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Shakshuka – Poached Eggs In Spicy Tomato Sauce

Shakshuka  –  it is not  just  any  poached  egg,  but  an utterly delicious one!   The  traditional or the  most  common  version of   Shakshuka is poached  eggs  in a  flavorful tomato  based sauce.  It  all comes  together  in  one  skillet !  Easy  cooking and  easy  cleanup – makes  for a  happy cook.

Shakshuka - poached Eggs in tomato sauce

This  dish  is  said  to  originate in North Africa  but  has  become  a  staple  in Arab and  Israeli cuisine.  It packs  a  punch  with  just  few   pantry staples.  When available  make  it    with  fresh  produce  for  an  incredible  burst  of  fresh flavors.

  • Few very common inexpensive ingredients
  • Easy to cook
  • Utterly delicious
  • Easy cleanup

I love  this  dish –  it  is  easy, simple  and  made  with  ingredients  that  are usually around in my kitchen.  Any time  you are  short on  breakfast/dinner/brunch ideas  or  time  to  cook  just  raid  the pantry  and  chances  are you  will have  everything  you need  to make  Shakshuka.    There are  many variations of Shakshuka recipe. Once you  start  making  it  you will  make your  own  version of  it  –  I am sure  of  it .

This  mix  of  poached  eggs ,  vegetables ,  and a  few  spices  becomes a  whole  healthy and  satisfying  meal  when  served  with a  slice  of  bread / be  it  crusted , soft or  flat.

Lazy Sunday  mornings  –  those  ones  when no body  wants to wake   and  start  cooking and  or  put  on  something  decent  and  go out.  This is  the perfect  dish  for  those  days –  wake  up late  head  to the  kitchen , whip  up a batch of  these  and  call it  brunch ! Afterwards  if  you feel up to it  go for   walk aka shopping  or  just  relax …

This  is  an easy dish to make at  home , and  home  made  with  fresh ingredients  tastes  heavenly.   When there are fresh  tomatoes   and  peppers  that is  what  I use , but  canned ones  work  well too.  With   fresh ingredients  the   shade of  deep red  will  change depending  on the produce,  but  the  flavors  will be just  incredible.

Making Shakshuka - poached Eggs in tomato sauce

A well season skillet – preferably cast  iron is  what  works  best for  this  recipe.  Sauté  onions, garlic and chili with spices.  Once  these are  soft  add   chopped   and  bell peppers (red ones  are  my favorite here)  and tomatoes (ripe ones)  and  cook  till  the  sauce  becomes  like  a  thick   stew.

Crack the  eggs   right on top of  this  thick  stew  – and  cook over  low  heat !

Use  the  back of a  ladle to  make depressions on the  stew  and  crack the  egg into it.   This  helps  the  eggs  form  spreading  out  and  each one  ends  up being  in its  own  small  stew nest.

Shakshuka - poached Eggs in tomato sauce

I like  to make  Shakshuka  with   fresh  tomatoes , but   must  warn you  , the  fresh    tomatoes  takes a  little  longer  to cook.   Fortunately we  get  good  quality fresh  produce  here  almost  year  round.   When  not  available one  28 oz  can of  crushed  tomatoes  and  jarred bell peppers  will  work well  too.

Shakshuka - poached Eggs in tomato sauce


By Syama
The  traditional version  of  Shakshuka -  poached  eggs  in  spiced  tomato sauce .
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Main Course


  • 6 Eggs Large
  • 6- 8   Tomatoes  Medium (Notes)
  • 1 Yellow Onion Medium
  • 1 Bell pepper Red
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Green Chili Optional (Notes)
  • 1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper  To Taste
  • 1 Tsp Sugar Optional , if needed
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp  Tomato Paste If Needed

To serve

  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup  Olives
  • Bread


  • Cut  the  tomatoes crosswise   and   remove  the seeds. Chop into  small pieces  and  set  aside.  Remove  the  seeds and  ribs  from the  bell pepper   and  the  green chili (if  using).  Chop green chili,  pepper, and  onions into  small pieces. Finely mince the  garlic . 
  • Heat olive oil in a large  skillet. When the oil is hot   add  onions, chilies , garlic and  salt . Saute over  medium heat for a  few minutes until the   onions  become  soft. Add  the  spice  powders  and  mix  well.
  • Add the  chopped  bell peppers  and  saute for two minutes. Add the  chopped fresh tomatoes,  stir  and  cover  with a  lid.  Cook  for  5 minutes. 
  • Uncover , the  tomatoes  would  have  softened  by now .  Mix   gently mash the  sauce with the  back of  the  spoon. Cook for a  few  more  minutes  until the  mix  looks  less watery.  
  • Taste  and  adjust  salt  and  pepper. If too sour  add   a  little  sugar  to balance the  flavors.   Mix  in the  tomato paste  if  the  sauce  is  still very watery and  lacking  tomato flavors. 
  • Reduce the  heat. Make  a  small indentation in the  sauce  with the back of  the  spoon and  break an egg into it.  Repeat  until all the  eggs  are used  up.   Space  the  eggs  a  little  away from each other.  
  • Cover  and  cook over  low  heat  until the egg  whites  are  set.
  • Uncover  and  sprinkle  the  chopped  parsley  and olives  on top.  Serve  with  bread - challah, pita , any crusty  bread .


  1. Use  ripe  but still firm  tomatoes.
  2. I like a touch of  heat in this  recipe, hence the  green chili. Use  serrano or  similar. Remove the  seeds  and  the  ribs  to reduce the  heat.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

Tried this recipe?Mention @Oventales or tag #Oventales on Instagram


Shakshuka - Poached Eggs in spicy tomato sauce

I  like  to serve  it  with Challah –  may be  because  it  reminds  me   of   the  bread  and  poached  egg  curry   from  long  back in my mom’s  kitchen ..


Egg Drop Curry - Poached Egg curry with coconut milk and spices

Challah Bread

Recipe Rating


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Guess what we had for Sunday brunch! I love that it is such an easy recipe to make, and forgiving too


Saturday 5th of May 2018

This came at the right time Syama. I know what I'm coming for brunch tomorrow. Looks delish..


Saturday 5th of May 2018

Yes ! this is such a versatile brunch meal - I am sure you will have your own spin on this :-)