This classic, traditional shakshuka recipe is perfect for breakfast or any meal of the day. A combination of tomatoes, onions, spices and poached eggs.
I had shakshuka for the first time 10 years ago. At the time, I was living in Afghanistan (yes, Afghanistan!) as an advisor with the UN. As one does, right? Okay, not so much. But I do have a tendency to jump at crazy opportunities. And you may not believe me when I say this, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Working in Kabul was long hours and long days because as you can imagine, it’s not really a “let’s hang out at the local bar and grab a drink” kinda city. It’s a hardship duty station and due to security turmoil we were under lockdown a huge portion of the time.
But every three months we’d get two weeks of vacation and I took to exploring parts of the Middle East and Asia as I was smack dab in the middle of it. One trip I headed to Pakistan & India. On another I headed to Egypt – and convinced my mom to fly over and meet me in Cairo. My mom’s a great sport at going along with my crazy adventures.
With two weeks in Egypt we saw all the sights in Cairo such as the Great Pyramids, Sphynx and Egyptian Museum, popped down to Luxor (which was my favorite) and saw the Valley of the Kings, Luxor temple and Karnak temple. And then we went even further south to Aswan to see the temples of Abu Simbel and Philae and sail along the nile. It was an amazing trip and one I’ll never forget!
Shakshuka is a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish and one that’s eaten for breakfast or really, any meal of the day. It’s simple, flavorful, healthy and delicious. Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and the traditional version uses tomatoes and spices as the base with eggs poached on top. But once you’ve got it down, feel free to get creative. You can make a green shakshuka with brussels sprouts and spinach, add feta/goat cheese or really adapt it to your taste. The options are endless – which is what makes this dish such a national favorite (of so many countries!).
One final note – many photos online show shakshuka cooked in a cast iron pan. Tomatoes are acidic and can 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. It transfers easily from stovetop to oven for perfectly cooked shakshuka eggs.
Thanks to All Clad for sponsoring this post and sending me this gorgeous stainless steel pan from the new TK collection.
If you make this, I’d love to see! Tag your photo with #downshiftology on Instagram.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- 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 entire can of tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Add the salt and pepper, stir and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Crack the eggs and evenly space them on top of the tomatoes.
- Transfer the sauté pan to the oven and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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