Enjoy a shakshuka recipe with this super easy, absolutely delicious and really simple recipe. This vegetarian dish is perfect for a lazy weekend healthy breakfast, a fantastic brunch recipe or a quick, simple midweek supper. It's a simple egg recipe that everyone will adore!
What is shakshuka?
You may be wondering what shakshuka is. Shakshuka also spelt shakshouka is a popular North African dish that is served as an appetizer or a main course. This amazing dish (that I never have enough of) has been gaining popularity in the Western world for its quickness, ease and absolutely delicious qualities. It is made of tomatoes, chilli peppers, cumin, garlic, olive oil and salt cooked in a cast-iron skillet with eggs cracked over the top at the end to make it more like an omelette. Many variations of the basic sauce are possible, varying in spice and/or sweetness.
Traditional Shakshuka Recipe
Shakshuka is a dish that originates from Tunisia and is now popular in the Middle East. Typically, a traditional shakshuka recipe includes eggs baked or cooked in a nice rich tomatoes sauce. Onions and peppers are added too.
The name "Shakshuka" comes from the Arabic word meaning "mixture". You'll find various shakshuka recipe everywhere from Israel, Morocco to Turkey but I know you'll absolutely love my version!
Where does shakshuka come from?
Traditionally, shakshuka originally came from North Africa. Tunisia is known to be its place of birth, but it is a very popular breakfast in the Middle East and you'll find variations of it in Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Morroco, Turkey and many other places.
I always add extra veggies so that the kids can get them with their favourite dishes. This is definitely one of them. It is one of those portals to healthy eating, gobbling on veggies that sometimes you don't even realise they're there unless you are told or you are the one who cooked the dish.
This was always, still is, my strategy to get my kids to experience different veggies they were not familiar with and won't eat otherwise just because they heard the name of it. Oh, kids are such funny entities aren't they?! Oh, yes!
Why is shakshuka such a popular dish?
Well, have you ever had shakshuka? Not yet? Are you kidding me? It is definitely time for one right now! This North African now spread over the Mediterranean and beyond, is a super delicious and healthy egg dish to be more accurate that consists of eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce. You probably heard of menemen too, right?
The last time I have made this dish was last week when my husband came home late from playing cricket and wanted something quick to eat before we went out again to meet with his friends for a drink. Pubs are now open since the lockdown is easing here in the UK! Yayy, yayy, hooray!!
I almost didn't have any leftovers because we were so hungry after our busy day! Now, whenever he comes home late or has an early meeting the next morning, he knows what will be waiting for him at home - a big pan of shakshuka for one that tastes better than anything. An easy, quick and perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner if you ask me.
How can you serve shakshuka?
Shakshuka recipe can be served on its own or as an accompaniment for other dishes. It makes a gorgeous egg breakfast recipe, a brunch, lunch or dinner any day, every day. We generally serve it with pitta bread, flatbread or a nice crusty sourdough.
It is also SUCH a versatile dish!! Do you not agree?
I personally feel that the combinations are endless when it comes to this dish. It is one of those dishes that you may have every breakfast or any meal of the day and feel like you could easily go for another week without repeating the same dish again. A truly gorgeous egg recipe indeed!
Yes, the tomato base and the eggs are the only things you could just go on and on but even the tomato base can be changed quite a bit by adding various flavours to it.
Ingredients for Shakshuka Recipe
Shakshuka is a versatile dish (yes, I did say this already) since it has a set amount of ingredients that should be used such as tomato sauce, eggs onion and peppers but there are quite a few ingredients that could be added and make this a great breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner recipe.
I have used in this shakshuka recipe :
- Olive oil - not worth replacing
- Tomato paste or puree - this is essential for all that depth of the dish
- Peppers - choose any colour
- Garlic - oh, do not skip it unless you go out right after;
- Cumin powder - it gives the dish such a unique flavour;
- Ajvar - jarred - for extra amazing taste and flavours;
- Eggs - of course, this dish would never be a great shakshuka recipe without the eggs
- Salt and Pepper
Other ingredients to use in shakshuka
- Feta cheese - if you look for a feta cheese recipe - oh yes, this is definitely the one!
- Spinach - if you are looking for a green shakshuka
- Kale - this makes a great addition to this dish
- Chard - you can combine this with kale and spinach for a green one - soo good!
- Brussels sprouts - I love this in the winter
- Harissa paste - this will make a huge taste difference
- Labneh - or any thick yoghurt
- Blue cheese - delicious!
- Olives - oh, I love it!
- Chorizo - OMG! just give it a try.
- Sausages - chopped - any you like - you will need to add with the onion and the pepper at the beginning of cooking the dish
- Mince ( ground) meat - lamb is particularly nice but beef works fab too!
More egg breakfast recipes you will love:
- One-pan English breakfast
- Breakfast delightful stack
- Quick pizza breakfast recipe with quail eggs
- Bacon and Eggs Dutch Baby Pancake
- Eggs with spinach breakfast
- Soft boiled quail eggs, avocado butter and redcurrant on sourdough toast
- Waffle, quail eggs, bacon and maple syrup lush breakfast
- Easy Spanish Omelette (Spanish Tortilla)
- Lazy vegan breakfast - we need a vegan version too!
Shakshuka Recipe Variations
- Some variations of shakshouka can be made using lamb mince, whole spices (toasted), yoghurt and fresh herbs.
- Some cuisines add preserved lemon, feta cheese, olives, harissa and even spicy sausages such as merguez or chorizo.
- Spices can include ground coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, caraway powder.
- Potatoes, broad beans, artichoke hearts or even courgettes could be added to the dish.
- Any shakshuka recipe is generally made with eggs that are usually poached but can also be made with scrambling those - just like the Turkish menemen.
- Since eggs are the main ingredient, shakshouka is often on breakfast menus but in the Arab world as well as in Israel, it is also a popular evening meal. Just like hummus and falafel, the shakshuka recipe is also a Levantine regional favourite.
In different countries is known under different names:
- In Arabic ( Maghrebi) countries is known as shakshuka or chakchouka
- In Andalusian cuisine, this dish is known as huevos a la Flamenca and has chorizo or Serrano ham added.
- There is an Italian shakshuka version which is called uova in Purgatorio (eggs in purgatory) with tomato paste, anchovy, garlic and parsley and sometimes parmesan cheese is added.
Sometimes I just fancy 'veganising' a shakshouka too. Making a vegan shakshuka recipe is a brilliant idea for those vegan days. Perfect! It is absolutely to die for.
I add black Himalayan salt which tastes just like eggs and I add silken tofu seasoned with black salt too. I also add some eggplant or aubergines nicely fried in a little olive oil.
I cannot tell you how good this is. Even my son who is not an aubergine lover at all loves this recipe.
This is also a great version for those that are not particularly in love with eggs. Vegan cheese (yeast extract) sprinkled over is so delicious.
Delicious Shakshuka Recipe
- 6 med eggs or 10 quail eggs
- 500 ml tomato juice (2.1 cups) or passata
- 1 large red onion or 2 medium onions
- 1 large red pepper
- 2 tablespoons ajvar paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley or chilantro /coriander
- 2 cloves garlic crushed and finely chopped
- Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet placed over medium heat. Add the onion (finely chopped) the peppers (diced or cut julienne), garlic (crushed and finely chopped), cumin powder and ⅔ of a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add a drizzle of water to avoid frying.
- When the onions and peppers have become soft, add the tomato juice or passata, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes until you have a thick sauce. Taste for seasoning. Add some freshly ground pepper too.
- Make six little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each egg into its own dip. Do the same with all eggs.
- Simmer gently for 8–10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny (you can cover the pan with a lid if you wish to speed up the process).
- Remove from fire, sprinkle the freshly chopped herbs ( parsley or cilantro/coriander), let it rest for a little and serve with some nice rustic or pita bread. Add some yoghurt or labneh and/or a sprinkle of feta cheese crumbs. Amazing!