Shakshuka

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast (or any time of day) recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It’s a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs. It’s nourishing, filling and one recipe I guarantee you’ll make time and again.

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It's a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs.

Shakshuka

The first time I had shakshuka was years ago on a trip to Egypt with my mom. I remember instantly loving the meal and the simple yet bold flavors and spices. So when I recently visited Israel, where shakshuka is almost a national dish, it was the meal I was most eager to dive into, once again.

I spent two weeks traveling throughout Israel (on the most glorious trip) and was able to enjoy shakshuka many times over. To be honest, I considered it “research” so that I could bring you an authentic, Tel Aviv-inspired rendition.

Is Tel Aviv the Shakshuka Capital?

Tel Aviv, which I’ll talk about more in a future post, is a bustling, vibrant, hip, outdoor cafe-vibe kind of city. I didn’t know what to expect with Tel Aviv, but I can tell you this, it blew me away. There’s a youthful energy to the city and I encountered some of the friendliest, most hospitable people.

There’s gorgeous Mediterranean weather year round in Tel Aviv, but let me tell you, the food scene is definitely something to write home about. I ate. And ate. And ate. Everything is fresh, veggie-heavy, loaded with herbs and layered with flavor. It’s a dream city for vegetarians and those who just like phenomenal food.

The photo below is one shakshuka I enjoyed in Tel Aviv. How adorable is that single-serving portion served up in a mini sauté pan? Shakshuka with fresh squeezed juice and a side of fruit, yes please! But as this may be a new recipe for many of you, let’s answer some basic questions about shakshuka.

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish and one that’s eaten for breakfast or any meal of the day. It’s made from simple, healthy ingredients and is vegetarian. Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and the traditional version uses tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top.

Today, you can find many variations of shakshuka, like my Green Shakshuka with Brussels Sprouts and Spinach and Orange Shakshuka with Butternut Squash. You can also add feta or goat cheese and adapt it to your taste. The options are endless – which is what makes this dish such a national favorite (of so many countries!).

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It's a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs.

Is Shakshuka Spicy?

Shakshuka spices may vary, but you’ll commonly find paprika, cumin and chili powder, along with fresh garlic. I’d consider it flavorful spicy, not hot spicy. Though you can always add cayenne pepper if you’d like to heat it up.

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It's a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs.

Shakshuka in a pan on a table.

How Do You Make Shakshuka

It’s really easy to make shakshuka, especially if you use canned tomatoes (though you can always use fresh tomatoes as well). Dice an onion and red bell pepper and add that to a sauté pan with a little olive oil on medium heat. Stir the veggies for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.

Then add the garlic and spices and stir for another minute until they’re nice and fragrant. Pour in a 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and use your spatula to break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Once this entire mixture is lightly simmering, you can crack your eggs on top.

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It's a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs.

Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It's a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and gently poached eggs.

Use your spatula to make little holes for the eggs, then crack an egg into each hole. I used 6 eggs, though depending on the size of your pan you may use more or less. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Before serving, season the eggs with salt and a generous amount of freshly chopped parsley and cilantro. Enjoy!

For More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Watch How Easy it is to Make Shakshuka

If shakshuka is new to you, make sure to watch my tutorial video. I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step (it’s super easy). You’ll have it mastered in no time!

Shakshuka in a pan on a table.

Shakshuka Recipe (Easy & Traditional)

4.96 from 242 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Shakshuka is a North African and Middle Eastern meal of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce with spices. It's easy, healthy and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 6 large eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute.
  • Pour the can of tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Use your large spoon to make small wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley.

Lisa's Tips

  • If you're not dairy-free, crumbled feta or goat cheese on top is delicious addition. Traditionally it's also served with pita, but I love to serve it with slices of avocado.
  • Many photos online show shakshuka cooked in a cast iron pan. Tomatoes are acidic and may erode the seasoning on your cast iron pan as well as dull the finish. You may also get a slight metallic flavor to the dish. So I recommend not taking any chances and cooking it in a stainless steel pan, like this beauty from All Clad.

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 164mg, Sodium: 256mg, Potassium: 409mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1371IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Breakfast, Main Meal
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: shakshuka, Shakshuka recipe
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Disclaimer: I visited Israel in partnership with Vibe Israel, a non-profit group bringing awareness to all that Israel has to offer. I had an amazing time on their wellness tour and I’m happy to share my experiences. All opinions are my own.

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611 comments on “Shakshuka”

  1. Amazing recipe. It’s my go-to when I either don’t feel like cooking or don’t have a lot of groceries in the house. 

  2. This was so easy to put together, and me and my partner absolutely loved it!! He was knocked out of the park with how good it tasted 😄 I’m definitely going to make this a lot more often, thank you!5 stars

  3. Super easy to follow along and make this recipe! I have never had or heard of Shakshuka before trying this recipe. It was really good! My boyfriend really enjoyed it as well. I had to simmer it for quite a while as it had lots of liquid. I will definitely make this recipe again and hopefully my eggs will turn out yolky. I overcooked them. I topped it with goat cheese as recommended, it paired soo well together. 5 stars

  4. Amazingly delicious and easy go to recipe. I always make 3 pans when my grandchildren are here and they knock out crusty bread to dip in the sauce and eggs. It’s also a perfect meal for diabetics! 5 stars

  5. Delicious! We had this for dinner with a side of fish. So flavorful and easy. I used smoky paprika because that’s all I had. I also used San Marzano canned tomatoes which is nice and thick. This will be a regular in our house.5 stars

  6. This is such a versatile recipe. We’ve added mushrooms, bacon, sausage, spinach…made breakfast, dinner, used left-overs…love this! It’s so easy, flavourful and cheap. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  7. This recipe is VERY acidic (bitter, sour, etc) even AFTER I added butter and even sugar try to balance the tomatoes. If I make it again I may add cooked carrots, green pepper, yogurt, or shredded stew beef to offset the bright acid. Strongly suggest to serve with cheese or sour cream.3 stars

  8. My husband was dubious.. but we both loved it 5 stars

  9. First time making this! Can’t wait to try all the variations on the site. It was a hit with the family!!5 stars

  10. What a breakfast!!!!! Filling, healthy, tasty, and quickly came together! Just perfect!5 stars

  11. Great novice recipe! I don’t know if it gets more complicated, because I have never made shakshuka before today. My husband and I loved this recipe and will definitely make it again. I think it is very versatile, so get creative!5 stars

  12. This was absolutely delicious and so easy! Thank you!5 stars

  13. I made this for my room mate and he enjoyed it. I used diced petite tomatoes. I liked how easy it was to make. I would make it again.5 stars

  14. My husband and I really enjoyed the flavors of this Shakshuka when we made it during January Whole30. It fed us for breakfast three times and was delicious. I’ve favorited this recipe and will continue to make it!5 stars

  15. Made this last weekend and it was delicious. I recommend only covering the eggs for three minutes so the yolks do not get hard.
    I also skipped the cilantro because of personal preference, but did add chopped parsley and feta cheese.
    It is excellent with bread, either pita, or French, or Cuban with a side of sliced avocados.
    I loved it so much that I made a triple batch without the eggs and portion froze it. Now I only have to thaw, bring to a simmer and add eggs to enjoy it on short notice without the prep time.
    I also tried a batch using Mexican style stewed tomatoes and it was very very tasty.
    I always experiment with recipes and this one easily lends itself to experimentation.
    So glad I found this recipe and it will become a staple in my diet.5 stars

  16. This was really good, I’ve made it a few times now. I’ve added Chili powder, but most recently, I added half of a can of diced jalapenos. I found it’s extremely important to cut the red bell-pepper up in really small dices, because if they are still crunchy when it’s done for any reason, it ruins the dish (for me anyway, I ended up tossing the whole pan due to this). I also found that if you cook some rice and mix it (on your plate, not in the recipe), it gives it more body and makes a delicious meal – I feel like I could be eating salsa but have absolutely no guilt about eating the whole pan in 2 sittings! I also fry the eggs separately so I can decide if I want them.

  17. I’ve made this and loved it. I have a mild egg intolerance so the sauce was my fave part, since I only ate one small egg in it. I liked it so much that I think tonight I’m going to make this as the sauce for some braised chicken thighs. It just seems like one of those sauces that begs to be used for more than just breakfast! 5 stars

  18. Have made this a handful of times. So easy and delicious! Easy clean up too! 

  19. This is a good recipe, but I also add cinnamon and coriander for a bit of warmth. I also add a can of chickpeas to add more substance – and that’s how my Hungarian mother used to make it! 

  20. I really love this recipe! I add in cinnamon sometimes on colder nights, Thank you for sharing!

  21. Delicious! I was lacking on a few ingredients so I used smoked paprika instead of regular and a whole roasted red pepper instead of fresh. And all I had were fire roasted diced tomatoes so I threw those in instead of the whole tomatoes. Little juicy but nothing a little toast couldn’t help with! So flavorful! Will make again!5 stars

  22. It looks yummy, have to make this, Lisa, thanks!5 stars

    • Delicious! And so easy! I added some bacon bits, cayenne and put a slice of toast on the plate before serving which collected the juices and was great for a filler too. 5 stars

  23. I meal prepped for the week, I overcooked the eggs (wanted them runny), but was still good and recipe was quick to make. I will definitely make this  again,  thank you!5 stars

  24. Would I follow the same directions if using grape tomatoes or fresh tomatoes?

    • Will be hard to peel all of those, and you will need more juice. I tried buying and peeling 6 Roma tomatoes instead of using the canned/peeled ones, thinking it would be better, but it had no juice, so I ended up adding a can of diced tomatoes specifically for the juice and more body. For me, it needs to feel like I’m eating salsa so having all of the small uniquely defined tomatoes in there would have made it weird to eat.

  25. After adding the eggs, can this be baked in the oven? If so, for how long?

  26. This sounds delicious but I only have crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Can the whole tomatoes be substituted for one of these?

  27. Looks great, I will try it. Tel Aviv sounds very interesting. 😊5 stars

  28. You don’t say how long to simmer the tomatoes and this seems like a critical step.

  29. I’ve never made Shakshuka before but have seen it many times on the web. I decided to make your version! My girlfriend and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you Lisa!

  30. The recipe looks amazing!
    Small suggestion, you should probably fix your converter because “28-ounce” is not a valid metric value

    • the can of tomatoes i purchased to make this recipe is for 28 ounces..5 stars

      • Ounces aren’t used much outside the US, I think they mean converting it to metric system so that people outside the US know how much to use :) 28 ounces is just under 800g xx 5 stars

  31. I’ve been looking for an easy tasty shakshuka recipe for a long time!! I’m going to try it tonight!!! Plus all the reviews seem to be promising!

  32. Used the receipt for a friendly gathering and it was a huge success . 
    Thank you 5 stars

  33. This is absolutely incredible!!! I added some crumbled goats cheese and pomegranate seeds on the top and it was the best shakshuka I’ve ever eaten. Highly recommend this recipe! 

    • Love how you added goat cheese and pomegranate seeds on top!

      • Added some cooked crumbled Chorizo, spinach, red pepper flakes and topped with feta. We had it for dinner with some fresh baked bread. Great recipe, easy to follow and delicious.5 stars

  34. I love your simple but delicious recipes. So flavorful.5 stars

  35. Excellent, thank you. Enjoyed by all. I had frozen onion, garlic and red pepper on hand, plus opening the canned toms, made this a very quick meal !!! I visited Israel for the first time last year and was forever hooked when I tasted shakshuka !5 stars

  36. I tried a few other “baked eggs in tomato sauce” recipes before finding out the correct name.  Your recipe looks great, and I can’t wait to try it!  Good tip about not using cast iron; I did and it ruined the season and my husband had to strip and reseason the pan. Whoops 😅 

  37. This is the best recipe!!5 stars

  38. Delicious brunch recipe and so easy to put together! The flavours were perfect! Wonderful on toast! Will save this recipe to my “Favourites” file.5 stars

  39. Love this recipe. Perfect balance of slight spiciness and great flavour. Delicious served with light creme fraîche and sour dough bread too. So easy to make. 5 stars

  40. Gluten free and meatless! What a treat! Love it! Please keep sharing…5 stars

  41. I made it with tomato paste and it worked fine! It was super delish and this was my first time making it. Although it might burn a little with the paste. 👍🏼🍅❤️😆4 stars

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