Do you use your slow cooker a lot over the summer? I have big plans to use my slow cooker at least once a week this summer. As I have mentioned before, our house (especially the kitchen!) heats up pretty good during the day in warm weather and since we don’t have air-conditioning on that floor, turning on the oven only exacerbates the situation and raises the temperature significantly.
This Slow Cooker Sausage and Vegetable Ratatouille is ridiculously easy, loaded with vegetables, dairy free, paleo and can be served alongside a simple side salad, over cauliflower rice, regular rice or even some zucchini noodles!
This is the fourth time I’ve made it and I’ve tried a couple of different combinations of vegetables (this is my favorite by far!) and types of sausage. If you wind up with leftovers, this freezes great and make a perfect at-work lunch!
- You can use any jarred pasta sauce (or homemade) that you like, just look for one that doesn’t have additives, preservatives or added sugar.
- I have made this with mild sausage, spicy sausage and even chicken sausage. The spicy pork sausage was by far the best and my families favorite. If you don’t eat pork and want to use either chicken or turkey sausage, I highly recommend you use a spicy sausage. The end result of this dish will not be super spicy since the vegetables are so water-rich and the spices in the sausage really help add another layer of flavor to the dish.
- I used a 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker.
- In regards to the cooking time, I have found this is best cooked on high for 4 hours. I have tried it on low and you can cook set the slow cooker for 8 hours while at work or out but you will need to put it on high for at least 1 to 1.5 hours before serving it.
- If you are making this while on a Whole30, be sure to use a Sugar-Free sauce!
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Slow Cooker Sausage and Vegetable Ratatouille. Paleo and Dairy Free.
- 1 pound uncooked crumbled spicy Italian sausage (not in casings) (see NOTES)
- 1 large red bell pepper ribs removed and cut into 1" squares
- 1 large eggplant cut into 1" cubes
- 1 pound zucchini trimmed and cut into 1/4" half moons
- 1 large yellow onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 medium cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
- 25 ounce jar pasta sauce see NOTES
- pinch kosher salt
- fresh basil or parsley for serving
Slice bell pepper in half and remove ribs and seeds. Cut into 1" squares.
Trim ends off of eggplant and cut into 1" cubes (leave skin on).
Trim ends off of zucchini and cut into 1/4" half moons (leave skin on).
Peel onion, quarter and thinly slice.
Finally, use a garlic press to crush the garlic or finely chop.
Crumble sausage into slow cooker, taking care to break up any large pieces. Toss in bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic, pasta sauce and pinch of salt. Toss until well combined.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. See NOTES above for alternate cooking instructions.
Serve topped with fresh chopped basil (or parsley) and Enjoy!
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Made it for the first time today. I used a large can of crushed tomatoes and added italian herbs, granulated garlic, TJ’s 21 spices, because I didn’t have pasta sauce on hand. It was delicious! I was skeptical about doing Ratatouille in a crock pot until I read this recipe. I usually do not add any meat but wanted to make it as written the first time. I cooked mine about an hr longer because the onions were still crunchy. It was perfect at 5 hrs, last 30 min on low. Served over rice or quinoa. I prefer the quinoa but the rest of my family like the rice better.
Alyssa Brantley says
Hi Kelly! So happy it worked out with those changes – thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know 🙂
Why could / should you not use sausage in casings? Just curious since I have lots of chicken sausage (in casings) on hand.
You can but I like this dish a lot better with crumbled sausage as the veggies and meat meld together much better!
Mary Compton says
I use spicy Italian sausage in casings. But take it out of the casings and lightly saute’ it, breaking it up into chunks as I saute’. Then I add it to the crock pot at last hour of cooking time of all other ingredients…works great…flavors all ingredients just fine!
Alyssa Brantley says
Great idea Mary!
Is it freezable? Cook and then freeze?
Yep! I have frozen this once cooked 🙂
Any nutritional info available (other than the “10 points plus” note?
Hey JB – you can use a free site like My Fitness Pal to calculate the nutrition facts on any recipe.
Assunta Pascuzzi says
I dont have a slow cooker!!!Can I cook it in the oven instead??????
That should work! I would use a covered dutch oven or even a casserole dish covered with tinfoil.
Made this it was awesome! For my toddlers I pureed it and thinned it out with a little unsweetened almond milk and put it on some whole wheat pasta and they LOVED it! The sauce almost had like a Vodka Sauce taste, it was really quite good.
I’m new to your site and all the recipes we’ve tried have been awesome!
Thank you so much Jorene! Nothing like making wholesome food and your kids loving it – that is the BEST!