Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa

I love this shakshuka recipe for a weekend brunch! This version, with harissa-spiced tomato sauce, feta, and avocado, is hearty and healthy.

Shakshuka Recipe with Spinach and Harissa

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.

Shakshuka Recipe ingredients

What is Shakshuka?

My mom 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’ve loved shakshuka for years, and I didn’t have a shakshuka recipe on the blog, so I followed her advice!

If you’re not familiar with shakshuka, you’re in for a treat. It’s a North African dish that consists of eggs poached in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce. It’s healthy, warming, and comforting meal that’s easy to make but intensely flavorful. While it’s a delicious breakfast or brunch, I also love it for a satisfying weeknight dinner.

Tomato sauce cooking in a large skillet

Why You’ll Love This Shakshuka Recipe

I love this dish, and I think you will too! Here’s why:

  • It’s largely a pantry meal. Eggs, canned crushed tomatoes, spices & spinach are the essential ingredients. And if you have crusty bread on hand, it’s great on the side for scooping up the warm sauce and eggs.
  • I add spinach for extra veggie power. Traditional shakshuka is spinach-free, so if you don’t have any on hand, you can easily leave it out. However, I love the bright flecks of green in the red sauce, and it’s an easy way to make an already healthy meal even more nutritious.
  • Harissa makes this shakshuka recipe extra smoky and spicy. You can find harissa at most grocery stores nowadays – I love the Trader Joe’s brand!
  • There’s feta on top. When it’s mixed with the hot tomato sauce, it melts into tangy, creamy bites that add savory pops of flavor.
  • It’s weeknight-friendly. That’s right. From start to finish, this recipe takes just over 30 minutes to make. It’s definitely one to add to your regular meal rotation.

Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa

If you make this shakshuka recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments! For more healthy breakfast ideas, check out this baked oatmeal, this frittata, these overnight oats, or the breakfast section of our recipe index!

5.0 from 11 reviews
Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I love this shakshuka recipe for a weekend brunch! This version, with harissa-spiced tomato sauce, feta, and avocado, is hearty and healthy.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, main dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Toppings:
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.**
  4. Serve with feta cheese, parsley, diced avocado and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping and enjoy!
Notes
* In this recipe, I used Mina Harissa Mild, which is very mild. Spice levels vary greatly between brands. Add harissa with caution if you’re using another brand and you’re sensitive to spice.

** 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.

 

44 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. carlos at Spoonabilities
    01.30.2017

    The dish looks amazing. I’m looking forward to try this recipe.

  2. Heidi
    01.30.2017

    May I ask where did you get the cute little copper cups/bowls?
    The Shakshuka looks delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2017

      Hi Heidi – they’re from Anthropologie!

      • Heidi
        01.30.2017

        Thank you for responding so fast, I guess they are not available anymore! I love copper! I make all my jam in French copper jam pans.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          01.30.2017

          Oh bummer! You might want to check a store – I got them somewhat recently. I’m surprised to see that they’re gone so quick!

  3. Kathy K
    01.30.2017

    I was so happy to find this recipe this morning, realizing that I had farm-fresh eggs and all of the ingredients on hand. First time making shakshuka and it was deliciousI I made half of the recipe for lunch and look forward to enjoying the remaining sauce with fresh eggs and spinach tomorrow! BTW, your photography is visually stunning and captures the ‘essence’ of each of your recipes (IMHO). Love your cookbook too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2017

      Hi Kathy – I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m so excited that you had all of the ingredients on hand. Love when that happens 🙂

  4. Mary Helen Markovich
    01.30.2017

    Love the potholders too! Where are they from?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2017

      The towel and the square potholder were from Anthropologie at least 2 years ago. I don’t see them in stock anymore – so sorry!

  5. Mackenzie D
    01.30.2017

    I think you did a great job in making it look cute 🙂 Have you ever thought of doing any sort of posts on food photography / styling tips? I’m a photography and I’ve seldom come across food photos as beautiful as yours.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.05.2017

      Thank you Mackenzie! I have thought about it, maybe one day 🙂

  6. Jane
    01.30.2017

    Woke up to this post on Instagram- just when I was trying to decide what was for dinner tonight! So delicious- came together very easily- did use frozen cauliflower rice –
    We all loved it ! Now I need to check out this
    Cookbook

  7. giselle
    01.31.2017

    Hello from south of France!!!!
    Here below I put a link just to share with you all about the origin of this simple but so delicious dish….
    My grand mom used to cook it so often! And so do I of course, but yours seems just interesting and quite elegant!!
    Thank you for this good idea!

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakchouka

  8. Donna from zebest-3000.com
    01.31.2017

    I’m so hungry right now 🙂

  9. This looks so fantastic! What type of skillet would your recommend buying for something like this? I am preparing my wedding registry and would love to know your thoughts on a good skillet. Can’t wait to make this for my fiance!
    xoxo
    Samantha
    http://www.thenewyorkblonde.com

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.05.2017

      Hi Samantha, the cast iron skillets in the photo are Lodge. I also like Staub’s skillets because unlike regular cast iron, they can be washed and don’t need to be seasoned. Hope that helps!

  10. All kinds of items is fulfill with vitamin and these are essential for health. “Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa” this item will seem to see yummy. I will cook it today because I like this recipe.

  11. Johanne from thesunnyside.life
    01.31.2017

    When I was young and lived in Israel we would stop at an amazing restaurant called Dr. Shakshuka for an early breakfast, late dinner, after dancing the night away. I recommend you make it for breakfast one day.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, and thanks to your mom for clipping the recipe. -Johanne

  12. Diane
    02.01.2017

    looks wonderful…however you note to skip the feta if vegan…what about the eggs if you’re vegan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.01.2017

      Oh oops, sorry I meant to write “dairy free”…

  13. Maria from almostproperly.com
    02.01.2017

    Yes!!! From the moment Shakshuka entered our repertoire it has been the answer to just about every easy dinner and almost-empty pantry dinner. Its such a comforting dish. Your version looks fabulous with all those greens added in – and of course, the avocado on top;) YUM!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.05.2017

      Thanks Maria!

  14. Sabrina B.
    02.01.2017

    saw another harissa recipe for the first time recently and then this one, beautiful, looks even better, now I’ll have to make sure to get some harissa, thank you for this!

  15. ila from mywaytocook.com
    02.05.2017

    I found your blog via bloglovin. Love you blog and the photos are so awesome.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.05.2017

      welcome!

  16. Dina from chicagoloansfast.com
    02.15.2017

    I tried to convince my husband to this but he only said that he will not eat anything with that funny name. What a shame… more for me 😀

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      Ha, well maybe you can just tell him it’s eggs with tomato sauce 🙂

  17. Lauren
    02.16.2017

    This looks delish however, I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t cook acidic food in cast iron. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2017

      Hi Lauren, I think the pan just has to be well seasoned (the new-ish cast iron pans come pre-seasoned). I didn’t have a problem with mine – there was no metallic taste whatsoever. Although you could really use any pan you like for this recipe.

  18. stanp from enamelcookwareplus.com
    08.18.2017

    I have harissa powder…can I use that instead of paste…if so…how ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.25.2017

      I’d try adding 1-2 teaspoons in place of the harissa paste, depending how potent/spicy the powder is. Hope that helps!

  19. This recipe is just lovely. Thanks for creating it! If it’s ok for you I would like to share it on Canalla’s social media.

  20. Billy
    12.29.2017

    I’ve never tried shakshuka before – but I love that it has harissa and spinach – it looks so delicious. Definitely going to have to try making this one at home the next time I head to the grocery store. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe!

  21. Julia
    11.26.2018

    Hi there,

    If we wanted to add more eggs, making a total of 6, would you up the sauce too, or would it be ok to just add two more eggs? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.26.2018

      Hi Julia, I think it’d be fine to add just 2 more eggs, it’s a pretty flexible recipe. I’d just see how many will fit in your skillet once you start cracking them in. I’m guessing that a 10-inch skillet will hold about 5, and a 12-inch skillet could hold 6. (Anything smaller and you’ll have a very eggy top layer). Hope that helps!

  22. E
    01.26.2019

    Made this dish and received so many compliments of pick eaters in the house. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Rachel Louise
    04.01.2019

    This was so, so, SO fabulous! We didn’t use the cayenne or harissa bc of our preschooler and toddler, and yet it was phenomenal! Everyone gobbled it up. This will be a new fave in our rotation for sure!

  24. Tanzeela
    04.17.2019

    I added in some crushed mushrooms and this was DELICIOUS. Super flavorful in every bite, will be making again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.17.2019

      Yesss!! I love hearing that! I’m so glad you enjoyed 🙂

  25. Maddie
    07.01.2019

    Loved this recipe! I used the Trader Joe’s Harissa paste and it was the perfect amount of heat and spice in the dish. Will definitely make this again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2019

      So glad you loved it!

  26. Opal
    09.07.2019

    loved this!

    Didn’t have feta or bread. Used Monterey Jack and corn tortillas and tripled the harissa. Didn’t have canned crushed tomatoes so I combined a small can of tomato paste, small can of tomato sauce and two kumatos pulsed. Still. So. Good.

    Was quick and easy and perfect to empty out the fridge of extra things.

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.