If you've never tried shakshuka, then do yourself a favor and try it because it definitely hits the spot! This flavorful shakshuka recipe made with poached eggs in a rich spicy aromatic tomato sauce is simply the best!
What Is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is home to North Africa, Tunisia as its place of origin - however it is also enjoyed across Libya, Israel, Palestine, Turkey and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Since falling love with shakshuka many years ago when I first saw it by a Moroccan friend of mine where we shared many a plate of cuisine exchange in the kitchen. Very little English was spoken but as like most situations in life all you need is one commonality to connect. Ours was motherhood and cooking❤️
Years ahead I have a food blog, am blessed with an opportunity to share food, ideas, inspiration and my kitchen tips.
This shakshuka dish is healthy, uses simple ingredients and has a way of making you feel completely nourished and satisfied. As I say that I imagine that this affordable meal which was at the time eaten by North African immigrants to Israel and hopefully gave them the warmth and nourishment that this meal can do.
What a simple simmer of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and spices with eggs gently poached can do, thank you for shakshuka.
Ingredients For Flavorful Shakshuka
Like many a traditional classic dishes the recipe changes from region to region, country to country but no matter the tweaks, it's still an incredibly tasty dish of eggs poached in a sauce and fundamentally consists of:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: What all great food starts with!
Onion: I use what onions I have on the day, green as in spring onion, yellow onion and this recipe uses red onion.
Tomatoes: Canned chopped makes it easier or you can press them down if they're whole. Canned tomatoes are convenient and have an existing thick tomato sauce. If you have homemade tomato sauce, naturally use that. You can find my Easy Tomato Sauce here on my blog.
Bell peppers: In this recipe I used red bell pepper and you only need half however in our home shakshuka has been made with green bell pepper too.
Garlic: I've used 3 minced garlic. Love a good amount of garlic in shakshuka but you can use less or more.
Spices: There's no shakshuka without the heat of cumin, coriander and paprika! I did add my own curry powder along with the cumin and paprika (just for a South African 'kick'). Feel free to adjust to your taste.
Eggs: Anything between 4 to 6 eggs is what I use, however if you need 8 then use eight but make sure your pan is big enough with a lid.
Garnish: Fresh chopped parsley, coriander or mint. My personal preference with the fresh herbs is a combination of flat leaf parsley and fresh mint.
I make a lot of versions of shakshuka so please note that some of the ingredients you see here will not be in the recipe card below. However, use the ingredients that work for you.
How To Make Shakshuka
This recipe has one or two easy steps to the best shakshuka recipe that you could ever make. Find the full recipe card below this post, but for now, here we go.
Make the aromatic base. Start by heating olive oil and adding the chopped onions to cook on medium heat. The heat should not be too high or too low. Try and get the stove at a temperature that's cooking at a decent pace.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Meanwhile, as the onion cooks, mince the garlic, chop the half bell pepper, and rinse about a handful of baby spinach (this version has spinach in but you can leave it out). Add the garlic and spices; cumin, paprika, curry powder, salt and pepper for seasoning. Cook for a few seconds and add a tablespoon of tomato paste and chopped bell pepper and cook them for a minute.
Add the tomato: Chopped tomatoes and a dash of water into the can, swirl and toss into the sauce. The water works out to about a quarter to one third of a cup.
Add baby spinach (optional): Once the water has cooked down, add the spinach. It will wilt in a couple of seconds so have the eggs ready!
Season. Always add the seasoning in layers as you cook.
Add the eggs. Let the tomato cook down some of the water that you've just added, that's why it's important to not add too much water. No water is an option, but I love the thick sauce that the water creates with the tomato, so another minute to a minute and a half to cook down is not long. Create spaces in the sauce and crack open an egg in each space. (A small seasoning of salt and pepper) Cover the pan with a lid if it has a lid or you can use a board or aluminum foil. Covering helps the eggs cook.
Remove from the heat: For soft eggs, remove the pan from the heat before they are cooked completely. Remember that they will continue cooking in the sauce while in the pan. My eggs never cook at the same time so I judge by when the second one is cooked soft. The first one is already cooked through but when the second one looks perfect how I life my eggs, soft I then move the pan off the heat. Leave the pan covered if you want them to continue cooking.
Serve and garnish. Crusty bread and fresh herbs for garnish.
What to serve with Shakshuka?
Nothing is cemented when it comes to how to serve shakshuka. You can eat it as is or with bread as mentioned earlier, here are some ideas:
- Breakfast and brunch are first on this list of ideas, with warm flat breads, naan or ciabatta.
- Lunch time with a salad of your choice. Greek salad or chickpea salad is a start.
The best way to serve this flavorful shakshuka in my opinion is have it on the table with sides of everything and make it a delicious brunch feast! Sides of sauces and dressings, dips, breads mentioned above and salads, take your pic!
More breakfast/egg recipes
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is shakshuka orginally from?
Shakshuka is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines
What are the ingredients used to make shakshuka?
Typically you would use oil, onion, garlic and spices like cumin, coriander and paprika. Again as with traditional recipes it sometimes depends on the country or region of people.
Can Shakshuka be made ahead?
Yes! This is a great make ahead recipe. Make the sauce, cover and store in the fridge then move on with the rest of the recipe. If you already have tomato sauce, you're more than halfway there.
LOOKING FOR MORE RECIPES?
Flavorful Shakshuka Recipe
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 red bell peppers snack size
- 2 yellow bell peppers snack size (You can use 1 regular medium sized bell pepper, red or green)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika dry rub
- 1 teaspoon Involtini spice
- salt and pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. harissa paste
- 1 ½ cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. passata
- 6 eggs
- To garnish: fresh parsley mint and spring onions which are all optional.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic. Mix and cook for a few seconds, low to medium heat. Stir to get that smoky depth of flavor. Add chili flakes (if using), harissa, tomato paste and tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon to mash down any chunky bits. Add a little water into the tomato can or bowl, give it a swirl and add into the sauce. Add Involtini spice, passata and taste for seasoning, adding if necessary.
- Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat. If the water is too much, remove the cover and continue simmering to help reduce the liquid.
- Use a wooden spoon to make six spaces or wells in the tomato sauce making sure that they are fairly well spaced out. Gently crack one egg at a time into each well. Need confidence in cracking the eggs open into the sauce? See notes below.
- Reduce the heat and cook covered until the eggs are softly poached. Remember to turn the heat off seconds before you think the eggs are done because they will continue cooking in the sauce.
- Uncover, add fresh parsley, spring onion and mint and a sprinkle of your favorite spice. Serve with naan, crusty bread and a dollop of hummus.