Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, perfect for breakfast or any time of day, a healthy, easy dish to make.
We're cooking up one of our favorite dishes here in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends! This recipe can be served anytime of of day.
It's perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or even as a late night snack. Loaded with eggs cooked in a spicy tomato-pepper sauce, it's sure to satisfy.
It's called Shakshuka, and I know you're going to love it.
What is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka (also spelled "Shakshouka"), is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of poached eggs in a spiced tomato and chili-based sauce.
Shakshuka is originally a North African dish, but has become hugely popular throughout the middle east, particularly Israel, where it is commonly served today.
It is one of those dishes that may look complicated, but in reality is incredibly easy to make. It is so simple, in fact, that I had been making a version of this YEARS ago before I even heard the name Shakshuka eggs.
This was back when I began learning more about cooking and food, experimenting in the kitchen. I enjoyed making spicy sauces and decided to toss a few eggs in with it to poach them.
Saucy Eggs! So good! A fun creation! I didn't have a name for that dish, but when I came across this particular dish, I couldn't believe it. Such a great recipe!
I've seen this, or dishes like it, go by other names - "Eggs in Purgatory" or "Eggs in Hell". Both of those sound appropriate, depending on how spicy you want your sauce.
It looks more like a breakfast recipe, but it can be served any time of day. Brunch would be nice, perhaps with a Blood Mary or a sip of champagne, fun lunch, or spicy dinner.
You can make the sauce ahead of time to enjoy it as a quick meal. I like to simmer my sauce a good 30 minutes to let the flavors really develop.
You don't have to simmer that long, though I recommend it. Savor the flavor.
Let's talk about how to make Shakshuka!
- Olive Oil. For cooking.
- Vegetables. Onion, red bell pepper, spicy chili peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. You can use canned tomatoes for this recipe, or fresh.
- Spices. Smoked paprika (or sweet paprika), cumin, and salt and pepper. Add cayenne pepper for a bit more heat.
- Cilantro. For flavor and garnish.
- For Serving. Crumbled feta cheese (or other crumbly white cheese) and fresh chopped herbs for topping, crusty bread (if desired).
How to Make Shakshuka - The Recipe Method
Cook the Onions and Peppers. Heat a 10-inch skillet to medium heat and add olive oil.
Add onion and peppers. Cook them down 6-7 minutes, until they are nicely browned and beginning to caramelize.
Garlic and Spices. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, cumin, and salt and pepper. Cook another minute.
This will let the spices bloom a bit in the pan.
Add Tomatoes. Add tomatoes and break apart with a wooden spoon.
Simmer the Shakshuka Sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes to let the flavors develop nicely.
Add Cilantro. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro.
Add the Eggs. With a small spoon, form 6 small indentations for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the indentations. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the egg whites to help them set and cover the pan.
Cook the Eggs Through. Simmer, covered, about 7-8 minutes, or until the eggs whites have set. Cook up to 15 minutes for harder eggs.
Let the Eggs Cook to Your Preference. Remove from heat and let sit a couple more minutes for the yolks to set to your preference.
Garnish and Serve. Top with remaining cilantro and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with crusty bread.
Crusty bread is a MUST so you can scoop up all that wonderful sauce from the pan. Pita bread is great, too!
I hope you enjoy it!
Recipe Tips & Notes
Tomatoes. Any canned tomatoes will work for this recipe. I often like to make it with fire roasted tomatoes, though whole or diced tomatoes are great here, as well as fresh tomatoes.
Simmering Time. You can serve this dish quickly, or let the sauce simmer longer to develop more flavor. You can also simmer the eggs as long as you'd like, depending on how done you prefer your eggs.
Want Spicy Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is considered a mildly spicy dish, though you can spice it up even more if you'd like. Feel free to vary up the seasonings to your preference. Add in chili powder with a heat level you enjoy, as well as red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
You can also use hotter or milder peppers in your base sauce to however you like it.
Store any leftover shakshuka in a sealed container in the refrigerator, or by sealing up the cooled baking dish in plastic wrap. It will last up to 5 days.
Warm in gently in the oven or on the stovetop to enjoy again.
Most people might not think of a red sauce like this being served with eggs, but this really works and it has become of my new favorites. I will be requesting Mike make this more often!
Try Some of My Other Popular Breakfast Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Shakshuka Recipe (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1-2 spicy peppers chopped – Use a couple jalapenos or spicy red peppers (optional, for extra spicy)
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon paprika (use hot, sweet, or smoked - add cayenne pepper for extra spicy)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes (or equivalent of fresh tomatoes) chopped (fire roasted tomatoes are GREAT here)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 6 eggs
- Crumbled feta (or other crumbly white cheese) cheese and fresh chopped herbs for topping, hot sauce to taste
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Heat a 10-inch skillet to medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add onion and peppers. Cook them down 6-7 minutes, until they are nicely browned and beginning to caramelize.
- Add garlic, paprika, cumin, cumin, and salt and pepper. Cook another minute.
- Add tomatoes and break apart with a wooden spoon.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes to let the flavors develop nicely.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro.
- With a small spoon, form 6 small indentations for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the indentations. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the egg whites to help them set and cover.
- Simmer, covered, about 7-8 minutes, or until the eggs whites have set.
- Remove from heat and let sit a couple more minutes for the yolks to set to your preference.
- Top with remaining cilantro and crumbled feta cheese. Serve with crusty bread. And hot sauce to taste!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 6/16/23 to include new information, video, and photos. It was originally published on 1/20/17.