Savor the Flavor: Shakshuka Recipe for Foodies

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I want to share with you a recipe that never fails to satisfy my taste buds and keep me energized throughout the day. Say hello to Shakshuka – the authentic North African dish that consists of gently poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce seasoned with peppers, onions, and an array of spices.

As an Israeli chef, I’ve grown up eating Shakshuka for breakfast or brunch, and it’s a dish that’s close to my heart. Every time I prepare Shakshuka and breathe in its aroma, it takes me back to my childhood memories of family gatherings and delicious meals shared over laughter and love.

Shakshuka is not only one of the most popular breakfast dishes in the Middle East but has also gained immense popularity worldwide. It’s easy-to-make, packed with wholesome ingredients, and customizable based on your preferences. Whether you’re vegetarian or have a meat-based diet, there’s always a Shakshuka recipe that will cater to your culinary needs.

In this article, I’ll take you on a journey towards discovering the best Shakshuka recipe out there. We’ll explore the ingredients list, how-to instructions, variations, serving suggestions, make-ahead options, storing tips, and much more. So roll up your sleeves, grab your spatula and let’s dive into this easy-to-follow recipe. Get ready for the perfect blend of flavors and freshness in every bite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Are you a breakfast person who loves to try new recipes and exotic flavors? Do you crave a dish that is nutritious, protein-packed, and vegetarian-friendly? Look no further because I have the answer – my delicious Shakshuka recipe!

Shakshuka originated in North Africa and quickly became a popular breakfast dish across the Middle East, Mediterranean, and even India. This one-pan dish consists of gently poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce seasoned with za’atar spice mix, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and more. It also includes a bunch of chopped tomatoes, onions, and green peppers that add texture and flavor to the dish.

This authentic Shakshuka recipe is perfect for any meal of the day – breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. One of the best things about Shakshuka is that it’s quick and easy to make. The ingredients are cheap, and you can prepare it in just one skillet. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or serving up a meal for many guests, this dish comes together beautifully.

In addition to being delicious and easy to make, Shakshuka is also very adaptable to suit your preferences. You can swap out ingredients depending on what’s available in your pantry. For example, if you love feta cheese or olives, add them on top of the eggs after they are cooked.

Not only does Shakshuka taste amazing, but it also has many health benefits! This vegetarian version provides your body with the essential nutrients needed for an active lifestyle. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants while eggs provide protein to keep you feeling full longer. What’s more is that this flavorful dish can be made low-carb by swapping tomato juice with vegetable broth.

In conclusion, my Shakshuka recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves bold flavors in a healthy meal! Whether you’re new to this Middle Eastern classic or already enjoy it regularly, my version will not disappoint. So gather your favorite spices and get ready for an adventure in flavor!

Ingredient List

 A vibrant and flavorful tomato sauce with eggs
A vibrant and flavorful tomato sauce with eggs

Fresh Vegetables

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 8 Italian plum tomatoes or 4 Plum Tomatoes, chopped

Seasonings and Spices

  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika (sweet)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Liquid Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  • 6 large eggs

Optional Additions

  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Za’atar Spice Mix

The Recipe How-To

 A classic and hearty breakfast dish
A classic and hearty breakfast dish

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients for your perfect shakshuka, let’s dive into the recipe instructions. Rest assured, this recipe may look long and daunting, but it is actually quite easy to make. So, put on your apron and let’s get cooking!

1. Preparing the Vegetables

First things first, prep your vegetables! Begin by slicing two large onions and one green bell pepper. Mince three to four large cloves of garlic.

2. Cooking the Vegetables

Now, heat up a cast-iron skillet or a frying pan over medium-high heat before adding three tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil gets hot, add the sliced onions and green peppers and sauté them until the onions become translucent, while stirring occasionally – usually around eight to ten minutes.

Then, add garlic to the mix and cook for one to two minutes until you can smell it cooking.

3. Adding the Spices

This is where we bring in some flavors to our dish with some spices! Add in one tablespoon of sweet paprika, one teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of hot paprika, half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, one teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of freshly grounded black pepper to the mixture. Stir well and let the spices cook for 30 seconds.

4. Adding Tomato Sauce

Now is time for us to introduce tomato sauce into this saucy affair! Pour in two cans (15 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes or if short on time then use two jars or bottles (24 ounces each) of Marinara sauce or any store-bought spicy tomato sauce or even tomato juice works.

Once the tomatoes have been added stir everything together with vegetable broth – no more than a cup once again – tangling up all those delicious flavours.

Leave the mixture on simmering heat for about 10-15 minutes until you see that the sauce has thickened.

5. Poaching Eggs

After your spicy tomato sauce has thickened, get ready for poaching eggs in your pan! Crack six eggs over the tomato sauce but make sure they are far apart so they have enough space over them when they are cooking. If you are unsure where to place them, form a small dent in-between vegetables using spatula placing each egg there.

Allow them to cook slowly at low heat with the lid covered until eggs whites start becoming solid which should take around 7-12 minutes based on how runny or firm you like your yolks. It’s important that you do not touch them once they’re added in order not to break off any yolk!

6. Serving Your Shakshuka

Now that it’s done, sprinkle Za’atar spice mix over so as not only olive color but also additional

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfectly poached eggs in a bed of tomato goodness
Perfectly poached eggs in a bed of tomato goodness

Looking to mix things up a bit with your Shakshuka recipe? No problem! This dish is super versatile and there are numerous substitutions and variations you can make to tailor it to your preferences.

– Vegetarian or Vegan: If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, simply omit the eggs or replace them with a vegan egg substitute. You can also substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if needed.

– Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free tomato juice and broth.

– Spiciness: Adjusting the level of spiciness to your taste is easy. You can use less or more hot paprika, cayenne pepper or other spices depending on how much heat you prefer.

– Tomato Variations: The recipe calls for Italian plum tomatoes, but if those aren’t available, feel free to substitute with other types of tomatoes. You can use canned diced tomatoes, fresh vine-ripe tomatoes or even sun-dried tomatoes for a deeper flavor.

– Vegetable Add-Ins: Try adding some greens such as spinach and kale to add extra nutrients to the dish. You can also add sliced potatoes, bell peppers, red onions or other veggies of your choice.

– Protein Choices: For an additional protein kick, try adding lamb, beef or chicken into the base sauce. Alternatively, swap out the feta cheese with different types of cheese such as goat cheese or parmesan cheese.

Of course, with any substitution or variation you choose, make sure to adjust cooking times and ingredient measurements accordingly. Have fun experimenting with this delicious dish and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A colorful and nutritious way to start the day
A colorful and nutritious way to start the day

When it comes to serving and pairing Shakshuka, there are endless possibilities for customization. This dish is incredibly versatile, which makes it perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

For breakfast or brunch, serve the Shakshuka with crusty bread, toasted pita or sliced rustic bread to mop up that delicious tomato sauce. You can also top the Shakshuka with feta cheese, olives, chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro, or sprinkle za’atar spice mix on top for some extra zing. A side of fresh fruit or a simple spinach salad would complement this dish perfectly.

For lunch or dinner, you can pair your Shakshuka with couscous or rice to make it a more filling meal. You could also add sautéed greens like kale or spinach to give it an extra nutritional boost. If you’re feeling adventurous, try serving your Shakshuka over a bed of mashed sweet potato or roasted squash.

Shakshuka also pairs well with proteins like lamb, beef, chicken or tofu for a more substantial meal. Serve the Shakshuka on top of a protein patty with some greens and Greek yogurt on the side for a delicious and healthy meal.

The options are endless with this dish – whether it’s vegetarian or meat-based – which makes it perfect for any occasion. Whatever you choose to add to it, there’s no denying that this authentic Shakshuka will leave your taste buds thoroughly satisfied.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A Middle Eastern twist on eggs for breakfast
A Middle Eastern twist on eggs for breakfast

Do you ever wake up craving a delicious shakshuka but don’t want to go through the trouble of making it? Well, I’ve got some great news for you! Shakshuka is actually a dish that can be made ahead of time and reheated for future meals.

If you’re planning on making shakshuka in advance, you can cook the tomato sauce beforehand and store it in your refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve it, simply reheat the sauce over low heat and gently crack eggs into it. Don’t forget to cover it with a lid to ensure that the eggs are cooked properly.

Another option is to bake the entire shakshuka in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This way, all you have to do is reheat the entire thing in the oven or stovetop until warm.

If you want to freeze your shakshuka for later use, I recommend adding less water or vegetable broth so that it is not too liquid when reheating. Then, allow it to cool completely before transferring it into a freezer-safe container or bag. Your shakshuka should last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

To reheat your frozen shakshuka, let it thaw completely overnight in your refrigerator before reheating over medium-low heat. Feel free to add more eggs if necessary or top off with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.

One tip I must share with you is that while reheating your shakshuka, don’t overcook the eggs as they may become tough and rubbery. Keep a close eye on them and remove them from heat once they are poached but still runny inside.

With these make-ahead, storing and reheating tips, there’s no need to worry about spending too much time cooking in the morning! You can easily prep your shakshuka ahead of time and enjoy its mouthwatering flavors at any time of the day.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A satisfying and easy one-skillet meal
A satisfying and easy one-skillet meal

Now that you know how to make the best shakshuka, let me share with you some tips that will help ensure perfect results every time.

1. Use a good quality olive oil: Since olive oil is the base of this dish, it’s important to use a high-quality one. Use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor and richness.

2. Balance the spices: Shakshuka’s unique and complex flavors come from the blend of spices that go into it. Be sure to balance the sweetness of the sugar and tomato sauce with a little heat from the hot paprika or cayenne pepper. Adjust according to your preference.

3. Choose ripe tomatoes: The quality and flavor of the tomatoes you use have a significant impact on the final result. Opt for fresh Italian plum tomatoes or ripe plum tomatoes rather than tinned varieties.

4. Keep it covered: It’s essential to keep your skillet covered while cooking to ensure perfectly poached eggs every time. A tightly fitting lid will allow the eggs to steam just enough while they cook, which means soft and delicious yolks.

5. Add eggs at the right temperature: Adding cold eggs directly into a hot sauce can cause them to overcook or break quickly. Allow your eggs to come up to room temperature before cracking them into the skillet.

6. Plate with garnishes: The dish has an excellent mix of textures, but adding some chopped herbs like parsley or cilantro, salty feta cheese or olives, takes it up a notch visually and taste-wise.

7. Experiment with toppings: Feel free to experiment with different toppings like spinach, lamb or beef or even baked potatoes instead of peppers or onions.

8. Give It a Rest: Letting shakshuka sit for 5 minutes after cooking ensures that flavors meld together perfectly and juices thicken up nicely.

Follow these tips closely while making Shakshuka, and you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a delicious and authentic North African-style meal at home!


Now that we have covered the recipe how-to, substitutions and variations, serving and pairing suggestions, make-ahead, storing and reheating tips for the Shakshuka dish; you may still have some questions about this flavorful egg dish. Here in the FAQ section, I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions to ensure that your Shakshuka comes out perfectly every time.

What country is shakshuka from?

Shakshuka is a well-known dish in North African countries like Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, where it is often accompanied by bread for sopping up the delectable sauce. This dish has also become popular in Israel, particularly among the country’s Tunisian Jewish population. These Jewish communities, who trace their ancestry back to Spain, Portugal, and the Middle East, are responsible for introducing shakshuka to Israeli cuisine.

What is shakshuka sauce made of?

The name “Shakshuka” perfectly encapsulates the dish, as it contains a mix of various ingredients such as ripe tomatoes, roasted peppers, onion, garlic, and a unique blend of six Moroccan spices. To prepare this delectable stew, cilantro and parsley are added along with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.

How is shakshuka traditionally made?

Shakshuka is a classic meal consisting of eggs poached in a flavorful sauce made up of tomatoes, onions, and garlic, all seasoned with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. A sprinkle of herbs and cheese gives it an extra boost of taste.

What is shakshuka called in English?

Shakshouka is a dish with Maghrebi Arabic origins that loosely translates to “a mixture.” While the word’s true origin is a point of debate, many believe it comes from the language of the Amazigh people, who are native to the region.

Bottom Line

With its robust flavors, easy-to-follow recipe, and versatility in ingredients, shakshuka has become a favorite dish for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. Its redefining of the traditional egg dish can surely tantalize your taste buds and awaken your senses.

Whether you are going for a classic, timeless approach or spicing it up with some flavored ingredients, shakshuka is worth giving a try. Not only does it provide a healthy and nutritious meal, but it also boasts an easy cooking experience that both beginners and experts alike can revel in.

But don’t just take our word for it. Give the recipe a shot yourself and take your taste buds on an adventure to the exotic Middle East, Africa or Mediterranean cuisine! With only a few moments in front of the stove and one pan in hand, perfect shakshuka will be at your fingertips. Say goodbye to boring eggs forever and hello to this exciting new comfort food.


Shakshuka Recipe

An Israeli dish served at Ori Apple, a hummus restaurant on St. Marks Place in Lower Manhattan. An "eat anytime" dish. From an article in the Wednesday food section of the New York Times.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Breakfast or brunch
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 413.8 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno, minced and seeded (or more to taste)
  • 2 red peppers or 2 green peppers, roughly chopped
  • 8 fresh plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes, strained (peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup canned tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 large eggs
  • za'atar spice mix, for serving
  • 4 pita breads, warmed


  • Place large saute pan over medium heat, add and heat oil. Add onion and saute until lightly browned.
  • Add garlic, jalapeno and bell peppers, and saute 2 minutes more.
  • Add fresh and canned tomatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add hot and sweet paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato juice and vegetable broth and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture is very thick and has little liquid left, about 1 hour; stir occasionally to make sure vegetables do not stick to bottom of pan, and add more tomato juice or vegetable broth as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Gently crack eggs into pan, taking care not to break yolks. Simmer until whites solidify but yolks remain runny, about 8 minutes, or as per personal preference (I would put this under the broiler for a couple more minutes because I hate undercooked eggs).
  • Ladle equal portions of vegetables and eggs into 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle with zaatar to taste, and serve with warm pita bread.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 789gCalories: 413.8kcalCarbohydrates: 65.8gProtein: 18.1gFat: 10.4gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 1168.6mgFiber: 10.3gSugar: 21.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Breakfast, Brunch, Kosher, Lunch, Middle Eastern, Peppers, Stove Top, Vegetable
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