Shakshuka, the one pan breakfast that is easy to make and tastes delicious!
I love this recipe, especially when made with fresh heirloom tomatoes with their juices mixing with the eggs.
When I was a boy my grandmother would go out to the chickens every morning and collect the fresh eggs.
If we were lucky, she would make us ‘bayd oo bundoora’ or eggs and tomatoes in English, what we called shakshuka.
The simplicity and freshness of this dish is what makes it so wonderful in my opinion.
Adding some fresh crusty bread from the taboon oven made for a perfect combination!
This is a go-to recipe in our house, and it can even make a great dinner.
What is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a dish considered a classic in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines.
This dish is usually consumed in the morning for breakfast, however, it’s not uncommon to be eaten at any time of the day.
Pinpointing the origins of this dish has been difficult due to food historians giving various theories.
Some believe the dish spread to Spain and the greater Middle East from Ottoman Turkey, while others think it originated in North Africa.
There is also a smaller group of food historians who believe the dish is from Yemen.
Wherever it came from, we love it in the Middle East, and it’s one of our most popular dishes around the world.
This dish is made with eggs that are poached in a sauce consisting of tomatoes, chili peppers, and garlic.
It is often spiced with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg and sometimes crumbled feta is added.
How to Make Shakshuka
Shakshuka is a relatively easy dish to make, using mostly common ingredients, and will fit most pans.
If you want, you can also add some bell pepper for some extra flavor and color.
Add the onion, sauté with garlic and oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan.
Cook stirring over a medium heat until the onions and garlic are translucent and soft.
Keep your attention on the pan so that these ingredients don’t burn or get too toasty.
Then add tomatoes (fresh, or canned to save time), chili pepper flakes, then season with salt and pepper.
Cover and allow to simmer on a low heat until the tomatoes are cooked and soft, and resemble a tomato sauce.
While the tomatoes and onions cook, crack eggs into a bowl, then reduce the heat.
Using a wooden spoon, make a small nest in the tomato mixture and pour in one egg for each space.
Continue with this until you have added all the eggs, sometimes you can put two eggs in one nest as one serving.
Finally, cover the pan and cook the eggs gently until they are poached.
The common rule for poaching eggs is to cook:
- 2 minutes for runny eggs
- 3 minutes for a set white with a runny yolk
- 4 minutes for a more well-done egg with a yolk that’s still soft
To make sure your eggs are poached to your liking, use a timer for best results.
If you want a healthier option, you can use just egg whites instead of the whole egg.
The dish you will be left with is nothing but the goodness of the fresh ingredients themselves.
A fantastically healthy alternative to plain poached eggs!
Fresh vs Canned Tomato
Fresh or canned tomatoes, which should you use?
The choice is yours of course, but I usually only use canned tomatoes if I’m short of time.
Some people say that canned foods lose nutrients but this is not always the case, and therefore not much to worry about.
For me fresh vine ripe tomatoes will always trump canned unless time is a factor, but both can be very good.
If you have some lovely heirloom tomatoes growing in your garden and are ripe for the picking, I would go for them every time.
What to Serve with Shakshuka
There are a large variety of foods that can be served alongside the Shakshuka.
When served as breakfast, Shakshuka is normally paired with a bread like Pita or Challah.
Other side pairing options include a French baguette, sourdough bread, bagels or even tortilla chips.
However, if Shakshuka is being made for dinner it can be served with a light side dish.
Even a muhammara would not be something unusual to pair with Shakshuka to make a delicious feast.
Since this is such a versatile dish it can be served with whatever breakfast meat side dish you enjoy most.
But it’s just as enjoyable by itself, just a nice big steaming bowl of shakshuka is enough for me!
One magical thing about this dish is that it only takes a few delicious ingredients to create.
I hope you enjoy making this Shakshuka!
It’s become more and more popular in recent years.
I can’t think of one brunch place I’ve been to recently where I haven’t seen this as an option!
But you don’t have to go out for brunch in order to enjoy this delicious breakfast.
Give it a go on your next morning off, I have no doubt it will become one of your go-to breakfasts.
If it seems too time consuming to make fresh on a busy morning, simply plan ahead.
I normally keep a tub of peeled garlic and one of chopped onions in my fridge.
Thrown in with a can of tomatoes and some eggs and there you go, breakfast.
Alternatively, make a double portion of this recipe and freeze any leftover for next time.
That way you can put the leftovers in your fridge to defrost the night before, or quickly defrost it in the microwave in the morning.
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Onions chopped
- 8 cloves Garlic sliced
- 2 cans Tomatoes diced
- 8 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Chili Pepper Flakes
- Black Pepper to taste
- Heat oil into large pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt and chili flakes.
- Cover and simmer until until tomatoes have somewhat softened.
- Crack eggs into a bowl while tomatoes and onions cook. Using a wooden spoon, make a small nest in the mixture and pour in one egg. Continue with this until you have added all the eggs being sure not to cook eggs too close together.
- Cover and cook a few minutes more until eggs are poached.