Sometimes, simple is best. This baked vegan tian with herbed millet might look really gorgeous and laborious, but it’s actually a weeknight-appropriate dinner that requires only 10 minutes of hands-on time.
It’s rich in flavors, nutritious and is sure to impress any guests! Our vegan tian or baked ratatouille features plentiful summer vegetables and can be served as a beautiful side or eaten as a gluten-free main meal alongside some quick herbed millet.
If you’re a summer person, you’re going to love this colorful veggie-loaded baked ratatouille! And if you’re a winter person, you probably like warming casseroles — either way, this vegan tian is a must-try.
It has us looking forward to seasonal veggies, farmer’s markets and warm summer nights months in advance!
Especially when vegetables like zucchini, summer squash and eggplant are in full swing, making this baked vegan tian is perfect! Thinly sliced, nicely arranged and baked until tender in aromatic herbs, it’s everything we want a veggie-forward dish to be.
It’s really family-friendly and kids enjoy helping you make it — after all, who could say no to such gorgeous and bright summer vegetables?
This vegan tian is baked on a bed of tomato sauce (similar to ratatouille), hearty, infused with savory herbs and is a darn pretty year-round side dish that can be made with a plethora of vegetables.
What Is Vegan Tian?
The term tian is often used for a French vegetable casserole, but a tian is actually a round baking dish filled with layered, overlapping vegetables and a fragrant sauce — similar to the better-known ratatouille.
Whereas vegan ratatouille is made of chopped vegetables that are cooked on the stove, summer vegetable tian calls for very similar ingredients that are layered systematically in a baking dish and prepared in the oven.
Seasonal produce and simple preparation are keys to letting individual ingredients shine in this minimalistic and flavorful vegetable-forward side dish.
When served alongside some satiating starches, it’s easy to upgrade any vegan tian to a light main meal.
The Best Baked Vegan Ratatouille
The good news is that you can make this gorgeous layered baked ratatouille or summer vegetable tian for date night, or enjoy it with a group of guests — or opt for the stovetop version, which is even quicker and more convenient.
Ingredients for Our Vegetable Tian
- Eggplant, Zucchini & Tomatoes — thinly sliced and layered in a beautiful pattern, they form the colorful base of our vegan tian.
- Tomato Sauce — this is where the summer vegetables are being cooked.
- Thyme, Parsley & Mint — these herbs add a good punch of flavor and can be swapped for anything from basil to oregano or an Italian herb mix.
- Herbs de Provence — we’re going to make a traditional French tian which originated from the Provence, so this is a must!
- Millet — that’s what we love to serve with our veggie-forward baked tian to keep it wholesome and gluten-free.
Seasonal summer vegetables are the star of this simple baked ratatouille but you can make this year-round as a side or main dish.
Are you intrigued but still unsure about how difficult it is to put together? Let’s take a look.
How to Make This Easy Vegan Tian
Gather your ingredients for the vegan tian and opt either for a sharp knife or a mandoline to cut your summer vegetables into thin slices. They don’t have to be perfect by any means, just around the same thickness.
All that is required to make this vegan tian is one medium-sized baking dish, preferably round. Cover the bottom with some plain (or flavored) tomato sauce, then start layering your sliced vegetables on top of it.
To create this beautiful colorful pattern, you need to alternate between the different summer vegetables. Once you are done, season everything generously with some salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables become soft and fragrant. In the meantime, cook some starchy goodness to go along with your simple weeknight dinner.
As you can see, not much is required to create a delicious and healthy plant-based meal — especially no fancy kitchen tools or skills.
A little zest, a lot of color and a herby punch round out this beautiful vegan tian.
Ratatouille Stovetop Method
In a hurry? Just prepare this easy ratatouille on the stove instead. That’s actually the traditional way of making vegetable ratatouille, which by the way is oftentimes “accidentally vegan” — meaning, most recipes don’t call for any animal products.
To go down this route, get a medium or large pot and heat it over medium, then roughly chop your vegetables instead of thinly slicing them.
From there, it’s just a simple dump-and-cook process that takes around 20 minutes. Make sure to stir your vegan ratatouille occasionally so it doesn’t burn and remove from the heat once everything has softened and is nicely infused with herbs.
Tips & Questions Around This Summer Recipe
While making vegan tian is pretty simple and straightforward, we wanted to leave you with some basic tips for this beautiful summer recipe.
Add Some Cheesiness
We kept this tian veggie-forward and chose to not smother it with a cheesy sauce, but you absolutely can — we like to do this sometimes, too!
Throughout our website, we’ve shared a couple of different vegan cheese sauce recipes that are either mainly made from cashews, a mixture of potatoes and carrots or feature protein-rich beans as their predominant ingredient. Choose any of them for this colorful vegetable casserole!Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce →
Which Vegetables Can You Use For Tian
You can use either the exact ingredients we chose for our recipe below or freestyle with whatever seasonal ingredients you find at the store or market! Here are some ideas.
- Summer squash
- Bell pepper
Whatever vegetable is currently in season and abundantly available, get a large batch and make it the star of your tian! The surplus of late-summer produce works wonderfully here.
If you want to save a buck or two, visit your local farmer’s market just before it closes because many items are usually available for a discount then.
Quick Look At Nutrition
This vegan tian is bursting with essential nutrients, minerals and antioxidants! Thanks to the fresh summer vegetables, you get a lot of bulk and flavor while consuming only a small amount of calories.
It’s naturally low in fat and low in carbs (if served as a veggie side) yet still flavorful and satisfying!
Therefore, it’s perfect for healthy weight loss or maintenance — especially since it’s prepared without any added oil and served alongside gluten-free slow carbs.
Dealing With Leftovers
Any extra vegan ratatouille should be kept in a sealed container in the fridge where the flavors can develop even more. You can eat your colorful leftovers over the next 3 days and reheat it at your convenience in a microwave.
If you want to store it for up to 3 months, place your ratatouille in the freezer in a freezable airtight container and reheat when you want to enjoy it.
What to Serve With Tian or Ratatouille?
We enjoy our vegan tian with some simple whole grains, like millet, quinoa, wild rice or pasta. You can leave your starchy sides plain or flavor them with some seasonal herbs and lemon zest like we did!
More Easy Veggie-Rich Recipes
Do you like to serve veggies for lunch or dinner? We have a lot of simple, tasty and easy-to-make plant-based recipes on the blog that you can try next.
We hope you’re excited to try this beautiful vegan tian! No matter if you want to lovingly prepare and bake it or cook it as a vegetable ratatouille on the stove, we’re sure you will enjoy this satisfying, flavorful dish.
Did you make our vegan tian with herby millet in the oven or on the stove? Share your experience with us in the comments below and don’t forget to rate the recipe. You can Pin it here and tag us on Instagram — we’d love to see your creations.
For the Vegan Tian
- 1 cup plain tomato sauce (245 ml)
- 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
- Salt and pepper
For the Herby Millet
- 1 cup dry millet, rinsed and drained (200 g)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (7 g)
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400° F (200 °C) and get a medium-sized baking dish.
- Pour the tomato sauce on the bottom of your dish, then layer the sliced veggies on top, constantly alternating between them to create a colorful pattern.
- Generously season with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and fresh thyme. Place in the oven to roast for about 30-40 minutes, until the veggies soften up and turn golden-brown.
- Alternatively, you can roughly chop all vegetables and cook them in a pot over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. While not as delicate in presentation, this is the easier preparation method.
- While the vegan tian is baking in the oven, combine the millet and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Cook for around 12-15 minutes until the millet is fluffy and absorbs all of the water. Then stir in the fresh parsley, mint, lemon juice and lemon zest while the millet is still warm. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the baked tian from the oven and serve alongside the herbed millet. Enjoy!
- Any leftovers are best stored separately in airtight containers for about 3 days in the fridge then reheated in the oven or microwave.
- Other grains that work well with tian are rice, couscous, quinoa, pasta and French bread.
- You can use a plethora of vegetables for this baked ratatouille; you can also only use 2 different kinds of veggies if you don’t have many at home.
- Either thinly slice your veggies with a sharp knife or use a mandolin.
- Feel free to sprinkle with some vegan parmesan or add some plant-based cheese sauce before baking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 19gSugar: 28gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!