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)

4.95 from 158 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
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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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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425 comments on “Shakshuka”

  1. There are so many versions of this delicious dish. The first time I made it, I added chick peas in the beginning, in addition to the eggs and Macedonian feta at the end. The seasonings I used were rose harissa, cumin, fresh ground cardamom, 

    • There are definitely tons of ways to make this one – which you can also see the few variations I have of it on my website :)

  2. Repost: I posted earlier and mentioned I would love to make this except for the dairy…I meant eggs! Are there any alternatives to the eggs or is this a staple ingredient to this dish?

    • A traditional shakshuka dish has poached eggs on top. Otherwise, it would just be a tomato based sauce with some veggies.

    • Hi Janine

      A bit unconventional but for a vegan version as a replacement for the egg, I either use firm seasoned tofu slices, or dollops of hummus while cooking (sounds odd but it’s delicious!)  

      (Also for the author, just came across this post, great recipe!)

  3. Would LOVE to make this but need it to be dairy free……:(

  4. This is my first time making and eating this recipe. I absolutely loved it. The tutorial on your site was the easiest and best. Thank you. I will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  5. I made this the other evening after seeing it in the New York Times. I’m a vegetarian and farmer. I used 3 long type eggplants and 8 smallish tomatoes. Since I have I used Cajun seasoning. Thanks.5 stars

  6. Perfect. Easy simple.5 stars

  7. Great comfort food recipe! 5 stars

  8. I love eating this as a soup (thanks juicy tomatoes)! I just put the eggs on top of the sauce, turned out beautifully. Served it with some tabouli :) Yum!5 stars

  9. I didn’t make this recipe, but one very, very similar and it was delicious, as I know this one would be, however, I would suggest letting the tomato, onion, garlic and spice portion simmer on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the eggs, as a lot of people have commented about the sauce being a bit too watery. By letting it cook down slowly, it reduces the liquid and concentrates the flavors.

  10. Hi, is the tomatoes can 128 ounce or 3,628 grams? I notice the number not changed both US or metric.

  11. My first Shakshuka. I loved loved it! I used the fresh tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and fresh parsley. This will become a regular dish. Thanks for making it so simple with the video!!!5 stars

  12. I am looking for the single serve recipe. Also, would Tostitos think and chunky salsa work and just add the spices in and top with herbs?

  13. I wasn’t sure if I would like this or not as I am not a huge fan of tomato sauce dishes but it was very tasty.  Mine was a bit watery so I may drain some of the liquid from the can nests time but otherwise not a bad first try! Does it freeze well?  

  14. Love Shakshuka but think this recipe needs more intense tomato-a can of whole tomatoes is very watery. I would drain it. Also I add 2/tbsp tomato paste.  The dish as I have had it is a bit chunky. With enough liquid left to poach eggs.  More like a stew rather than soup. I first had it in Chicago maybe 30 years ago at a fabulous trendy place called Mama Desta’s Dead Sea Restaurant. Served in communal bowl with flat bread as cutlery. Divine. 4 stars

  15. I love this recipe5 stars

  16. Love this dish and Lisa’s video helped me see how easily Shakshuka can be put together!! 5 stars

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