Shakshuka! Ever had it? Shakshuka has more than a few things going for it. It’s fun to say, fun to make and fun to eat. The word shakshuka comes from Arabic, meaning, “a haphazard mixture” or “all mixed up.”
Shakshuka features poached eggs in a hearty, spiced tomato and pepper sauce. I top mine with tangy feta cheese and fresh cilantro or parsley.
Sometimes you’ll find artichoke or olives in shakshuka, but I left those out in this version. The spices vary somewhat as well. I settled on a combination of garlic, cumin and smoked paprika.
Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern and North African dish that may date back all the way to the Ottoman Empire. You’ll find it in Libya and Tunisia, and it’s become a staple dish in Israel. If you’ve ever had Italian “eggs in purgatory” or Turkish menemen, the dishes are all quite similar.
You can’t go wrong serving shakshuka for breakfast or brunch. It’s also great for lunch and dinner. Shakshuka is a simple one-pan meal that makes a statement, and it’s a great recipe to keep in your back pocket. Want to learn how to make it?
How to Make the Best Shakshuka
Maybe don’t use your cast iron pan.
You’ll often see shakshuka cooked in cast iron pans. If your pan isn’t seasoned very well, I don’t recommend it. The acidic tomato mixture can eat away at the seasoning, at which point the iron pan can impart some tinny flavor. (Speaking from experience here.) I used my stainless steel skillet instead.
Choose your canned tomatoes carefully.
I love this shakshuka made with crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes. They’re the perfectly saucy and lightly textured. The fire-roasted flavor adds some welcome smoky notes. I recommend Muir Glen brand. You’ll need one big can.
Add tomato paste.
Tomato paste offers deep and intense tomato flavor. It makes the finished dish taste like it’s been simmering on the stove far longer than it really has.
Cook the eggs in the oven.
Most recipes suggest covering the skillet and cooking until the eggs are done. I didn’t have good luck with this method—a lot of condensation dripped back into the skillet, leaving it watery on top, and the whites took forever to set. That’s why I recommend baking the skillet (which offers more even heat), uncovered, until the eggs are just about done.
Watch How to Make Shakshuka
When making shakshuka, the only tricky part is knowing when your eggs are done cooking. The eggs continue to cook from the residual heat, so you don’t want to let them cook for too long. Look for whites that are mostly opaque, and yolks that have risen a bit. The eggs should jiggle a bit if you shimmy the pan.
Maybe you like your eggs really runny, in which case your eggs will be done sooner. If you prefer your yolks mostly cooked through, in which case they’ll need a little longer. Keep in mind that under-cooked yolks can carry salmonella, and no one wants that.
If you don’t love poached eggs or runny eggs in general, don’t give up on shakshuka! While untraditional, the saucy base would be great with eggs cooked any which way. Maybe you prefer your eggs fried in olive oil or simply scrambled. Just cook the sauce for a few extra minutes on the stove and top with your favorite eggs.
Considerations for Leftovers
Shakshuka is best served immediately. It’s not a great candidate for leftovers, since soft eggs will continue to cook if you reheat them.
So, I’d say make this shakshuka for a group of three or four, or cut the recipe in half to serve two people. Simply use a small onion, half of a bell pepper, and a small can (14.5 ounces) of tomatoes. Cook the mixture in a medium-sized pan. Easy!
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I hope it becomes your new go-to, any-time-of-day, quick meal.
Looking for more irresistible egg dishes? Check these out:
- Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Huevos Rancheros
- The Creamiest Scrambled Eggs (with Goat Cheese)
- Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Stovetop and baked
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Learn how to make the best shakshuka with this foolproof recipe! Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern dish featuring poached eggs in a hearty tomato and pepper sauce. Recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper or roasted red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
- 1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, plus addition cilantro or parsley leaves for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 to 6 large eggs
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Crusty bread or pita, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (preferably stainless steel) over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and turning translucent, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until nice and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices and add the cilantro. Stir, and let the mixture come to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to meld.
- Turn off the heat. Taste (careful, it’s hot), and add salt and pepper as necessary. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining 4 to 5 eggs, depending on how many you can fit. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
- Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven (it’s heavy) and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often once you reach 8 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers when you shimmy the pan. (Keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.)
- Using oven mitts (both hands!), transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with the crumbled feta, fresh cilantro leaves, and more red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, The New York Times and Serious Eats.
Make it dairy free: Omit the feta. To replace its salty punch, top the shakshuka with halved and pitted Kalamata olives.
My wife and i made the recipe for a dinner option. I know it is ideal as a brunch but the recipe looked so good, we prepared it for dinner
It was tremendous, the flavours fantastic
We used leek and shallots instead of onion.
Give it a try
Very yummy with cornbread, and also filling. I subbed cilantro for chives and added way more crushed red peppers than the recipe called for. Might play around in the future and add in different peppers or other vegetables.
This was so delicious. I added a Mexican twist by stirring in Chorizo and omitting all the spices except for garlic. My family raved about it for days!
I love to hear about that, Sally! Thank you for sharing.
Sorry Katie. I did not realize you were a vegetarian cook when I posted my review.
I roughly guessed the amounts to make just one portion. While I think I may have overcooked the eggs, I still really loved it and definitely plan to use this recipe again and again! Wish I could leave a photo!
Is there a way to keep the finished Shakshuka warm for a few hours after being made without over cooking the eggs? I wanted to serve it on a buffet table. Thank you!
Hi Betty! As your eggs cool, they do tend to keep cooking some. I don’t have a good solution for you other than to wait to do the eggs until right before serving.
Thank you for getting back to me!
This recipe looks unreal.
I’m planning to cook it on Thursday this week but I don’t have a suitable vessel for cooking it in the oven—can I let it sit on the stove for a while longer instead?
Hi Sam! You can always cook your eggs separately and then add them in. Not traditional, but can still work!
Thanks for replying to my comment.
No worries, I will give it a crack this weekend! Thank you so much!
Hey Sam, while unconventional, I have successfully made this in a cake pan. We didn’t have any oven safe pans, so we figured it couldn’t hurt. Just keep a close eye as you bake since cake tins heat differently than a cast iron/frying pan. Happy experimenting!
I would not have thought to use a cake pan to cook baked eggs—thank you for the tip!
I cooked the eggs first sunny side up; transferred it to a plate, and cooked the recipe as instructed. Then transferred the eggs back on top and covered it so the yolk wouldn’t be too runny.
It was pretty good! I wish I added more seasonings for flavor. I didn’t add tomato paste and just used more crushed tomatoes since I had to reduce the recipe so much, limited by the number of eggs and how hungry I was.
Made this for the second time last week, using zucchini instead of capsicum – so very good. Lots of flavour. Had it with some simple flatbread (basic crepe recipe with less fluid added).
I did try reheating the leftovers the next day, and it actually worked great. The yolks were still gooey. I heated it up in the pan, starting with tomato mixture only, and then added the eggs in for warming with a lid over the pan. They did not overcook, and the tomato mixture flavours seemed to have enhanced overnight.
This cured our blues!
Would recommend with plenty of feta on top!
Wonderful to hear, Emily! Thank you for sharing.
S. M. Hasan
I am retired and these small cookings are excellent pastime. Main dishes are make by the cook. I prefer vegetbles.
I’m so happy to have found this recipe on your site. I’ve made other versions but will be making yours tonight.
♥️ Cookie and Kate recipes!
I’m happy you found it too, Anne. Thank you for your review!
This is the best shakshuka recipe! Oven baking at the end is genius, making the sauce edges a lil crunchy and eggs perfect (we baked for 10min for medium well), thank you!
Thank you! I’m glad you loved it, Mei.
i love this recipe
Thank you for your review, Rose!
I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand but I made my own quick version using heirloom tomatoes that had been marinating in balsamic & olive oil, cilantro, onions, bell pepper, artichoke antipasto spread, pureed garlic spread/dip and it came out awesome.
I’ll try the exact recipe next! Thank you!
I’m glad it worked for you, Cathy! Thank you for your review.
Thank you so much for the recipe. I made it for dinner tonight…super-easy, warming, flavourful, and spicy goodness! It’s an incredibly flexible recipe, and I used what I had in the fridge with regard to fire-roasted tomatoes. I will definitely make it again, and will serve it to my in-laws when they come for brunch.
I’m glad you loved it, Katharine!
Hi! I really want to make this recipe, but I’m struggling trying to find a pan that can go in the oven at 375 degrees. Any recommendations as far as cookware?
Hi! Do you have a stainless steel pan or a cast iron?
I have a stainless steel pan, but it’s seems like it’s only safe up to 350 degrees. I read some other comments and ended up transferring it into a baking dish to bake in the oven, it was so amazing!!! But if you have a brand recommendation for a good pan, I’m all ears! Thank you so much!!:)
Hi! If others said it has worked, then I would suggest doing that if you aren’t quite sure.
I use Green pan cookware…wish I could attach a photo…they are wonderful cookware.
We made this tonight for a New Year’s Eve dinner. We loved it, only thing different is, we used Naan bread. We switched our way of eating over to Mediterranean a couple months ago and most of this recipe is good for me.
That sounds delicious, Joe! Thank you for sharing.
I made this for New Year’s Day 2021, for my daughter & I for ‘brunch’, I only had green pepper, but put a twist on it by adding thyme, white pepper, and a soul food seasoning, amazing!!
Thank you for the wonderful recipe :)
This was AMAZING!!
I made it for brunch and added some fresh basil leaves as well.
Yum yum yum!
Hello! I have loved your healthy baking recipes, and now plan to try this tonight. Does it matter which rack in the oven you put the pan? Should it be in the middle of the oven or higher up?
Hi! Middle rack worked well for me. I hope you love it!
I’m newly transitioning to a more Mediterranean based diet so I was looking for a simple shakshuka recipe. This does not disappoint! Definitely easy, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on flavor. Delicious!
I’m happy you loved it, Susan! I appreciate your review.
Maria Andrea Richey
I loved your recipe. I added artichokes as you suggested at the beginning and peas, my Mom used to make a similar recipe when I was a child. It add nice green color. Thank you
Made this for myself and it was absolutely delicious! I omited a few spices/herbs since I didn’t have them at home and it still came out wonderful. Baking the eggs in the oven is such a great idea and foolproof even for a college student (and inexperienced cook) like myself. Thanks for the recipe!
Love this recipe, it’s customizable and I appreciate the info in the blog.
You’re welcome, Connie! Thank you for your review.
We enjoyed this for dinner tonight. After looking at other shakshuka recipes, I decided to add about a cup of chopped baby kale, along with a teaspoon of harissa herbs. It was easy, very tasty, and we have lots of leftovers. The tomato mixture is delicious piled on top of toasted crusty bread.
Thank you, Nona! I appreciate your review. I’m happy you loved it.
I used harissa paste in place of the the tomato paste and it came out delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
Great recipe. Didn’t think to take a picture but it was beautiful. Very flavorful and warming on this cold day. I just happened to be meal prepping some poached eggs so once the tomatoes had reduced I portioned it onto plates and spooned them on top. Cilantro was a great touch! Also used queso fresco because that what I had but salty feta would be better. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Made this today and my family loved it! I’ll definetly be making it again.
The actual dish was good but never again will I put it in the oven. It was a disaster! The sauce boiled over and spilled all over the bottom of my oven making a smokey mess. I had it set for the correct temp too. I ended up just finishing it up on the stove top. I’ll never put this in the oven again.
Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. If ever in doubt, always put a pan on the bottom of your dish if it seems on the full side.
I cook a variation of this but start with Chorizo and then add the other ingredients, I mostly use fresh tomatoes that are cooked down/simmered (covered) for 15-20 mins before adding the eggs to cook in the oven.
Delicious and so easy to make – thank you!
You’re welcome! Thank you for your review.
Russ & Mo
Hey that came out great! We don’t own a pan that can go in the oven (I forgot about the cast iron one until just now) so I did the simmering and then transferred to a casserole dish for baking. Great flavors, the eggs came out perfectly poached, will definitely make again.
Delish! My first shakshuka! I added some za’atar given to me by my son’s fiancee and after cooking, some skuug made by an Israeli friend.
I’m happy you love it, Tara! Thank you for your review.
cheated it a bit. after the onions and red pepps, a little white wine to deglaze. Then I used tomato sauce I’d made.
Thank you for sharing, Fritz!
I made this as an easy recipe- and it was! It took more time than expected maybe 50 mins. I substituted bell pepper with red cabbage and it added a sweet flavour which was tasty. Good recipe.
My wife and I had for brunch on a snowy Sunday morning. Terrific, with some adjustments. Will definitely make again; it’s a great “template” that is easily played with.
Droned the tomatoes first as it seemed like too muck liquid. Used more spice than called for.Thought amounts were a bit “timid” for 28 oz tomatoes. Also added 1.5 T zaatar. Good addition. Unfortunately didn’t have cilantro on hand so skipped. But, happily, did have a nice hunk of feta which was great. We live in the mountains, and everything takes longer to cook. Wound up being 18 mins at 375.
Instead of crushed tomatoes can i use chopped tomatoes or would I be best crushing some tomatoes myself?
Hi! Canned really help with the overall flavor here.
Easy and flavourful. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Elena!
Really good recipe and easy to follow, everyone in my family loved it! Served it with sourdough bread!
That sounds perfect, Tricia! Thank you for your review.
I love this recipe so so much. It’s a staple in our household! Sometimes I’ll add a little extra garlic (you can never have too much!)
That’s great, Cassie! Thank you for your review.
I’ve made this a bunch of times now and like to add grilled eggplant to the recipe. Super flavorful and popular in my house! I always forget to buy crushed red peppers and substitute for1/2 tsp chili powder instead, which provides a nice little kick. For people saying they don’t have the right pan, I always transfer to a glass baking dish first. This works super well and allows for easy storage.
My whole family loves this dish greatly, and will gladly eat it any time. I went vegetarian last year and I swear I use your site for almost half of everything I cook. Keep up the good work!
I’m delighted to hear that, Cord. I appreciate your review!
Easy, delicious, unusual.
My husband and I first made this recipe for my dad because it is a friendly vegetarian meal for his spouse. Every single one of us fell in love with it. I followed the clear directions as noted above but cooked tri-colored quinoa, chickpeas, and ground sausage on the side for add-ons… IT IS A GREAT ADDITION.
I would recommend this recipe to beginners/first timers. We are making this for friends today. I can’t wait for dinner!
I love that! Thank you for sharing, Briana.
This recipe has been one of my staples for a while now! It’s delicious and a nice change from a heavy breakfast but it still fills you. I double the recipe and freeze it into 1 cup blocks using my souper cube. It’s so easy to toss a frozen cube into a pan and let it defrost. I usually make two eggs in a smaller pan which is enough for my partner and I if we add some naan and fruit to the meal.
I love that, Kianna! Thank you for your review.
My daughter suggested that I use a bunch of tomatoes and parsley that I had grown to make shakshuka. I grilled not only the tomatoes (large cluster and cherokee purple) but the bell pepper, onion and garlic, then pureed it all (Tomatoes and garlic together, then the onion and peppers so they were still a bit chunky. SO GOOD with the fresh grilled veggies. I posted a pic on instagram under wattyz if you’d like to see it. I eat it with rice. (it’s probably just the Asian in me. : )
I just made this for lunch, and it was excellent. Perfect amount of spices. (I used canned roasted red peppers instead of fresh ones, and added them in Step 2.)
This recipes makes a perfect Shakshuka. I’ve made it several times and today’s brunch guests were totally wowed. I can’t tell you how many times your recipes have made me look good, Kate. Your site continues to be my primary go-to resource.
Thank you, Susan! That’s great to hear you have enjoyed so many recipes. I appreciate your review!
This looks great! I want to make this for a weekend brunch! I have a Le Crueset dutch oven — would that work? Do I bake covered or uncovered?
Hi! Yes, that should be ok. You may need slightly more time as it’s deeper. Bake uncovered. Just watch for your eggs to be done and then it’s good to remove!
This is our go-to recipe for Shakshuka. Having traveled to Israel multiple times we love any opportunity to have it. We routinely add Eggplant, roasted jalapeños, or any veggie we have in our crisper. I also like to double the smoked paprika and use cilantro micro greens for an added punch of flavor.
Great to hear, Shelby! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
Yum! I decided to make this on New Years morning to combat the sub-zero temps and get 2022 off to a good start. Good call. I had to use items on hand, like dried herbs and pickled peppers. It was delicious! I also used harissa paste in place of tomato paste. Magical.
Anyhow, the egg baking menu is awesome. I never could get the eggs right on the stove top. But 9 minutes in the oven and the eggs were perfectly poached.
I made it for 2, but wished I made a full batch as my partner and I could probably have eaten another full helping.
This one will go in my regular weekend breakfast rotation for sure!
Happy new year all!
I’m glad you loved it, Ana! This is a great one to have on rotation.
So good!! 10/10, very easy to make.
If trying to get ahead, you could make the sauce in advance and then reheat and add the eggs and feta when ready to eat. Tonight’s dinner was leftover sauce out of the freezer and it was delicious. I put it in individual oven-safe ramekins. It took probably about 15 minutes for the eggs to set, but I agree, start checking carefully after 8 minutes. For more control over the doneness of the eggs, or if cooking in quantity, you could cook the eggs sous vide to whatever temperature you like, and then plop them into the hot sauce to serve. The sauce topped with a fried egg would also be very good.
I would love to try this recipe but I don’t use the stove nor stove top (no A/C so too hot to use). Is there a way of using a slow cooker instead? If so – suggestions on how to please.
You could try it, but I recommend it as written. Sorry!
A fun new dish to make! Really simple and a nice change. I left it to cook a little too long, so the eggs were slightly over done, but still delicious.
I’m happy you were still able to enjoy it, Julia!
Just made this, and my husband declared it his new favorite dish.
Omitted the cheese, and made poached instead of baked eggs. Added a few dashes of liquid smoke to the sauce, which worked well with the paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes. Served with homemade garlic bread.
A local restaurant serves something similar to this; they call it “Italian eggs.” Except they put the toast underneath the sauce? Never understood the point of making toast if you’re just gonna make it soggy.
Thanks for this keeper of a recipe!
That’s great, Curtis! I appreciate your review.
Ok to make the tomato based sauce ahead of time, then reheat, add eggs and finish as directed? Thanks!
Yes! I don’t understand why recipes don’t mention this more. It is after all Middle Eastern chilli with egg instead of beans/meat for protein
I make this nearly every week, it’s so good!
My ‘hack’: I double the recipe up until adding the can of tomatoes, then I scoop out half and freeze. It’s still a pretty small amount so it doesn’t take up much freezer space.
Next time I want shakshuka, I just defrost it, add the tomatoes, parsely, S&P, and I’m already up to adding the eggs – skip all the hassle!
Been making shakshuta for a few years now. Totally agree with you. Cooking covered on top of stove was infuriating, watery and whites running everywhere. I kept removing the lid to wipe away the condensation. Thanks for suggesting the oven method.
You’re welcome, Theo! I appreciate your review.
I had not made this for years then came across yours. Came out really well but I do let my eggs get a little past the giggle stage. Had salmonella one at a restaurant in the ’90’5 and ever since can’t face a soft yoke.
Thanks for reminding me of an old favorite.
Thank you for sharing, David!
I make this all the time, thank you for the nutritious and tasty breakfast recipe! A few tips: 1) I make the base (hold the feta and egg) and freeze it in individual servings. When I crave me some shakshuka, I microwave the base and top it with a freshly poached egg. 2) Yes tomatoes are important. I prefer more coarsely chopped tomatoes (crushed can be too saucy/thick), as it lets the individual flavors shine through better. Finely milled/crushed tomatoes tends to hide some flavors of onions, peppers, and spices. 3) I almost always have to add more cumin and smoked paprika for my tastes. 4) weird but tasty: I like it with a dollop of cooked grits on the side!
First time having shakshuka. My husband was skeptical of eggs & tomatoes- not anymore! We both enjoyed it. It smelled so good while cooking.
I cut the recipe in half for the two of us. Since I don’t like runny yolks, I scrambled an egg while the other eggs cooked in the oven. Then just mixed my egg in to my half of tomato.
Served with freshly made pita. . Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe.
Hooray! That’s great to hear, Heather.
Can I make it on the stove instead of baking ? If so what are the instructions? Thanks!
Hi MZ! I prefer this recipe as written. I hope you try it!
YUM!…. I have seen recipes for this dish for awhile and never tried it. I love your site and have used many of your recipes in the past and saw you had one with at this time 28 5* reviews. So said I’m in and went for it.
Made as written, but being ME, added some changes for our taste. Added extra amount of your spices. Cannelloni beans for texture and protein, Kale for color and texture. topped with avocado, cuz I had. Delish!
Also, didn’t wanna heat oven for short time. Cooked on stove and eggs were perfect….guess the extra “steam” water absorbed and the consistency was perfect with the Crushed tomatoes I used….Thank you for sharing!
I’m glad you tried it! Thank you for sharing, Kelly.