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Shakshuka is a delicious, savory dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! This easy recipe includes poached eggs, rich tomato sauce, and fresh cilantro.
When we are looking to switch up our meal rotation, we always try to incorporate recipes from other countries! We love to make dishes from all over the globe! This recipe hails from Israel, but some of our other favorites are Italian, Mexican, Asian, and Greek.
Shakshuka is a savory dish that is popularly enjoyed in Israel. Some say it originated in Yemen, however others say it goes all the way back to the Ottoman Empire. Different regions put different twists on it, but at its heart it is simply eggs poached in a tomato sauce.
What is in Shakshuka?
- Tomato Sauce: This recipe starts with a savory tomato sauce base. First you saute peppers, onion, and garlic in olive oil until they are very soft. Then, add diced or crushed tomatoes and spices.
- Spice Mix: Shakshuka features a unique blend of spices. After you add the tomatoes to the sauce, add paprika, cumin, cayenne, and nutmeg. Next, simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors time to mingle.
- Eggs: Next comes the eggs. Make little wells in the tomato sauce and then crack the eggs into the wells. Next, sprinkle the eggs with a little salt. Cook until the egg whites set up, but yolk is still soft.
- Fresh Cilantro: After the eggs finish cooking, sprinkle the whole dish with fresh cilantro. This adds a brightness to the dish that you won’t want to miss!
- Crusty Bread or Pita Bread: Finally, serve your Shakshuka with warm, crusty bread or warm pita bread for dipping.
What Does Shakshuka Mean? What is it Called in Other Countries?
Shakshuka is an Arabic word meaning “a mixture”. It refers to the mix of peppers, onion, and tomato in the sauce. If you scramble the eggs instead of poaching them, then you have the Turkish version called “menemen”. However, myy personal favorite name for it is the Italian name “uova in purgatorio”, meaning “eggs in purgatory”. Uova in Purgatorio closely resembles Shakshuka with the addition of anchovy paste, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
For the tomato sauce, you can use diced or crushed tomatoes, depending on how chunky you like your sauce.
While it does have very flavorful spices in it, Shakshuka isn’t necessarily spicy. If you are worried about it, then you can omit the cayenne.
Shakshuka can be enjoyed any time of day! Since it has eggs, most people in the US consider it a breakfast food, but it also makes a great lunch or dinner.
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- Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook until soft.
- Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Make small wells for the eggs. Crack an egg into each well. Sprinkle a little salt on the eggs if desired. Cook until the egg whites are firm, but the yolks are still soft. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve with crusty bread or pita bread for dipping.