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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.


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)

4.96 from 312 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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!



  • 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


  • 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.


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #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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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. It is taking a lot longer than 7 minutes for the eggs to cook. Any ideas why? Should they be room temp before adding? What heat should I use for cooking the eggs?
    Other than that it looks delicious. Just waiting on eggs to cook

  2. I made this tonight for the second time and it was once again, absolutely delicious. I added cheese this time. This will definitely be a regular dish in our house, my husband loves it too. I love that you can add different things or switch up the veggies. Thank you for posting this recipe.5 stars

  3. I really love this ShakShuka recipe, but I have a slight variation. I adding “sliced olives” to your recipe. Just get a small can and the olive and olive juice all go in together right after the onions are done but about a minute before the diced tomatoes go it.5 stars

  4. I have made shakshuka on several occasions and love it. Easy and delicious. I have considered making individual dishes since some of the family are not as enthusiastic about it and I prefer to have a fresh egg instead of leftovers. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  5. My first time making Shakshuka. It was a really tasty way of eating eggs! I just noticed that whenever I use canned crushed tomatoes in a dish, there is always a slightly sour taste to the dish. I added a bit of sugar but it still lingered.4 stars

  6. I took full advantage of the spice trade. Starting in Africa, to the Middle East and then into Southern Europe with this recipe. Your recipe is far better than any I have tried in the past!!! Especially for beginners. I wish you the best.5 stars

  7. Great recipe! Shakshuka originated from Tunisia, which I am proud to say is where I am from. Tunisian Jews then brought it to Israel. My grandmother made the best shakshuka. Traditionally we eat it with baguette bread which is the staple bread in Tunisia, the recipe of which was inherited from the French, who colonized Tunisia in the late 1800s. Pita bread is eaten in the Middle East; not in Tunisia.5 stars

  8. Fantastic flavour!
    I added cooked sausage meat and extra dried chilli flakes.
    It was wonderfully spicy and packed with flavour.
    I used bloomer bread to dip and it was wonderful5 stars

  9. Made this for breakfast this morning and it was wonderful and very filling. Hubby was sick so didn’t eat his half so i had his for dinner and it was even better. (i thought the egg would be all weird re warmed up but it was fine. used burrata cheese and hs this with some bread. definitely a repeat dish. thank you!5 stars

      1. I love these recipes I visited Israel once for 10 days then 7 to Jordan.wish I had know more about the food thank you5 stars

  10. My son sent me this recipe to try. I had to make some modifications though. I didn’t have canned tomatoes so I used fresh from the garden diced finely and added some tomato paste to thicken it up. I didn’t have cilantro, so I doubled the parsley. I didn’t add cumin (The one spice I do not like!). It turned out wonderful. Thank you for the recipe (even though I butchered yours!)

  11. I LOVE THIS RECIPE. I’ve made it twice and I’m dialing it in to my liking. I like spice so I generally double the chili and paprika and add cayenne. I added crushed ground chili pepper too. It’s delicious.5 stars

    1. Thanks Jared! I’m happy you loved the recipe. And definitely feel free to tweak those spices to your liking.

  12. This is so good! Great recipe thank you! I made it once with no cheese and today I’m making it with feta. Thank you!5 stars

  13. Hi, looks great and tasty. I cannot eat cilantro – what would be a good alternative please? perhaps parsley? Thanks

  14. I have a bunch of tomato sauce I need to use up but it’s just the pureed tomatoes. Can I use that instead or would it greatly adjust the flavor?

    1. Yes, you can swap that in. The flavor will be a bit different, but it’s still a good way to use up that tomato sauce. :)

  15. Love this recipe! I’m Italian, and our version uses spinach, basil, oregano & garlic. Same recipe as yours. We call it “Eggs in Purgatory!”5 stars

  16. BTW choosing metric does not convert recipe quantities to metric.
    Otherwise Love it! Making it for the family for fathers day in Australia this weekend.
    Thank you.5 stars

  17. Made this recipe last night! It’s a winner and definitely going onto my “repeat list.” A few changes I made and/or will make next time: I added several handfuls of baby spinach and baby kale that I needed to use up. Next time I think I’ll serve it over a bed of rice. My husband also suggested serving it over potatoes. We just wanted a base for all of that juicy goodness to go. I think I may add sautéed mushrooms next time as well. I served it with a side of homemade pitas and your Roasted Red Hummus. It was a lovely combination. Thanks for another fantastic recipe, Lisa!5 stars

    1. There are so many delicious ways to serve this! But homemade pita and hummus sounds like a perfect combination.

      1. I tried this recipe over the weekend for family of 10. I added sliced cheese pork sausage in the tomato. Highly recommend!

  18. I tried this meal at a cafe while travelling and loved it. Searching the web for the recipe and I tried this version and it was spot on. I also added avocado to the meal as well and the avocado bought out the flavours. Eggs were perfect. The only things I would add if I have any toasted bread crumbs to sprinkle on top as a garnish. Am not a coriander fan. Thankyou for the recipe and will be making again. Hoping to be able to freeze the base for future use.5 stars

  19. Dear Lisa – if you were to use fresh tomatoes, how many would you use in this recipe to substitute the 28 oz can?

    Sincerely Heidi

    Ps can’t rate the recipe cuz I haven’t cooked it yet

  20. Looking over the nutrition info I notice 1g of trans fats. I am puzzled as to where it comes from. There are no trans fats in eggs, or olive oil, and certainly none in the remaining ingredients.

  21. I never comment on this but I had to add my 2 cents. First of all this is delicious and I have been making your recipe since 2021 but I do change it up. I have found that serving it over a hashbrown, or a tator tot waffle elevates the dish. I also sometimes fry the eggs separtely, depending on my guests prefferences. I even served this to my vegn daughter and scrambled up some Just Eggs. I have an abundance of fresh tomatoes from my garden and will be making this tomorrow. Thank you for such a versitle dish.5 stars

  22. I’ve made this recipe several times and it is always a crowd pleaser! I would love to cook this for an upcoming cabin trip, but won’t really know the pan situation until I get this. To play it safe, do you have any recommendations for cooking the eggs in the oven (if I make the sauce ahead of time)? Thanks! 5 stars

  23. This was so tasty! I went a little off from the recipe because we were low on ingredients and shakshuka is a great clean out the fridge meal! So, even with using marinara instead of crushed tomatoes, basil instead of cilantro and adding breakfast sausage, it was freaking delish!5 stars

  24. I had issues getting the eggs to cook. Maybe the simmer setting on my range is too low? When I moved it to low, it just seemed to cook the tomato sauce. Instead of 5-8 min, we are on 25min without cooked eggs 😳

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s absolutely delicious! My family loves it. Going to cook it again for dinner tonight!5 stars

  26. Saw this dish on YouTube and decided to try it. Absolutely love this dish. Healthy easy breakfast and I can store the leftover portion and simply add an egg.5 stars

  27. Lovely and simple. Definitely owrth keeping on rotation. I added halloumi. Will try avocado next time.
    fwiw it’s okay to use a cast iron pan. It will not add metallic flavor. But it does interact with the pan in a beneficial way — it’s how ancient times folks got iron into their diets.

  28. I am trying to squeeze more vegetables into my diet. This is an excellent recipe to use as a cooking, timing and seasoning guide. Reading the comments for the variations used by other readers is also helpful. Here’s my contribution – when it’s a long weekend, the stores are closed, and one discovers there are NO canned tomatoes in the pantry – jarred salsa makes an excellent substitute. You will, however, want to moderate the spices called for in the recipe.5 stars

  29. Hello! I’m wondering exactly how much salt you’d recommend, since I’m a pretty novice cook and I don’t think I’d be able to tell the amount I need right off the bat. Also, how long do you think this will keep in the fridge? Thanks! 

    1. I’d say about 1/4 teaspoon to start off with, then add more from there if you feel like it needs more salt!

  30. Just a note about cooking/serving in a cast iron pan–it’s actually recommended to occasionally cook acidic foods such as tomatoes in cast iron, because it releases iron into the food that the body is able to absorb and utilize more easily than taking iron supplements in tab form! I have been borderline anemic a few time in my life and my physicians/NPs have all recommended this. They also sell little fish-shaped iron you can drop into your soups while they cook to achieve this, in case you don’t own cast iron cookware. In my experience, my cast iron pans do not release a metallic taste to my food at all, and I haven’t noticed any damage to them, and my most-used pan is a 100 year old heirloom. Cooking tomatoes in aluminum, on the other hand, should definitely be avoided, because I have seen visible damage to aluminum pans from acidic food, and ingested aluminum is not very good for the bod, having been linked to Alzheimers!

    I tried this recipe this morning and it was awesome! thank you for sharing.5 stars

    1. This is from the Alzheimer’s organization: “much research has been done on the relationship of aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. As yet no study or group of studies has been able to confirm that aluminum is involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

      Please do not continue spreading the false notion that using aluminum pans can have a deleterious effect on our health!