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Shakshuka

5 stars based on 22 votes

shakshuka

One of the best things that I ate on my recent trip to Israel was shakshuka, a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a smoky, spicy, vegetable-laden tomato sauce. The dish was brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from North Africa, and it can be served for breakfast, dinner, or anytime in between. It’s also just fun to say: shakshuka! Variations of the dish with different vegetables, cheese and even sausage 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 twists. I add a splash of heavy cream to marry the acidity of the tomatoes with the richness of the eggs, and I sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Shakshuka is traditionally made in a cast iron pan (though any stainless steel or nonstick pan will work) and served straight from the pan at the table so everyone can dig in and help themselves. A good bread is a must to mop up the sauce.

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

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

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

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

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

While the sauce cooks, chop the greens.

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.

Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Then, 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 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.

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. 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.

Serve hot with bread and enjoy!

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Shakshuka

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
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 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
  • 1/2 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, 1-1/4 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 1/4 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

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  • 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

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Wonderful flavors! This recipe is definitely a keeper. We ate it with French bread and I think I could have ate the whole pan by myself.

    - Maria C. on September 18, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We love this. I am lactose, so could not add the cream. Did not miss this one bit. We followed the other instructions, but since we are only 2, we had left overs. The next night I added another bag of baby spinach and more eggs on top. It was fantastic.
    Try this one!!

    - Susan Clayman on September 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We tried this about a month ago, and my husband and I both loved it!! We’ve had to be intentional not to make it weekly, just so our kids don’t hate us for not having any variation in menu. Thanks for this amazing dish!

    - Kristin on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Shakshuka was great!! My daughter is a vegetarian so we tried it as a family meal made it with sausage on the side and bread.
    Everyone loved it we will make it again it is very easy to make.

    - Kathy Salois on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a fantastic recipe. I love the veges and adding the eggs for protein topped it off. The second time I made this, I added some sautéed breakfast sausage and it amped it up just a bit. Love your recipes and the variety you offer.

    - Marcy Z on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made Shakshuka 3 times. So delicious! This is VERY easy to make, too! The ingredients are things I typically have on had, so this is a super easy weeknight meal. The 1st time, I followed the recipe exactly, the next 2 times I changed one thing: I just put a lid on the skillet and finished the eggs on top of the stove. This saved me heating up the oven. Kitchen not so hot, and a little quicker for me. The stovetop method worked just fine and I di not find the egg yolks got hard, that is, I kept an eye on them and they seemed nice and “over easy” consistency. Great recipe!

    - Sarah Bee on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OK Jenn, you took me way out of my comfort zone trying something I never heard of before. But I have come to trust you and your recipes completely so I tried it. Let’s just say this dinner made me and my family extremely happy.

    - Trudy Black on August 8, 2017 Reply
    • ?

      - Jenn on August 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was great! Loved the flavors and it was surprisingly easy to make. We added crumbled sweet Italian sausage and used goat cheese instead of the feta. Not sure why but my sauce turned out very thick, so the bread was nice to have but couldn’t really use it to sop up any sauce. While this was still amazing, I am hoping for a little more sauce-like consistency for next time — any suggestions on how to do that?

    - Kathryn on August 4, 2017 Reply
    • Glad you liked it, Kathryn! You could add a bit of chicken stock to the pan to make it a little more liquidy/saucy.

      - Jenn on August 7, 2017 Reply
  • Where I live in Central America it’s very difficult to find greens…I hunted for spinach yesterday but was unsuccessful. Do u think cabbage would work instead? I know the flavor is kind of strong but I really want to try this!

    - Grace on July 27, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Grace, I probably wouldn’t use cabbage but it’s perfectly fine to omit the greens (or you could always use frozen, if that’s available).

      - Jenn on July 27, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was very yummy, the flavor was delicious. There are only 2 of us so I only made 4 eggs. I was going to freeze the extra sauce but when my husband saw me taking chicken cutlets out of the freezer he asked if I could make them smothered “in the sauce from the other night.” It was very good that way as well.

    - Stacy on July 27, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We just finished dinner and this was amazing!!!! I love so many of your recipes. The only change I made was using fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic because that was all I had on hand. We served it with naan bread and it was amazing. We will definitely have this again.

    - katy on July 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Like Jenny, I was skeptical as I was putting all the ingredients together. I even told my husband I wasn’t sure we’d like it, however, it all comes together amazingly! It is absolutely delicious!
    Thank you Jenn for another winning recipe!

    - Jennifer on July 16, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We are trying to eat more veggies and less meat so this was a perfect start for us. The flavor is great and I love that I can make the tomato sauce ahead of time. I didn’t have smoked paprika so I used regular, but I think I will use smoked next time. We like firm yolks so left the pan on the stove top for about 12 minutes until they were just firm. I served it was crusty multigrain bread to sop up the extra sauce. My 2 year old son who has suddenly become picky finished his bowl and asked for more!

    - Elizabeth on July 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Simply amazing! Made this for dinner tonight for our 5 children ages 9-20 and they all loved it. They were skeptical watching all the ingredients go in but the flavors are just perfect. We served it with a huge platter of pita bread and your feta dip. I have made several of your recipes and they are always a huge hit with the family. Our 20 year old is leaving on Sunday for Israel and the timing is perfect for all your new recipes. Can’t wait to try more! Thank you!

    - Jenny on July 13, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    FABULOUS! Made this for dinner the other night and my family is STILL talking about it! I did manage to squeeze in an additional egg in the pan as we are soft yolk lovers 😉 Thanks Jenn!!

    - Jules on July 13, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing as always! Only thing I changed was fat free ricotta for the heavy whipping cream. So delicious! Thanks as always…you’re my go-to!

    - Lauren on July 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow! This was so so so good and easy! Thank you for the delicious recipe!!!!

    - Susie N Frederickson on July 11, 2017 Reply
  • I had no idea that the dish was brought to Israel by north american immigrants! That is such a neat twist! I sound like a giant nerd! But I LOVE the background behind how certain cuisines came to be. And Shakshuka is indeed one of our favorite foods!

    - Maria on July 10, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    LOVED this recipe!

    - Mary on July 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Eating it right now. It is so good and very easy to make. These are not spices I normally use, other than the red pepper flakes, so I was worried I would not like it just by the smell of it cooking. But this is by far one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time.

    - Julie on July 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So delicious!!! The second time making it I used half of the red pepper flakes, as it had an bit of a kick the first time. I also used fresh parsley instead of cilantro. I made the sauce and then portioned out single servings to make with the eggs. My new favorite meal!!! Thank you so much!

    - Rebecca on July 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Ok Jenn!!! One of your best. Delicious!! Healthy!!! Perfect!!! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. Just perfect. Thank you for sharing this.

    - Angela on July 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely delicious!!! We used Glen Ellen roasted tomatoes and fresh chard from our garden. So flavorful. We believe meat would detract from the melded flavors. Serves 2-3 for a full dinner with sopping bread of course. So glad you went to Isreal!

    - Dolores Fisette on July 7, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious beyond belief. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

    - tanya abrams on July 6, 2017 Reply
  • Hello Jenn, I would love to try this but the cream puts me off. Is it necessary or would a non dairy milk be acceptable?

    - Susan on July 6, 2017 Reply
    • You can leave it out, Susan – just drizzle some olive oil over top before serving.

      - Jenn on July 6, 2017 Reply
  • Looks yummy.
    Can I reduce to make for one or two. Or,’can I follow recipe and refrigerate ?
    There’s a Jewish market in my town that sells the Persian bread sanjak

    - Ellen on July 6, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Ellen, You can easily cut the recipe in half – or make the full quantity of sauce and freeze half for another time.

      - Jenn on July 6, 2017 Reply
  • Looks amazing! What other cheeses might you recommend if we don’t particularly like feta?

    - Kathryn on July 6, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Kathryn, I think goat cheese would be a good choice, but you could also try something a little milder and gooey-er, like cheddar or Monterey Jack.

      - Jenn on July 6, 2017 Reply

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