Shakshuka is a fantastic dish to prepare when you're in the mood for a spicy, robust and savory egg dish. Perfect for breakfast or as a light lunch or dinner, my mildly spicy and extra flavorful shakshuka recipe has a bit of a Spanish slant, packed with spices, peppers, onions, and a sprinkle of Manchego cheese!
A Rich and Spicy Dish For the Egg Lover
Classic shakshuka (or shakshouka) is a unique and delicious dish of Tunisian origin in which eggs are gently poached in a rich and spicy simmering tomato sauce filled with peppers, onions, garlic and fragrant spices such as cumin and paprika.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Many countries in the Middle East enjoy their own versions of shakshuka (or “eggs in hell” as this recipe is sometimes cheekily referred to, because of the spicy sauce) by adding their own regional ingredients and contributing to the recipe's nuanced flavors.
But shakshuka is always served up with some sort of delicious and rustic bread to mop up all the spicy sauce and those delicious soft-cooked egg yolks that flow silky smooth when opened.
For my shakshuka recipe, I've decided to give it a bit of a flavor “twist” (you know how I love to do that!) by incorporating some Spanish flavors into it...
I've sprinkled in some Spanish saffron and two kinds of paprikas, added in Anaheim and jalapeno peppers, plus pimientos, sprinkled in a flourish of freshly chopped oregano leaves, then finished the dish off with a touch of Manchego cheese.
This shakshuka has an abundance of rich, zesty flavor and a nice little kick of spicy heat—just the thing to awaken your tastebuds!
How To Make Shakshuka
For as beautiful, colorful and flavorful as this dish is, it truly is quite simple and quick to prepare, which makes it an ideal little meal to whip up on the fly.
This dish is all about creating layers of flavor from aromatic ingredients gently simmered in a rich, zesty tomato base, which creates that perfectly flavorful sauce to poach the eggs in, creating a complete and delicious meal.
Here's a peek at my shakshuka recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I saute onions and peppers together until golden, add in an array of spices and seasonings, and follow up with crushed tomatoes.
- I allow everything to simmer together gently just long enough for the sauce to slightly thicken, roughly 15 minutes.
- Next, I slide the eggs directly into the simmering sauce, one at a time, and cover the pan for a few minutes until the eggs are cooked to the desired doneness.
- To finish up the shakshuka, I add my flourish of Manchego cheese and some herbs, and serve with crusty bread on the side.
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: Spanish, Middle Eastern, Northwest African
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 230 calories per serving (1 poached egg with sauce)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 2 Anaheim peppers ( or 1, for slightly less spiciness), seeds and membrane removed, then finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper (or ½, for less heat), seeds and membrane removed, then finely diced
- Black pepper
- 6 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 (4 ounce) jar sliced pimientos, drained of liquid
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch Spanish saffron (a few threads, optional)
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus a little extra for garnish
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus a touch extra for garnish
- 6 large eggs
- Manchego cheese, grated over top for finishing garnish
- Crusty, rustic-style bread, sliced (toasted or soft)
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have them organized and ready for use.
- Place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the diced onion and the diced Anaheim and jalapeno peppers, plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and saute until slightly golden.
- Next, add in the garlic, pimientos, the cumin, both paprikas and the saffron (if using), and stir to incorporate; once aromatic, stir in the crushed tomatoes, along with another pinch or two of salt and pepper.
- Allow the sauce to gently simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened (at this point, I like to add an additional little drizzle of the olive oil for flavor, as a finisher).
- Using a spoon, make 6 little “nests”, or indentations, to drop your eggs into; then, one at a time, add your eggs into the sauce. Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes for soft, flowing yolks, or a couple minutes longer for firmer yolks.
- Finish with a sprinkle of the Manchego cheese and an extra sprinkle of oregano and parsley on top, and enjoy immediately with good rustic bread to sop up the sauce with.
Tips & Tidbits for my Shakshuka:
- Make the sauce ahead and reheat when ready to serve: The sauce element of this recipe is super quick and simple to prepare, but if you'd like even more of a head start, you can prepare it a day or two before you plan on serving the dish. Then, simply reheat the sauce until simmering in your skillet, and proceed by adding in the eggs for poaching.
- Crack the eggs into ramekin for convenience: Bits of egg shell under tooth aren't good eats. So unless you feel very confident in knowing you won't accidentally get any egg shell into the sauce, crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin first, then slide the egg into the simmering sauce to poach.
- Make your shakshuka mild or spicy: I used 2 Anaheim peppers and 1 whole jalapeno in my recipe, but we like things on the spicy side. If you're not wanting to go too spicy, or not sure how spicy your peppers are, I'd recommend using 1 Anaheim and ½ of a jalapeno (seeded with the membrane removed). You can always add more spice later!
Craving more delicious breakfast recipes? Check out this Breakfast Casserole, these Breakfast Potatoes, this Breakfast Burrito, or this Simple Skillet Frittata!
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published on 2017, and has been updated with even more love!
What herbs are recommended to sprinkle on top, cilantro or flat leaf parsley? This looks wonderful to make for a brunch.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Norma, in the recipe I recommend a bit of flat-leaf parsley and oregano, or one of the two is fine. We sprinkled parsley on ours for the photos.
Works wonderfully. Added some spinach and kale that I had left over as well.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Ballal, thanks so much for your comments! I'm so happy you enjoyed this tasty and spicy recipe, and the spinach and kale are excellent additions! Thanks for sharing.
Just made this for my dinner tonight...I halved the recipe for a hearty meal for one. Omg, this was soooo good! The peppers and the pimientos are hard to find in the UK so I used a finger chilli, sliced jalapeños from a jar and roasted red peppers from a jar. It all came together so deliciously! This will definitely become a regular meal at my table. Thank you so much for sharing.
The Cozy Apron
Thanks so much for your comment, Shuly!
Your substitutions were terrific, and I'm sure, very flavorful. I'm so happy you enjoyed this recipe and found some comfort and nourishment in it, and it is my pleasure to be able to share it! 🙂