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Shakshuka

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Shakshuka

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Shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a smoky, spicy, vegetable-laden tomato sauce.

shakshuka

Popular throughout the Middle East, particularly in Israel (where it ranks right up there with falafel and hummus as one of Israel’s most-loved dishes), shakshuka is one-skillet dish of eggs gently poached in a smoky, spicy tomato and vegetable sauce. The dish was brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from North Africa and variations abound. One popular version called green shakshuka replaces the tomato sauce with a rich spinach and cream sauce loaded with green vegetables. My version is traditional, with a few small tweaks that take it up a notch. I add a splash of heavy cream to marry the acidity of the tomatoes with the richness of the eggs – it makes all the difference – and I also sprinkle crumbled feta on top.

Shakshuka is traditionally made in a cast iron pan and is simple to prepare. You start by making the sauce on the stovetop, then you gently crack the eggs into wells in the sauce and cook briefly before finishing the dish under the broiler. It’s the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner dish, but it can be served any time of day. Toasted buttered bread for mopping up the sauce and runny yolks is a must.

What You’ll Need To Make Shakshuka

ingredients for shakshukaStep-by-Step Instructions

Begin by chopping the onions, peppers, and garlic. Be sure not to chop the garlic too finely or it will burn.

chopped onions, garlic, and peppers on cutting board

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper.

onions, garlic and peppers cooking in skillet

Cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened.

softened onions, garlic and peppers in skillet

Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt, sugar, and tomatoes.

Adding the tomatoes and spices to the skillet

Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Simmering shakshuka sauce

While the sauce cooks, chop the greens.

chopped greens on cutting board

Add the chopped greens and heavy cream to the sauce, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the greens are soft and wilted, about 10 minutes more.

adding the cream and greens to the sauce

Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Then, using a spoon, make 6 wells/indentations in the sauce.

making wells in the sauce for the eggs

Carefully crack an egg into each well, then spoon a bit of the sauce over the egg whites (this will contain them and also help them cook a bit faster than the yolks), being careful not to disturb the yolks. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. And then sprinkle the feta around the eggs.

skillet with sauce, uncooked eggs and feta

Set the pan on the stove over low heat and cover with a lid. Cook until the egg whites are mostly set but still translucent on top, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the eggs are cooked to your liking, 1 minute or less for runny yolks. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cilantro over top.

shakshuka ready to eat

Serve hot with bread.

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Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a smoky, spicy, vegetable-laden tomato sauce.

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions (or 1 medium), peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups finely chopped greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, tough ribs removed, gently packed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 eggs
  • Handful chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1¼ teaspoons of the salt, sugar, and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  3. Add the chopped greens and heavy cream to the sauce, and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the greens are soft and wilted, about 10 minutes more. While the greens are cooking, set an oven rack in the top position and preheat the broiler.
  4. Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Using a spoon, make 6 wells/indentations in the sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each well, then spoon a bit of the sauce over each of the egg whites (this will contain them and also help them cook a bit faster than the yolks), being careful not to disturb the yolks. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, then sprinkle the feta around the eggs. Set the pan on the stove over low heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites are mostly set but still translucent on top (check frequently towards the end as cook time can vary). Remove the lid, transfer the pan to the oven, and broil until the eggs are cooked to your liking, 1 minute or less for runny yolks (see note below on cooking eggs further). Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cilantro over top. Serve hot with bread.
  5. Note: You can cook the dish entirely on the stovetop for just a few minutes longer (without using the broiler) if you like your egg yolks cooked through. If you like your eggs runny, however, I find that the stovetop-to-broiler method is the only surefire way to cook the egg whites thoroughly without overcooking the yolks.
  6. Make Ahead: The tomato sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat the sauce on the stovetop and proceed with the recipe when ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 254
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 636 mg
  • Cholesterol: 200 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Delicious, even with canned tomatoes and evaporated milk instead of heavy cream! This is definitely going to be a new go-to recipe for weeknight dinners.

    • — Kristin D on September 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent dish and cooking instructions; definitely a winner. I used fire roasted canned tomatoes to give the recipe a little more smokey flavor, but then, by accident, left out the smoked paprika. The recipe still turned out great.

    • — Wally on September 6, 2022
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  • Made this for dinner the other night. It was excellent.

    • — Patty on September 5, 2022
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  • I made shakshuka before from someone else’s recipe. I didn’t like it at all. But when I saw how you had gotten so many great reviews I decided to try it tonight. My husband who loves BBQ meat loved this recipe with roasted bread rubbed with garlic. I think it is so good and I always trust your recipes because I have come to know how good they are and how great they work. Thank you for always making sure your recipes are so very good and perfect!!

    • — Faye Beiner on September 2, 2022
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  • Please note that the real recipe does not contain cream as it is not in the traditional dish. Sometimes yogurt is added but if you want to have a real taste of the middle east, omit the cream and spinach. Other than that, the recipe is wonderful and a great introduction to different foods.

    • — Paula on August 29, 2022
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  • Chakchouka is a Tunisian dish with whole eggs On top of slightly fried oignons, peppers and fresh tomatoes, not a dish from Israel. May be Israeles originally from Tunisia started to make it there. I give you one star to be polite.

    • — Sarra Smart on August 29, 2022
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  • This is legitimately the BEST baked egg recipe I have ever tasted and it has become a weekly staple in our house!
    We add a full chorizo sausage chopped, added to the onions towards the end and only use parsley and spinach as our greens and it is simply superb.

    • — Toni on August 23, 2022
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  • Just made this and LOVED it as did my family. I’ve made other shakshouka recipes before but the flavors never came together in quite the same way (I think it’s the sweetness from the small amt of sugar and the cream – though I used whole milk since it’s what I had). I also loved the addition of chopped spinach. You can’t really taste it but it added great color and a little extra nutrition. I just threw out my old recipe – this one was easy and healthful – definitely a keeper!

    • — Jenny on February 27, 2022
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  • Absolutely love this recipe. I roast and freeze 2 C ziplock bags of tomatoes, garlic, EVOO and in late summer and it makes short work of preparing this dish. Served with a wonderful crusty bread; even my everlovin’ cycling husband finds it filling.

    • — TE on February 24, 2022
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  • I’m allergic to peppers what would you suggest as a replacement ?

    • — Cathy on February 17, 2022
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    • Hi Cathy, you could replace the bell pepper with celery. Mushrooms would be a little less conventional, but you could use those too. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi! Can fresh tomatoes be used for this recipe? Also, can I use regular milk instead of heavy cream?

    • — Sarah on January 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes here; just be sure to include the juices that accumulate when you dice them. And I think it will work with milk; it’s also totally fine just to omit the cream. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this delicious and comforting dish a few times in the past and plan to make it tonight. Do you think it would be good to add a can of rinsed drained chickpeas? If so, at what stage? Thank you!

    • — Janet on January 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janet, so glad you like this! I think it would be fine to add chickpeas. I’d suggest adding them about five minutes after you’ve added the heavy cream just to get them heated through. Please LMK how it turns out with chickpeas!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you Jenn. I made just as written and we loved it yet again as it had been a while. Afterwards had thought if I were to add chickpeas I don’t think I’d add the cream though I love your recipe exactly as written. I will let you know if I try with chickpeas!

        • — Janet on January 11, 2022
        • Reply
  • Have made this recipe several times already and will be making it again for family tomorrow. The addition of the cream and feta make this stand out by cutting the acidity of the tomatoes. Wonderful combination of spices and the greens make it a bit healthier! Delicious as usual for Jen’s recipes!

    • — Denise Zagrocki on December 25, 2021
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  • Excellent! Made the tomato sauce two days before in order to have less work the morning of the breakfast. It was excellent and a nice change from the standard breakfast casserole.

    • — Susan Finlay on September 24, 2021
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    • Making this tomorrow for dinner… sad that our grocery stores in Ontario are so short of food. I wanted to buy parsley to add the nice freshness and not one bunch to be found… crazy, sad times.

      • — Cathy on January 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Any suggestions for adding some additional protein, like quinoa or lentils?

    • — Leah on September 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Leah, I’m not sure I’d add lentils here, but I suppose you could serve this over quinoa. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! Absolutely love this recipe! One quick question. I want to make the sauce ahead of time as you suggest, but I don’t know up to what point. Should I stop before or after adding the greens and the cream?

    thanks!

    • — Giselle on August 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Giselle, I’d make the sauce completely (with the greens and cream). (And so glad to hear you like the recipe!)

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Fabulous! I used a 12” All-Clad skillet with no issues (do lay a towel over the handle as Jen recommends for safety). I had leftover spaghetti sauce so I subbed that for the diced tomatoes, also adding chopped portobello mushrooms and chose spinach for the greens. This may have been faster since I could avoid cooking the diced tomatoes.

    • — Lauren on June 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another amazing Jenn recipe! I made this for breakfast for my 3 friends. One said “ this is good” and kept talking. My other friend exclaimed very loudly “ this is really good”. Personally I oohed and aahd in my head. I loved the flavors. I did make the sauce the evening prior. Then warmed up. I did use spinach. Maybe kale next time. The spinach got a bit dark in color. It tasted fine but the color was not so pretty. One needs to watch the eggs carefully so they cook without becoming overcooked.Glad I made this. Will make again definitely!

    • — Andrea Saltray on May 16, 2021
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  • I made this last night exactly as the recipe states and it was great. I preferred it without the cilantro even though I do like cilantro. It just overpowered the other flavors. And I had to go with the no-broiler version since my broiler doesn’t work. The seasoning was perfect.
    It’s a recipe I’ll use often because the ingredients are all things I usually have on hand.

    • — Jean on April 13, 2021
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  • Very good, it has just the right amount of spices. We found it came out a little soupy for us, next time, I will add less tomato juices. I served it with your Challah.

    • — Kathleen on March 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of my husband’s all-time favorite recipes! I swap out the feta cheese for Violife Feta cheese and heavy cream for Chobani Oat drink to make it gluten free and dairy free. On some occasions where I do not have tomatoes off hand, I use tomato sauce and add Italian spices when necessary. I add a lot more cumin and a bit more coriander and it is just light but decadent and pairs very well with a piece of French baguette/bread. Lastly, I omit the cilantro based upon our preferences.

    • — Charlene L-S on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • Who can argue with eggs for dinner. This is a complete and delicious meal that is quick and easy to make. It would make a great brunch dish also (I’m picturing it along side crispy hash browns).

    • — Gordon on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Feed Phil featured Shakshuka in an episode. Jenn’s version is both approachable and tasty. I have shared this link with friends and relatives. Once I didn’t have heavy cream, so I used coconut cream instead. This is now in my version.
    Just follow her steps and you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time.

    • — Tom in CP on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have lived in Israel, and it is hard to find a better Shakshuka than this recipe! I took the liberty to improvise, if this is allowed: I took this recipe and instead of eggs, I added chicken prepared according to the “Marsala Chicken” recipe on this website. It has become my go-to meal to prepare for company.

    • — Adella Banman on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • This version of Shakshuka encapsulates the essence of this dish. I’d never used coriander seed in the sauce before, but it really adds a lot to it. Any bread will work, but thick sourdough toast is fantastic.

    • — Zach R on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! The tomato vegetable sauce was so perfectly flavored that I didn’t even add the cream! I served this over mujadara instead of with bread. Thanks Jenn for another keeper.

    • — Elle on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this so many times, and it’s always phenomenal. It is a great gluten free, meat free option, and the leftovers are just as tasty as when it’s right out of the oven. The smoked paprika, feta, and cilantro are the stars of the show. I appreciate the super helpful directions for cooking the eggs right, so they don’t get overdone.

    • — Kristin on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • When I made this recipe the first time, I wasn’t sure how my husband and I would like it. My husband is not a huge fan of tomato based dishes. However, we both really enjoyed the spicy, warming meal so much that I have made it twice since then. It’s a really nice way to use any leftover greens you have; I’ve made the dish with chard and kale. It’s also an easy way to incorporate a meat-free meal during the week. We usually have toasted naan alongside this dish.

    • — Brenna on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is one of our favorites. It takes a while to come together but it is worth it. I omit the cream and it still tastes amazing. Sometimes I use fire roasted tomatoes to add a little kick. Sauce is delicious on it’s own the next day. Enjoy!

    • — cynthia westlund on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • It turned out great! The chopped greens added flavor and the heavy cream gave a good thickness. Recipe was a hit!

    • — Asiya Siddiqui on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great weeknight dinner! I have photos of my husband and son standing over the pot with crusty bread to get every last drop of the sauce. In the future, I think I will double the sauce and save half for a busy weeknight. Assuming the sauce keeps well in the fridge or freezer, talk about a great quick dinner. Thank you.

    • — Felice on January 28, 2021
    • Reply

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