Eggs poached in spicy, smoky tomato sauce is a satisfying and healthy meal perfect for any time of day.
Shakshuka! What a fun word to say. It almost sounds like a dance move...or a sound effect...or a Harry Potter spell. Can you imagine? Wave a spatula at someone & yell "Shakshuka" and boom - there's breakfast. I'd love it.
Shakshuka has been on my "to cook" list for such a long time and I honestly don't know why it took me this long to finally try it! I have pinned & bookmarked multiple versions of the recipe and I had a feeling I would love it for the following reasons:
- I love savory breakfasts. If you gave me a choice between a donut/pancakes/etc. or eggs/a bagel/etc., I'd pick the latter just about every time.
- I love tomato sauce. I can (and sometimes do) eat pasta sauce with a spoon. It's kind of like soup...right?
- I love a good runny egg. That velvety yolk...omg. It's magical.
And guess what? I was totally right! I love Shakshuka!
I decided to make this for breakfast one weekend morning when I was casually browsing Instagram in bed and came across one of those fun sped-up aerial recipe videos and I thought to myself - wait a minute...I actually HAVE all of that stuff right now! Which let me tell you...doesn't happen often. Anyone else struggle a little with keeping a good arsenal of stuff on hand to make a meal at the drop of a hat? It is one of my life goals to keep a smartly stocked pantry and fridge so I can whip something up whenever I want, while also not buying things I don't use in time and wasting food.
Thankfully, this recipe calls for a lot of pantry/fridge staples which makes it a really easy one to whip out of your back pocket! I think the trickiest part of this recipe is getting those beautiful sauce-poached eggs cooked just right. The eggs seem to have a rather short window of time where the whites are thoroughly cooked but the yolk is still soft, glossy and velvety. And that egg yolk is where it is.
Full disclosure here: the first time I made it, I cooked the eggs for too long and they came out with more of a hard-boiled texture. Whoops. 🤷♀️ It was still yummy but not quite what I was looking for. But - if at first you don't succeed...try, try again! And the next time I made it...spot on. 👌
My tips for getting the yolk to the best consistency are:
- Turn on your oven light - that way you can keep an eye on what's happening without constantly opening the oven door and losing heat.
- Using oven mitts, rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through the oven time to get even heat on all your eggs.
- Don't be afraid to carefully (!!!) & quickly touch a couple of the eggs to see if they feel like the right texture, the white should be cooked through and just slightly firm to the touch, but the yolk should have some noticeable give.
- Serve it up right away, because the longer it sits in the hot pan surrounded by hot sauce, the more the eggs will cook!
Shakshuka is perfect for a weekend breakfast or meatless dinner. It's hearty, healthy and oh so satisfying.
Serve it with naan, pita bread or crusty bread to scoop up that luscious egg and savory sauce.
Yummy noises await you!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Naan, pita bread or crusty bread, for serving
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, vinegar, paprika, oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and add more cayenne/salt/pepper if desired. Turn off heat and stir in feta.
One at a time, crack eggs into a small rounded bowl. Using the bowl to displace the sauce and create a well, carefully slip the eggs into the sauce. (If you do not have a small rounded bowl, use the back of a large spoon to create indentations and carefully crack the eggs into the wells). Season eggs with a little more freshly ground black pepper.
Place pan in oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, using oven mitts (!) to rotate the pan 180 degrees about 5 minutes in. At about 8 minutes in, carefully touch the eggs to check for doneness - the whites should be set and the yolk should still be soft.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve right away with bread for dipping.
The feta and bread are optional and can be omitted to make the recipe dairy-free or gluten-free. I've made it without the feta and eaten it without bread and it's fantastic!
Be SO SO CAREFUL not to touch the handle of the pan after you take it out of the oven - it's so easy to forget that it just came out of the oven and then grab it & burn your hand. I recommend keeping the handle covered with a kitchen towel or potholder after you take it out.
Adapted from Cooking Light