Shakshuka (poached eggs in spiced tomato sauce)


Shakshuka_SAC (29)

This was delicious. And from now on I feel like I will only want to eat my eggs for breakfast this way.

What is shakshuka? It’s basically a spiced tomato sauce that you poach eggs in. Eaten with buttered bread – there is nothing better. The recipe originates from the Middle East – N has had this before – for lunch or dinner. He made me super happy when he was finished eating it, he said it’s better than any version he’s had before! I love that, feels like a serious accomplishment. This recipe was adapted from my new cookbook, Balaboosta. So far, I’ve made 2 recipes from the book, and both have been delicious. I adjusted this to my taste – reducing the amount of onion and green peppers. Other than that, the recipe is pretty much the same.

If you’re a fan of eggs and are looking for some new inspiration – stop what you are doing and make this.

Shakshuka_SAC (2)

Here’s what you’ll need: 1.5 T. canola oil, 1 onion, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 jalapeno, 6 garlic cloves, 1/4 c. tomato paste, one 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, sugar, salt, Hungarian sweet paprika, cumin, black pepper, ground caraway, Swiss chard (or spinach), and finally – eggs.

Note: this does sound like a lot of ingredients – but the process for cooking isn’t complicated. And once your chopping is complete – the rest goes very smoothly.

First – get the veggies prepped and ready to go. Like I said, after the chopping of veggies, the rest of this recipe is simmering and stirring – not too bad!

Chop 1 medium onion into small pieces. This should make about 1 to  1 1/2 cups of chopped onion. Do the same with the green peppers. How small to chop? Small enough that you won’t bite into any large pieces when eating. Same size I would do for a pasta sauce. Small. Shakshuka_SAC (3)

Now, mince half of the jalapeno. I like heat, so I left the seeds in.

Shakshuka_SAC (4)

Now, peel and mince the garlic cloves. Shakshuka_SAC (5)

Almost done – it’s time to chop the Swiss chard. Simple – pull the leaves off the stem, and then chop.

Shakshuka_SAC (13)

Set aside all of the veggies and get started on your spices. This recipe calls for caraway. You know, the spice that’s in rye bread!?! I only had the seeds – so I had to crush them. I used my mortar and pestle. So old school, right? Shakshuka_SAC (8)

Get the rest of your spices ready – I measured them out and added into a small bowl, so all I had to do was toss them in together.

Shakshuka_SAC (11)

Now it’s time to start cooking – heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1.5 T canola oil – then add the onion and cook until translucent – about 5-7 minutes. Add the green bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until softened – about 4-5 more minutes.

Shakshuka_SAC (6)

Finally, stir in the tomato paste and minced garlic – cook and stir until the tomato paste is incorporated and you can smell the garlic. This should take less than a minute.

Shakshuka_SAC (9)

Stir in the whole, peeled tomatoes. Now – this was pretty fun. How do you get these crushed? Simply take a peeled tomato in your hand, and crush them! It’s quick – but a somewhat messy job. Do not wear a white shirt when doing this! Some of the seeds and juices may go flying. Repeat until can is empty – and put the rest of the juices in the pan. Shakshuka_SAC (12)

Add the spices to the dish – and cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir a few times. After 10 minutes, add in the Swiss chard and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

Shakshuka_SAC (14)

The sauce should be smelling good – and thickening up. That’s perfect. Time to lay the eggs in.

Helpful hint: crack each egg into a small dish prior to placing into the pan. This will ensure you catch any stray shell bits, and that each egg is placed into the pan where you want it.

Lay the eggs ontop of the sauce, COVER, and put a timer on for 10 minutes – walk away. You need the whites to be completely cooked, if you see that they are still runny, add 1-2 more minutes.

Shakshuka_SAC (15)

After 10 minutes, you will have a hot, delicious pan of egg and tomato goodness.

Shakshuka_SAC (21)

Remove each egg, with sauce, and plate. Serve with toasted bread to sop up the tomato sauce. Note: the eggs will not be runny. The centers will be just cooked – not rock hard like a boiled egg, but definitely cooked through. Enjoy!

Shakshuka_SAC (25)

Adapted from the Balaboosta cookbook
Serves 3-6 – Click here for printout of recipe
Total prep time: 10 minutes
Total cook time: 30 minutes

1.5 T. canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch Swiss chard (or spinach) chopped
1/4 c. tomato paste
1-28 oz. can, whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 bay leaf
2.5 T. sugar
1.5 T. kosher salt
1 T. Hungarian sweet paprika
1 T. ground cumin
1 t. ground caraway
1 t. ground pepper
6-12 large eggs (2 per person is a good way to think about it)


  1. Chop the onion, green bell pepper, and chard. Mince the jalapeno and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Prepare spices – grind the cumin or caraway, if needed. Combine in a small bowl the salt, pepper, sugar, Hungarian paprika, caraway, cumin, and bay leaf – set aside.
  3. Heat 1.5 T. canola oil in a large pan, add the onions and sauté, until translucent – about 5-7 minutes. Once finished, add the green bell pepper and jalapeno to the onions, cook until softened – about 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and minced garlic, cook and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan, followed by the spices. Stir to incorporate. Cook, over medium heat, for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  5. After 10 minutes, add in the Swiss chard. Stir to incorporate, and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Uncovered.
  6. Add the eggs to the dish – COVER and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the whites have completely cooked.
  7. Serve with toasted bread to sop up the tomato juices.


Leave a Reply