Shakshuka yum (1)
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  • Food: Shakshuka
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Have you tried shakshuka before? Eggs are poached in a spicy, spinach-flecked tomato sauce in this recipe. It’s a filling and delicious dinner or brunch option!

Shakshuka started as a meal for laborers, according to Adeena Sussman’s cookbook Sababa, who scooped the eggs and sauce onto pita bread for a simple handheld breakfast.

It’s a North African name (Adeena believes it originates from the Tunisian phrase for “shaken up”) that’s become popular across the Middle East.

Nowadays, there are a million different shakshuka recipes to choose from. Some are created with fresh greens, while others have a tomato basis. They always include eggs cooked in a rich sauce, no matter what.

Shakshuka Easy (1)
Food: Shakshuka (Source: Food by Mars)

My recipe begins with a fiery tomato and red pepper sauce seasoned with harissa, cumin, paprika, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Then fresh spinach is chopped and added to the dish, adding lovely green flecks. Finally, poached eggs are delicately nestled into the sauce.

It’s hearty, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious. Even though shakshuka is a typical breakfast dish, you could easily serve it for brunch or dinner on a weeknight.

Serving Suggestions for Shakshuka

Fortunately, this shakshuka recipe is simple to prepare. It just calls for a few pantry staples, and you can eliminate the spinach if you don’t have any on hand. This recipe is still delicious without it.

This shakshuka dish is delicious and simple to make, and it’s perfect for a holiday brunch (don’t forget the mimosas!) or breakfast, or even a midweek dinner.

Top it with sliced avocado, crumbled feta, and fresh parsley leaves to make it a true show-stopper. Then, using pita or slices of the nicest crusty bread you can find, scoop it up.

Recipe Tips for Shakshuka

  • Make the sauce as thick as possible. To support the eggs in this dish, you’ll need a thick tomato sauce, so don’t skimp on the simmering time! Before cracking in the eggs, I let mine simmer for a full 15 minutes.
  • Make sure you have a large skillet with a lid. In this recipe, you’ll need to be able to cover the pan because it’s necessary for poaching the eggs evenly and gently.
  • Depending on the size of your pan, use as many eggs as necessary. The quantity of eggs in this recipe is listed as a range, and how many you use is entirely up to you. In the pan, there should be some space between each egg — they shouldn’t be crowded. I can accommodate up to 5 people in my 12-inch skillet. However, if I’m just preparing this for Jack and me, I just use three eggs. I create a personal-sized shakshuka the next day if we have any leftover sauce!
  • Depending on how you prefer your eggs, adjust the timing. Depending on how you like your eggs, you can cook them for as long as you want. After 5 minutes, I remove them from the stove when the egg whites have just set and the yolks are perfectly fluid. You can boil the yolks for up to 8 minutes if you prefer firmer yolks. Remember that they’ll continue to cook in the hot sauce after you remove them from the heat.


Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Time allotted: 35 minutes

Serving: 4 servings

Shakshuka is a classic Middle Eastern morning dish that originated in North Africa. The eggs are poached in a harissa-spiced tomato sauce in this easy and tasty recipe. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, serve it with pita or crusty bread.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste*, see note
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 to 5 eggs
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Microgreens for garnish, optional
  • Toasted bread, for serving


Shakshuka (1)
Food: Shakshuka (Source: Food by Mars)
  1. In a 12-inch lidded stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent, add red pepper, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper as needed.
  2. Reduce to medium-low heat and stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper, if using. Stir in the tomatoes and harissa paste, then heat for another 30 seconds. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Stir in the spinach until it has wilted. Make three to five wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into them. Cook, covered, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Depending on how runny you like your egg yolks, the timing will vary.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then top with feta, parsley, avocado, and microgreens, if using. To scoop, serve with toasted bread.


  • Use moderate harissa (like Mina Harissa Mild) if you’re sensitive to spice; for a spicier shakshuka, use hot harissa (like Trader Joe’s Hot Harissa).