A flavorful, very filling dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, shakshuka is surprisingly easy to make.
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. This recipe is another one that I like to make and that my family greatly enjoys.
Shakshuka (pronounced shahk-shoo-kah, emphasis on the middle syllable) is a middle-eastern dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Its name comes from the Arabic word for "mixture." It's very flavorful and wonderfully 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 tasty cheese biscuits.
The ingredients you'll need
The list of ingredients needed to make this easy 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.
Tomatoes: The stars of the show! I use either canned petite-diced tomatoes or Pomi chopped tomatoes. Pomi is a wonderful Italian brand. Their tomatoes are sweeter and less acidic than American ones, and they are chopped very finely, which is perfect. You can find this brand on Amazon, at Whole Foods, and in a growing number of grocery stores.
Many shakshuka recipes add bell peppers in addition to tomatoes. I usually don't. But if you'd like, you can add 1-2 finely chopped bell peppers and cook them with the onions.
Salt and pepper: I use kosher salt in most of my recipes. If using fine salt, you might want to use less salt. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of table salt and contains less sodium.
Spices: I use paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Make sure the spices you use are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included. It's simplu what I have on hand. But in this particular recipe, medium or even small eggs will work well - it will be easier for the sauce to contain a smaller amount of egg whites.
For garnish: Either chopped cilantro or chopped parsley.
How to make shakshuka
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Cook the sauce. Cook the onion in olive oil with some salt. Then add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Next, add the tomatoes. Cook the sauce for about 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 parsley, then serve.
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 or even to 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.
How to serve shakshuka
It's traditionally served with crusty bread or pita bread for dipping. But as mentioned above, there ARE alternatives to bread, including almond flour bread, cheesy biscuits, or even pork rinds for scooping out the tomato sauce.
Can you keep the leftovers?
You can keep the tomato sauce, but not the eggs. So you can make as much of the sauce as you wish then keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. But only poach as many eggs as you're going to eat right away. Then, when you serve the leftovers, you can simply fry or poach the eggs separately.
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Easy Shakshuka Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped (6 oz)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus a pinch for the eggs
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (half if you don’t like spicy food)
- 2 (14-oz) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained (I use 26 oz Pomi chopped tomatoes)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus a pinch for the eggs
- 4 eggs medium or large
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. I like to use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.
- Add the onions and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes (undrained, the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently, to allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to meld.
- Crack the eggs into small bowls. With the back of a spoon, make a well in the sauce and carefully pour an egg into it. Gently push the tomato sauce over the edges of the egg white to contain it from spreading too much. Repeat with three more eggs, spacing them apart so that the eggs are more or less evenly distributed.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep cooking the shakshuka, uncovered and undisturbed, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft, 5-10 more minutes. It’s best not to cover the skillet at this point, as this creates a milky white film on the pretty egg yolks.
- Divide the shakshuka among 4 plates. Sprinkle the eggs with a little salt and pepper, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve