A tasty, very filling dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, shakshuka is wonderful whether served for a crowd or for one!
I find that a lighter, egg-based dinner, is wonderful. There’s really no need to eat meat every single night! One light dinner that I make quite often is this tasty dish of baked avocado egg. Shakshuka is another one.
Shakshuka (pronounced shahk-shoo-kah, emphasis on the middle syllable) is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s very flavorful and very filling.
This recipe is great for dinner!
Outside of Israel, shakshuka is usually considered as a breakfast food. But in Israel, it is often served for dinner. Israelis tend to eat their main meal for lunch, then have a lighter meatless dinner.
So I often serve this dish for dinner. And while the spicy tomato sauce and runny egg yolks practically beg for crusty bread, bread is not mandatory!
A fork and a knife (plus a spoon) are just as efficient, as my husband and I have discovered after we stopped eating bread. Sometimes, however, we enjoy this dish with thick slices of almond flour bread or with cheese biscuits.
The ingredients you’ll need
The list of ingredients needed to make this shakshuka recipe is very simple. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Aromatics: Chopped onion and minced garlic.
Vegetables: You will need bell peppers and fresh tomatoes.
Salt and pepper: I use kosher salt in most of my recipes. If using fine salt, you might want to use less salt.
Spices: Paprika, cumin, cayenne, dried parsley. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
How to make shakshuka
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Cook the sauce. Cook the onion and bell pepper in olive oil with some salt. Then add the garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Next, add the tomato and a little water. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes.
Cook the eggs. Now add the eggs and cook them for 5-10 minutes, until set.
Finish the dish. Sprinkle the dish with salt, pepper, and dried parsley, then serve.
Can I use canned tomatoes?
Canned tomatoes can taste acidic and they sometimes have an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. Try using 1 cup drained petite-diced tomatoes. If you can find them, it’s best to use Pomi Chopped Tomatoes (1 cup drained) – they are way tastier and sweeter than American diced tomatoes.
Shakshuka for one
Most recipes are written for a crowd and are thus prepared in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, then spooned into individual plates.
But I have a set of adorable 6-inch mini cast iron skillets and I like to use them to make individual portions.
In addition, I often make this recipe as my own lunch. Accordingly, This recipe makes a single serving. But you can easily double or triple it and cook it in a large skillet. Either way, plan to poach 1-2 eggs per person.
Don’t cover the skillet
Here’s a tip: at the very last step, after you add the eggs to have them poached in the tomato sauce, it’s tempting to cover the skillet so that the egg whites can cook faster.
However, covering the skillet will result in a milky film forming on the egg yolks. Still tasty, but not as pretty.
So I think it’s best to patiently cook the eggs uncovered. If it seems like the tomato sauce is drying out while the eggs cook, lower the heat to medium-low.
You can also drizzle a bit of water on the tomato sauce of it’s drying out and the egg whites are still not fully cooked.
An easier alternative
If you’re too lazy to make this recipe, try making baked eggs in tomato sauce. The concept is similar, but it’s easier and faster (though admittedly not as flavorful).
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt plus a pinch for the eggs
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 large eggs
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch dried parsley for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, 30 seconds, until fragrant. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the tomato and water. Cook 10 more minutes over medium heat, stirring often, to allow the sauce to thicken and flavors to meld.
- Break the eggs on top of the shakshuka. Cook, uncovered, until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 5-10 minutes.
- Season the eggs with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with dried parsley, and serve.