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If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty Middle Eastern dish that can be enjoyed any time of the day, then Shakshuka is the recipe for you! This quintessential Middle Eastern dish features eggs poached in a slow-cooked tomato and red pepper sauce infused with the beautiful flavours of cumin, coriander, and spicy red chilies. It’s a warm, comforting meal perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I love serving it with crumbled feta cheese and warm pita bread on the side, making it a complete and satisfying meal. With just a few simple ingredients like olive oil, red onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and some basic spices, you can create this flavorful and delicious dish in no time. So why not try Shakshuka and add some Middle Eastern flair to your next meal?


Basic Ingredients for Shakshuka


Olive oil: Used as the cooking fat to sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic and create a rich and flavorful tomato sauce.

Red Onions: Finely chopped and cooked until translucent, they add a sweet and mild onion flavour to the sauce.

Red or Green Bell Peppers: Finely chopped and sautéed with the onions, add a sweet and slightly smoky flavour to the sauce.

Tomatoes or Canned Chopped Tomatoes: Used to create the base of the sauce, they add a rich and tangy tomato flavour.

Tomato Paste: Adds depth of flavour and richness to the sauce.

Garlic: Minced and sautéed with the onions and peppers, it adds a pungent and aromatic flavour to the sauce.

Red Chili: Optional but adds a nice kick of heat to the sauce.

Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper: Adds a spicy kick to the sauce.

Cumin: Adds a warm, earthy, and slightly nutty flavour to the sauce.

Paprika: Adds a smoky and slightly sweet flavour to the sauce.

Sugar: A pinch of sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

Black and White Pepper: Adds a subtle and mild peppery flavour to the sauce.

Salt: Essential to bring out the flavours in the dish.

Water: Used to thin out the sauce and create a better consistency for poaching the eggs.

Eggs: Poached on top of the sauce and provides a protein-rich component.

Fresh Coriander: Finely chopped and used as a garnish, it adds a new and slightly citrusy flavour.

Feta Cheese: Optional, but crumbled on top of the finished dish, it adds a salty and tangy flavour that complements the flavours of the sauce.

alternative ingredients

Olive Oil: You can use any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, instead of olive oil.

Red Onions: Yellow onions or shallots can be used as a substitute for red onions.

Red or Green Bell Peppers: You can use any bell pepper or even substitute with poblano peppers for a slightly smoky flavour.

Tomatoes or Canned Chopped Tomatoes: You can substitute tomato sauce, passata, or even tomato puree.

Tomato Paste: You can substitute with ketchup or tomato sauce, but note that it will affect the sauce’s flavour.

Garlic: Garlic powder or granulated garlic can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic.

Red Chili: Substitute with a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce.

Chili Powder: You can use a mixture of paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of oregano as a substitute for chili powder.

Cumin: Ground coriander or chili powder can be used as a substitute for cumin.

Paprika: Smoked paprika or sweet paprika can be used as a substitute for regular paprika.

Preparation Tips for Shakshuka

  • Use a wide and shallow skillet or pan for cooking the sauce and poaching the eggs. This will help the eggs cook evenly and prevent them from overcooking.
  • Ensure to cook the onions and peppers until they are soft and translucent. This will help develop the flavours and ensure the vegetables are cooked through.
  • When adding the canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes to the sauce, cook them until they are soft and slightly broken down. This will help to create a rich and flavorful tomato sauce.
  • Be sure to season the sauce well with salt, pepper, and other spices, as this will bring out the dish’s flavours.
  • When poaching the eggs, create small wells in the sauce and gently crack the eggs into them. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the eggs are set but the yolks are still slightly runny.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and crumbled feta cheese, if using, just before serving.
  • Serve Shakshuka hot with a warm pita or crusty bread on the side to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serving Tips for Shakshuka

  • Serve Shakshuka hot, straight from the pan, with warm pita bread or crusty bread on the side to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and crumbled feta cheese, if using, just before serving.
  • Shakshuka is a versatile dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for sharing with friends and family.

storage tips

  • Leftover Shakshuka can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, heat the Shakshuka in a pan over medium heat until heated through.

Shakshuka (Full Video)


Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes or 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ white pepper
  • salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • ¼ feta cheese (optional)


  • Heat oil and sauté onions until translucent in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté until the mixture is fragrant.  
  • Add red peppers and red chilli; sauté until it has softened. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, one cup of water, spices and sugar; leave to simmer on low, medium heat for about 20 minutes until it reduces. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: for a sweeter sauce, add more sugar, and for a spicy sauce, add more cayenne pepper)
  • With a large spoon, create a little well near the perimeter of the pan and crack directly into it; repeat the same steps with the remaining eggs. Cover the pan and cook until preferred doneness. Tip: if you prefer the eggs to be runny, reduce the sauce more; if you like the eggs to be more well done, then the dressing can be moister.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and crumbled feta cheese. I usually make this dish for breakfast, but it can also be served for lunch and dinner.

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Tag @cookingwithzahra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithzahra so we can see all the deliciousness!

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