Foolproof Shakshuka Recipe: Eggs poached in spicy tomato-based veggie stew, baked to perfection, garnished with fresh herbs and served with crusty bread. Flavorsome, nourishing and healthy one-pot breakfast or dinner meal you will make over and over again!
Shakshuka is my go-to one pan dish that I’ve been cooking for years, so it’s time to post my favorite shakshuka recipe on my blog. It’s so incredibly versatile it can be your go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner. But please keep shakshuka in mind when you plan a lazy weekend brunch! You won’t be disappointed, guaranteed.
What is Shakshuka?
There is hardly ever something as simple and yet as delicious as shakshuka. Eggs poached in spicy tomato-based veggie stew, baked to perfection and garnished with fresh herbs. Bread is a must for dipping in the sauce and runny yolks. Sometimes it is served in a pita.
Shakshuka originated in North Africa, namely Tunisia, and it became insanely popular all around the Middle East, especially in Israel.
Interestingly, the word “shakshuka” means “a mixture” in Arabic slang and that is for a reason. You can only guess how many variations of shakshuka are out there and which one is the most authentic.
We must thank Yotam Ottolenghi, a brilliant British chef and food writer, for popularizing shakshuka and other Middle Easter staple food like tahini, za’atar and harissa, to name just a few, into the Western world.
His cookbook Jerusalem is an absolute must read for you if you like Middle Eastern food. Another one of his cookbooks, Plenty, is entirely dedicated to vegetable dishes, so make sure to check it out as well.
Shakshuka might sound exotic but there is nothing easier than eggs, onions, diced tomatoes and a few spices. That is the reason shakshuka became popular in the Western world. Isn’t it a perfect meal if it’s easy, quick, cheap and healthy and works equally well for breakfast as well as it does for dinner?
This simple dish is nourishing, comforting and just perfect for any occasion!
How to Make Shakshuka?
The best thing about shakshuka is that you can customize it as you wish. However, there are a few ingredients that are necessary:
- Aromatics (onions and garlic)
I like to use smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and mild red chili. You can experiment with adding Ras el Hanout, cayenne, caraway or maybe harissa paste.
You can use any tomatoes you have on hand: canned whole, canned diced, fresh, cherry, peeled, with skin on, pureed or cut in big chunks. Just make sure they are ripe and not watery.
Use herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro or mint. Whatever you prefer.
Here is how to make shakshuka:
Sautée chopped onions and minced garlic until translucent, add spices and diced fresh or canned tomatoes. Cook until the liquid is reduced.
Make “wells” in the tomato stew and carefully break the eggs directly into them. Spoon a bit of sauce over egg whites to make them set faster.
Put the skillet under the broiler for just a few minutes, until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny.
Another option would be to cover the skillet with a lid and continue cooking shakshuka on the stove, reducing the heat to medium-low. Let it cook for no more than 10 minutes if you want your yolks to be runny.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and/or other toppings (chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, crumbled feta, harissa, hot sauce, etc). Serve with warm pita or crusty bread. Enjoy!
Make sure you are using an oven-safe skillet for your shakshuka if you choose to broil it. Cast iron pan would be a great option.
What are different variations of shakshuka?
- My favorite late-summer-inspired variation is tomato eggplant shakshuka. Just add diced eggplants together with tomatoes to the pan in the basic recipe above. It tastes delicious and adds a bit of protein to the dish making it more suitable for a light dinner meal.
- Another variation is spring green shakshuka. Instead of all the greens that I used for this recipe you can just use lots of spinach.
- One of the most common variations is the addition of red or green bell peppers.
- Experimenting with other veggies like zucchini and squash sounds great too.
- Shakshuka pizza is a bomb! Just reserve a bit of sauce, spread it over pizza crust and top with eggs.
- Add crumbled feta cheese on top of shakshuka for a nice tangy note.
- Mexishuka with quinoa and black beans is something worth trying for sure!
- Serve shakshuka over HUMMUS for a mind-blowing Middle Eastern experience.
How to Serve Shakshuka?
Traditionally shakshuka is a breakfast dish that is served along with warm pita bread. Any other crusty bread would be OK too.
If you serve shakshuka for dinner or brunch (my favorite way), make sure to include a few Middle Eastern appetizers as well as pita bread for the most authentic experience. You can check The Middle Eastern Small Plates, an e-book written by Ksenia Prints, that features a great collection of the best Middle Eastern vegetarian appetizers and finger food. Get a 15% discount with the promo code #HAPPYKITCHENROCKSLOVE when making a payment!
Other must-try Middle Eastern dishes to serve with shakshuka include but are not limited to roasted beetroot hummus with pita chips, pita pockets with roasted veggies and hummus, crispy baked falafel with hazelnuts and creamy lemon mint sauce, to name just a few.
It pairs great with a glass of refreshing Ayran (yogurt drink).
Here is my favorite shakshuka recipe for you. Feel free to adjust it to your liking!
The Best Shakshuka Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 mild red chili pepper
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 eggplant diced
- 5-6 ripe tomatoes diced or two 14 oz (400 g) cans diced tomatoes
- 4 eggs
- Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
- Topping options: chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, crumbled feta, harissa, hot sauce (optional)
- Pita or crusty bread, to serve
- Preheat the broiler to its highest possible temperature. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautée chopped onions and minced garlic until translucent. Add spices, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Add diced fresh or canned tomatoes and diced eggplant. Cook until the liquid is reduced.
- Make "wells" in the tomato stew and carefully break the eggs directly into them. Spoon a bit of sauce over egg whites to make them set faster. Put the skillet under the broiler for just a few minutes, until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny.
- Another option would be to cover the skillet with a lid and continue cooking shakshuka on the stove, reducing the heat to medium-low. Let it cook for no more than 10 minutes if you want your yolks to be runny. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and/or other suggested toppings. Serve with warm pita or crusty bread. Enjoy!