Shakshuka – So much more than your regular eggs! With so much flavor from the herbs and spices, this Middle Eastern classic ranks very highly on the egg pecking order!
This shakshuka recipe is going to elevate your breakfast time to new levels of delicious!
Sunday mornings at the Beisers’ are no-alarm mornings. I normally like to see some movie or catch up on a book till the wee hours the previous night, so we usually get up when sun is already way way up in the sky.
But to be honest, even week days we are not really morning people. Not even my child. Noah has slept like an adult all throughout the night ever since he was 3-4 months old. His pediatrician joked not to tell this to any other moms or they will hate me.
The fact of the matter is, we are in la-la land till 10 or later most Sundays. By the time Jason puts the coffee on we are still lazying and playing in bed with our son… it’s creeping close to 11ish.
Then we realize we are getting mighty hungry. Almost time for lunch… not quite… well then, brunch it is most Sundays.
Jason is a great cook, but soft and great and dreamy eggs are up my alley. He says his eggs are boring. I wouldn’t put it that way… hmm… maybe predictable.
On the other hand, I can cook eggs a hundred different ways…literally. I can make dozens of different types of omelettes, two dozen types of scrambled, poached, fried, curried… you name it.
So you see, I am pretty good at Eggonomy and come up with pretty good Strateggy, as I am very very Eggcentric.
What is Shakshuka?
So how about some shakshuka today?? Have you ever tried it?? Most people give me an “I am scrambled” look when I pronounce it the way it should be in Arabic like “shakshouka.”
If you have not heard of this, I am very thrilled to introduce you to this Egg-citing, Egg-sploive new way to try your regular eggs.
Shakshuka is a gorgeous looking dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and garlic commonly spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. If you desire some other variations, I sometimes use jalapenõs instead of cayenne for different kind of zing.
Although this dish originates in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, it has migrated as far as north African countries like Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
It is very popular in Israel and Palestine as well. What fascinates me is how some dishes migrate and then develop regional variations, and most of them end up lip smacking!
We go shakshuking mostly for breakfast or brunch, but it can very easily become your weeknight dinner. It is that complete of a meal, with protein and vegetables.
You can boost it a little bit more by adding a couple of handfuls of spinach or mushrooms or both for that added veggie power. Then all you need is some nice crusty bread, like our No Knead Bread and you are set for an easy, quick and delicious dinner.
Is Shakshuka the Same as Menemen?
While Shakshuka and Menemen are similar in that they both are egg-based dishes and use tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices, they are not the same dish. They each have unique characteristics and originate from different regions.
- Origin: Shakshuka is a dish of North African origin, particularly popular in Tunisia, and it is also widely eaten in the Middle East, including countries like Israel. Menemen, on the other hand, is a traditional Turkish dish.
- Preparation: In Shakshuka, the eggs are typically poached in the tomato and pepper sauce, and they remain whole. In Menemen, the eggs are scrambled with the vegetables, creating a more homogeneous mixture.
- Spices: Shakshuka often uses spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Menemen, meanwhile, might use Turkish spices and is often less spicy. The exact spices can vary depending on personal or regional preference.
- Additions: Shakshuka can often be found with a variety of additions like feta cheese, spinach, or chickpeas, while Menemen is usually more straightforward, though some variations might include cheese or sausage.
After you try shakshuka, be sure to try our Menemen Recipe to see which you like best!
- Eggs – The star.
- Tomatoes – The base for the sauce. I am using canned, but you can certainly use fresh.
- Bell Peppers – I am using one red and one yellow.
- Onion – One small.
- Garlic – I love it!
- Olive Oil – For sautéing.
- Spices – Paprika, cumin, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Plus salt to taste.
- Fresh Herbs – Parley and cilantro.
- Feta cheese – A great garnish.
Easy Shakshuka Recipe
First, chop your veggies and herbs.
Now it’s all about making a nice, flavorful tomato, onion, and pepper sauce with some spices from your pantry.
So sauté those peppers and onions until onions are soft and translucent, add your garlic and spices until they are nice and fragrant, then add tomatoes and simmer 10-15 minutes. Smelling good, isn’t it?
Make little nests in your sauce with a spoon, then crack the eggs and nestle them in the pockets of the sauce.
Reduce heat to low… cover the pan (this is where the magic happens) and let those eggs turn into beautiful, colorful Egg-squisiteness.
It tastes great just like that, but if you want to take it a little notch above, sprinkle some feta in last minute or so. I like my eggs runny, not marathon runny though. I want my egg whites firm, but the yellow can be runny.
It’s always about making it the way you like. Finally, garnish your shakshuka with generous amounts of freshly chopped parsley and cilantro.
Shakshuka Recipe Notes and Tips
- Use Good Quality Ingredients: As with any recipe, the better your ingredients, the better your Shakshuka will taste. This is particularly important for the tomatoes and peppers.
- Adjust the Spiciness: Shakshuka is traditionally spicy, but not everyone can handle the heat. Feel free to adjust the amount of crushed red pepper you use to your personal taste.
- Don’t Rush the Simmering: Shakshuka gets its depth of flavor from the slow simmering process. Allow the tomatoes and peppers to cook down until they’ve formed a thick sauce.
- Use a Large Skillet: A wide, shallow skillet is best for Shakshuka, as it allows the eggs to cook evenly.
- Watch the Eggs: Shakshuka eggs should be slightly runny. Make sure you don’t overcook them – once you see the egg whites set, it’s probably time to remove the skillet from heat.
- Feta is Optional but Recommended: The tangy feta cheese is often used in Shakshuka recipes, and while it’s not required, it does add an extra layer of flavor.
- Serve with Bread: Shakshuka is traditionally served with a side of crusty bread for dipping. It’s a great way to soak up all the flavors from the tomato-pepper sauce.
- Experiment with Add-Ins: Feel free to get creative and add other ingredients to your Shakshuka. Spinach, chickpeas, or different types of cheese can all make excellent additions.
Frequently Asked Questions
With a side of bread, this makes a great complete meal. If you are having it for dinner, you can pair it with a salad. Try it with our Israeli Couscous Salad for a great vegetarian Middle Eastern feast!
Absolutely! just omit the feta and replace the eggs with chick peas.
If you can resist chomping down the whole pan, you can store your leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Just reheat in a pan on stove top, with a sprinkling of water, or in the microwave. Note, the eggs will be a bit harder after reheating.
So next time you are hatching a plan to make some eggs, think about shakshuka. I assure you, once you make it you will come back to these eggs again and again…
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Sunday Morning Shakshuka, on my GypsyPlate… Enjoy!
- 6 large eggs
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh Parsley
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- Heat olive oil in large sauté pan (I love my cast iron for this dish!), add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, paprika, cumin, black pepper, crushed red pepper and salt. Simmer 15 minutes.
- Make 6 wells with the back of your spoon into the sauce, which should be quite thick by now. Carefully crack one egg into each well. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each egg.
- Cover and cook until eggs are done to your liking. I do about 10 minutes, but if you don't mind your egg whites a bit clear, 5-6 minutes will do.
- Add feta, parsley, cilantro and serve. Enjoy!
Goes great with toast or a nice crusty bread.
We eat it for breakfast, but makes a great dinner as well!
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 160Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 192mgSodium 318mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 9g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix. Applies only to main recipe, does not include recommended sides.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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