10 Ingredients | 40 Minutes | 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!
Shakshuka is originally a Tunisian (or more broadly, North African) dish, with poached eggs in a bed of spicy tomato sauce. I was first introduced to a Moroccan Shashuka when I was in Rabat, Morocco, many years ago. This recipe is from my host mother in Morocco, and is a perfect meal for lazy Sunday mornings. There’s 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.
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 tomatoes or 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.
How do you cook shakshuka?
You can make shakshuka 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.
What’s the difference between Moroccan shakshuka and other shakshuka?
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.
What do you eat this with?
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.
What are other variations?
The secret to my Moroccan shakshuka is the habanero pepper. But 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.
How do you store shakshuka? Can you reheat it?
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.Print
Moroccan / North African poached eggs in a spicy tomato base, garnished with parsley, avocados and crumbly cheese. Cut into those runny yolks for a perfect brunch!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly diced
- 2 garlic cloves (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
- 1 habanero pepper, thinly diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (preferably unsalted)
- 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)
- For garnish: 1 avocado, few sprigs of parsley, 2 tbsp of crumbly cheese like feta or gorgonzola (optional)
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil (see notes above for making this for one person)
- Once the oil is hot, add onions and habanero peppers, and cook until soft (~5-7 minutes)
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (~ 30 seconds)
- Then add the can of diced tomatoes, followed by cumin, red chili powder, salt & pepper – mix in well
- and cook until tender (~8-10 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
- Take off heat, garnish with avocado, herbs and/or cheese and serve while still hot!
- If you want the crunch of pepper, but 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 right ahead. You want to substitute the red chili powder with a different kind? That works too!
- While a lot of people use cast iron skillets, I recommend using a simple stainless steel pan if you’re cooking stovetop. The acid from the tomatoes can ruin the seasoning on the pan, and the residual heat might cook the eggs more than you’d want.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Keywords: shaskhuka, poached eggs, Moroccan shakshuka