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 160 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.
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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433 comments on “Shakshuka”

  1. Delish..I had roasted a red pepper earlier so used it rather than the fresh pepper, just stirred it in once the onions were cooked. Bit of toasted sourdough on the side…Yum!5 stars

  2. This looks amazing! What chili powder do you use? The North American tex-mex chili powder? Or something like a Kashmiri chili powder?

  3. This was delicious! The instructions are clear and straight forward, the recipe and ingredients are simple, and it always turns out amazing.5 stars

  4. The recipe looks very easy, but wanted to find out how I can do this ahead of time for a brunch party. Any recommendations?

    • You can make the tomato mixture first and store it in the fridge, then the day of, warm it back up in the pan and crack the eggs on top to cook it.

  5. Wow! Thank you for a straight forward, unadulterated recipe that was so easy to make using your descriptive words and photos. 
    I love shakshua but never made it from scratch; I usually just grab a prepared tomato sauce and plop eggs on top, which just doesn’t taste like shakshuka. 
    This was delicious and reminds of real shakshuka. I only put one egg in for one serving and put the rest in the fridge and heated it up one serving (one egg) at a time! Quick, easy, delicious, low cal, and healthy!5 stars

  6. I made it today! I feel like mine turned out pretty watery and it made it difficult to make the wells for the eggs. Would this be solved by simmering it longer?

  7. I did make it. This is a good recipe!  We enjoyed for breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday. Thank you for sharing. 5 stars

  8. Looks yummy!!!5 stars

  9. Made this this.
     and it was incredible!5 stars

  10. looks great going to make it now Cynthia

  11. Just made this with pilau rice and pakora.
    Delish!5 stars

  12. Just followed this recipe. The taste was delicious. I added a TBS of tomato paste to thicken it up. Sprinkled a drop of cayenne to spice things up as well as feta. I notice that the longer you let this tomato base simmer the better the taste. I simmered for about 25 minutes but the next time I make this I will try a little longer as well as adding yellow and orange bell peppers :)5 stars

  13. Looks wonderful and I am looking forward to trying this recipe.  I am looking for the single serving instructions for this recipe referenced in your video, but I don’t see them.  Can you please direct me?

    • Hi Sheila – for individual proportions, I suggest to make the tomato base first without the eggs and store it in the fridge. Then when you’re ready to eat, you can heat a portion of the base in a small pan and crack the egg on top for a single serving.

  14. Great recipe. Just to confirm it’s Palestine, not Israel 👍🏽

  15. Im Libyan and its been a typical breakfast for ages :)
    Btw, My grandma is old than Israel! 😂

  16. Delicious and hearty. Perfect for a cold morning!

    Didn’t have bell pepper and to finish I crumbled some feta on top and put in the broiler for a minute to brown the cheese a bit. Extra layer of flavor. 5 stars

  17. Made this for the first time last night and it was delicious! I added a little honey to counter the acidity from the tomatoes, which I usually do with any tomato based sauce. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Mine based did end up a little soupier than the pictures but it could be that I need to use a wider pan. Thank you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  18. My husband and I made the recipe for a dinner option. I know it is ideal as a brunch but the recipe looked so good, we prepared it for dinner
    It was tremendous, the flavours fantastic.
    We used leek and shallots instead of onion.

    Give it a try.

    Bon appétit.5 stars

  19. Amazing recipe – tastes just like the stuff I remember from Israel! I’ve been making it almost every other day for a couple weeks now. Thanks so much for putting this together!5 stars

  20. Does it make much of a difference if the tomatoes are diced?

    • That’s fine if they’re diced! The whole tomatoes just makes the entire mixture a bit more chunkier :)

    • This is exactly the question I was hoping someone asked! I have tons of diced tomatoes and been looking for something yummy to make with them.

  21. Made it this morning with my wife. She loved it. Thanks!5 stars

  22. Absolutely delicious! Great directions! My husband and I always make this when we have tomatoes and eggs and don’t know what to make. It never fails. 5 stars

  23. This was my first experience with Shakshuka. It was easy, delicious and my whole family loved it (even the guys!) 
    Thanks, Lisa! 5 stars

  24. Hi from Brazil! 
    I made this recipe it was delicious. 
    Thanks Lisa. 😘 5 stars

  25. Wow this was a delicious meal! I was needing a quick lunch today and happened to come across this recipe. Thank you so much for posting and happy holidays!5 stars

  26. I looove shakshuka; to me, it’s best served on top of couscous that absorbs all the sauce beautifully!5 stars

  27. Hi the recipe is amazing and I’m a middle eastern food snob.  Love the flavours of this dish and goes great with a side of chala to dip in the shakshuka.5 stars

  28. Thank you for the recipe! I enjoy shakshuka at a local restaurant but have always wanted to make it. I’ve made it with a jarred sauce which was not great, so definitely will try this version (maybe add some of the jarred sauce so I don’t feel guilty about wasting it 😄). 5 stars

  29. What can I use in place of a bell pepper. My daughter and I get stomach issues, me because I’ve gotten much older and her, can’t tolerate them anymore. I think that serving Basamati or Jasmine rice with it or perhaps under it. I’m just floating some ideas in my mind.

  30. I am from Algeria and I follow your blog and youtube channel.
    I made your Shakshuka recipe this weekend and it was bomb :)
    As good as my grand mother one
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with all of us and sorry for the negativity you are receiving from strange people.
    Keep doing what you do. You bring us joy as well as good food.5 stars

    • Thanks so much Nass for your kind words! I’m happy you love my recipe for shakshuka and it reminds you of your grandmother’s version. That’s a lovely compliment!

  31. Very good recipe. I added more spice than what was called for, and added cayanne, since I like my spice flavor strong. I also browned the onions, added a chili pepper and 1/2 cup chicken stock and simmered it down to get a richer flavor. I served it over Basmati rice. If you like a non spicy dish this is good without my additions.

    I would also like to point out that what was mentioned in the comments isn’t cultural appropriation. The author literally listed the areas where this is a staple. Just because it is an Arabic word, doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyed in other countries around the Mediterranean.5 stars

  32. Interesting to see the cultural appropriation that continues to take place, especially with Arabic food. The word shakshuka is Arabic. How can the dish be Israeli? People like you are unfortunately either deliberately ignorant or reining ignorance, supporting the spread of misinformation. 
    Also, I bet you haven’t for once, while enjoying the Tel Aviv beaches and wellness paid any attention to the horrific human rights violations against Palestinians just next door. Israel is not in a bubble and pretending it is doesn’t make it true. 

    • Hi Tamara – I say in the first sentence that shakshuka is enjoyed in many parts of the world, including Israel, the Middle East, and North Africa. I just happened to recently enjoy it in Israel, which is the story I was sharing. As for paying attention to human right violations, I’m a former advisor to the United Nations, lived in Afghanistan for a year, and spent much time in the middle East (including Jordan and Palestine), putting my life at risk every day to help others. So I’d say that I’m not only far more educated than most on human rights violations, but my actions speak louder than my words. Perhaps instead of pontificating from your keyboard, you should donate your time and energy to important causes that are far more impactful than spreading negativity on a food blog.

      • You go, girl, you put your self into the action & that makes you an awesome human being! A hero, you are, compared to those cowards who hide behind their keyboards, spewing ugliness & disunity. Wish there were more like you, Lisa, sweet, kind & sharing!5 stars

      • Thanks so much for your kind words :)

  33. This was incredibly easy, undeniably delicious, & was a HIT with “The Breakfast Crowd” (my family)! 10/10, will make over & over. The addition of Feta sends ME over the top w/this dish, as I absolutely LOVE Feta Cheese. Some nice, fresh & warm PITA loaves, towel wrapped in a basket, completed this surprisingly delightful departure from our typical morning fare.

    I will, however, have to take issue with your cautioning against using cast iron for this dish. Yes, it IS possible to have a tomato-based dish come away with a slight metallic taste, but only if your cast iron is subjected to temperatures too high for/improper preparation of. . . anything.

    With the proper seasoning, seasoning maintenance, cooking temps/techniques & timing, I & my family have enjoyed the advantages of cast iron cooking for decades.5 stars

  34. Thank you Lisa,

    I always ❤️this dish when I have it in restaurants, but this is the first time making it at home.

    Your recipe was easy, traditional, and came out great!

    Since I was making this for one, I used one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with no added salt, 2 eggs, and also added fresh spinach when sautéing my veggies.

    Other than that I followed your fantastic recipe.

    Thanks again.

    Paolo
    Saint Petersburg, Florida 5 stars

  35. This was amazingly delicious.  Added a pinch of sugar to the sauce, and feta to the finished dish.  Next time I think I’ll simmer the sauce a little longer to thicken it up a bit.5 stars

  36. Just delicious! I added 1tps of ras el hanout spice mix at the end, and it became even more delicious. My all time favorite breakfast for sure.5 stars

  37. Delicious and simple to make, thank you, always choose this if on the menu for breakfast in London Cafes, great to be now making it myself. Sure I tasted a touch of cinnamon once, is that traditionaL?5 stars

  38. Delicious!
    I didn’t have parsley or cilantro on hand. I chopped fresh mint from my garden. I don’t know what type of mint it is. One of my friends gave me 3 different types of mint used in Vietnamese salads. It was perfect!!5 stars

  39. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! In the video you mention a recipe for a single person in your blog, which I can’t find. Pls help :-)

    • Hi Rob! For a single serving, I’d recommend to make the veggie layer without the eggs. Then section of a 3/4 portion and crack an egg just on that. Then place the rest in a freezer safe container to store away. Once you’re ready to eat again, give your veggies a quick saute in the cast iron. Then crack the eggs on top again :)

  40. The best Shakshuka ever is in Jaffa at Mr. Shakshuka not in Tel Aviv 😁

  41. This sounds delicious! I am wondering how well it lasts for left overs? Is it better to eat it all the day you make it or is it still good the next day?

    • This will last for a few days in the fridge :) You can also leave the eggs out and crack a new one the day you eat it if you want the eggs to be fresh.

  42. Delicious! I didn’t have onions but had red and yellow bell peppers and found it delicious. I will add more cumin next time (because yum, cumin). I do wish you had specified an amount of salt & pepper, to at least start from.

    Anyway, thanks for this tasty recipe. My niece made it later today and put it over rice and said it was also delicious that way.5 stars

  43. This is a great dish, no matter if you’re in Israel or Palestine or Egypt. Love how food can bring people together.

    You did a fantastic job with this recipe. I use different peppers, and add zucchini and shrooms.

    Thank you!5 stars

  44. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for sharing this superb recipe.. i tried adding a can of baked beans in tomato sauce to the onion n tomato mix before adding the eggs and it tasted amazing.. l really simple and delicious recipe. Keep ’em coming.

  45. Great Palestinian dish!

    • The word Shakshouka is from the Arabic language and the dish and its variants were being made and eaten in the wider Arab world, Africa and other areas in the neighborhood from ages ago. The name has not undergone any change – it remains the same. In the Indian sub-continent the Khageena, or Bhurji, may be considered shakshouka without the sauce, but I suspect it came into being on its own as it is more of scrambled eggs with spices and herbs and, of course, the quintessential onion that makes its way into most South Asian recipes.

  46. Terrific, I loved the dish, but also the clear, concise instructions. You made it sound delicious!  Thanks, I’ll definitely watch again!5 stars

  47. Is it really considered a vegetarian dish when it has eggs in it?

    • Many vegetarians do eat eggs and dairy, just not meat. But it’s up to you.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for sharing this superb recipe.. i tried adding a can of baked beans in tomato sauce to the onion n tomato mix before adding the eggs and it tasted amazing.. l really simple and delicious recipe. Keep ’em coming.5 stars

    • Vegetarians eat eggs, dairy, cheese, etc. Anything that is not a meat item. Vegans abstain from all animal products. But as Lisa said,, whatever works for you!

  48. Hi, I have to ask–when you say chili powder–do you mean ground up, singular dried red New Mexican chilis that can also be a chili paste or do you mean the red pepper, cumin, garlic, onion blend from a bottle?

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