Shakshuka with Poached Eggs in Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce

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Shakshuka with Poached Eggs in Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce: A Delicious and Nutritious Brunch Delight

Shakshuka, a beloved dish with roots in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, has gained worldwide popularity for its bold flavors and simplicity. This delightful dish features poached eggs nestled in a rich, spicy tomato and bell pepper sauce, making it a perfect choice for a hearty breakfast or brunch. In this blog post, we’ll explore the origins of Shakshuka, and its nutritional benefits, and provide you with a detailed recipe to create this delicious meal at home.

The Origins of Shakshuka

Shakshuka’s origins are debated, but it’s widely accepted that the dish hails from the Maghreb region of North Africa, including countries like Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The word “Shakshuka” itself means “a mixture” in Arabic, aptly describing the harmonious blend of ingredients in the dish. Over time, Shakshuka made its way to the Middle East, particularly Israel, where it has become a staple in breakfast and brunch menus.

Nutritional Benefits of Shakshuka

Shakshuka is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits:

  • Protein: The poached eggs provide a good source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The tomatoes and bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and folate.
  • Antioxidants: The lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of certain diseases.
  • Healthy Fats: Using olive oil in the sauce adds healthy monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.

Shakshuka Recipe: Poached Eggs in Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for extra heat)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large eggs
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Warm crusty bread or pita, for serving


  1. Prepare the Sauce:
    • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the diced bell peppers and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until they begin to soften.
    • Stir in the minced garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  2. Add the Tomatoes:
    • Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. If the tomatoes are too acidic, you can add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavor.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  3. Poach the Eggs:
    • Make small wells in the sauce using the back of a spoon and crack the eggs into the wells.
    • Cover the skillet and let the eggs cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. For firmer yolks, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the Shakshuka with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and crumbled feta cheese, if desired.
    • Serve the Shakshuka hot, with warm crusty bread or pita on the side for dipping into the rich, flavorful sauce.

Tips for Making the Perfect Shakshuka

  • Customize Your Shakshuka: Feel free to add other vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, or mushrooms to the sauce for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Adjust the Spice Level: If you prefer a milder dish, omit the red pepper flakes. For extra heat, add a chopped chili pepper or more red pepper flakes.
  • Cooking the Eggs: Keep an eye on the eggs while they cook to ensure they reach your desired level of doneness. Remember, the eggs will continue to cook slightly after you remove the skillet from the heat.


Shakshuka with poached eggs in tomato and bell pepper sauce is a versatile and nutritious dish that brings together the best of North African and Middle Eastern flavors. Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a satisfying brunch, or even a light dinner, Shakshuka is sure to please. Try this recipe at home and enjoy the rich, spicy, and comforting flavors of this beloved dish. Happy cooking!

Image for illustration purposes only. Source: Pexels