Ratatouille is the perfect summer stew. With eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and just the right touch of herbs, ratatouille makes for a delectable classic meal.
So, you have an amazing, French-style meal, but what exactly do you serve with ratatouille? Is a simple starch like rice or bread enough? Meh.
There’s nothing wrong with serving rice or a nice baguette with your ratatouille. But, if you’re looking for more exciting side dishes, we’ve got you covered.
17 Side Dishes to Serve with Ratatouille
Ratatouille is a French vegetarian dish. The best side dishes to pair with ratatouille are going to use French or Mediterranean ingredients. This means olive oil, vinegar, legumes, bay leaf, basil, and thyme.
Polenta is made from ground corn. When combined with water, salt, cheese, and butter, it turns into a creamy mush-like porridge that goes perfect with ratatouille.
Once Polenta cools, it will become firm enough to be sliced. It makes a great side dish to any sauce or stew, served either hot or cool.
2. Flank Steak
Because Ratatouille is a completely vegetarian dish, adding a protein-packed side such as grilled chicken, fish, or steak will round out your meal nicely.
Flank steak is best when marinated to break down connective tissue and make the meat tender and juicy. There’s no need to trim it, as flank steak rarely has fat.
3. Cauliflower Rice
If you’d rather keep your all-vegetable dish light, try serving cauliflower rice as an aside. It’s lighter than normal white rice and tastes just as great.
You can use a regular cheese grater or a food processor to cut the cauliflower into rice. Try sauteing it in olive oil to pair with ratatouille.
4. Grilled Fish
Grilled fish is a great choice if you’re looking for a lighter protein side dish with your ratatouille. Popular fish choices are halibut and salmon.
Try using Mediterranean-style herbs such as basil and bay leaf to cook with your fish. Cook it in olive oil for a truly satisfying side dish.
5. Sun-dried tomato rice
This type of rice is made with sun-dried tomatoes and basil – perfect to pair with the summery ratatouille stew. It is best made with jasmine rice.
It’s best to serve sun-dried tomato rice on the side and garnish it with basil. The Mediterranean-style rice pairs perfectly with fresh and flavorful ratatouille.
6. Flatbread Crackers
Thick bread is always a safe partner to stew, but these flatbread crackers bring side dishes to a new level. They are lighter but heavy enough to substitute for bread.
You can buy flatbread crackers in the store or make your own. They take about 30 minutes to make and give a crunchy texture to an otherwise creamy meal.
Much like sun-dried tomato rice, quinoa is a light and delicious side dish with ratatouille. It’s quick and easy to make, taking less than 20 minutes.
You can always add French or Mediterranean-style herbs such as basil and thyme to your quinoa. This will pair better with the summery flavor of ratatouille.
8. Root Vegetable Mash
Why not pair vegetables with vegetables? A collection of carrots, rutabaga, turnips, and parsnips will deliciously contrast with the tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini of ratatouille.
This exciting side dish is just as easy to make as simple rice or garlic bread but adds a nutritious mix of vegetables with plenty of flavors.
9. Baked Falafel
When you get down to it, falafel is a combination of chickpeas and fresh herbs and spices. If you want to keep your meal vegetarian, falafel is an excellent choice!
Falafel is becoming more popular, but this side dish is still more exotic and exciting than your standard rice. Try wrapping it in a pita for a small sandwich side.
Pilaf is thought to have originated in Spain and is a rice dish. Unlike boring old white or brown rice, pilaf adds extra flavor to your meal.
With ratatouille, try making a mushroom rice pilaf side dish. The earthy flavors of the mushroom will pair great with the summer flavors of ratatouille.
Although ratatouille is a French-based meal, adding in a little Italian cuisine can make the whole meal feel complete. Spaghetti, for instance, makes an excellent side dish.
Tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers already pair great with pasta. Add in Mediterranean herbs from the ratatouille and you’ll have a perfectly balanced, flavorful summer meal.
As we can see from other great pairings, ratatouille tends to go well with creamy side dishes. Risotto is the perfect choice for an exciting side dish.
There are tons of different risotto recipes, but it basically consists of rice, broth, and herbs. For ratatouille, try pairing it with a butternut squash risotto.
Bread is a great companion to a stew-like mix of vegetables. If you want to step up from plain white or wheat bread, try ciabatta.
Ciabatta is a type of white bread first developed in Italy. It’s the same bread used for paninis and makes a great partner to ratatouille.
It’s hard to find a meal that doesn’t pair well with chicken. The great thing about poultry is that you can make it in so many different ways.
Try using herbs that mesh well with ratatouille such as basil, thyme, and bay leaf. You can serve your chicken on the side, or pile it on top.
Don’t sweat if you’ve never heard of spaetzle before. It is a German side dish that resembles egg noodles made into small dumplings. Sounds delicious, right?
Unless you regularly eat German food, spaetzle is an exciting side dish to try. The small dumplings go perfectly with a vegetable-heavy ratatouille dish.
16. Seasonal Fruit
Fruit with a vegetable dinner? It may sound strange, but because ratatouille is a summery stew, it pairs great with fresh seasonal fruits from the farm market.
You may want to serve the fruit either before or after the meal, not necessarily on the side. The refreshing taste of the fruit will cleanse the palette.
17. White Bean Salad
Beans are a great source of protein. If you don’t necessarily want to add meat to your ratatouille meal, consider making a white bean salad side dish.
This exciting side dish consists of white beans, onions, lemon juice, and a whole lot of our favorite herbs such as tarragon, rosemary, and thyme.
Ratatouille is a scrumptious summer meal bursting with nutrition and flavor. It deserves a side dish that is as flavorful and colorful as the main course.
The best side dishes to pair with ratatouille will have similar herbs and spices. In terms of texture, try going for something smooth and creamy.