Shakshuka is one of my absolute favourite one-skillet vegetarian dishes. It’s made with a deeply flavorful mixture of simmered tomatoes, sweet red bell peppers, onion, garlic and warming spices. Then, chopped fresh spinach joins the mix, adding extra goodness. Finally it it topped with chèvre goats cheese and eggs which are gently poached before being topped with a sprinkling of za’taar and fresh parsley. It’s the perfect easy to make, one-dish meal that is healthy, satisfying and delicious. Easy to make never tasted better!
What is shakshuka?
Traditional shakshuka originates from North Africa, but it is also become wildly popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. You’ll find variations of it in Palestine, Israel, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East. The dish itself is quite simple — eggs poached in a fragrant, spiced tomato sauce. It’s made using one skillet, with every day ingredients, with many different variations. You’ll find it often served for breakfast, but it is actually hearty and enticing enough to serve for lunch or dinner. Especially when served with warm pita bread for dipping in the rich tomato sauce.
Shakshuka with goat’s cheese à la Elle
My version of a traditional shakshuka starts with a flavourful tomato sauce made with slowly cooked onions, garlic and sweet red peppers, and then spiced with cumin, paprika, and harissa. Finally, oven poached eggs and slices of warm, creamy chèvre are nestled in the sauce. Oh-so-very-tasty! Even though shakshuka is a traditional breakfast food, you could just as easily enjoy this recipe for brunch or weeknight dinner.
Cooking the eggs in the oven
Shakshuka recipes often suggest covering the skillet and poaching the eggs on the stovetop. I find it works much better in the oven, since it doesn’t require covering the skillet with a lid (which increases condensation which drips back into the skillet). I find it is best to use an ovenproof skillet and use the oven’s even heat to cook the eggs. I like to use my 28 cm non-stick skillet von ELAG which is deep and has a removable handle —making it perfect for stovetop-to-oven recipes. NOTE: for this recipe, I would avoid using a cast iron skillet, as slow-cooked sauces containing tomatoes can damage the surface of even a well-seasoned cast iron pan.
Getting the eggs right
How long you cook your eggs will depend entirely on how you like them. So plan anywhere from 5-10 minutes. I like the white set and the yolks half set, half runny which is why I bake mine around 7-8 minutes. If you are someone who likes the yolks runny but the white well cooked, then simply make small wells in the sauce and crack each egg into the well. Then spoon a little sauce over the egg whites. This will help the egg whites cook faster. If also worth mentioning that the eggs will also continue to cook in the hot sauce even after you remove it from the oven.
How to adapt this shakshuka recipe
- Spices used for shakshuka can vary greatly, but most recipes start with paprika and cumin and add on from there. Some recipes like to add harissa, coriander, turmeric, chili, caraway seed, smoked paprika or cayenne pepper. So feel free to experiment!
- I recommend using high-quality canned diced tomatoes, but you could also use whole canned and cook them long until they break up, or in summer, when abundant, fresh, ripe tomatoes. If needed, the richness can be adjusted by adding a little tomato paste.
- Use 1, 2 or 3 sweet red peppers. Or try yellow ones.
- Add fresh chili.
- Top it with feta cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or labne (labneh).
- Garnish with a mix of fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro and dill.
- Top with sliced avocado and a drizzle of hot sauce
More favorite brunch recipes
If you love this shakshuka recipe, try one of these delicious brunch recipes next:
- Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon & Crème Fraîche
- Buckwheat Pancakes with Ham, Cheese and Egg
- Fried Potatoes and Eggs
- Zucchini Pancakes
Shakshuka with Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-3 small yellow onions, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced (or two if small)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons harissa spice
- 2 x 400 g crushed canned tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- handful baby spinach
- 3-5 large eggs
- 150 g goat cheese, without the rind (chèvre), sliced thinly
- Za’atar spice, to garnish (optional)
- Flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herbs of choice, to garnish
- fresh pita bread, to serve
Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C degrees.
In a deep-sided oven-proof skillet, heat the oil over medium . Add in onion, garlic, and the bell red pepper, and cook gently until very tender, about 20 minutes. Add the spices and stir to combine.
Pour in canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture is bubbling. Add spinach and stir until incorporated.
Carefully crack the eggs over the top of the mixture. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top.
Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the eggs have set and yolks are to your liking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with za’atar and fresh parsley. Serve with warm pita bread for dipping into the sauce.
- Fan of a runny yolk? To ensure a runny yolk and set whites of the egg, simple create small wells for cracking the eggs into, and then spoon a little sauce over the whites. This will help them cook faster, while the yolk stays runny.
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