Made with poached eggs in a fragrant, rich, and slightly spicy tomato sauce, and ready in 30 minutes, this easy shakshuka recipe is a balanced meal that works well for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
What is shakshuka?
Shakshuka, also spelled shakshouka and pronounced shack-shoe-cuh, is a dish of eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce with peppers and onion. Shakshuka is a staple dish in the Middle East and North Africa, where it is commonly served for breakfast and lunch.
Shakshuka roughly translates to “shaken” or ” mixed up”, which is essentially what you do to make it. Tomatoes, vegetables, and spices are all mixed up to create a sauce in which eggs are simmered, which is served warm in a cast iron skillet with bread. While shakshuka is traditionally made with tomatoes, you can also find versions made with leafy greens, potatoes, and other vegetables.
Prefer to watch the video?
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”NSAITnL9″ upload-date=”2023-02-09T23:08:11.000Z” name=”Easy Shakshuka Recipe” description=”Made with poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, this quick and easy shakshuka recipe with feta cheese works well for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.” player-type=”collapse” override-embed=”false”]
Origin of Shakshuka
According to some historians, shakshuka is said to have originated in Yemen, while others claim it came from the Ottoman Empire (1). What is known is that shakshuka was brought to Israel by the migrating community from North Africa, specifically from the Libyan-Tunisian region. Regardless of its origin, shakshuka is a staple dish at any Israeli breakfast, commonly served in homes and restaurants, and has grown significantly in popularity in North America in the past decade.
Is shakshuka spicy?
The spices used in shakshuka can vary widely, however, it’s commonly made with cumin and paprika, and sometimes includes cayenne pepper, coriander, and garlic. Shakshuka can be made spicy or mild, depending on your preference level. You can increase the spiciness by adding cayenne, chilies, or harissa, or tone it down by decreasing the spices and serving it with feta, labneh, or yogurt.
Why is shakshuka healthy?
Yes! Not only is shakshuka a nutrient-dense dish made with whole foods; tomatoes, onion, peppers, spices, and eggs, but when served with bread it creates a balanced meal complete with all macronutrients. While recipes will vary, shakshuka is typically a low-calorie dish that is high in protein, moderate in fats, and low in carbohydrates.
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this one-pan, spicy tomato, and egg dish.
- Eggs: The primary protein source in shakshuka.
- Tomatoes: The recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes, however, you can use whole or crushed tomatoes, or fresh ripe tomatoes if you prefer.
- Bell Pepper: I used red bell pepper, but you can use any color you like.
- Onion: To add a depth of flavor.
- Garlic: To add some fragrance.
- Paprika: One of the traditional spices.
- Cumin: Another traditional spice.
- Red Pepper Flakes: To add some heat, you can add as much or as little as you like.
- Olive Oil: To cook the veggies and add some healthy fats.
- Salt and Black Pepper: To season the sauce.
- Feta: To add some creaminess and saltiness.
- Cilantro: To balance the spices and brighten the finished dish, you can also use parsley.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need some good quality bread to serve with it.
Make it Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free, no adaptations are needed. Just be sure to serve it with gluten-free bread.
Make it Dairy-Free: Omit the feta cheese.
Make it Vegan: Swap the eggs for chunks of tofu and omit the feta cheese.
How to Make Easy Shakshuka
Making shakshuka is quite simple. It starts by making a rich and flavorful tomato sauce before poaching the eggs directly into the sauce, here’s what you’ll do:
- Sauté the vegetables. You’ll begin by cooking the veggies in a cast iron skillet until they are tender.
- Add the spices. You’ll then add the spices to the pan and cook them until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes. Then you’ll add the tomatoes to create the sauce.
- Simmer the sauce. You’ll then allow the sauce to thicken and enhance the flavors.
- Add the eggs. Crack the eggs into the tomato sauce and simmer them until cooked to your liking.
- Sprinkle with feta and cilantro. Once the eggs are cooked you can top the shakshuka with feta and cilantro and serve it with crusty bread.
Although my recipe calls for 4 eggs, you can easily add more eggs or cook the shakshuka in a larger pan to make more portions. Feel free to add as many eggs as your pan can handle (see tip below).
Tips for the Best Easy Shakshuka
Choose your tomatoes carefully. The better the tomatoes the better the shakshuka. If using canned tomatoes, I suggest using fire-roasted tomatoes if you can find them. If using ripe tomatoes, ensure they are as ripe and fresh as possible.
Be generous with the spices. The cumin and paprika are the key ingredients to a good sauce for shakshuka, so don’t be shy. If you like things spicy, feel free to add more, and don’t skimp on the red pepper flakes.
Simmer the sauce. For the best results, it is ideal to simmer the tomato sauce for as long as possible to help build depth and flavor, however, if you are in a pinch this can be done in under 30 minutes, as the recipe suggests.
Don’t overcrowd the pan. A good shakshuka is all about the sauce-to-egg ratio and you want to ensure there is enough space in between your eggs so they cook evenly. A standard skillet can easily hold up to 6 eggs, just don’t add any more as it will quickly turn into a tomato omelet. If you want to egg more eggs use a larger pan and double the recipe for the sauce.
Cook the eggs to your liking. The nice thing about this dish is that you can cook the eggs just the way you like them. If you like a runny yolk, cook the eggs for 6-8 minutes in the sauce, if you like your yolk fully cooked, cook them for 8-12 minutes in the sauce. Regardless of who you like your eggs, keep a watchful eye on them to ensure they are perfectly cooked.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
While shakshuka is healthy on its own, you can boost the protein intake by enjoying a portion of 2 or more eggs and by serving it with a sprinkle of feta cheese and increase the fiber content of the meal by enjoying it with whole grain bread and additional leafy greens or vegetables.
What to Serve with Shakshuka
Shakshuka is predominantly a source of protein and fat, so it’s best served with a source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, such as:
- Pita bread
- Roasted potatoes
- Green salad
- Roasted vegetables
In addition to a side, you can also serve shakshuka with various toppings and condiments, such as:
- Feta cheese
- Hot sauce
What bread is best with shakshuka?
Shakshuka is best served with crusty bread or warm pita bread. It’s also commonly served with challah bread. I like to serve it with toasted sourdough but any white bread, whole grain bread, multigrain bread, or sprouted grain bread will pair nicely.
Can you eat shakshuka by itself?
You can eat shakshuka by itself if you want a lighter meal, but if you want something more filling and well-balanced meal, it’s best served with some form of toasted bread and topped with cheese, labneh, or yogurt.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Allow to cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. I do not recommend freezing shakshuka.
To Reheat: Place leftover shakshuka in a pan on low-medium heat and simmer until the sauce and eggs are warmed through. It can also be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, although it’s best reheated on the stovetop.
If you are new to shakshuka, it’s a lot simpler to make than it looks, and I highly suggest you give it a try! This delicious one-pan recipe pulls together simple ingredients in under 30 minutes to create a hearty and healthy dish that you can eat for any meal of the day.
More Easy Shakshuka Recipes:Print
Easy Shakshuka with Feta
This quick and easy shakshuka recipe with feta cheese is ready in 30 minutes and works well for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop & Baked
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 4 eggs, or more
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Cilantro, roughly chopped
- Crusty bread
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat, warm olive oil.
- Add onion and red pepper and cook until soft, stirring often not to burn, for about 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and stir to ensure the vegetables are coated with spices. Cook for another 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add diced tomatoes to the pan and stir well to combine. Simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced and the sauce has thickened, using a spoon to gently break them up as they cook.
- Once the sauce had thickened, add the eggs. Using a spoon, carve a little whole into the tomato mixture and crack the eggs into the dish. There should be room in a large skillet to fit up to six eggs easily.
- Once the eggs are all cracked into the mixture, transfer the skillet to the oven for about 5-8 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking.
- Once cooked, removed from the oven, top with crumbled feta cheese and cilantro, and serve with a side of crusty bread.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 226 calories
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 14 grams
Keywords: easy shakshuka recipe, shakshuka recipe easy, easy shakshuka recipe with feta, quick and easy shakshuka recipe