This Shakshuka Recipe is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast that is basically poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce - it's vegetarian, easy and healthy!
Have you ever had Shakshuka? It’s as fun to eat as it is to say! It’s basically a Middle Eastern recipe, that originated in Tunisia. It’s made with poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. The best thing about a Shakshuka recipe for me is the sauce. It has simple vegetables (usually just onions and red peppers) and a variation of spices, commonly paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.
This is one of those breakfast recipes that is totally doable for dinner. It’s vegetarian, easy-to-make, low-carb, paleo, keto-friendly and an all around bomb-tasting dish!
This Shakshuka Recipe is a staple dish I serve when I’m inviting friends for a Middle Eastern breakfast/brunch. I love that it’s all made in one skillet and that it’s totally acceptable (and preferable) to serve it in that one skillet. This is one of my favorite egg recipes that is bursting with flavor, full of protein and very enjoyable any time of the day.
How to Make Shakshuka
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 eggs
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Crusty bread for serving
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 20 min
1. Prepare the vegetables
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions become soft and translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
I start by slicing the red peppers, onions and garlic. Many people prefer to dice the vegetables to better incorporate them into the sauce. But I find that the sauce is cooking for so long that the size of them doesn’t really matter. As for the herbs, I use parsley or cilantro. I like leaving the leaves whole to sprinkle on the final dish.
2. Cook the tomato sauce
Pour the tomatoes, and add cumin, paprika and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the tomato sauce thickens like a stew, about 10-15 minutes.
I recommend using the traditional spices, which are cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. But then you can add some coriander, caraway, red pepper flakes, chili powder and even sugar (which I don’t find necessary).
It’s important here to let the sauce simmer for a good 10 minutes. This will ensure that the sauce is not runny, but more like a stew. This will help hold the eggs in place too, so you don’t get scrambled eggs.
3. Put it all together
Create 6 small nests in the tomato stew. Gently crack the eggs into the skillet over the tomatoes in the nests formed. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, and cook until the egg whites have set, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with crusty bread or pita.
I like cooking the eggs pretty well done, but if you like the eggs to be more runny, you can reduce the cooking time. What’s important is that the egg whites are solidified. This is a wonderfully family-sharing meal and makes for a beautiful presentation on a brunch display. If you want to make just enough for yourself, it’s very doable in a smaller pan.
Tips for Making This Shakshuka Recipe
- For the best sauce consistency: It’s important to let the sauce simmer and allow it to thicken in order to hold the eggs in place. But be careful not to reduce the sauce too much. This made lead to it burning or sticking to the pan. It will all depend on the size of your pan and the thickness of the tomatoes to begin with.
- For runny eggs: If you prefer the eggs more runny, you’ll want to reduce the sauce a couple extra minutes before cracking the eggs into the pan. Otherwise the sauce will run into the eggs, and we want to keep them separated for the most part.
- For best presentation: If you want to make sure the dish doesn’t look like tomato scrambled eggs, make sure first that the sauce is thick enough, as I’ve mentioned earlier, and also make sure to create small indentations for dropping the cracked eggs. This allows the tomato sauce to nestle the cracked eggs in place, without having them spread out all over the pan.
How to Serve Shakshuka
- For Breakfast: You really don’t need anything and can enjoy it as is. I love eating it with pita bread or a crusty bread, like sourdough or garlic bread.
- For Lunch or Dinner: This pairs really well with a simple salad, like fattoush or a side like oven-baked fries.
- Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Sourcing: You can find all the spices for this recipe at your local grocery store.
- Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However you can substitute red peppers or green peppers. You can also use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes, but the consistency will be slightly different
Serving: 2eggs | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 327mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2045IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.4mg