Ratatouille Orzo Salad

Ratatouille is a traditional French dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This hearty and flavorful dish is made with vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. It originated from the region of Provence and is known for its rustic and comforting flavors. There’s this misconception that ratatouille is a fancy vegetable dish plated with the vegetables thinly sliced and layered on top of each other, but the authentic version is a humble stew! I made it in culinary school recently and was surprised by the simplicity and flavor. It was also nothing like the one from the movie!

In recent years, chefs and home cooks alike have been putting their own spin on the classic ratatouille recipe. My twist is this Ratatouille-Inspired Orzo Salad. This recipe combines roasted vegetables with orzo pasta, basil and red pepper hummus instead of a red pepper sauce, creating a light and fresh dish that is perfect for a summer meal or meal prep.

To make this salad, start by roasting a mix of diced eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Once both the vegetables and orzo are cooked, combine them in a large bowl with minced shallots, sliced basil, and a red pepper hummus dressing made with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika.

This Ratatouille-Inspired Orzo Salad is great for meal prep because it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also customize the recipe to your liking by swapping out the vegetables for any seasonal favorites, such as butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes. If you need to make the dish gluten-free, simply substitute the orzo with a gluten-free pasta or rice. I also love how this is a vegan recipe!! Of course, you can add the dairy (goat cheese or feta would be delicious here.)

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Adjust Servings
1 lb orzo
1 eggplant, medium dice
1 summer squash, medium dice
2 zucchini, medium dice
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 yellow bell pepper, medium dice
1 orange bell pepper, medium dice
1pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, minced
1/4cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1bunch fresh basil, thinly sliced
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
1/2cup balsamic vinegar
1tbsp Dijon mustard
1cup olive oil
1/3cup red pepper hummus optional



Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). If you have a cold oven like me, preheat to 450F.
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On a sheet pan, combine the eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, bell peppers, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly.
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Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. If they are just tender and not golden brown at this point, feel free to roast at 450 for another 5-10 minutes.
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While the vegetables are roasting, make the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain, toss with olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
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Once the vegetables are done, let them cool for a few minutes before tossing them with the orzo in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, shallot and some basil. Save some for topping.
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Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the orzo and vegetables and toss to combine. Do a little at a time, to taste. If you have leftover vinaigrette, keep that in a jar and store.
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