Easy Shakshuka

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A simple, one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce. The perfect brunch, lunch, or light dinner!

I’ve been seeing many different types of shakshuka popping up on the Internet: green shakshuka, potato shakshuka, even shakshuka pasta. At its core, though, shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce with bell peppers and onions. Its origins lie in North Africa, but nowadays it’s popular across the Middle East. Fun fact: the word means “mixed up” in Arabic.

The combination of eggs and tomatoes can be found in other cuisines too – take the Italian eggs in purgatory or the Turkish menemen. The first tomato-and-egg dish I made was kayiana, a Greek version of the recipes above. Each of these dishes uses different spices and egg-cooking techniques.

For now, let’s see what shakshuka is all about.

How do I make it?

It’s super easy and most of the ingredients are pantry staples, meaning you can enjoy shakshuka year-round. Here are the steps.

Sauté the veggies: We’ll start by cooking the onion and red bell pepper in olive oil until softened.

Add garlic, spices, and canned tomatoes: The spices used in shakshuka can vary, but for this version I used cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. If you’re sensitive to spice, you can omit the cayenne. Then, we’ll add the key component: a can of whole peeled tomatoes. We’ll simmer them to bring out their flavor and break them down as they soften. I tried using diced tomatoes, but the result isn’t the same. Diced tomatoes typically have calcium chloride as an additive, which means they retain their shape and don’t break down easily. So make sure to use whole tomatoes!

Add the eggs: We’ll crack the eggs into the pan and let them cook, covered, for a few minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them since they can overcook pretty easily.

And serve: I top my shakshuka with feta and cilantro to add some tang and freshness. Pair it with some crusty bread to dip into the sauce, and serve immediately.

Easy Shakshuka

A simple, one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce. The perfect brunch, lunch, or light dinner!
Servings 3
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • Handful of chopped cilantro


  • In a medium lidded pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and a dash of salt. Cook until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne (if using). Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the canned tomatoes with their juices and add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently break down the tomatoes into pieces with a large spoon (do this carefully since they can squirt juice). Don’t worry if you have large pieces left over; we’ll break them up more after they’ve softened.
  • Bring to a simmer, and lower the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens somewhat. Towards the end of the cooking time, break down any leftover large tomato pieces. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
  • Move the pan off the heat and make 3 small wells in the tomato sauce. Crack the eggs into the wells. Put the pan back on the burner over low heat, cover it, and cook until the egg whites have set and the yolks are cooked to your liking, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the top of each egg lightly with salt and pepper. Add feta and chopped cilantro and serve immediately with some crusty bread.


You’ll need a lidded skillet to make this recipe (preferably a glass lid so you can see the eggs cooking).
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, North African
Keyword: eggs

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below, tag @curiouscitrus on Instagram, and hashtag it #curiouscitrus.

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