Shakshuka Eggs Poached with Tomatoes and Peppers


Shakshuka is an “all mixed up” dish of eggs poached or baked in a flavorful pepper and tomato broth. It’s a North African lunch staple that’s spread across the continent to the Middle East and Israel. You’ll see it made with a range of ingredients such as artichoke hearts, feta cheese, harissa, merguez sausage, diced potatoes and all sorts of herbs. I’ve grown to love it for breakfast, when I eat it with a hunk of toasted country bread or a whole wheat pita.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 red Bell pepper, seeded and cut into long slices about ¼ to ½-inch wide

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin

1 plump clove of garlic, peeled and sliced thin

½ cup tomato sauce or 2 Tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water or stock

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon hot sweet pepper such as Aleppo pepper or hot Hungarian paprika

¼ cup water or stock

Salt and pepper

Chopped cilantro or parsley

2 to 4 eggs

  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, sliced Bell pepper, onion, and garlic, stirring for a minute. Cover and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the peppers soften. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato, tomato sauce, and water. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 more minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the cumin and hot sweet pepper. Season with salt and black pepper.  Cover and let the mixture simmer slowly for 5 to 10 more minutes to bring the flavors together and soften the vegetables. You can cool the mixture at this point and refrigerate for up to three days before using.
  • To make an individual serving of shakshuka, drizzle a small frying pan with some olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Spoon a quarter or more of the pepper mixture into the pan. Heat for a minute or two. Make a well in the center of the pepper mixture. Crack an egg into it. Cover the pan and cook until the egg is set the way you like it, for about 5 minutes for an over easy egg.
  • Slide the peppers and egg onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and a good grind of black pepper. Serve with toasted country bread and harissa or your favorite hot sauce on the side.


Cover photo by Priscilla Martel