Easy Vegan Tian (Baked Ratatouille)

by Alena

This beautiful vegan tian is easy to make and an eye-catching Summer side dish everyone will love! It’s rich in flavors, nutritious and is sure to impress any guests!

Once zucchini, summer squash and eggplant are in full swing, you need to make this baked vegetable ratatouille!

Thinly sliced, nicely arranged and baked until tender in aromatic herbs, it’s everything we want a veggie-forward dish to be.

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Even though our vegan tian looks impressive, it requires only 10 minutes of prep time and it’s so easy to make you can even let the kids help!

It’s a great veggie side dish featuring plentiful summer vegetables and lots of herbs. If you like it, be sure to try our colorful Pad Thai salad, vegetable croquettes and collard wraps next!

white table with cast iron skillet containing baked vegan tian next to a bowl of herbed millet and the plate with both of these foodspin it

What is 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.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Seasonal produce and simple preparation are keys to letting individual ingredients shine in this minimalistic and flavorful vegetable-forward side dish!

Find tips for a quicker stovetop version below.

white table with cast iron skillet containing baked layered summer vegetables in tomato saucepin it

Ingredients needed

  • 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 & Herbs de Provence — these herbs add a good punch of flavor and can be swapped for anything from basil to oregano or an Italian herb mix.

Seasonal summer vegetables are the star of this simple baked ratatouille but you can make this year-round as a side dish.

How to make vegan tian

  1. Slice your vegetables into thin slices using a sharp knife or mandoline. They don’t have to be perfect by any means, just around the same thickness.
  2. Get a medium-sized baking dish, preferably round.
  3. Cover the bottom with tomato sauce. Then, start layering your sliced vegetables on top of it!
  4. Create a beautiful pattern out of your seasonal vegetables by alternating between them.
  5. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil if you like!
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables become soft and fragrant.
making baked ratatouille tianpin it
zucchini, eggplant and tomato slices in a round baking dishpin it

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!

Place a large pot over medium heat and add all of your roughly chopped seasonal veggies into it. Cover with tomato sauce and add spices.

Cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, so it doesn’t burn, then serve warm!

Storage & serving suggestions

Serve your tian warm out of the oven alongside your favorite filling sides like risotto, mashed potatoes, quinoa or herbed millet!

Other ideas include tabbouleh, focaccia and French bread.

Any extra vegan ratatouille should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge where the flavors can develop even more. You can eat the leftovers over the next 3 days and reheat them 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.

woman in white shirt holding a linen towel and plate of cooked millet and vegan tianpin it

Tips & FAQs

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.

  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Eggplant 
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Potatoes 

Add some cheesiness

We kept this tian veggie-forward but we love adding some vegan cheese to it, too!

Throughout our website, we’ve shared a couple of different vegan cheese sauce recipes: a cashew-based one in our potato casserole and a high-protein cheese sauce for lasagna!

Vegan parmesan or almond ricotta also tastes lovely with ratatouille.

Budget tips

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. 

white table with cast iron skillet containing colorful Vegan Tian Ratatouillepin it

More 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.

Did you make our vegan tian and like it? Share with us in the comments below and don’t forget to rate the recipe. You can Pin it here.

white table with cast iron skillet containing baked layered summer vegetables in tomato sauce

Easy Vegan Tian (Baked Ratatouille)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Our easy vegan tian is infused with aromatic herbs and features beautifully layered vegetables on a bed of tomato sauce. This baked vegetable ratatouille requires only 10 minutes of hands-on time and is a gorgeous and healthy side dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (245 ml)
  • 1 eggplant (8.5 oz / 240 g), thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini (6 oz / 170 g), thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash (6 oz / 170 g), thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F (200 °C) and get a medium-sized baking dish.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Remove the vegan tian from the oven and serve as a healthy Summer side dish!
  5. Any leftovers can be stored in a container for about 3 days in the fridge then reheated in the oven or microwave.

Notes

  • You can use bell peppers, potatoes, zucchini, eggplant or summer squash for this recipe.
  • 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.
  • You can also add a drizzle of olive oil on your layered vegetables before baking them.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: ½ recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 544mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 15gSugar: 25gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

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Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

2 thoughts on “Easy Vegan Tian (Baked Ratatouille)”

  1. My college student made this dish and said it was very tasty. The presentation was beautiful. However, the eggplant was a little under done while the other vegetables were finished. Do you have a suggestion on how to fix? Thank you.

    Reply
    • this hasn’t happened to me before but you might want to try and slice the eggplant a bit thinner than the rest of the ingredients to ensure everything’s well-cooked!

      Reply

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