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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.

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 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.
4.93 from 65 votes

Shakshuka Recipe (Easy & Traditional)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
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. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!

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

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: 122.2kcal, Carbohydrates: 9.7g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5.4g, Saturated Fat: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 186.5mg, Sodium: 348mg, Fiber: 1.9g, Sugar: 5.5g
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.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

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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187 comments on “Shakshuka”

  1. How do you use fresh tomatoes in this dish?

    • You can use fresh tomatoes, no problem. I do recommend blanching them in boiling water for a minute, then ice water, and removing their skins first. Just for a smoother shakshuka.

  2. My family’s new favorite dish. Excellent. Thank you. 
    I omit the cumin and add more chili powder – love this recipe. 

  3. Love this dish! I made it one time. I am curious though, what is the proper way to reheat the leftovers as to not overcook the egg and make them rubbery? Are you able to give a stove and a microwave example for reheating?

    • Hi Kendra – I’m happy you love the recipe! For leftovers, you can reheat on the stove on medium heat until they’re warmed through (just a couple of minutes). And in the microwave they probably only need 30-40 seconds (though every microwave is different). Hope that helps!

  4. Easy and delish

  5. Really enjoyed this richly spiced healthy dish!

  6. This is a fantastic and super easy recipe, thank you Lisa!

  7. My absolute favorite dish and another AMAZING  recreation taking me back my trip to Israel every time I make it….and I make it often 😉 Comes out perfect every time! Thanks again, Lisa!!! 🙌🏻

  8. I love this recipe! Simple with few ingredients and so much flavor. It’s one of our rotations. We actually enjoy it for dinner. 

  9. Have been avoiding this because I assumed it would be way too much work for breakfast but made this morning and cannot believe how easy it was. Such an amazing development of flavour for such a quick cook time. I cut the recipe in half but still used a large pan so my eggs were too close to the bottom and cooked too quickly, will be mindful of that next time to use a smaller pan or shorter cook time.

    • Hi Alex- This is definitely such an easy recipe to whip up. Ah yes, if you cut the recipe in half, you’ll have to swap for a bit smaller pan :)

  10. I love this recipe, it’s so simple and delicious. I just have one issue with it… My eggs take a long time to cook all the way through. This is the second time I made this dish and our eggs have to be cooked for almost 14 minutes before the top most layer whitens through.

    Any tips on what we’re doing wrong? We would love to have nice soft yolks!

    • Hi Grace- Did you make sure to cover the pan with the lid? Sometimes it can vary also depending how yolky you would like your eggs! The ones I have in the photo are still pretty soft and juicy.

    • This used to be my favorite brunch dish to order at a restaurant. (pre-COVID when that was a thing..) Seeing it served on a hot iron skillet I used to think it would be too complex to make at home, but thanks to your recipe I was mistaken! I tried it for the first time and it turned out amazing!

      I did have the same issue however with the egg whites around the yolks staying translucent/uncooked 8 minutes in. (I was 3 minutes late to cover the lid though) I like my yolks very runny so did not want to risk overcooking them. I cheated by stirring the uncooked egg whites around the yolks a bit at the end to make sure they are fully cooked. Next time I will cover the lid from the start and see how it goes.

  11. This was the easiest and most delicious recipe! I’ve never tried anything like this before and it made me feel like I have traveled to somewhere. 

    • Hi Mai -Thrilled to hear this was your first time trying a shakshuka! Now you can just imagine flying to places like Israel with every bite :)

    • I’m really still learning how to cook and I didn’t really have all the ingredients but I’m making it right know and it looks good but I don’t know if it tastes good.Thank you so much for your guide!

  12. Ive been wanting to make this for so long and today was finally the day! The only change I made was adding some kale ( because veggies are WAY lacking in our diet!)  and added some avocado on top. We also made fresh tortillas for the first time today and served them together. It was so fantastic. Thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Jen- This is such a great recipe to always add in more veggies! I’m glad you enjoyed this dish.

  13. Have always wanted to try making this but I am wildly allergic to bell peppers so I have avoided it. Today I thought why not just use zucchini instead? So I did! And it was absolutely delicious! Will make it again, for sure. 

    • Hi Christine- Congrats on making your first shakshuka! And yes, you can always substitute the veggies in this recipe for something else :)

  14. I’m 23 and I’m not that great in the kitchen but this turned out fantastic. Thanks for making this recipe available :)
    Also very easy clean up which I appreciated.

  15. Great video. I’m making this tomorrow. Is your knife a little dull or is it my perception? It looked like you very struggling with the onion a bit.

    Again, thanks for a great recipe and ignore all these geopolitical comments.

  16. I added a bit of cayenne pepper. Delish!

  17. Had no paprika, but added a spoonful harissa paste and no extra chilli, worked a treat. Thank you.

  18. Delicious!  Easy… actually made it with our garden grown tomatoes in a spaghetti sauce.  Perfect!  Thank you…  

  19. Delicious I added Spinach to the dish, love the recipe and so did my husband.  

    • Hi Janique – Wonderful! This is a great recipe to add in tons of different vegetables, especially leafy greens :)

  20. Hey! Thanks for the yummy recipe but this is not an Israeli traditional dish. Since you had it first in Egypt means its an Arabic dish. 
    Please check your facts before totally disregarding culture 

    • Hi Dina – as I mention in the post, shakshuka (and variations of it) are enjoyed by many cultures in North Africa and the Middle East. I’m simply sharing a story of one time I enjoyed it while on a trip to Israel. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  21. Hey, how can I make this work for only one person??

    • Hi Teresa – You can cook this in a smaller pan if you’d like and just reduce the amount of ingredients. Or you can make as is, and store the rest in the fridge :)

  22. Really tasty and super easy! It’s great with avocado and a crusty sourdough or baguette.

    I subbed celery for the peppers, because the hubby hates peppers, and it was really good.

    I threw in some zahtar and a little dill too, and it came out great. I’ll definitely make it more often!

    • Hi David – I’m loving the small substitutions and additions you made! Sounds delicious, and I’m glad both you and the hubby enjoyed this shakshuka recipe :)

  23. Easy and excellent breakfast. Good recipe. Thanks

  24. Super easy and very tasty. Made it for my Easter dinner. Everyone loved it. Leftovers next day held well. Will make again. Changes to recipe: used Swiss chard instead of bell pepper and added coriander seed!

  25. Thanks for this easy,  tasty and healthy recipe!  Made it for Easter brunch. Just used green in place of red bell pepper, spinach, shredded cheddar and dried dill to top since my quarantined fridge is  out of many veggies. My family thoroughly enjoyed it, may make this again soon. Thanks again, and Happy Easter!
    Mary Anne

    • Hi Mary – This is definitely such a great recipe thats customizable for Easter brunch :) Glad everyone enjoyed this shakshuka!

  26. A very delicious recipe. It’s warm and easy to make, I added some extra veggies and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe 😊

  27. Really easy recipe.
    I added toasted pine nuts and feta cheese at the end. Also sliced avocado for the plate and a warm tortilla. Absolutely delicious!
    Thank you.

  28. This looks amazing!! Does it store well if I cook this portion? It’s just me, and I know I won’t eat it all at once (hopefully), but I’m wondering if it’s a good meal prep breakfast. Thanks!!

    • Hi Darlina -Yes! You can store this in the fridge for up to a few days :) I would maybe just leave out the eggs until the day of so it’s more fresh. And when you’re ready to eat, cook it in the pan again with the egg.

  29. I tried a mini express version of this recipe since I was alone to eat it, and it was so delicious! :) Thank you!

  30. This is incredible!! I made it today for lunch and served it with some toasted spring onion sourdough smeared with butter. I only had a 410g can of tomatoes so I used that and only half a red capsicum and 4 eggs not 6 (covid iso life) but it still worked perfectly! Hubby was super impressed too and we’ll be adding this one into rotation for sure. Thanks for a tasty recipe! Cafe quality eating at home for sure!

    • Hi Renee- I’m so glad both you and your hubby enjoyed this recipe! I love the idea of spreading this onto a piece of toast as well :)

  31. One of my absolute favourite recipes. We all love it.

  32. Made this tonight with hot, smoked paprika – soooooo good! We will definitely add this to our regular rotation. Perfect recipe.

  33. Delicious. You should give more credit to the Palestinian culture rather than make it seem like Israelis came up with all this on their own.

    • Hi Jay – as I mention in the first sentence, it’s a recipe that’s enjoyed by many cultures in North Africa and the Middle East and I first enjoyed it while traveling Egypt. :)

  34. Easy to follow. I appreciated the cultural context provided by Lisa.
    I enjoyed this dish in several locations during a trip to Morroco. Each had a slightly different taste with the one served in our tent camp in the desert having the best flavor and the one in a big hotel having the least interesting flavor. It may have been the spice combination that made the difference.

    • Hi Melody- This dish can sometimes vary a bit in different regions, depending on spices being used! But, I’m glad you found this recipe easy to follow!

    • We have made this recipe over and over again. An absolute favorite thanks to this amazing recipe. I love the addition of fresh herbs to the shakshuka.

      • Hi Mallory- For me, the more herbs the better! But, I’m happy you’ve continued to enjoy this recipe :)

  35. I make shakshuka often. This recipe is the basic one, but with a slight difference or two: (1) I use smoked paprika for everything, this included, and (2) I add 1-2 chopped jalapeños or serranos (whichever I have at the time), seeded only if you don’t want that extra heat.

    Also, I agree with your serving-size tip, except MY serving is always 2 eggs. Just make the large batch of sauce, then spoon enough of it (hot) into a baking dish small enough for just that Goldilocks portion that’s right for you! I like it with a toasty baguette or ciabatta, although focaccia would be nice, too. Heck, anything that can sop up the awesome gravy works!

    This is that rarest of dishes for me: I have no desire to add any meat at all, not even bacon! As I’m a carnivorous omnivore, that makes shakshuka a rare jewel. It’s also supremely easy to make. If you have children old enough to possess knife skills and able to crack eggs without piercing the yolk, they can make it, too. (Just think how great it would work in a college dorm with a burner and the right size pan — Come to think of it, a ”shakshuka kit” would be a thoughtful and creative gift for any college-bound kiddo!)

  36. Excellent! We used some already roasted bell peppers, with chopped parsnips and cherry tomatoes from the night before, but everything else was as specified. Really tasty and easy. 

  37. Hi we make this for Indian breakfast too,  but we add chopped  green chilli too.  It’s an go to meal for low times.  

  38. The first time I had shakshuka was at French Roast, a little UWS eatery in NYC. It was amazing and every time I visit the city, I have that exact breakfast there almost every day; they serve it with a piping hot mini-loaf of french bread.

    Thank you for this recipe – I cannot wait to try it for Sunday breakfast tomorrow!

    • Hi Melody – Glad to hear I can bring back one of your favorite meals in New York City :) Can’t wait for you to make this today!

  39. Is there a reason you use whole tomatoes vs. diced since you are breaking them up anyway? Just curious.

  40. This sounds delicious. If I want to make with fresh tomatoes, how many do I use? Do I cut the tomatoes before adding to pan or just use the whole tomatoes? Also, what size of sauté pan should I use?

  41. I am not a big fan of bell peppers and was wondering if maybe there was another substitute that would work in here. Was thinking maybe eggplant or zucchini?  Or would they be too soft?
    Have been wanting to try this for a long time and thanks for making it look easy enough for me to try. 

    • Hi Deb – No worries! You can substitute with either vegetable – both eggplant or zucchini would be a great choice. Can’t wait for you to try this recipe :)

  42. Going to try this out the weekend!! Just wondering what would be better to use? Fresh tomatoes or canned ?

  43. Hi, Lisa. This looks fabulous and I will make it soon, but where is the singleserving recipe? In the video, you mentioned that you would post an adaptation of this for a single serving. Can you direct me to it on your site? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Natalie – you can easily halve or quarter the ingredients for a single serving. You could also make a full batch of the sauce and then save it into individual portions, stored in the fridge or freezer for future use. :)

    • I can’t wait to try it!!! Right now I’m preparing the falafel flatbread. I’m excited on how it will come up! 
      Thank you for all your great recipes. 

  44. Delicious and easy to make quickly with regular items, no
    Special ingredients.
    Side note: the second time I made this I used “DiNapoli” canned whole tomatoes, which according to the label is a California brand,  and they tasted extremely sweet (although they have no added sugar). I would not use that brand again! 

  45. Made two batches of the shakshouka for 8 guys and it slapped. Incredible dish, suuuuuuuuper easy. Gonna make this every weekend.

    • Hi Joey – That’s amazing! I’m so glad to hear all of you guys loved this recipe :) You’ll have to try my green shakshuka next!