s best to keep it simple. Use salt, pepper, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil to mirror the dish’s Provençal roots. Avoid overpowering marinades or sauces that could compete with the ratatouille.

Can I make ratatouille a complete meal without meat? Ratatouille can stand on its own as a vegetarian meal, often served over grains like quinoa or couscous for added protein. However, adding a simple protein like a grilled chicken breast or fish fillet can make it more substantial.

Do you have any tips for incorporating meat into the ratatouille itself? While traditional ratatouille is vegetarian, you can create a more hearty version by adding chunks of sausage, bacon, or chicken directly into the stew as it cooks. Choose meats that will complement, not overpower, the delicate balance of vegetables and herbs.

Do You Serve Ratatouille Warm or Cold? Ratatouille is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed both warm and cold, offering different taste experiences. Served warm, it’s a comforting and hearty option, ideal for cooler weather or cozy meals, while cold ratatouille, often enjoyed as a salad, is refreshing and perfect for hot summer days or as a light appetizer.

Is Ratatouille a Side Dish or a Main Dish?  Ratatouille can gracefully serve as both a side dish and a main dish, depending on how it’s presented and what it’s paired with. As a side, it complements proteins like grilled chicken or fish beautifully with its rich vegetable flavors. Alternatively, when served as the centerpiece of a meal, perhaps over a bed of grains or with crusty bread, it becomes a hearty and satisfying vegetarian option that showcases the depth and versatility of this beloved French stew.

What Do I Serve with Ratatouille

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What Do I Serve with Ratatouille?

Air Fryer Easy Ratatouille Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


Creating ratatouille in an air fryer simplifies this classic French vegetable dish, allowing for a quicker cooking process while still preserving the vibrant flavors and textures of the fresh ingredients. Here’s an easy air fryer ratatouille recipe:


  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 small zucchinis, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • Prep the Vegetables: Toss the eggplant, zucchinis, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes with olive oil, dried thyme, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until all the pieces are well coated.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Set your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) to preheat for about 3-5 minutes. Preheating helps cook the vegetables evenly.
  • Arrange in the Air Fryer: Place the seasoned vegetables in the air fryer basket in a single layer. You may need to cook them in batches to avoid overcrowding, which ensures that each piece cooks perfectly.
  • Cook: Air fry the vegetables for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly charred, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time to promote even cooking.
  • Serve: Once cooked, carefully remove the ratatouille from the air fryer. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 297mgPotassium: 338mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 800IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

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