Traditional Shakshuka Recipe
Growing up, my mom always made shakshuka. It's a dish that's commonly served for breakfast in North Africa and the Middle East. The dish involves poaching eggs in a stewed tomato sauce. You can top it with feta cheese and parsley or cilantro.
Typically, this was a dish Jake and I only ate on the weekends because the prep involved in making it was just long enough that we didn’t have time to make it before work. We decided to double the recipe one morning and freeze the extra tomato sauce in our 1-cup Souper Cubes. We can now have shakshuka any day of the week because it’s so quick to make when the sauce is prepared ahead of time.
Best Tomatoes for Shakshuka
My mom always uses tomatoes from her garden for shakshuka. Sadly, I don’t have a big tomato garden so depend on canned tomatoes most of the year to make this. The only exception is during the summer months when tomatoes are fresh and in season. When I use fresh tomatoes, my go to tomatoes are Roma tomatoes. Though I’ve also made shakshuka with cherry or grape tomatoes I needed to use up.
For canned tomatoes, you can use diced or crushed tomatoes. It really depends on the consistency you’re going for. Occasionally, I’ll make this shakshuka with half diced and half crushed tomatoes. You can also use whole peeled tomatoes and use kitchen shears or a knife to dice it up. The benefit of using canned tomatoes is that they are canned at peak season and have a consistently good flavor. San Marzano tomatoes tend to get the most attention for their flavor, but they’re a bit more expensive and I haven’t experienced a noticeable taste difference. Our go-to canned tomatoes are the Sprouts or Whole Foods 365 Brand of no salt added tomatoes.
If you have a couple of hours, I recommend slow cooking the shakshuka in a 325F oven (with the lid on) for 90+ minutes. This will develop a much more complex flavor with a lot of depth. I learned this technique when making our slow-cooked spaghetti sauce.
Doubling or Tripling Shakshuka Recipe
You can definitely double or triple this recipe. We often do. If so, I recommend cooking the onions and peppers separately, so you do not overcrowd the pot and let the vegetables char. Otherwise, the rest of the recipe’s directions remain the same.
The pictures show a double batch of the recipe in the card below.
Okay, let’s make shakshuka!
Gather and Prepare All Ingredients
Sauté Onion and Peppers Until Slightly Charred
Our go-to peppers are one red bell pepper and one jalapeño for each batch we make. Though you can use any color for the bell pepper.
In order to get a good char on the veggies, you will want to limit how often you stir the onion and peppers.
Mix in Garlic and Spices
Stir together for about a minute, this will allow the spices to toast and the garlic to soften.
Mix in Tomato Paste
Cook this for about a minute until the tomato paste begins to brown the bottom of the pan. Once you add the fresh or canned tomatoes, all the browned pieces on the bottom will get scrapped up and add flavor.
Add Tomatoes and Sugar
If Using Stove Top:
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a light simmer over a low heat. Cook for 20+ minutes.
If Using Oven:
Once all the ingredients are mixed together, cover with lid and cook in a 325F oven for 90+ minuets.
Freezing Shakshuka for Meal Prep
I recommend using 1-cup of shakshuka sauce for 2 eggs, which is typically enough for 1 person. Because this recipe makes 4 cups of shakshuka, you will have leftover sauce. You can either ladle it into a container to store in the fridge or freeze for later.
To Reheat Frozen Shakshuka:
- Pop out frozen cube of shakshuka and place in an appropriately sized pan. For 1-cup of shakshuka, I recommend a small egg pan.
- Cook over a low-heat flame until the frozen shakshuka has started to thaw and melt. Then raise heat to a medium flame.
- Once the sauce begins to simmer, create a cater into the shakshuka with a spoon for each egg you will cook.
- Cover with lid and cook for 6-8 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
Crack Eggs into Sauces
If making an individual portion, ladle 1-cup of shakshuka sauce into a small egg pan. Then create 2 craters with a spoon and add 2 eggs (1 in each crater). If you have a lid, cover the pan or pot for at 6-7 minutes, or until the whites are set and yolks are cooked to your preference.
Serve and Enjoy
We love topping our shakshuka with feta cheese, parsley, and olive oil. We eat ours with toasted bread – our favorite is sourdough or pita bread.
Shakshuka is best served fresh. You can make the sauce ahead of time, but I recommend cooking the eggs right before you are ready to serve.
Traditional Shakshuka Recipe
Breakfast, brunch, middle eastern
Michelle from Souper Cubes®
1 28-oz can and 1 15-oz can crushed or diced peeled tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 hot chili pepper (such as a jalapeño), thinly sliced (without seeds)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1-2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Eggs (1-2 per person)
Salt and pepper to taste
For serving (optional): feta cheese, toasted bread, parsley
1-cup Souper Cubes tray
For Freezer Meal Prep
Sauté Onions and Peppers.
Heat up 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add 1 onion (thinly sliced), 1 bell pepper (thinly sliced), and 1 hot chili pepper (thinly sliced without seeds). Sauté over medium-high heat.
Minimize stirring to allow vegetables to char (should take 8-10 minutes).
If making a double or triple portion: Sauté the onions separately from the peppers so that you do not overcrowd the pan or pot. Then once the vegetables are cooked, add together in the pan or pot.
Add Garlic, Spices, and Tomato Paste.
Lower heat to medium. Add 3-4 cloves garlic (minced), 1 teaspoon dried cumin, and 1-2 tablespoons paprika, and tomato paste to the sautéed onions and stir until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Then add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the mixture and stir together. Cook for about a minute. It’s okay if the bottom of the pot begins to brown.
Add Tomatoes and Sugar.
Add 28-oz can and 15-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the sauce and stir.
If using stovetop method: bring to a boil, then reduce to a light simmer and cook for 20+ minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
If using oven: cook in a 325F oven for 90+ minutes with lid on. Season with salt and pepper.
Add Eggs to Sauce.
If making a single portion of shakshuka, ladle one-cup of red sauce into a small egg pan. Using a spoon, make two craters in the sauce. Crack an egg into each crater, then cover with lid for 6-8 minutes. Whites should be set. Cook yolks to preference.
If making a full portion, use a spoon and make a crater for each egg you want to cook. Be careful not to overly crowd the pot or pan so there’s enough shakshuka sauce for each egg to cook in. Cover with lid and cook until whites are set, and yolks are cooked to preference.
Serve immediately with optional ingredients (toasted bread, feta cheese, parsley)
For Freezer Meal Prep
Ladle leftover shakshuka sauce (without eggs) into Souper Cubes trays. One cup of shakshuka sauce is enough for 1-2 eggs, two cups for 3-4 eggs. Place lid on the tray and freeze.
When you’re ready to reheat the shakshuka, place the frozen cube in a pan and cook over a low-heat flame until it the sauce starts to melt. Then raise heat to medium and add eggs into the sauce. Cook for 6-8 minutes with lid on.