Shakshuka is a delicious and easy vegetarian dish from the Middle East. It's perfect for breakfast, lunch, brunch AND dinner! Make it vegan by replacing the eggs with tofu or chickpeas. Soon you will have a total addiction to this delicious and versatile one pot meal!
Shakshuka is a saucy, tomato-y, egg dish that originated in North Africa but is now more commonly known as a Middle Eastern delight. There is much debate over it's origin, which I'm not going to get into here. (you all have Google for that!) It can be a very simple dish consisting of only a few ingredients but nowadays, has many versions and variations. It can even be amazing prepared without tomatoes at all (future recipe[s] to come because I'm obsessed with this dish now). Here I've added roasted and fresh peppers, zucchini and chili paste. Still keeping it simple but getting in those extra veggies along with a little kick of chili!
Ingredients & Substitutes
White onion - I like the mellow flavour of white onions but you can also use yellow, Spanish or red onions.
Zucchini - zucchini isn't a traditional ingredient in shaksuka so feel free to leave it out if you prefer.
Orange or yellow bell pepper - any colour works here. Because there are tomatoes and roasted red peppers I just like to add more colours.
Ground cumin - cumin adds a wonderful warm flavour.
Roasted red peppers - store bought found in jars totally works here. Look at the ingredients to make sure they aren't in vinegar. If you like to roast your own, I take you through the process in my Spanish Chicken Bake recipe.
Canned whole tomatoes - I always recommend using whole canned tomatoes instead of diced or crushed. Typically better quality tomatoes are used and they have less, or no, calcium chloride, which keeps the diced tomatoes firm. It also adds a very acidic taste to the tomatoes. If you can find diced without the calcium chloride those would work perfectly! Fresh, chopped tomatoes can also be used and are ideal when tomatoes are in season and at their best.
Sambal Olelek - This is an Indonesian chili, garlic paste. Use any chili garlic paste, your favourite hot sauce or ½ teaspoon of crushed chili flakes. If you don't like spice just leave it out. No harm done!
Eggs - To make this dish vegan I recommend using one can of rinsed white beans, chickpeas, black beans or lentils. Cubes of tofu or tempeh would also be delicious.
Fresh parsley or cilantro - Fresh herbs can be left out but I like the brightness they add. Basil would also work well in this dish!
How to make Shakshuka
There is no magic behind making a delicious Shakshuka. No fancy equipment or culinary techniques. It's a "have-pan-can-cook" type of deal. Okay, it also helps if you know how to chop some veggies and use a can opener but no fancy chopping skills required! If you'd like to see how to properly (and more efficiently) dice an onion check out this post here Sausage and White Bean Soup and for breaking down a bell pepper have a look here Vegetarian 3 Bean Chili.
First, the onions are sauteed until nice and soft (always use a medium-low heat for this guys). Then add in the fresh pepper and zucchini along with the garlic, cumin and salt. Continue sauteing until they start to soften. Next, add everything else but the eggs and some of the parsley. You're almost there!
After that simmers for a few minutes, with the back of a spoon make little wells in the tomato/veg. mixture, for the eggs to sit in. The deepness of your wells depends on how much you want the egg to spread over the top...or not.
Then take a fork and break up the whites a little so they can run into the tomato mixture slightly. This step is optional. Bake in a 400℉ for 10-12 minutes or until your eggs reach your favourite amount of doneness. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley et voila!
What can I serve with It?
You have many options here. For garnishing you can use Greek yogurt or Labneh, any type of cheese (Feta is most common for good reason). For scooping and dipping serve with some crusty bread or pita. A side salad of leafy greens would also be nice. Need some more carbs? Have it on top of a bed of rice, quinoa or any other grain. It's so versatile!
The sauce will keep for up to a week in the fridge. The eggs will become tougher as they are reheated. I recommend poaching or frying some fresh eggs to have with leftover sauce. The sauce also freezes well for 3 months.
Following the Livy Method?
Serve on it's own or over my Cauliflower and Celery Root Puree, cauliflower rice or zucchini "noodles".
For your leafy greens, serve over a bed of leafy greens such as baby spinach or arugula. Or with a side of sautéed greens such as kale or collard greens. You can also add the greens right into the vegetable mixture in step #4.
Can I make it Vegan?
You sure can. Replace the eggs with silken tofu, chickpeas, lentils or any other beans or legumes you like. Of course that's steering away from traditional but...so what? Then we can just call it something else... Veganshuka?
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- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped (jarred are fine)
- 1 can (28 oz/830 ml/3.5 cups) whole tomatoes with juices, chopped, crushed or pureed
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Olelek or other chili paste, or to taste
- 6-8 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup parsley or cilantro leaves, packed then chopped
- Plain Greek yogurt or Labneh
- Sour cream
- Feta or any cheese of your choosing
Make It Vegan By Replacing Eggs With Any Of The Following:
- Silken Tofu
- Chickpeas, lentils or any other beans/legumes
- crusty bread
- pita or naan
- rice, quinoa or any other grain
- Preheat oven to 400℉
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 6-8 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Add zucchini, orange or yellow pepper, garlic, cumin and salt. Saute for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add roasted red pepper, tomatoes and their juices, and chili paste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Stir in half of the parsley and reserve the other half to garnish
- With the back of a spoon make wells in the tomato mixture for the eggs. Crack eggs into wells. Break up the whites around the edges with a fork. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, for a soft yolk, or until the eggs are cooked the way you like.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and any of the optional toppings or serve toppings on the side.