pisto manchego recipe

Pisto Manchego Recipe – A Spanish Vegetable Dish

Pisto Manchego, also known as the Spanish Ratatouille, is a hugely popular Spanish vegetable dish packed with flavors. This dish is easy to make, only needs a few ingredients, and tastes simply delicious.

Pisto Manchego goes well as a side dish during lunch and dinner. You can also serve it for breakfast with some eggs. You can select the vegetables based on your preference and their availability depending on the season.

Here, we will show a simple recipe that can be put together in less than an hour. Pisto Manchego is a highly nutritious dish but it tastes amazing as well. All of these factors make it the perfect dish if you are trying to go vegetarian or just want to add some more vegetable dishes to your diet to live healthier.


Here is the list of ingredients to make Pisto Manchego

  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, as needed
  • Black pepper, as needed
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
pisto manchego recipe ingredients

Cooking Process

Step 1

Chop the onion into thin slices. Crush the garlic cloves and thinly slice them as well. Cut the outer shells of the red and green bell peppers and discard the seeds and the meat in the middle. Slice the peppers into half-inch pieces. Slice the zucchini into ½ inch pieces as well. Grate the tomatoes to make a tomato sauce.

Step 2

Put a large deep fry pan or stock pot on low-medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil. You can use other vegetable oils but authentic Spanish recipes require extra virgin olive oil. Some of the other oils you can use are soybean oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, rice bran oil, etc.

Step 3

Check if the oil is hot enough after 3-4 minutes by releasing a single slice of onion. The oil is ready if it starts sizzling right away. Put all of the chopped onions in the oil and stir gently. Add the garlic after 3-4 minutes and keep stirring until the onions become translucent.

Step 4

Add the red and green bell peppers to the pot and keep stirring gently. Make sure to coat all of the vegetables with the oil. Stir gently for 5-6 minutes. It might seem that the vegetables might burn and stick to the bottom of the pan but vegetables will release a lot of liquid that will prevent such a thing from happening.

Step 5

Add the sliced zucchini to the mixture when the bell peppers become tender and keep stirring occasionally. You can use a fork to check the tenderness of the bell peppers. The fork should sink a little bit into the vegetable but should not go through without any pressure.

Step 6

Cook everything together for another 5 minutes and add the tomato sauce, salt, black pepper, bay leaf and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You do not have to keep stirring continuously. Stirring too frequently can result in the vegetable getting mushy. Stir occasionally to avoid this issue.

Step 7

The dish is ready after the tomato sauce has thickened up sufficiently and no runny liquids can be seen in the pot.

Step 8

Take it off the stove and serve it on a plate. You can use any greens of your choice for garnishing. Traditionally, Pisto Manchego is topped off with a poached egg.

pisto manchego recipe cooking process


You can use other vegetables such as carrots, eggplants, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. to make Pisto Manchego. Make sure to properly cook all of the vegetables and do not leave anything undercooked.

Do not throw in all of the vegetables together as this dish is particularly made by slowly adding layers upon layers of vegetables to give it a distinctive flavor.

Stir slowly to avoid breaking any vegetables. Stir consistently to avoid the cooking from sticking to the pan or getting burnt.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Cheese Is Best for Pisto Manchego?

Pisto Manchego, as the name suggests, goes best with authentic Manchego cheese that is produced from sheep’s milk. But you can also use grated parmigiano reggiano cheese to garnish the dish. 

What if I Don’t Have Red Bell Peppers?

All bell peppers are the same when it comes to taste and their colors do not really reflect the taste. You can use green or yellow bell peppers if you do not have red bell peppers available near you. You can skip using bell peppers altogether if it is nowhere to be found. It will not ruin the dish completely.

How Can I Prevent the Vegetables From Getting Mushy in Pisto Manchego?

There are three main reasons why your vegetables might turn mushy in Pisto Manchego. These reasons are excessive water, stirring too frequently, and cooking the vegetables for too long.

Vegetables release water as they cook. You will not need to add extra water as you cook and this should only be reserved for when the vegetables start to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. Otherwise, do not add extra water while cooking Pisto Manchego.

Another reason why the vegetables might get mushy is because of stirring them too much. The vegetables will not easily burn and do not need to be stirred continuously. Only stir occasionally and let it sit unbothered to avoid turning everything into a mush.

The third and final reason is cooking the entire vegetable for too long. Check the tenderness of the vegetables after cooking to make sure that you are not cooking them to become too soft. The cooking will turn into a mush if you cook it for too long.

prevent the vegetables from getting mushy in pisto manchego

What Are Some Other Ingredients I Can Add to Pisto Manchego?

You can add various types of seasonal vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, etc to your Pisto Manchego. You can also add tofu to your Pisto Manchego to increase the protein content to make it more nutritious while keeping it fully vegetarian. Just make sure that the vegetables that you add cook properly and do not remain too hard to chew.

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