This easy shakshuka is made with eggs that are gently poached in a simmering mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. A few warm spices and some fresh herbs complete this satisfying one-skillet dish!
Serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (brinner)! Be sure to read through for ideas on what to serve along and watch my video tutorial below!
Shakshuka, pronounced Shahk-SHOO-kah!
Not only is it fun to say, but shakshuka eggs is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes of all time. Made of every-day ingredients--eggs, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic--this dish is healthy, satisfying, and packed with flavor.
Growing up in Egypt, my favorite place to eat the perfect shakshuka was at a restaurant near the Nile called Felfela. No, it is not a traditional Egyptian dish; let me tell you more...
What is Shakshuka? And where is it from?
Egg shakshuka is a simple one-skillet dish of gently poached eggs in a tasty mixture of simmering tomatoes, green peppers, onions and garlic. A few spices are added, and they may vary slightly from one recipe to another.
Traditional shakshuka originally came from North Africa--Tunisia is said to be its place of birth--but it is quite popular in the Middle East and you'll find variations of it in Palestine, Israel, Egypt and many other places. (And there is even a fun modern variation of Green Shakshuka you should try too!)
This is a basic shakshuka recipe that stays true to North African flavors.
It helps to break this simple recipe into two main components:
- The thick, chunky tomato mixture (I call it shakshuka sauce) made of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic +
- The eggs, which are nestled in the cooked tomato mixture.
This dish makes the perfect use of fresh ripe tomatoes, especially when they're in season, but you can also use canned tomatoes to make it.
And if you need to add a little kick of spice, stir in a tablespoon or two of my homemade harissa chile paste!
- Extra virgin olive oil: I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Vegetables: 1 large chopped onion, 1 to 2 green bell peppers, and 2 minced garlic cloves. These three ingredients (plus spices) creates a sofrito to start the chunky sauce.
- Spices: coriander, cumin, paprika-- a trio of warm North African flavors. If you like spicy shakshuka (some call it eggs in purgatory), add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Tomatoes (and alternatives): In this recipe, I use 6 chopped vine ripe tomatoes and about ½ cup of tomato sauce, this combination gives me the texture and flavor I'm looking for. It helps if your tomatoes are soft and almost overripe. You can also replace the fresh tomatoes with 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes or 6 cups of chopped tomatoes from a can with their juices.
- Eggs: 6 large eggs (raw)
- Garnish: This is totally optional, but for me a handful of fresh chopped parsley and mint just before serving adds freshness and a pop of color.
How to Make Shakshuka
Time needed: 40 minutes.
Step-by-step guide for making traditional shakshuka (print-friendly recipe below)
- Cook onions, bell peppers, and garlic
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy skillet or pan. Add chopped onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Add coriander, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Cook this sofrito mixture for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender
- Add tomatoes to make shakshuka sauce
To make the shakshuka sauce, add fresh diced tomatoes (about 6 vine ripe tomatoes) and ½ cup of tomato sauce (alternatively, you can use a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes or 6 cups of canned diced tomatoes with their juices). Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, then uncover and cook a few minutes until the tomato mixture (or shakshuka sauce) has thickened
- Add eggs
Now, using the back of a wooden spoon make some indentations or "wells" in the chunky shashuka sauce. Make sure that you space out those wells as they will each house an egg. Crack your eggs and add them each in the wells or indentations you created.
- Cook eggs
Now, over low or medium-low heat, cover the skillet and allow the eggs to cook briefly until the whites are settled (shakshuka eggs are supposed to be runny, but if you like your eggs hard, you can let them cook a bit longer).
- Garnish and serve
If you like spicy shakshuka, add a pinch crushed pepper flakes or caynne. And to finish add a handful chopped parsley and fresh mint, if you like.
What to serve with Shakshuka?
There is no right or wrong way to serve this tasty vegetarian dish, but in my opinion, bread is essential to sop up all the goodness!
What do you eat with shakshuka? Let me give you some ideas:
- For breakfast or brunch. Add an assortment of warm breads. My favorites are pita bread or challah bread but you can also add a crusty bread of your choice.
- For lunch. In addition to bread, add a side salad like this Mediterranean chickpea salad or white bean salad.
- Turn it into a vegetarian feast! I love to use this perfect shakshuka as a centerpiece to a larger vegetarian fare. Add a fun Mezze platter or a large board of Mediterranean favorites including falafel and hummus
What meat goes with shakshuka?
You can serve shakshuka as a side to a meat option like shredded slow cooked lamb. And you can actually add meat to this recipe.
One of the many variations you'll find is shakshuka with meat in it. If you want to incorporate meat in this recipe, use about ½ pound of ground beef or ground lamb. Cook the meat first in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until fully browned, then add it to the shakshuka sauce to simmer along before adding the eggs (see the recipe notes below).
Watch the video for this recipe:
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Easy shakshuka made with eggs that are gently poached in a simmering mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. A few warm spices and some fresh herbs complete this satisfying one-skillet dish!
- Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve EVOO)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 Vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 6 cups chopped tomatoes)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (about 0.2 ounces or 5 grams)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves (about 0.2 ounces or 5 grams)
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, spices, pinch salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook a bit longer to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Using a wooden spoon, make 6 indentations, or "wells," in the tomato mixture (make sure the indentations are spaced out). Gently crack an egg into each indention.
- Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook on low until the egg whites are set.
- Uncover and add the fresh parsley and mint. You can add more black pepper or crushed red pepper, if you like. Serve with warm pita, challah bread, or your choice of crusty bread.
- Make Ahead Tip: You can prepare the tomato mixture (or sauce) part of this shakshuka recipe one night in advance. Follow steps #1 and #2 to prepare the shakshuka tomato sauce. Let cool completely, then store in the fridge in a tight lid glass container. When you are ready the next morning, warm up the shakshuka sauce in a skillet and add the eggs and follow steps #3 to #5.
- Leftovers Storage: Leftovers will keep for 1 to 2 days if stored properly in the fridge in tight-lid glass containers. Warm up over medium heat, adding a little more liquid to the shakshuka sauce if needed.
- To add meat: If you want to add meat, cook about ½ ground beef or ground lamb in some extra virgin olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Once fully cooked, remove the meat from the skillet, wipe the skillet well and follow steps #1 and #2 to make the shakshuka sauce, only this time, add the cooked ground meat to the skillet to simmer with the tomatoes for 15 minutes or so before adding the eggs.
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and all-natural and organic spices used in this recipe.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: Easy Shakshuka Recipe, Shakshuka Eggs, Traditional Shakshuka
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2017 and has recently been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!