Shakshuka is originally a Tunisian (or more broadly, North African) dish, with poached eggs in a bed of spicy tomato sauce. This Moroccan Shakshuka has perfect poached eggs in a bed of spicy tomato sauce. Inherited from my Moroccan host mother, and perfect for lazy Sunday brunch! Nothing better than the feeling of being able to break into the yolk of the shakshuka eggs and have it mix into the spicy tomato base. Yum.
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you’re successful in your first attempt. But if you’re in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!
📋 Ingredients & Tips
This recipe uses a base made with tomatoes, onions, habanero peppers, and some spices. Then, you crack the eggs into that base as it’s cooking.
Note: The eggs are really the centerpiece of this dish. If you’re wondering what type of eggs you should buy at the grocery store, read my post on everything you need to know about buying eggs.
Canned vs. fresh tomatoes?
I prefer canned tomatoes for shakshuka. I typically use diced, unsalted tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have been stewing those juices for a while, and I find that they cut across the richness of the eggs much better. From Summer to Fall, when tomatoes are in season, you can use fresh ones too.
♨️ Methods to cook shakshuka
You can make this recipe on stovetop or in an oven. For stovetop instructions, see recipe card. If you want to bake in an oven, pre-heat to 375F. Then, using an oven safe pan, follow the steps in the recipe until you break the eggs. Once the eggs are broken, just throw the pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites set. 8 minutes gets you closer to runny yolk for the shakshuka eggs, while 10 is more set.
🥘 Difference between Moroccan shakshuka and other variations
There’s a raging debate about where shakshuka really originates from. Though it is mostly associated with Israeli cooking these days, most people believe that it was actually brought to Israel by North African immigrants. The thing is, shakshuka is SO versatile and it’s spirit really just revolves around eggs poached in a delicious sauce, that I might argue that it’s one of the most universal dishes ever. My Moroccan shakshuka has habanero peppers or harissa for a kick, and almost always has cheese.
I’ve made shakshuka with other bases – spinach, tomatillos, chickpeas and eggplants are all great. In terms of the spices, I have used harissa instead of habanero peppers. I’ve added za’atar or even served some zhug on it (Yemeni pesto made with parsley and cilantro). You can leave out the cheese and avocado if you want something simpler, but they’re both excellent (or shall I say, eggcellent) additions too.
👩🏽🍳 Shakshuka for one person
Totally doable. The recipe I have here is typically for 2-3 people (~2 eggs per person). If you want to make this shakshuka for just one person, I suggest two things: pick the smallest pan you can use. Then use half the recipe (i.e. ½ onion, ½ can of diced tomatoes, etc.) The recipe scales easily – just make sure you have enough sauce for the base.
🍞 Serving and storage suggestions
I have added my own little twists to it from time to time. You can eat the shakshuka by itself, or if you want something a bit more starchy, consider scooping it up with some fresh, lightly toasted bread. As Ottolenghi would recommend, consider having a spoonful with some yogurt or labneh.
I’ve found that shakshuka doesn’t store well once the eggs are cooked. So I recommend making the sauce in a big batch if you must, and then you can heat it up whenever you want to eat it, and crack the egg fresh. The sauce can be stored in a fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Plus, this way you get the perfect runny yolk every time.
For other fun breakfast and brunch recipes, start with the following:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion thinly diced
- 1 habanero pepper thinly diced (substitute with jalapeno as needed)
- 2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 can diced tomatoes preferably unsalted, use 14 oz for a thicker shakshuka or 28 oz if you want more base
Seasoning and eggs
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp red chili powder cayenne and/or paprika both work
- 6 eggs prefer large, organic & free-range
- 1-2 tsp salt as required
- 1 tsp black pepper as required
- 1 avocado medium size
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp feta or gorgonzola can also use goat cheese
- Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil (see notes for making for one person)
- Once oil is hot, add onions and habanero peppers – cook until soft (~5-7 mins)
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant (~ 30 seconds)
- Then add the can of diced tomatoes, followed by cumin, red chili powder, salt & pepper – mix well and cook until tender (8 to 10 minutes)
- Make six little dips in the sauce – crack an egg into each dip, taking care not to break the yolk
- Simmer for ~8-10 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are runny (you can cover while you do this step, but that typically cooks the eggs faster)
- Take off heat, garnish with avocado, herbs and/or cheese and serve while still hot!
- If you don’t want it to be too spicy, consider substituting the habanero pepper with red or green pepper. Just remember to cook the peppers for another minute or two if you decide to do this
- The shakshuka is also an extremely versatile dish. You want to take out the onions? Go ahead. Substitute red chili powder with a milder variety? Works too!
- A lot of people use cast iron skillets, but I recommend using a stainless steel pan. The acid from tomatoes can ruin cast iron skillets and the residual heat might cook eggs more than you’d want.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.