you will love Shakshuka: poached eggs nestled in a spicy tomato sauce scented with peppers and onions, topped with salty feta and served with crusty toast.
Why you will love it: Shakshuka is a healthy meatless main dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
How long does it take: less than 30 minutes
Equipment you will need: big pan
Which breakfast camp are you in: savory or sweet? I definitely belong to the group of savory dishes. Gift me a plate of fried vegetables with a fried egg for breakfast and I’ll be happy all day. Air Fryer Sweet Potato Hash with Candied Bacon is going to take me to pig heaven. Oh, and please don’t forget the coffee, another important morning.
But my children? There are no vegetables for her in the morning, thank you very much. They stick to their pancakes or cocoa balls, maybe a scrambled egg. Vegetables are hard to sell for dinner.
My husband, used to my hearty breakfasts, still raises his eyebrows when I attach brussels sprouts at dawn or reheat leftovers from last night’s dinner for breakfast.
Shakshuka is for those folks who prefer a hearty breakfast, or for those of you who enjoy eggs for lunch, dinner, or any time of the day. This traditional egg dish is a kind of stew with eggs. The tomato sauce is brightly flavored and contrasts perfectly with a creamy poached egg, salty feta and crunchy buttered toast.
Maybe you want to think outside the box at breakfast. Starting your day with shakshuka gives you a nutrient boost that lasts all day.
Why you will love shakshuka
Easy to do: It’s a one-pan entree and the ingredients are simple.
- Flavorful: Shakshuka has a lot to offer in terms of taste: spicy heat, sour tomatoes, sweet onions and peppers, fresh eggs and creamy cheese.
- Healthy: A serving with gravy, an egg and topped with cheese has less than 200 calories. Every element of Shakshuka contains antioxidants, healthy protein and vitamins.
- Go on: You can make a large batch of the sauce, pop it in portion-sized containers in the freezer, and reheat whenever you feel like shakshuka. Just add an egg (or two)!
What is shakshuka?
You may be wondering: what kind of food is shakshuka? Where does it come from?
Shakshuka has its origins in the Maghreb, an area of north-western Africa that encompasses several countries and includes the western part of the Arab world (Wikipedia).
The word Shakshuka literally means “a mixture”. It’s a vegetarian stew with poached eggs. Tomatoes and peppers are common, as are eggs, but there are many variations.
As always, we are very grateful for the variety of dishes from different cultures that we can enjoy. We hope you like our interpretation.
what you will need
- Paprika: For a really bold red sauce, use a sweet red pepper. However, any color will work, so don’t worry if you have a green, orange, or yellow pepper.
- Onion: An inexpensive yellow onion works well in this stew. Yellow onions are finer in texture than sweet onions and can be stored in the pantry.
- Garlic: Crush up a few fresh garlic cloves, more if you love garlic, less if you don’t feel like garlic all day.
- Olive oil: You will need a few tablespoons of aromatic olive oil to sauté the vegetables.
- Paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and red pepper flakes: This spice mixture refines the sauce with a little spicy heat, lots of flavor and a hint of smoke!
- Canned tomatoes: The base of the sauce is crushed tomatoes, which are juicy and thick. You need a 28 oz. may. Look for tomatoes that are low in sodium or have no added salt.
- eggs: A good source of protein is eggs normally inexpensive and available everywhere.
- Fresh parsley: A handful of chopped parsley spices up the dish. Please do not use dried parsley as it is rather tasteless. Both curly and flat-leaf Italian parsley work well.
- Feta Cheese (or Goat Cheese): Feta cheese crumbles are convenient, but I prefer block feta for flavor. Cheese is an optional ingredient, so omit if you prefer or if you’re on the Whole30 diet.
- Toasted Bread: Crunchy buttered toast really finishes off this egg dish. Toast is optional but I would definitely recommend it. Both my unknead wholemeal bread and my Dutch Oven bread are great for toasting.
How to make this recipe
Prepare sauce: In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and spices to the pan. Cook and stir for about a minute, until the spices are roasted and the garlic is fragrant.
Next comes the can of mashed tomatoes in the pan. Stir the sauce well and simmer for at least 5 minutes. It may take longer if that works better for you.
A few minutes before you’re ready to serve the shakshuka, make six cavities or indentations in the sauce. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but try to space them out evenly from each other.
Crack an egg into each well. I’d recommend cracking the egg in a small bowl, then carefully pouring it into the prepared spot in the sauce in case shell creeps in.
Cover the pan and cook the eggs for four to eight minutes, until done to your liking. The white should be completely solid; The yolk can be runny, hard-boiled, or anywhere in between.
Season with more salt and pepper if you like.
To serve, place an egg and some sauce in a shallow bowl or plate. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with crispy buttered toast.
By the way, if you love this recipe, be sure to try my fall version: Instant Pot Shakshuka with Butternut Squash. The addition of creamy golden squash is heavenly!
Go ahead, storage and warm up
I love the idea of making shakshuka as a healthy breakfast or lunch, but wonder how you find the time to make it during that morning crunch? That’s how it’s done:
Prepare a large batch of tomato sauce (steps 1 to 4). If you want, you can easily double or triple the amount of ingredients. Refrigerate or freeze the sauce in individual containers. The sauce will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy shakshuka, gently heat the chilled or frozen tomato sauce (no thawing required) in a small skillet until simmering. Add one egg (or as many eggs as desired) and cook as directed.
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Prevent your screen from going dark
You’ll love the traditional shakshuka: poached eggs nestled in a tangy tomato sauce with the scent of peppers and onions, topped with salty feta and served with crusty toast.
In a large skillet (with lid), heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, red pepper and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the onions are translucent.
Add garlic, paprika, smoked paprika powder, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Make six wells in the tomato sauce, and in each well, break eggs (break them into a small bowl first if you’re not sure of your whipping skills).
Cover and cook 4 to 8 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking.
Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Garnish with parsley and cheese if desired. Serve with toasted bread, if you like.
- Meal prep idea: Prepare tomato sauce. Freeze or refrigerate in individual containers. To reheat: Pour frozen tomato sauce into a small skillet. Heat gently until hot. add egg.
- Whole30: Leave out the cheese and bread.
Portion: 1egg, Calories: 195kcal, Carbohydrates: 15G, Protein: 10G, Fat: 11G, Saturated Fatty Acids: 3G, Polyunsaturated fat: 2G, Monounsaturated fatty acids: 6G, trans fats: 0.02G, Cholesterol: 192mg, Sodium: 422mg, Potassium: 594mg, Fiber: 4G, Sugar: 8thG, Vitamin A: 1970IU, Vitamin C: 53mg, Calcium: 121mg, Iron: 3mg
Approximate nutritional information is provided on this website for convenience only. Nutritional data is collected primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database (where available) or other online calculators.