This shakshuka recipe is satisfying and delicious for any meal of the day! An easy one-pan dish, it features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
Shakshuka is one of my favorite breakfasts…and lunches…and dinners. Though this Middle Eastern and North African dish is traditionally eaten for breakfast, it’s so easy, filling, and flavorful that it’s a great option for any meal of the day.
Below, I’m sharing my go-to shakshuka recipe, which features gently poached eggs cooked in a fragrant bell pepper and tomato sauce. It’s flecked with spinach and spiced with paprika, cumin, cayenne, and harissa. If you like simple meals that go BIG on flavor, you’ll love this.
What is shakshuka?
Shakshuka is North African in origin (the name shakshuka comes from the Tunisian word for “shaken up”), but it’s widely enjoyed throughout North Africa and the Middle East, in countries such as Israel. Traditionally, the dish consists of eggs poached in a spiced bell pepper and tomato sauce, though many variations exist today. Some replace the tomato base with fresh green vegetables for a green shakshuka; others swap in butternut squash or sweet potato, etc.
In this shakshuka recipe, I add spinach and harissa, a North African chili paste, to the sauce for a fresh, extra-spicy twist. Keep reading to learn how to make it!
How to Make Shakshuka
This shakshuka recipe is easy to make! It only requires a handful of pantry ingredients, and you could even skip the spinach if you don’t have any on hand. This recipe still tastes great without it.
Here’s how it goes:
- First, sauté onion and red bell pepper in a large skillet until they soften.
- Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook until they’re fragrant.
- Stir in canned crushed tomatoes and harissa and simmer until the tomato mixture thickens. Stir in spinach, if you like.
- Finally, crack eggs into the sauce, cover, and cook until they’re just set, 5 to 8 minutes.
Season to taste, and top with any fixings you like. Serve with pita bread!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Mild vs. Spicy
Store-bought harissa can vary widely in spice level.
- If you’re sensitive to spice, look for one that’s labeled mild, such as mild Mina Harissa.
- If you want to make a really spicy tomato sauce, choose a spicy harissa, like spicy Mina Harissa or Trader Joe’s. You could even add red pepper flakes for extra heat!
Let’s talk toppings! They’re a fun way to introduce a wider variety of textures and flavors into this shakshuka recipe. Serve your shakshuka with…
- Chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro. Microgreens work too!
- Crumbled feta cheese, for salty, tangy flavor
- Sliced avocado, for creamy texture
Shakshuka Recipe Tips
- Get the sauce nice and thick. You need a thick tomato sauce to support the eggs in this recipe, so don’t cut the simmering time short! I let mine cook for a full 15 minutes before I crack in the eggs.
- Make sure you have a large lidded skillet. You’ll need to be able to cover the pan in this recipe—it’s essential for poaching the eggs evenly and gently.
- Use however many eggs are appropriate for your pan. I list a range for the number of eggs in this recipe, and how many you use is really up to you. There should be a little space between each egg in the pan—they shouldn’t be crowded. In my 12-inch skillet, I can fit up to 5. But if I’m just making this recipe for Jack and me, I stick with 3 eggs. If we have any leftover sauce, I make a personal-sized shakshuka the next day!
- Adjust the timing depending on how you like your eggs. How long you cook your eggs will depend on how you like them. I love mine when the egg whites have just set and the yolks are perfectly runny, so I take them off the heat after 5 minutes. If you like firmer yolks, you can cook them for up to 8 minutes. Keep in mind that they’ll continue to cook in the hot sauce even after you take them off the stove.
More Egg Recipes to Try
If you love this shakshuka recipe, try one of these delicious egg recipes next:
- How to Make a Frittata (5 ways!)
- Spinach Quiche
- How to Make an Omelette
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Breakfast Sandwich
- Baked Eggs
- Breakfast Egg Muffins
- Or any of these 25 Best Egg Recipes!
- 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 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
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a 12-inch lidded stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron skillet. Add the onion, red pepper, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne, if using. Stir and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and harissa paste. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Use the back of a spoon to make 3 to 5 wells in the sauce. Crack in the eggs. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes. The timing will depend on how runny you like your egg yolks.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the feta, parsley, avocado, and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping.