Pisto: How To Make Spanish Vegetable Stew

Pisto is a Spanish dish from the Murcia, Castilla La Mancha, and Extremadura Region. It consists of tomatoes, carrots, aubergines and courgettes, green and red peppers and olive oil. It resembles ratatouille and is normally served warm as a starter or as a side dish.

This dish can also be served with a fried egg on top or with bits of cured ham and is often eaten with toast. This is also sometimes used as a pastry or tartlet filling. Pisto is the Spanish version of the ratatouille of France, the caponata of Italy or the imam bayildi of Turkey.

It is a hearty stew consisting of a variety of vegetables. The key is good quality olive oil and fresh, seasonal vegetables, as with the other Mediterranean vegetable stews. Originally from Spain’s Murcia region, Pisto can be found in the rest of the country now as well.

Pisto: Spanish Vegetable Stew

Pisto is usually served warm and can be accompanied by an egg or some Manchego cheese and bread. It can also be served as a meat or fish side dish. The whole preparation and cooking time is for 1 hour and 20 minutes. This recipe is suitable for eight servings. 


Pisto is considered Spain’s ratatouille. Photo credits: irenamacri.com

Pisto: Spanish Vegetable Stew Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt (for eggplant)
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 and 1/2 long red chilies
  • 2 red bell peppers/capsicum, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5  teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or coconut sugar
  • 3 small to medium zucchinis, peeled and diced

Pisto: Spanish Vegetable Stew Instructions

Step 1: In cubes, dice the eggplant and sprinkle it with salt generously. Leave it for about 20 minutes. This removes some of the bitterness from the eggplant and draws out the moisture to prevent the vegetable from frying in as much oil.

Step 2: In a big, deep frying pan or casserole dish, add 5 tablespoons of olive oil and cook over medium heat. Add the chili peppers, onions, and diced peppers. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until well softened. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook while covered with a lid for 10 minutes, stirring the mixture a few times. While that mixture is cooking, dice and set aside the zucchini.

Step 3: Rinse the eggplant underwater and use a kitchen towel to dry slightly. Add 4 spoons of olive oil in a sperate frying pan on medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook until lightly browned, about 6 minutes, stirring halfway.

Step 4: Add a little more olive oil and the courgettes. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring a few times. With the tomato mixture, add the pre-fried eggplant and zucchini to the pot and stir. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, while covered with a lid.

Step 5: Let the stew cool for at least 10 minutes after cooking before serving. Garnish the dish with fresh parsley, basil or coriander if you desire. 

Pisto: Spanish Vegetable Stew Additional Information

  • Per serving has 127 calories, 10 g of fat, 340 mg of sodium and 10.5 g of carbohydrates. 
  • The total preparation and cook time is 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • This recipe will serve eight.
  • In an airtight container, you can store the remaining pisto for 4-5 days. The following days it can be reheated and enjoyed hot.

Image source: irenamacri.com

More About Pisto: Spanish Vegetable Stew Recipe

Make sure you get the freshest possible vegetables and don’t think about the amount of olive oil used in the dish. It may sound like a lot, but olive oil is incredibly healthy, especially if you get cold-pressed olive oil of good quality. If this dish is combined with low-carb protein, you don’t have to think about the meat.


Ratatouille was originally a dish made to be more accessible to all types of people. It was ready in the summer when new vegetables were available. This dish is a great Spanish twist on the recipe. For more ratatouille recipes, click here.

Featured Image: 196flavors.com / Image 1,cilantroandcitronella.com/ Image 2