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What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, […]
What happens when you take thinly sliced vegetables, layer them in a dish, add a rich red sauce, plenty of herbs, and a cheesy topping? You get this insanely delicious Oven Roasted Ratatouille, aka “the vegetable dish that vegetable haters won’t be able to get enough of.” While this interpretation of ratatouille isn’t exactly traditional, I think you’re going to love it. It kind of reminds me of pizza, but like, made out of really pretty vegetables (and it certainly made my house smell like pizza).
Originally posted 5-19-2014, updated 7-8-2021.
What is Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a classic French dish made of stewed vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper. It’s rich, comforting, and perfect for sopping up with a piece of crusty artisan bread or ladling over a bowl of polenta. As with most recipes that have been around for generations, there are many interpretations of ratatouille, and I definitely took mine in a different direction.
Rather than stewing the vegetables together in a pot, I chose to make an oven roasted ratatouille, which is a common alternative to the stewed version. Not only is oven roasting the sliced vegetables super pretty, but it’s a little more hands-off than stewing vegetables in a pot, which I appreciate. I also added marinara sauce to the bottom of my casserole dish which ends up mixing with the juices from the vegetables and creating the most delicious sauce (get some bread ready for dipping). Lastly, I topped with cheese, which definitely isn’t the norm for ratatouille, but it sure was delicious! And it really created that pizza-like effect.
What Size Vegetables to Use
This recipe is extremely flexible. I’ve given some approximate weight values for the vegetables below, but you can really use whatever size you have available and whatever you can squeeze into your baking dish. But a word of advice–once sliced the volume of the vegetables always ends up being more than you estimated, so err on the side of smaller vegetables.
And you don’t have to make the vegetables line up or alternate perfectly in the dish. Just squeeze the slices in there and you’ll be good! I promise it will still taste great even if it doesn’t look perfect. ;)
What Kind of Baking Dish to Use
The size of the dish you’ll need will probably vary a bit with the size of your vegetables, but I would suggest using something in the neighborhood of a 9″x11″ rectangular casserole dish, or a 3 quart round dish. You can use a dish made with glass, ceramic, or metal.
How to Serve Oven Roasted Ratatouille
Oven roasted ratatouille makes a delicious side dish for grilled or roasted meat, like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Butter Baked Cod, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. You could also serve this as part of a vegetarian meal by pairing it with something like a rich and creamy risotto or serving it on top of a bowl of polenta.
Oven Roasted Ratatouille
- 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
- 1 yellow onion $0.25
- 1 eggplant (about 1 lb.) $1.49
- 1 zucchini (about ½ lb.) $0.71
- 1 yellow squash (about ½ lb.) $0.55
- 3 Roma tomatoes $0.87
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
- 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
- 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
- 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.94
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.09
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the yellow onion. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes into ⅛-inch thick slices. Cut any pieces with a larger diameter into half-rounds.
- Pour the marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onions over top.
- Begin to line up the sliced eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes into the dish, standing on their sides, and in an alternating pattern until all of the pieces are used up. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the basil, oregano, salt, and pepper over top.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and roast the vegetables for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over top. Return the casserole dish to the oven for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.
- After roasting, sprinkle the chopped parsley over top, then serve.
How to Make Oven Roasted Ratatouille – Step by Step Photos
For this recipe, I used one small eggplant (about 1 lb.), one yellow onion, one yellow squash (1/2 lb.), one zucchini (½ lb.), and three Roma tomatoes. The eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are the vegetables that will get layered pretty in the dish, while the onion will be hiding underneath in a base layer.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Thinly slice the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. You want everything to be similar in height when placed in the casserole dish, so for pieces with a larger diameter, you’ll want to slice those in half (I did this for the eggplant and larger ends of the squash and zucchini). Aim for ⅛-inch thick slices.
Thinly slice the onion. Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the sliced onion over top.
Layer the vegetables in the dish standing up on their sides, like cards in a card catalog (wait, did I just date myself??). They do NOT need to be perfect. Just start squeezing them in as best you can. It’s nice to try to alternate them in a pattern, but once you get toward the end you might have more left of one type of vegetable, so just start popping them in there anywhere they’ll fit. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over top. Sprinkle ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and ¼ tsp salt on top of the vegetables.
Transfer the dish to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy.
Top with a little chopped parsley, then serve!
So delicious… and it’s just begging for a beautiful baguette to bathe in it. Mmmmm. You’ve got to spoon some of that sauce from the bottom of the pan onto your plate!
Closer look? So pretty. I ❤️ vegetables!
These Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are an easy vegetarian dish with plenty of options for customizing to fit your tastes and budget.
I had a craving for a grilled eggplant sandwich the other day but 1) I don’t have a grill and 2) that sounded like a lot of work, so I made this quick skillet version instead. The resulting Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are a “meaty” combo of sautéed eggplant drenched with marinara sauce, piled high onto a garlic butter toasted bun, then topped off with melty mozzarella cheese. YES PLEASE.
What to Serve with Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches
These eggplant sandwiches are pretty filling, so I would pair them with something super simple, like a very basic side salad (greens + vinaigrette) to kind of lighten up the plate. Or, if you want something more vegetable-packed, they would be awesome with Marinated Cauliflower Salad, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, or Simple Sautéed Vegetables.
Sandwich Sizes and Servings
This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on the size of your eggplant and the size of your rolls or buns. I used hoagie buns that were about 6 inches in length and an eggplant that was about 8-inches long and I was able to make three large sandwiches. If you were to use round rolls, you’d probably get four piled-high sandwiches.
How to Store Leftovers
These sandwiches definitely need to be consumed right when they’re assembled, so if you’re in a smaller household that won’t be eating all three or four sandwiches at once, make sure to store the components separately. Keep the sautéed eggplant with red sauce in its own container and reheat either in a skillet or in the microwave. Butter and toast your bread just before assembly, then add the eggplant and cheese, and briefly heat to melt the cheese.
I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so beautifully and I can get it for a decent price. If fresh mozzarella is not available or not available at a reasonable price, you can use shredded mozzarella instead. Full-fat mozzarella will always melt better than part-skim, but part-skim will work in a pinch.
Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches
- 1 eggplant (8" length) $1.49
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.32
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
- 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 4 rolls $1.53
- 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 4 oz. mozzarella $2.00
- Cube the eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the cubed eggplant and Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
- Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the eggplant, stir to combine, then heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
- Preheat the boiler on your oven and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle. Combine the second 2 Tbsp olive oil with the butter and garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter, then stir to combine.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the butter and olive oil mixture over the cut surfaces of the rolls. Bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are just barely golden brown (watch them closely as broilers can vary).
- After removing the rolls from the oven, switch the setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Pile the eggplant mixture onto the toasted rolls, then top with mozzarella. Return the sandwiches to the hot oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve hot!
How to Make Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos
Cube one eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince two cloves of garlic.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cubed eggplant and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
Once the eggplant is soft, add 1 cup marinara sauce.
Stir to combine the eggplant and sauce, then heat through. Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
Preheat the broiler on your oven and make sure the oven’s rack is in the middle position. Place your buns or rolls on a baking sheet, cut side up. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to combine. Brush the butter and oil mixture over the cut surface of the rolls.
Toast the rolls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are barely golden brown. Watch them closely, as broilers can vary quite a bit. Once toasted, switch the oven’s setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Spoon the eggplant mixture onto the rolls.
Top the eggplant mixture with mozzarella (about 1 oz. per sandwich).
Return the sandwiches to the oven and bake for a few minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted.
Serve the eggplant mozzarella sandwiches while they’re still hot! (I added a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor)
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The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and an image of some cheesy, tomatoey gnocchi made me stop in my tracks and drool a little. But the funny part is that at first I thought the gnocchi were white beans. Long story short, I eventually realized that they were gnocchi, but was still stuck […]
The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and an image of some cheesy, tomatoey gnocchi made me stop in my tracks and drool a little. But the funny part is that at first I thought the gnocchi were white beans. Long story short, I eventually realized that they were gnocchi, but was still stuck on this idea of white beans baked with marinara and cheese. I loved the idea of swapping gnocchi with high fiber beans, so I had to give it a shot. These White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara lived up to everything I would hoping they would be, and this recipe has quite a bit of potential for customization, so I can’t wait to share it with you!
Cheesy White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara
What Kind of White Beans Should I Use?
I used large butter beans for this recipe because they’re huge and look similar to gnocchi. If you don’t like butter beans or can’t find them, cannellini beans are a good second choice because they are creamy in flavor, still slightly larger, and they hold their shape well. And while you can use navy beans, they’re my last choice for this dish because they’re small and they tend to break down easily, so you won’t get as good of a texture in the final dish.
Can I Add Meat?
Sure! I designed this one to be a filling vegetarian dish, but this recipe easily accommodates the addition of meat. My first choice would be Italian sausage (browned in the skillet before the mushrooms), but pepperoni would also be pretty amazing. You can either crisp up the pepperoni in the skillet before adding the mushrooms, or chop up the pepperoni and stir them in with the sauce.
What Other Vegetables can I Add?
If you’re not into mushrooms or are just looking for other vegetables to add in addition to the mushrooms, there are definitely some great options. Zucchini would match really well with these flavors, as would spinach. For zucchini, I suggest slicing and sautéing after the mushrooms. For spinach, stir it in after the sauce has heated through, just until it is wilted. Eggplant would also be amazing, just dice and sauté after the mushrooms.
How to Serve White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara
You’ll want to sop up every drop of that marinara, so I suggest serving this dish with a side of Garlic Bread. Also, because garlic bread is always a good idea. You can also spoon this mixture over something like zoodles, a halved roasted eggplant, or, if you’re not trying to avoid pasta, just serve it over a bed of good ol’ pasta.
White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara
White beans make a fiber-filled swap for gnocchi in this cheesy, indulgent skillet full of white beans, mushrooms, and marinara.
- 8 oz. mushrooms ($2.29)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 2 cups marinara (or more to your liking) ($1.00)
- 2 15oz. cans butter beans ($2.00)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
- 4 oz. mozzarella ($0.65)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a deep skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they have wilted and all the moisture in the skillet has evaporated.
While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince the garlic, drain and rinse the butter beans. Add the garlic to the skillet with the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes more.
Add the rinsed butter beans, marinara, basil, and red pepper to the skillet. Stir everything to combine, then allow it to heat through, stirring occasionally.
While the skillet is heating through, shred the mozzarella. Top the skillet with the mozzarella, then cover the skillet with foil. Transfer the skillet to the oven* and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Once the cheese has melted, remove the foil, switch the oven to broil, and broil the skillet for a few minutes more to brown the cheese (watch closely, as browning can happen quickly with the broiler). Serve hot, with garlic bread for dipping!
*If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, simply transfer the beans, mushrooms, and marinara to a casserole dish before baking with the cheese.
Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to make White Beans with Mushrooms and Marinara – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash and slice 8oz. mushrooms.
Add the sliced mushrooms to a deep skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium until the mushrooms are wilted and the moisture has evaporated out of the skillet. While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince 2 cloves of garlic, then add them to the skillet and sauté for about 2 minutes more.
Rinse and drain two cans of butter beans, then add them to the skillet with 2 cups marinara (or more if you want it to be slightly saucier). Stir to combine.
I like to amp up my jarred marinara a bit, so also add 1/2 tsp dried basil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Stir them into the sauce, then allow the skillet to heat through, stirring occasionally (5 minutes).
Shred 4 oz. of mozzarella, then sprinkle it on top of the skillet. (If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, transfer the beans and marinara to a casserole dish first.)
Cover the skillet with foil, then transfer to the preheated oven, and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Remove the foil from the skillet, switch the oven from bake to broil, then broil a few minutes more to brown the cheese. Watch the skillet closely, as broiling can brown the cheese very quickly. (I also topped with a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor).
Serve hot with garlic bread for dipping, over roasted vegetables, or over pasta.
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