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Beefy Ratatouille

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I have no idea where this summer is going. Things started off so smooth and fun, then our camper broke (I know!), we got a large project for work that stresses me out every now and then, family visited, my kitchen has been in a perpetual state of yuck, and I’ve been working on a fun non-work-related project. Now, all of a sudden, it’s the middle of August and I’m feeling confused. I feel like I’ve missed out on the summer of 2014, even though with all three kids home all day every day, it has been an extremely long summer. All you moms out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

But anyway, school starts this week for 2 kids, and the third starts next week. Halleluiah!!! 3.5 hours without bickering and begging and tattling for 4 days a week. I can’t even imagine how productive I will be in those 3.5 hours. Hopefully all that productivity translates into lots of fun, new recipes. I’ve got a ton of ideas just sitting there waiting to be turned into real food. Some I’ve actually attempted and just need to make a few minor tweaks. Some are still just visions dancing in my head, but at some point, they will all become reality and right here for you. I will make it happen.

So, ratatouille. Before I watched that kid movie about a rat who cooks, I didn’t realize that was food. That’s probably weird, but whatever. So I watched the movie and like most foodie types, I was pretty impressed with the final dish. A simple peasant dish turned into a gourmet meal that could impress even the harshest food critic. I thought “Hmm, maybe I should try it, looks easy”. That was before I had a mandoline, of course, so it never happened. Now I have one and I didn’t even use it to make my ratatouille.

Beefy Ratatouille

I’m usually a last minute cook if I didn’t do my meal prep earlier in the week. In those cases, I try to whip up a fast dinner so that my family is not literally starving by 6:00pm. I know, it’s horrible. Just think of the children.

While this isn’t a “30-minute-meal” or something super speedy, it does come together pretty fast and really just needs some simmer time to get everything all nice and flavor-y together. I usually get the beef and onions started and finish chopping all the other veggies while the beef is cooking. Makes last minute stuff go faster if you work that way. Less wait time when you stack recipe steps. Also, a large skillet is key to the cook time in this recipe. If you try to cram everything in a smaller pan, it will take twice as long to cook. Don’t let that happen. Seriously. Think of the children.

Oh, and the best part about this crazy simple dish? You won’t need to hide a {fairly sanitary} rat under your hat and let it yank your hair. Winning.

Beefy Ratatouille | Our Paleo Life
Beefy Ratatouille | Our Paleo Life

Beefy Ratatouille

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Not nearly as time-intensive as the beautiful dish made in the animated film, but just as delicious, if not more so. The addition of ground beef makes this a hearty meal that will fill tummies and make everyone happy.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee or Grass-Fed Butter
  • 1 Yellow Onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small Eggplant, about 3 cups, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small Zucchini, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into slivers
  • 4 Plum Tomatoes, about 1-1/4 cups, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet of medium heat, melt the ghee/butter. Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic and cook until the beef is browned and the onions have softened, about 8-10 minutes. Break up the beef with the back of a wooden spoon while cooking.
  2. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant has softened.
  3. Stir in the zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, salt, and basil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomato sauce and add black pepper to taste.
  4. Serve hot. If primal or you can tolerate dairy, I highly recommend adding a little grass-fed mozzarella and/or Parmesan on top as well.

Notes

This recipe is smallish for our family, and we need to double it to have enough for all 5 of us with some leftovers. However, you will need 2 skillets to do that, or make 2 batches back-to-back.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 963mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 21g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

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krystina b.

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

can you make this in a slow cooker?

Margie

Friday 22nd of February 2019

Hi Kendra - scrolling thru ratatouille with mince recipes (NZ terminology - yr ground beef) came across yours. I'm not Paleo, but unashamedly use the recipes, and worked really well for our family even those who don't profess to liking eggplant. I reduced the fat, added heaps of mushrooms to balance the extra meat I threw in and added some left over merlot. Parmesan atop definitely completed it. Oh my goodness delish. Will save to favourites thank you!

bungalow bar

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your put up is simply excellent and that i can think you're knowledgeable in this subject. Well along with your permission let me to grasp your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

Thank you one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

Stephanie

Wednesday 14th of November 2018

Hi,

I'm actually wondering what you consider a serving? A cup? A cup and a half? This is one of my favorite recipes. Thank you!

Rox

Thursday 4th of January 2018

I am allergic to eggplant, what do you recommend as a replacement

Kendra Benson

Friday 5th of January 2018

You could replace them with a different squash (maybe a yellow since zucchini is already in there). I wouldn't recommend potatoes since they are harder and won't cook in the same amount of time.

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