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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.

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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. 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 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.

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:

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Did you make this recipe?

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is an Israeli 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.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Information

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 122.2
  • Total Fat: 5.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 186.5mg
  • Sodium: 348mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9.7g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugar: 5.5g
  • Protein: 8g
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see!

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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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45 comments on “Shakshuka”

  1. how can you make this a single-serving? 

    • You can divide the recipe by 3 to get smaller portions. Also, many people have meal prepped the sauce on its own and saved into individual portions. Then it’s simply a matter of adding a portion of the sauce to a pan and adding your eggs. :)

  2. Is I’m using fresh tomatoes, how many do I need?

  3. Amazing plate! My husband and I loved this new recipe! This one is going to our recipe book! 
    Thank you for sharing tasty dishes!

  4. Dear Lisa,
    My name is Priyanka Kanhare and I stay in India. I have been following your blog posts and website from quite sometime and love everything you cook or suggest as lifestyle changes. I have tried a lot of your recipes and loved the way they taste, especially the shakshuka. I make similar dish but without peppers. As I stay in India, we have a lot more spices which I try experimenting with in your recipes…..and they too turn out good. I also love your meal prep and home decor video. I too believe in minimalist style when it comes to home decor.
    Awaiting more food videos.
    Regards
    Priyanka Kanhare

  5. Loved this recipe!

    Rating: 4
  6. Shakshuka is very easy to make with this recipe and delicious. My parents loved it!

    Rating: 5
  7. One of my favourite alternatives to boring scrambled eggs! So delicious! :)

  8. This is one of my favorite dishes! It’s beautiful and so delicious. I was in Tel Aviv years ago and agree that the food scene is the best!

    Rating: 5
  9. Shakshuka is one of my favorites, it’s easy as you say but with such great flavors. Yours looks great.

    Rating: 5
  10. This was SO good. Thank you for the great instructions – can’t wait to make it again!

    Rating: 5
  11. Poached eggs are one of my favorites and now with this recipe, it really spices up my breakfast! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  12. This looks fantastic! I could eat this for any meal!

    Rating: 5
  13. Is this something you can eat later? How do you store it?

  14. This was my Sunday breakfast today, and it was fabulous! Great recipe!! And great photography as well. Well done!!

    Rating: 5
  15. I can’t wait to try this! I would like to use berbere spice because I love the flavor and the heat! I don’t want it to clash with some of the other spices, however. Do you think I should remove the cumin, or do you think adding berbere with everything else will work?

  16. Is it smoked paprika you‘re using here? Or just normal sweet paprika?

  17. Can’t wait to try this!! Also, is it just me or Lisa, did you leave out eggs on the ingredients list?

  18. I made this for dinner as soon as I saw it posted on YouTube. It’s absolutely delicious, super fast and easy. I added a little feta to the top, served with toasted baguette slices for scooping. Yummy!

    Rating: 5
  19. This looks delicious!! I can’t wait to try it! This might sound weird, but I’m not a fan of runny yokes – do you think this would still work if I whisked each egg first before adding them?

  20. Love this recipe and all the beautiful photos! I was just looking for more ways to feed my 1.5yr old son veggies :) I made this and added some zucchini. We both loved it! 

    Rating: 5
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  23. Wow this looks absolutely beautiful! And how cool it is that you lived in Afghanistan and worked for the UN! Such a great back story for this recipe :)

  24. This looks like such an awesome way to make breakfast exciting; I’m pinning this to make when we have holiday guests!