Traditional Shakshuka is a delicious egg-based recipe made with peppers, onions, eggs, and tomatoes, topped with cheese and herbs. This simple yet satisfying dish is filling, nutritious and ready in just half an hour! It originated in North Africa but is also very popular in Middle Eastern countries.
What Is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish originating from North Africa, Tunisia. This flavorsome breakfast dish consists of eggs gently poached in a spicy tomato sauce made with peppers, onions, and fresh herbs. The spices and herbs vary from region to region and some recipes might contain meat such as sucuk (a type of spicy Turkish sausage I use for my delicious Sucuklu Pide) or roast lamb.
Traditional Shakshuka is typically served with flatbread such as Bazlama (Turkish Flatbread) or some crusty bread in North Africa as a light dinner. It has recently become more popular in Western cuisine. Because of its egg content, it is often served as a part of breakfasts or brunch.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Traditional Shakshuka Recipe only requires a few pantry & fridge ingredients.
- It's extremely easy to make this delicious egg-based dish with step-by-step pictures and instructions.
- This simple, filling, and delicious North African dish is also very healthy and low in calories.
- You can serve Shakshuka for breakfast/brunch, lunch, or even for a light dinner.
Ingredients and Substitutes
What Tomatoes For Shakshuka
Fresh, ripen summer tomatoes give the best results. However, you can make Shakshuka with tinned tomatoes or any other tomatoes you have in your fridge/pantry. If your tomatoes are not at their best, a bit of extra tomato paste would help to intensify the color and flavor of the dish.
You can finely chop, grate or blitz your tomatoes. Each method will give you a different texture but they all will taste amazing!
Seasoning For Shakshuka
Some Shakshuka recipes have cumin, paprika, and harissa but I only use freshly ground black pepper and chilies to keep it simple.
You can add any spices you like and adjust the amount to your taste. Be careful with the amount of salt if using feta cheese as a garnish.
- Peppers - I prefer using Turkish green chilies. They are usually mild but some of them can be quite hot. You can also use bell pepper or Spanish Padron peppers.
- Red Peppers - I use romano peppers but any sweet type of red pepper works with this recipe.
- Red Onions - I prefer red onions for the color and strong flavor but you can use shallots, brown onions, or spring onions instead.
- Chilli - You can skip it if your Turkish peppers are hot or if you don't like your Shakshuka too spicy.
- Tomato Paste - It adds an umami flavor to the shakshuka as well as a bright red color. Skip it if your tomatoes are nice&ripe summer tomatoes!
- Eggs - They are the star of this dish. Use fresh free-range eggs if possible.
- Feta - I prefer feta cheese made with sheep milk with high-fat content with a creamy texture. You can replace it with goat's cheese, cottage cheese, or Kasar cheese.
This is a straightforward recipe to follow. However, to achieve the best results you need to follow a few simple steps:
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet or pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add the peppers and sauté for five minutes.
I prefer using Turkish green chilies for this dish but you can use bell peppers or Padron peppers too. Bell peppers take slightly longer to cook so give extra few minutes if using them.
Add red onions and cook for another five minutes or until lightly caramelized. If you want to use spring onions, reduce the cooking time to 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute before adding the chili, chopped tomatoes, black pepper, and salt, stir well. Adjust the amount of chili to your taste. This dish tastes better with ripped juicy red tomatoes in season.
If you are lucky enough to have ripened summer tomatoes in your fridge, you can skip the tomato paste.
Cook the mixture on low to medium heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce started to thicken. Check the seasoning and add some salt if needed.
Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture one at a time, cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle some cheese of your choice and chopped parsley on top before serving.
How to Serve Shakshuka
Shakshuka is a great dish to serve for breakfast whether it is a family gathering or a Sunday brunch. It only requires a few basic ingredients and is ready in no time!
Shakshuka is best served immediately. The leftover eggs will get overcooked when you want to reheat them. This recipe serves 4 people. If this recipe is too much for you, simply use half amount of the ingredients and add as many eggs as you need.
Top Tip From the Chef
You can add some minced meat or sucuk to your Shakshuka and serve it as dinner. Simply brown the mince or sucuk in a pan with some olive oil before sautéing the peppers and onions. Add your spices, tomato paste, and tomatoes to finish the sauce. Crack your eggs and gently poach them to your liking.
This Shakshuka recipe is not only delicious but also a healthy egg dish. It is considerably low calorie and contains vitamins A and C as well as lots of calcium and protein.
Menemen is a Turkish egg dish made of 3 main ingredients: Turkish green chili peppers, tomatoes, and eggs. The egg is usually scrambled instead of poached in tomato sauce.
Shakshuka is a North African dish made of onions, peppers (usually red&green together), tomatoes, tomato paste, some spices (cumin and harissa traditionally), and eggs. Eggs are poached in tomato sauce and left whole.
If you like your eggs runny, cook them for 3 minutes. If you like your egg whites set with runny yolks, take them off the heat after 5 minutes. For firmer yolks, you can cook them for up to 8 minutes. Keep in mind that they will carry on cooking in the tomato sauce even after you take them off the heat.
For other delicious & healthy breakfast recipes why not try:
I hope you enjoy the process of making this traditional Shakshuka dish as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet olsun!
Traditional Shakshuka Recipe
- 20 g butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 150 g green pepper or 4 Turkish green chilies ( chopped)
- 150 g sweet red pepper (chopped)
- 1 small red onion (sliced)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 chopped red chili or ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (adjust to your taste)
- 6 medium tomatoes (chopped or grated / 800 grams)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 to 6 eggs
- 100 g feta, kasar (kashkaval), or cheddar cheese grated
- Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet or pan on medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add the green peppers and red peppers and saute for five minutes.
- Add the onions and saute for another 5 minutes or until they are lightly caramelized.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute before adding the chili, chopped tomatoes, freshly ground black pepper, and salt, stir well.
- Cook on low to medium heat for 15 minutes, until it starts to reduce then crack the eggs in the tomato mixture one at a time.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Turn the heat off and sprinkle some cheese on top before serving.
- Shakshuka is best served immediately. The leftover eggs will get overcooked when you want to reheat them.
- This simple yet satisfying dish is filling, nutritious and ready in just half an hour!
- Shakshuka is considerably low calorie and contains vitamins A and C as well as lots of calcium and protein.
- You can add some minced meat or sucuk to your Shakshuka and serve it as dinner.
- Keep in mind that the eggs will carry on cooking in the tomato sauce even after you take them off the heat.
- If you are lucky enough to have ripened summer tomatoes in your fridge, you can skip the tomato paste.
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