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Shakshuka eggs are the best! Tasty and so easy to make right on the stovetop, this saucy egg dish is loaded with ground spices, harissa, white beans and tomatoes. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a simple skillet supper.
Shakshuka eggs are basically one of the best all-around egg dishes on the planet. It’s a combination of poached eggs every-so-slightly cooked in an intensely savory sauce.
If you’re not into eating sweet things for breakfast — or not a breakfast person, period — this dish is made for you.
But who says it’s just for breakfast?!
We love to devour this dish any time. Like lazy weekend mornings or afternoons. Or as a quick meatless supper on a weeknight. Or late at night when you’re feeling snacky and just hungry.
Serve it casually, right out of the skillet, with toasted crusty bread or pita on the side (because trust me, you don’t want to miss ANY of the jammy sauce).
recommended Spices for shakshuka eggs
I created this recipe with a simple blend of pantry spices you probably already have on hand. I’m not shy about cooking with spices, and neither should you be — the sauce can take a good amount of seasoning.
- Cumin: I use ground cumin to give the sauce an earthy, fragrant backbone.
- Coriander: Ground coriander seed adds a bright sweet citrus note.
- Paprika: Sweet paprika (not smoked) adds beautiful color without heat.
- Cayenne: I love a little background heat in this sauce. You could use crushed red chili instead, and adjust the amount to your taste.
- Harissa: This North African condiment adds a subtle smoky heat to shakshuka. I make homemade harissa paste that lasts for months in the fridge.
Shakshuka turns up on trendy menus all over the world. I think Ottolenghi is responsible for shining a light on shakshuka because the Israeli/Arabic-influenced recipes in his beautiful cookbooks are so popular.
Short history of shakshuka
The word “shakshuka” (Shäk-shōōka) roughly translates from the Tunisian Arabic language to mean “all mixed up.”
The origins of shakshuka could be Tunisia or Yemen. Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East as well North Africans all make a version of this simple egg dish.
Savory egg dishes are also typical in Latin American and Mediterranean countries, which means there are a LOT of variations.
Italians make Eggs in Purgatory, a similar dish of eggs cooked in a thick and spicy tomato sauce.
Spaniards and Mexicans scramble eggs with salsa and corn tortillas (hello migas) and often add in spicy sausages like chorizo.
Vegetarian one-dish recipe
This recipe is a one-dish vegetarian meal made completely on the stovetop. Grab a medium sauté pan and get started.
To make the sauce:
- Cook onions, garlic, chili pepper and spices with olive oil and a can of crushed chunky tomatoes for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to pull away from the bottom of the pan.
- Make little wells in the sauce, and crack your eggs right into them.
- Cover the pan and lower the heat to a gentle medium temperature.
In just a few minutes the eggs will cook to perfection — soft, just-set whites. And creamy, slightly runny yolks that run out onto your plate and into the sauce. OMG so good.
Keep in mind that the eggs will continue to cook for a few minutes after taking the pan off the heat. If you like your eggs more or less runny, cook to your preference by keeping your eye on the process.
I added cannellini beans for an extra hit of protein and to up the satisfaction factor. It’s not a traditional ingredient, but tastes really delicious.
I love, love feta cheese in this dish and the way it melts into creamy blobs on top of the dish. By all means substitute with soft goat cheese or a good whole milk ricotta if you’re not a feta fan.
OH — One last thing! Be sure to serve the shakshuka with toasted crusty bread, warm flatbread like pita or lavash. Corn tortillas are a delicious gluten-free option.
Spicy Shakshuka Eggs with Harissa and Feta
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup (160 g) chopped yellow or white onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 small jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- Kosher salt
- 1 28-ounce (800 g) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Pour the oil into a large, deep skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and chili and cook about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened but not browned.
- Stir in the spices, harissa paste and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and beans, stir, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is the consistency of thick jam. Remove the pan from the heat. Use the back of a spoon (a ladle works well) to make 6 wells in the sauce. Crack an egg into each one.
- Put the pan back over medium heat and cover. Cook 4-6 minutes, just until the whites are set and opaque and the yolks are still runny. The eggs will continue to cook for a few minutes after you take the pan off the stove, so keep that in mind and cook to your preference.
- Sprinkle the feta cheese and cilantro over the eggs and serve warm with toasted bread or pita.