Best Shakshuka

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 recipe

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!

Shakshuka recipe ingredients

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:

  1. First, sauté onion and red bell pepper in a large skillet until they soften.
  2. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook until they’re fragrant.
  3. Stir in canned crushed tomatoes and harissa and simmer until the tomato mixture thickens. Stir in spinach, if you like.
  4. 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!

Serving Suggestions

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

You’ll also want bread for scooping up the tasty sauce. You can’t go wrong with pita bread, but slices of crusty bread are delicious as well.

Shakshuka

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:

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Best Shakshuka

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 150 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves 4
Shakshuka is a classic North African and Middle Eastern breakfast dish. This recipe is simple and satisfying, featuring eggs poached in a bell pepper and tomato sauce. Serve it with pita or crusty bread for breakfast or brunch...or dinner! Shakshuka is a delicious option for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Microgreens for garnish, optional
  • Toasted bread, for serving

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*If you're sensitive to spice use a mild harissa (like Mina Harissa Mild), for a spicier shakshuka, use hot harissa (like Trader Joe's Hot Harissa).

 

217 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Arianna Nuri
    03.04.2023

    5 stars
    This recipe has become one of my go-tos! It is such a flavorful and cozy meal— perfect for a rainy day! always feels like a hug in a bowl 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.09.2023

      Hi Arianna, I love that! So glad it’s one of your favorites.

  2. Lynette
    02.19.2023

    5 stars
    Really, really delicious. Easy and a great option for when there is ‘nothing in the house to eat’.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.20.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Milu
    01.04.2023

    I love the recipe, l cooked many times was delicious, but in Israel, are the best, no way 😋

  4. Ariadne
    12.17.2022

    5 stars
    It was delicious! Me and my husband loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.18.2022

      Hi Ariadne, I’m so happy to hear!

  5. Adam
    12.02.2022

    5 stars
    I randomly made this recipe after the website recommended it. My wife and I are not disappointed at all. Delicious.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.06.2022

      I’m so glad you both loved it!

  6. Dee
    11.09.2022

    3 stars
    Was really good but where is the nutritional content listed? What I found on MyFitnessPal for this recipe has the salt content out the roof and I want to confirm that. Surprised the nutrition is not listed with the recipe.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.11.2022

      Hi Dee, We don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes. If you need it, I recommend adding the ingredients to a calculator like MyFitnessPal. Hope this helps!

  7. mari
    10.30.2022

    5 stars
    This turned out amazing! Recipe was very easy to follow

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.01.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  8. Lola
    10.18.2022

    5 stars
    I was looking for delicious and I found it. Please if anyone has the nutrition content please let me know

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Julie
    08.17.2022

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner. Loved it. I had some leftover rice so I decided to add it in! Will definitely make this again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.19.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Donna
    07.12.2022

    5 stars
    Have made this a few times, love it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.16.2022

      I’m so happy to hear!

  11. Karen
    07.11.2022

    5 stars
    Sooooo good. I didn’t have any harissa so I added a little chili powder, and I threw in some crumbled goat cheese at the end (my husband hates feta). I LOVED this so much! Drool…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Lynda
    06.28.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious, made exactly as recipe. Love this dish

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.29.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Jason Jones
    06.21.2022

    If I only have dried harissa spice, how much would you recommend using as a substitute for the harissa paste?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.22.2022

      Hi Jason, I’d probably go with 1/2 teaspoon.

  14. Jal
    06.02.2022

    5 stars
    So delicious! I couldn’t find harissa paste but worked perfectly well with dried harissa seasoning

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Chandreyi
    05.07.2022

    5 stars
    Just made these. So tasty- even without the harissa which I didn’t have in the house . I just made sure to be generous with the other spices. Added a few chickpeas too.

    Love your website – really beautifully presented.
    Tried your tahini salad dressing too which was a revelation!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.07.2022

      I’m so glad you loved the shakshuka and the tahini dressing!

  16. Marie-Claire Kearney
    05.06.2022

    This is the most delicious go to brunch recipe . Made it several times over and recommended to friends . I didn’t have harissa paste so used some tomato puree and harissa seasoning instead. Goats cheese / fresh coriander can be used to garnish instead of feta / fresh parsley. Really you can make it how you prefer. Real depth of flavour and very filling.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.07.2022

      Oh yum, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Keith
    04.12.2022

    5 stars
    I’ve made this dish twice. It is AMAZING. My family have different tastes, but everyone likes this one. Very easy to make.

    I was eating it and I said out loud, “Where have you been all my life?”

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.13.2022

      Ha ha, I’m so glad it was a hit!

      • Keith
        05.12.2022

        5 stars
        I’m making this again tonight. I can’t wait. But I’m going to add Chorizo. Nom Nom.

  18. Joel
    04.05.2022

    Quick question – would it be easier to start with passata, rather than reducing the chopped tomatoes so much?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.05.2022

      Hi Joel, either would work, the crushed tomatoes stew down nicely.

  19. Grace
    01.29.2022

    5 stars
    I’ve made this countless times and it always comes out fantastic. I usually sub harissa for tomato paste and it adds amazing flavor. Such an easy go-to! Thank you for this great staple!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.01.2022

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving it!

  20. Brandi Kosh
    01.25.2022

    5 stars
    Love Love Love this!!
    I made this for the first time, and my family really enjoed it. I made it again adding diced zucchini and yellow squash. I also used a little syricha since I did not have harissa. Omg it was delicious!! Thank you for this recipe

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.