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Ratatouille is a delicious, vegetable-based comfort food that makes a terrific side to many proteins. I love to serve this French dish on the side of some lemon pepper baked tofu. I also love piling this low carb dush on top of a toasted slice of keto-friendly bread for a cozy snack. While it looks and sounds a bit complicated, ratatouille is actually really easy to throw together. You don’t even have to arrange the vegetables in a pattern, but can just slice or cube them up and toss them in a baking dish.
This recipe was originally published in my second cookbook, Plant-Forward Keto, but I wanted to share it here. 🙂
Are Tomatoes, Eggplant and Bell Peppers Keto-Friendly?
Looking at the list of ingredients for ratatouille, you may be surprised to see some vegetables that are often avoided on stricter ketogenic protocols. Tomatoes, eggplants and bell peppers (all members of the nightshade family, incidentally) tend to be a little higher in carbohydrates than vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and leafy greens and thus don’t often appear in large quantities in low carb recipes. I’m not really a fan of avoiding vegetables on keto diets, though, and prefer instead of consume these higher-carb veggies in moderation to conform with my goals.
For reference, 100g of raw tomatoes contains 2.7g of net carbs. 100g of raw eggplant contains 2.8g of net carbs and 100g of red bell peppers (the sweetest variety) contains 3.9g of net carbohydrates. So, to make a long story short, yes, you can eat tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant on keto. Just be sure to keep the serving size proportionate to the amount of carbs that meet your specific nutritional needs. Keep in mind that your carbohydrate needs may fluctuate depending on your level of activity and even hormonal levels.
Notes on Making Vegan Keto Ratatouille
- This recipe was originally published in my second cookbook, Plant-Forward Keto! 🙂
- Many store-bought marinara sauces are fairly high in net carbohydrates (and often contain up to 10g of added sugar per serving!). The brand I use most often that doesn’t contain added sugars and tastes great is Rao’s. It’s a bit spendy, but worth it, in my opinion.
- To Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days,
- To Reheat: Warm in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for about 5 minutes, until the desired temperature is reached.
- You can arrange the vegetable slices however you’d like, but I like to stand the slices on their sides, nestling them in closely; this is particularly pretty in a round baking dish.
- If you don’t have Herbes de Provence, you could use a poultry seasoning blend, or your preferred seasoning blend (like this one from Bragg’s).
- You can also make your own Herbes de Provence blend by mixing up any of the following: thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, savory, basil, fennel seed and lavender.
- While I strive to provide accurate nutrition information, there are variations across brands and types of ingredients. So, if you’re using other brands than those mentioned, your macros may be different. All nutrition info is calculated from the USDA values for each ingredient, unless a brand is specifically mentioned (or no generic listing is available), and are for information purposes only!
- For this recipe, the net carbs are 6.7g total carbs – 2g fiber = 4.7g net carbs
Vegan Keto Ratatouille
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided (60ml)
- 1/2 small bell pepper (about 1.25oz/35g, cored, seeded and diced)
- 1/2 small onion (about 1.25oz/35g, diced)
- 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 1 cup low-sugar tomato sauce (240ml)
- 2 large Roma tomatoes (about 3.5oz/100g each, thinly sliced)
- 1 medium zucchini (about 7oz/200g, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 small eggplant (about 8oz/225g, thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and half of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomato sauce.
- Spread the tomato sauce mixture over the bottom of a 1.5-quart (1.5-liter) baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant slices across the bottom of the pan, or spiral the vegetables as shown in the pictures.
- Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil with the herbes de Provence, black pepper and remaining salt and pour the mixture over the vegetables.
- Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife.