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turkish meze saksuka is served in a bowl
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5 from 19 votes

Şakşuka (Turkish Vegetable Meze)

Saksuka (Turkish Vegetable Meze) is a very much loved vegetarian/vegan dish made of shallow-fried vegetables and a simple tomato sauce. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Ayla Clulee


  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Turkish green peppers (or 1 bell pepper) (approx 200 grams)
  • 2 medium aubergines (approx 500 grams)
  • 2 medium potatoes (approx 350 grams)
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes (approx 400 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar


Prepare the Vegetables

  • Cut off both ends of the aubergines using a paring knife and peel the skin in strips, going from top to bottom. Do this carefully making sure you save as much flesh as you can.
  • Cut the aubergines into bite-sized chunks a size of one centimetre long. 
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them similar in size to the aubergines.
  • Slice the Turkish peppers in chunky size (or dice the bell pepper similar in size to the potatoes & aubergines).
  • Chop or grate the tomatoes, and set them aside.

Fry the Vegetables

  • Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil to the pan.
  • Make sure all of your vegetables are totally dry before starting to fry them.
  • When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium, place the potatoes carefully in the pan and fry them until golden outside and soft inside.
  • Remove the potatoes in a colander or on a thick paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
  • Carefully add the peppers to the pan and fry them for a few minutes, until they are slightly softened. Put them on a colander together with the potatoes.
  • Add the aubergines to the pan and fry them until tender and just beginning to brown at the edges. Don't be tempted to add more olive oil!
  • Remove the aubergines from the pan on a thick paper towel to get rid of excess oil.

Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  • Put a little olive oil into the same pan you fried your vegetables (if needed) and quickly sauté the garlic.
  • Add the chopped/grated tomatoes, tomato paste (optional), sugar, vinegar, and salt, give it a stir, and then let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is reduced. 
  • Place the potatoes, peppers, and aubergines on a serving bowl/plate and give them a gentle mix.
  • Pour the tomato sauce on top and let it cool down to room temperature before serving.
  • You can stir the tomato sauce with the vegetables if you prefer and top it with some garlicky yogurt sauce before serving.



  • The star ingredient for this traditional Turkish dish is the aubergines/eggplants.
  • Pick slightly firm but not hard aubergines when buying them.
  • Use a very good quality olive oil as it's the oil that will affect the taste of the dish, same as many other olive oil-based vegetarian Turkish dishes.
  • You can keep the leftovers for up to a week refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Make sure all of your vegetables are totally dry before starting to fry them.
  • Eggplants absorb a lot of oil but release them back when they start browning. Don't be tempted to add more olive oil than stated in the recipe while frying your eggplants!


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 1302mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1044IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg