How To Make the Absolute Best Shakshuka

updated Jul 17, 2019
How to Make Shakshuka

An easy, step-by-step guide to making Israeli shakshuka for brunch or dinner.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If you always order shakshuka at your favorite brunch spot but you’ve never tried to make the dish at home, this recipe is the very best place to start. The Middle Eastern egg dish has become wildly popular, for good reason: It’s ridiculously comforting and pretty darn easy to make at home. Once you’ve learned the few keys to success, which we’ve outlined below, you’ll be well-equipped to make some great shakshuka whenever you want, whether for brunch or an easy weeknight dinner.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

What Is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a fragrant, spiced tomato sauce. In North Africa, Israel, and other parts of the Middle East where it’s found, it’s often served for breakfast — but it’s hearty enough to be enjoyed any time of day, especially when served with pita or other bread to swipe up the saucy mixture. It can be prepared in a number of different ways, and every version differs in its combination of spices and aromatics. And while the tomato-based version is most common, there are many other delicious interpretations (green shakshuka, for example, is also worth trying).

Our recipe is for a simple tomato-based shakshuka that packs in maximum flavor with minimal effort.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn


What Ingredients Do I Need for Shakshuka?

We like to keep our shakshuka ingredient list short and sweet. A bit of tomato paste lends slow-simmered flavor to the quick-cooked sauce, cumin adds an undertone of earthiness, and a bit of harissa paste adds spice, which helps offset the rich eggs. If you prefer less heat, you can decrease the amount of harissa — or leave it out entirely if you want a mild shakshuka. The feta is optional here, but it does add a salty, creamy bite that’s hard to beat.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Follow These 3 Steps for the Very Best Shakshuka

The trickiest part about making shakshuka is cooking the eggs just right. When cracked directly into the simmering sauce, they can very quickly go from uncooked to totally overcooked. Our preference is for eggs that are soft-cooked with set whites and runny yolks, so that when you slice into an egg, the yolk breaks and mingles with the sauce. Here’s how to achieve it.

  1. Control the heat. The eggs will start cooking as soon as they hit the simmering tomato sauce. To control the situation and ensure the first egg you crack doesn’t set before the final one, remove the skillet from the heat before cracking in the eggs. Then return the skillet to a gentle simmer at medium-low heat.
  2. Spoon some of the sauce over the whites. After breaking the eggs into the sauce, gently spoon some of the sauce over just the whites. This helps the whites cook faster so they set before the yolks overcook.
  3. Cover and rotate. Covering the skillet allows the eggs to steam-cook, which moves things along. But you’ll want to keep a close eye on things and rotate the pan a few times for the eggs to cook evenly since stovetops can have hot spots. As soon as the whites are set and the eggs jiggle a bit in the center, they’re done.
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn
1 / 9

How to Make Shakshuka

An easy, step-by-step guide to making Israeli shakshuka for brunch or dinner.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    whole peeled tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1

    small yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon

    harissa

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 1/4 cup

    loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 ounces

    feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup, optional)

  • Crusty bread or pita, for serving (optional)

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Crush the tomatoes. Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl. Carefully crush with your hands into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

  2. Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, harissa, garlic, cumin, and salt, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Simmer the tomato sauce for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

  4. Crack the eggs into the sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat. Make 6 small wells in the sauce. Crack an egg into each well.

  5. Spoon some sauce over the egg whites. Gently spoon a bit of sauce over the egg whites, leaving the yolks exposed (this will help the whites cook faster so they set before the yolks). Cover and return the skillet to medium-low heat.

  6. Cook the eggs 8 to 12 minutes. Cook, rotating the pan as needed so that the eggs cook evenly, until the whites are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness, 8 to 12 minutes (check on it a few times). The eggs should still jiggle in the centers when you gently shake the pan.

  7. Finish with cilantro and cheese. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the cilantro and feta, if using, and serve with bread or pita if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The tomato sauce can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring it back to a simmer before adding the eggs.

Storage: Shakshuka is best served immediately, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.