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This Shakshuka recipe is a popular and flavorful Middle Eastern dish that has become a favorite breakfast. The delicious yet simple combination consists of poached eggs in a savory tomato sauce spiced with a mix of aromatic spices and garlic.

This healthy and flavorful breakfast is one you are sure to love!

Shakshuka in a cast iron skillet set on a wooden board with pita and spices.

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern dish with eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. This dish it is believed to have originated in North Africa, specifically in Tunisia, and has since become a staple in many countries, particularly in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

The word “Shakshuka” comes from the Arabic word “shakshouka,” which means “mixture” or “to shake up.” It is believed that Shakshuka was originally a dish made by North African Berber tribes who would cook vegetables, spices, and meat in a large pot over an open fire. Later, as the dish spread throughout the Mediterranean, it evolved into the now-familiar version of eggs poached in a tomato-based sauce.

In Israel, Shakshuka has become a popular breakfast dish and is often served in cafés and restaurants. It is said to have been brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from North Africa and has become a part of the country’s culinary identity.

Shakshuka has gained popularity in the United States and other parts of the world, with many variations and adaptations of the original recipe.

Today, Shakshuka remains a beloved and versatile dish, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even as a light dinner option. With its rich history and bold flavors, it’s no wonder that Shakshuka has become a staple in many kitchens all around the world.

Ingredient Notes

  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality olive oil for the best results. You can also use other oils, such as avocado oil or vegetable oil, if preferred.
  • Onion: You can use any type of onion, such as white, yellow, or red onion.
  • Bell pepper: You can use any color of bell pepper, such as green, orange, or red bell pepper.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is recommended for optimal flavor. You can also use garlic powder as a substitute. One clove of garlic is roughly equivalent to ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder. However, remember that fresh garlic and garlic powder flavor is not exactly the same, so you may need to adjust the amount to your taste preference.
  • Paprika and Ground Cumin: Use high-quality and fresh spices for the best flavor. You can adjust the amount of spices to your taste preference. Smoked paprika will add a little smokiness.
  • Tomatoes: Use ripe and fresh tomatoes for the best results. You can also use canned tomatoes if fresh tomatoes are not available.
  • Tomato purée: This adds richness and depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper: Use sea salt for the best flavor. You can adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your taste preference.
  • Cilantro: This adds freshness and brightness to the dish. You can also use parsley or basil as a substitute.
  • Eggs: Use fresh and high-quality eggs for the best results.
  • Feta cheese: Use crumbled feta cheese for a tangy and salty flavor. You can also use other types of cheese, such as goat cheese or ricotta cheese.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional): This adds heat and spice to the dish. You can adjust the amount and have a mild or spicy tomato sauce to your taste preference.
A labeled image with ingredients needed to make Shakshuka is displayed on a marble table.

Variations and Substitutions

Want a little variety to “shake up” your Shakshuka? Here are some variations and modifications you can make to your Shakshuka recipe to make it your own:

  • Veggie Shakshuka: Add extra veggies such as spinach, kale, mushrooms, or roasted red peppers to your Shakshuka for a more nutritious and colorful dish.
  • Meat Lovers Shakshuka: Add cooked ground beef, lamb, or sausage to the tomato sauce for a heartier version of Shakshuka.
  • Mediterranean Shakshuka: Add olives, capers, and feta cheese to the tomato sauce for a tangy and salty twist on the classic recipe.
  • Mexican Shakshuka: Use chili powder, jalapenos, and black beans instead of the traditional spices for a spicy and flavorful Mexican-inspired Shakshuka.
  • Italian Shakshuka: Add fresh basil, oregano, and mozzarella cheese to the tomato sauce for an Italian twist on the classic recipe.
  • Vegan Shakshuka: Replace the eggs with tofu or chickpeas for a vegan version of the dish. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make it completely vegan.
  • Green Shakshuka: Use spinach or kale instead of tomato sauce for a green version of Shakshuka.

How To Make The Best Shakshuka Recipe

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and instructions!

This recipe is meant for one serving but is a rather good portion. You can easily adapt the recipe to serve more.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prep Veggies

Preheat the oven to 375℉.

Seed and dice pepper, chop onions, and mince garlic. Then peel and dice tomatoes and retain the juices.

Step 2: Heat Pan & Cook Onions

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a small cast iron skillet or an oven-safe non-stick pan (8-inch). Once it’s hot, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Collage image showing olive oil added to a hot cast iron skillet and then diced onions added in.

Step 3: Add in Veggies & Garlic

Add the chopped bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Continue by adding the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute until it is fragrant and the onion is translucent.

Collage image showing onions a yellow bell peppers cooking in a cast iron skillet and garlic added to the mixture.

Step 4: Make Shakshuka Sauce

Add the tomato paste and spices, and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring often.

Pour the tomatoes and juice into the pan.

Collage image showing tomato puree being added to a pepper and onion mixture then fresh diced tomatoes being added.

Break down the tomatoes using a large spoon.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring the sauce to a simmer (about 1 minute).

Collage image with cast iron pan cooking a tomato mixture and then spices being added in.

Step 5: Add Eggs and Feta and Bake

Use the back of a spoon to make two small holes or wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well.

Collage image with a cooked tomato sauce and then an egg being added into the sauce.
Collage image with cooked tomatoes shakshuka with one egg and the next with two eggs.

Place the skillet into the oven and bake the eggs for 8 minutes, then add some crumbled feta cheese on top and continue to cook for 3 or 5 minutes more, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

The egg whites will be cooked through, and you will have runny yolks. (If you want them well done, it will take a few more minutes.)

Step 6: Top and Enjoy

Remove from the oven and top with additional feta cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, or a drizzle of olive oil (or your favorite toppings). Fresh herbs or a dash of pepper sauce or hot sauce are also delicious toppings. Serve immediately.

Over easy eggs in a tomato sauce cooked in a cast iron skillet topped with feta, avocado and cilantro.
  • Easily Adjust Serving Size: If you want to make Shakshuka for a crowd, you can double the recipe and cook it in a large skillet or baking dish. You can adjust the serving size on the recipe card to adjust the recipes.
  • Stovetop Shakshuka: You can also finish cooking the eggs on the stovetop for a no-bake option. Return the heat to medium, cover, and cook for approximately 7 or 8 minutes, until eggs are cooked to your liking.
  • If your tomatoes don’t have much juice, add a bit more tomato purée.

Tips

Recipe FAQs

What kind of pan should I use to make Shakshuka?

A cast-iron skillet or a non-stick pan is ideal for making Shakshuka. The pan size should be large enough to accommodate the eggs and the sauce. This recipe uses an 8-inch pan cast iron skillet or non-stick pan. This size pan is perfect for making the dish for two people. I recommend a 10-inch pan for four servings and a 12-inch pan for six servings.

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes for Shakshuka?

Yes, you can use canned tomatoes. Diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes will work instead of fresh tomatoes. However, be sure to drain the canned tomatoes before using them in the recipe.

Is Shakshuka a spicy dish?

Shakshuka can be spicy, depending on the type and amount of spices or peppers used in the recipe. This recipe is very mild; if you prefer a spicier version, you can replace bell peppers with small hot chile (such as jalapeño, serrano, or Fresno). You can remove the stems, seeds, and ribs so that it isn’t overly spicy.

Can I add other vegetables to my Shakshuka?

You can add other vegetables, such as zucchini or spinach, to your Shakshuka. Just be sure to sauté them before adding the tomato sauce.

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

Can I make Shakshuka ahead of time?

Shakshuka is best served fresh, but you can make the tomato sauce ahead of time, cool it completely, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and poach the eggs.

Likewise, you could also prep the sauce ahead and freeze it. Cool it completely and place it in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.

Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, add to skillet, and bring to a simmer. Then proceed with the recipe.

Storage: Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for three days. The eggs may become a little watery the longer it sits.

Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing after eggs and toppings are added.

An up-close image of eggs in purgatory dish.

What to Serve with Shakshuka Eggs with Feta

  • Crusty bread or pita: Serve your Shakshuka with some crusty bread or pita bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
  • Rice or couscous: Serve your Shakshuka over a bed of rice or couscous for a heartier meal.
  • Salad: Serve a simple side salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes dressed with olive oil and lemon juice to balance out the richness of the dish.
  • Roasted vegetables: Roast some vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes in the oven and serve them on the side for added nutrition.
  • Hummus and falafel: If you want to make your meal more Middle Eastern-inspired, serve your Shakshuka with some hummus and falafel on the side.
  • Yogurt: Serve a dollop of plain yogurt on top of your Shakshuka for added creaminess and tanginess.
  • Fresh fruit: Serve some fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced melon, on the side for a refreshing and healthy addition.

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Shakshuka topped with feta, avocado, and cilantro on a wooden tray.
Recipe
5 from 5 votes

(click stars to rate)

Shakshuka Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Nikki Lee
Shakshuka, or poached eggs in tomato sauce, is a savory and hearty meal for breakfast or brunch. Simple to make, healthy, and filling.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ yellow bell pepper (you can use any color bell pepper), seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ¼ cup fresh chopped tomatoes with the juices
  • ¼ cup tomato puree
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, (or to taste)
  • black pepper , to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake, (optional)

Topping and Garnish

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons feta cheese, (or to taste)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • olive oil, drizzle (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  • Peel and dice your tomatoes until you have 2 cups of diced tomatoes.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a small cast iron skillet, stainless steel, or an oven-safe non-stick pan (8-inch). Once it's hot, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Continue by adding the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute until it is fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  • Add the tomato paste and spices, and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring often.
  • Pour the tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring the sauce to a simmer (about 1 minute).
  • Use the spoon to make two small holes or wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well.
  • Place the skillet into the oven and bake the eggs for 8 minutes, then add some crumbled feta cheese on top and continue to cook for 3 or 5 minutes more, until the eggs are cooked to your liking. The egg whites will be cooked through, and the yolks runny. (If you want them well done, it will take a few more minutes.)
  • Remove from the oven and top with additional feta cheese, cilantro, avocado, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 325kcal (16%) Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) Protein: 15g (30%) Fat: 24g (37%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0.04g Cholesterol: 372mg (124%) Sodium: 754mg (33%) Potassium: 589mg (17%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 1335IU (27%) Vitamin C: 65mg (79%) Calcium: 94mg (9%) Iron: 4mg (22%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I’ve never even heard of Shakshuka, but it definitely looks like something my family would love.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this shakshuka for breakfast this morning and oh my goodness was it delicious! Can’t wait to make it again soon

  3. Ahhhh! I love this dish! I’ve seen many different variations of this, but yours looks amazing – I wish I could dig right in! Lovely!