Butternut squash ratatouille stars seasonal winter squash instead of the usual summer squash and sweet peppers. And I cheated to make it so, so easy.
Ratatouille is simple enough to make on a weeknight, but it's also a great recipe to round out the holiday table. You can spoon it over baked tofu, like in the recipe below, serve it as a side, or use it as a sauce for pasta.
Related: Fajita Crock Pot Stew, Coconut Tofu with Maple-Sriracha Dipping Sauce
You definitely need to press your tofu for the Chimichurri Baked Tofu recipe below. Pressing out the extra moisture helps the tofu absorb the sauce during baking and some of the ratatouille that you're going to spoon over the whole business.
Ratatouille is one of those comfort foods that I remember from growing up. My pops would make big batches of this eggplant and tomato-packed stew. We'd eat it over pasta or rice, and we'd scoop up the leftovers with crackers for days afterward.
I wanted to recreate my childhood favorite with a little spin to make it a bit more seasonal. And instead of rice, I wanted to make this even more filling by dishing it up over marinated, baked tofu.
The trick to this butternut squash ratatouille is that rather than roast and scoop a squash, I grabbed a bag of frozen squash. It's already peeled, cubed, and even partially cooked. If you want to use fresh squash, a medium butternut squash peeled, roasted, and cubed will do it.
Chimichurri Baked Tofu
This may seem like a bit of an elaborate dish, but you can actually prep the tofu and the Butternut Squash Ratatouille at the same time. Prep the tofu while the oven preheats, then toss it in. While it's baking, you'll have plenty of time to get that ratatouille all cooked up.
Yield: 4 servings with lots of Butternut Squash Ratatouille left over, so you can scoop it up with crackers the next day!
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into 8 'cutlets'
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- plenty of Butternut Squash Ratatouille (see recipe below)
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- In your food processor, combine the oil, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
- In a shallow baking dish, toss the chimichurri you just made with the tofu cutlets. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the tofu, and bake for 25-30 more minutes, until the tofu starts to brown a bit on top. Mine took about 27 minutes.
- Serve with warm Butternut Squash Ratatouille on top.
Butternut Squash Ratatouille
You can serve this stew hot or cold. If you're going to use it as a sauce for Chimichurri Baked Tofu or for a grain, I'd definitely go with hot. This recipe makes 6-8 servings, depending on how you dish it up.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced eggplant (½" cubes)
- 1 pound bag frozen butternut squash cubes
- 1 15 ounce can roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small pan or Dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to brown just a bit, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 5-7 more minutes, until it begins to soften.
- Add the squash, tomato, basil, and thyme and reduce the heat to low. Cover - uncovering to stir occasionally - and cook until the squash is heated through and the eggplant is totally softened, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.