Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka (also spelled shakshouka) is a dish that originated in North Africa and is enjoyed throughout the region as well as many other parts of the world. The word means "a mixture" in Arabic, but the simple one-pot meal is so much more. Shakshuka consists of eggs gently poached in a spiced tomato and pepper sauce and is equally delicious served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus, it's ready in just over 30 minutes.

This shakshuka recipe calls for a large can of whole peeled tomatoes since they are available year-round and cook down the evenly to form a sauce. You can swap them for diced tomatoes if desired—the mixture will be a bit chunkier and thinner. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own, including adding some spice in the form of harissa or Calabrian chile paste, chile flakes, or cayenne pepper.

For a little added creamy saltiness, sprinkle with feta before serving. Fresh parsley or cilantro (or a mix of both) add a pop of green. No matter how you top it, serve shakshuka with a side of fresh bread or pita for scooping up all of the sauce.

“Shakshuka is one of my go-to recipes because it’s super simple to make and packs such a flavorful punch. It’s filling, deeply satisfying, and can be easily customized to your preferred spice tolerance. Whereas some recipes call for sliced bell pepper and onion, I like that this recipe utilizes diced, which cuts down cooking time.” —Kayla Hoang

Shakshuka Recipe/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste, optional

  • 2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, or a combination of both

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Shakshuka ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place a medium Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the onion. Sauté until beginning to turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Onions cooking in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the bell pepper and sauté until beginning to turn soft, about 2 minutes.

    Onions and pepper in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the garlic, harissa, if using, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Onions and pepper with garlic, harissa, if using, paprika, cumin, and coriander in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them to the pan. Stir well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Tomatoes and their juice added to the spice mixture in the pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Bring to a lively simmer, then reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the tomatoes have broken down a bit, about 15 minutes.

    Tomato sauce cooking in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Make 6 evenly spaced indentions in the mixture just big enough to nestle the eggs.

    Space created in the tomato sauce in the pot, with a wooden spoon, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Crack an egg into each indentation.

    Eggs in the tomato sauce in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Cover the pan and cook until the egg whites are set and the yolks reach your desired doneness. This will take between 5 minutes and 15 minutes, depending on your pan size, stove, and how you like your eggs.

    Eggs cooking in the tomato sauce in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the top with feta cheese, if using, then top with fresh parsley and/or cilantro. Serve.

    Shakshuka in a pot, served with a side of toasted bread

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.

Tips

  • If you’re not extremely confident in your egg cracking abilities, Gently crack each egg into a small bowl before adding it to the tomato sauce. That way you can fish out any pieces of shell and save any eggs with burst yolks for another cooking project.
  • To avoid over-cooking your eggs, keep a close eye on them. The cook time can vary widely so check them often to make sure they are done to your liking.
  • Since the tomato sauce is acidic, we don’t recommend cooking this dish in a cast-iron pan unless it is extremely well seasoned. Acidic ingredients can break down the finish on the pan, giving the sauce a metallic taste. Enameled cast-iron, stainless steel, non-stick, and other types of pans work well.

Recipe Variations

  • Harissa is a North African pepper paste that adds delicious flavor and a kick of heat to this recipe. Instead, you can add an equal amount of Calabrian chile paste or swap for red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste.
  • One popular variation is green shakshuka, which is made using spinach. Chorizo shakshuka is a south of the border spin on the dish.

Make Ahead

You can simmer the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat it on the stove before adding the eggs.

Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka (also spelled shakshouka) is a dish that originated in North Africa and is enjoyed throughout the region as well as many other parts of the world. The word means "a mixture" in Arabic, but the simple one-pot meal is so much more. Shakshuka consists of eggs gently poached in a spiced tomato and pepper sauce and is equally delicious served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus, it's ready in just over 30 minutes.

This shakshuka recipe calls for a large can of whole peeled tomatoes since they are available year-round and cook down the evenly to form a sauce. You can swap them for diced tomatoes if desired—the mixture will be a bit chunkier and thinner. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own, including adding some spice in the form of harissa or Calabrian chile paste, chile flakes, or cayenne pepper.

For a little added creamy saltiness, sprinkle with feta before serving. Fresh parsley or cilantro (or a mix of both) add a pop of green. No matter how you top it, serve shakshuka with a side of fresh bread or pita for scooping up all of the sauce.

“Shakshuka is one of my go-to recipes because it’s super simple to make and packs such a flavorful punch. It’s filling, deeply satisfying, and can be easily customized to your preferred spice tolerance. Whereas some recipes call for sliced bell pepper and onion, I like that this recipe utilizes diced, which cuts down cooking time.” —Kayla Hoang

Shakshuka Recipe/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste, optional

  • 2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, or a combination of both

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Shakshuka ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place a medium Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the onion. Sauté until beginning to turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Onions cooking in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the bell pepper and sauté until beginning to turn soft, about 2 minutes.

    Onions and pepper in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the garlic, harissa, if using, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Onions and pepper with garlic, harissa, if using, paprika, cumin, and coriander in a pot on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them to the pan. Stir well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Tomatoes and their juice added to the spice mixture in the pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Bring to a lively simmer, then reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the tomatoes have broken down a bit, about 15 minutes.

    Tomato sauce cooking in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Make 6 evenly spaced indentions in the mixture just big enough to nestle the eggs.

    Space created in the tomato sauce in the pot, with a wooden spoon, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Crack an egg into each indentation.

    Eggs in the tomato sauce in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Cover the pan and cook until the egg whites are set and the yolks reach your desired doneness. This will take between 5 minutes and 15 minutes, depending on your pan size, stove, and how you like your eggs.

    Eggs cooking in the tomato sauce in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the top with feta cheese, if using, then top with fresh parsley and/or cilantro. Serve.

    Shakshuka in a pot, served with a side of toasted bread

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.

Tips

  • If you’re not extremely confident in your egg cracking abilities, Gently crack each egg into a small bowl before adding it to the tomato sauce. That way you can fish out any pieces of shell and save any eggs with burst yolks for another cooking project.
  • To avoid over-cooking your eggs, keep a close eye on them. The cook time can vary widely so check them often to make sure they are done to your liking.
  • Since the tomato sauce is acidic, we don’t recommend cooking this dish in a cast-iron pan unless it is extremely well seasoned. Acidic ingredients can break down the finish on the pan, giving the sauce a metallic taste. Enameled cast-iron, stainless steel, non-stick, and other types of pans work well.

Recipe Variations

  • Harissa is a North African pepper paste that adds delicious flavor and a kick of heat to this recipe. Instead, you can add an equal amount of Calabrian chile paste or swap for red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste.
  • One popular variation is green shakshuka, which is made using spinach. Chorizo shakshuka is a south of the border spin on the dish.

Make Ahead

You can simmer the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat it on the stove before adding the eggs.

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