My mom is an article clipper. She reads the newspaper every morning – not the kind that is on the internet – and she clips articles for everyone that she’s close to. Techy stuff for Jack, figure skating/olympic articles for my sister, and of course recipe ideas for me. These bits of recipe inspiration are always helpful because, quite honestly, I often get stuck in my head about what to make and I appreciate the outside perspective.
She came to visit a few weeks ago and said “I don’t know how to pronounce this one but it looks really good, why don’t you make something like this?” I hesitated for a second because while I’ve always loved Shakshuka, the reason I didn’t already have a recipe on the blog is that dishes like this are especially challenging to make look cute. Eggs in tomato sauce can be quite… inconsistent… looks-wise.
Then I thought “I’ll do mini skillets!” Anything mini is always cute, right? That way there would be only so much room for the eggs to spread and I planned to top the ugly parts with herbs (food styling pro tip, btw). Except I only had 1 mini skillet and 3 of us to feed. Then I had one of those moments where I stopped to think “what is this crazy life that I have that I’ve just spent an hour plotting how to make shakshuka look cute?” and just got on with it.
Cuteness aside, I really love this dish – It’s perfect for this time of year because it’s largely a pantry meal. My version has spinach mixed for extra veggie power and harissa mixed in for extra spice. See the recipe below for instructions to make this whole recipe in one skillet. Since I was dividing this into multiple skillets to serve 3, I made the sauce in a separate pan and stored the extra in the fridge for an impromptu-shakshuka lunch the next day.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium onion)
- 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste, optional*
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- Several big handfuls of fresh spinach
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta, optional
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 avocado, diced
- Toasted slices of ciabatta bread (1 to 2 per serving)
- Microgreens for garnish, optional
- Heat the oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Add the red pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, smoked paprika and cumin. Stir and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, harissa paste, if using, and a few more pinches of salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the cayenne pepper for more kick, if desired.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Make 4 wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes.**
- Serve with feta cheese, parsley, diced avocado and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping and enjoy!
** If you prefer to use smaller skillets as shown in the picture, divide the sauce among the skillets and continue to simmer over medium-low heat. Make wells and crack in the desired number of eggs. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes.
Make this gluten free by using GF bread.