Ciambotta, an Italian Summer Vegetable Stew

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I grew up eating ciabotta, an Italian summer vegetable stew, served with crusty bread that dips into the bowl to get that last bite. Even though this was a meatless dish, it was something that we looked forward to, as the smells in the kitchen permeated throughout the house.

Italian Stew

This reminds me of my mother so much because she made the best ciambotta and she would pronounce it with an Italian accent, (Chumbotta) even though she was American born. I am so grateful for the simple Italian dishes I grew up on that used the fresh local vegetables of summer.

Once you eat this dish, you’ll make it again the next week. My husband ate three bowls last night, with some freshly made sourdough bread.

Ciambotta is typically made with zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes, and is similar to a French ratatouille, but is much thicker and more of a main dish than a side dish. I purchased the zucchini, peppers, potatoes and sourdough at the farmer’s market where I sell my keto bakes.

I used zucchini, green pepper, and potatoes purchased at the farmer’s market. I added onion, garlic, basil and a large can of Cento plum tomatoes. Sometimes I add in green beans, but I didn’t do that this time.

Ciambotta an Italian Stw

Add Left Over Meatballs or Sausage to Ciambotta if You Need Meat

If you happen to have some cooked meatballs or Italian sausage, you can always add those in, once the stew is done. However, we love this just as is.

Ciambotta Italian Stew

Ciambotta: An Easy Process

It’s hard to mess this up, and you can make this your own, but using more green pepper, adding in some green beans, or mixing up the zucchini with some yellow squash. Skip the potatoes or add in more for a heartier stew.


  • Zucchini (can add eggplant or use eggplant)
  • Green or Red Bell Pepper
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Olive Oil
  • NOTE: You can add in string beans (we often do)

Chop the zucchini into discs. Slice the onions and peppers into slivers. Saute onions, garlic and peppers in olive oil for about five minutes. Add zucchini. Saute another five minutes. Add in the can of tomatoes with a half can water, (more if needed). Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Add diced potatoes, cook for another 45 minutes on low or until potatoes are cooked. Add in more fresh herbs when ready. Serve with crusty bread, more olive oil and pecorino or parmesan cheese.

Ciambotta Italian Stew

Cooking Notes

This is an Italian Summer Peasant Dish using available vegetables. Eggplant is often one of the ingredients, and often string beans. However, you can use what you like. I chose to use Cento canned San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces) instead of fresh tomatoes to ensure a thicker sauce. Fresh tomatoes tend to make this dish watery.

Cooking Time: There are different opinions on this. I cooked this on low for an hour. Too much longer and the vegetables can get mushy, but test along the way. This is a dish for tasting and putting your own spin on.

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Ciambotta, and Italian Summer Stew

An Italian summer stew made with zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, green pepper and onion.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Stew
Keyword: Ciambotta, Italian Stew, Summer Stew
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 zucchini
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 28 ounce Italian San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 6 yukon gold potatoes peeled, quartered


Prepare Vegetables

  • Slice onion into slivers.
  • Seed and slice green peppers into slivers
  • Cut zucchini cross-wise into discs.
  • Peel potatoes and cut into large bite-sized pieces.
  • Peel and thinly slice garlic.


  • Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil for five minutes. Add in garlic and keep stirring for a minute, careful not to burn garlic.
  • Add in zucchini. Sauté for five minutes, continuing to stir.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add can of tomatoes, squeezing with hand. Fill the can halfway with water and add.
  • Add in potatoes. Simmer for the next 50-60 minutes on low until potatoes are cooked through.
  • Add in stems of thyme and basil.
  • When done add in more torn basil. Serve with grated pecorino or parmesan.
  • Serve with more olive to drizzle if desired.

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