Shakshuka

Shakshuka plated with pita bread

Want something easy and delicious that can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night snack, or any meal in between? Then shakshuka is for you. Plus, how can you go wrong with eggs poached in a spicy and flavorful tomato sauce? And the best part is you only need one pan for this meal! In the words of Sunny Anderson, “it’s a one-pan plan!”

Like its name suggests, shakshuka comes from parts of the Middle East-North Africa region. In Arabic, it translates to “a mixture”. Most shakshuka mixtures are made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, spices, and eggs. And, I stuck to tradition pretty well in this recipe and focused on a more Moroccan spice profile.

You may have also heard of a dish called Uova en Purgatorio, or Eggs in Purgatory. It is an Italian version of shakshuka featured in the picture below. They’re very similar. Eggs poached in a tomato sauce. I make both shakshuka and eggs in purgatory often, which route I take mainly just depends on what spices and tomatoes I have on hand. I’ll make a separate Uova en Purgatorio post someday.

Eggs in Purgatory in cast iron skillet
Eggs in Purgatory I made during my 30 Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge.

Now, back to the shakshuaka. This recipe is so easy, is made in one pan, and takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. You simply start by sautéing diced onions and bell peppers in some olive oil with salt and pepper until the vegetables start to soften.

onions and bell peppers cooking in skillet

Most shakshuka recipes call for cumin, paprika, and some other spices. I skip a step and just you a Moroccan spice blend called Ras el Hanout. If you have a different middle eastern spice blend you like, you can by all means use that.

Once the onions and peppers are soft, add the garlic, spice blend, and harissa paste (a Moroccan pepper paste). I make my own harissa paste (hopefully a post to come soon), but you can by-all-means, buy your own. Man, I just sounded like Ina Garten there didn’t I?

softened vegetables with spices and garlic

After the spices have had a chance to bloom, add the tomatoes. Now, this is where I seem to deviate from tradition. Most recipes call for a can of whole tomatoes that you crush, crushed tomatoes, or diced tomatoes. I use tomato sauce. My roommate doesn’t like the texture of tomatoes (but enjoys tomato sauce). So, that’s what I use instead.

tomato sauce added to vegetables before being cooked down

Regardless of what tomato you use, you will want to simmer the sauce for a little bit until the sauce resembles the consistency of marinara sauce. Once the sauce is thick, make a small indention in the sauce an crack an egg into the indention. You should be able to fit 4 or 5 eggs in the pan. Cover the pan and cook the eggs at least until the whites are set. I prefer a runny yolk in my shakshuka eggs, but my roommate prefers a hard yolk. So, you can cook it to your liking.

Shakshuka with parsley and feta garnish

I like to garnish with parsley and feta. Serve with bread. I normally serve with pita. But a piece of toast with the egg and sauce placed on top works nicely too.

plated shakshuka with pita bread

Shakshuka

Eggs poached in a Moroccan spiced tomato sauce.
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Skillet with a lid

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp ras al hanout
  • 3 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 oz feta
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in 10 in. skillet. Saute the onions and bell peppers with salt and pepper in the oil until slightly soft and translucent.
  • Once the onions are soft, add the garlic, spices, and harissa paste. Saute for a few minutes for the spices to bloom and the garlic to soften slightly.
  • Then add in tomato sauce and simmer for 7-10 minutes for the sauce to thicken. It should be the consistency of marinara sauce. After simmering, taste the sauce for seasoning. Canned tomatoes or tomato sauce can be very acidic. If this is the case, you may want to add a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey to balance the acidity.
  • Once the sauce is thickened, use a spoon to make 4 indentions in the sauce and crack an egg into each indention. Cover and cook on low until the eggs are to your desired doneness. About 10 minutes for a runny yolk and 15 minutes for a hard yolk.
  • Garnish with feta and parsley and serve with warm bread or toast.

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