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Shakshuka – Once Upon a Chef

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Shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a smoky, spicy, vegetable-laden tomato sauce.

shakshuka

Popular throughout the Middle East, particularly in Israel (where it ranks right up there with falafel and hummus as one of Israel’s most-loved dishes), shakshuka is one-skillet dish of eggs gently poached in a smoky, spicy tomato and vegetable sauce. The dish was brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from North Africa and variations abound. One popular version called green shakshuka replaces the tomato sauce with a rich spinach and cream sauce loaded with green vegetables. My version is traditional, with a few small tweaks that take it up a notch. I add a splash of heavy cream to marry the acidity of the tomatoes with the richness of the eggs – it makes all the difference – and I also sprinkle crumbled feta on top.

Shakshuka is traditionally made in a cast iron pan and is simple to prepare. You start by making the sauce on the stovetop, then you gently crack the eggs into wells in the sauce and cook briefly before finishing the dish under the broiler. It’s the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner dish, but it can be served any time of day. Toasted buttered bread for mopping up the sauce and runny yolks is a must.

What You’ll Need To Make Shakshuka

ingredients for shakshukaStep-by-Step Instructions

Begin by chopping the onions, peppers, and garlic. Be sure not to chop the garlic too finely or it will burn.

chopped onions, garlic, and peppers on cutting board

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper.

onions, garlic and peppers cooking in skillet

Cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened.

softened onions, garlic and peppers in skillet

Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt, sugar, and tomatoes.

Adding the tomatoes and spices to the skillet

Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Simmering shakshuka sauce

While the sauce cooks, chop the greens.

chopped greens on cutting board

Add the chopped greens and heavy cream to the sauce, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the greens are soft and wilted, about 10 minutes more.

adding the cream and greens to the sauce

Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Then, using a spoon, make 6 wells/indentations in the sauce.

making wells in the sauce for the eggs

Carefully crack an egg into each well, then spoon a bit of the sauce over the egg whites (this will contain them and also help them cook a bit faster than the yolks), being careful not to disturb the yolks. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. And then sprinkle the feta around the eggs.

skillet with sauce, uncooked eggs and feta

Set the pan on the stove over low heat and cover with a lid. Cook until the egg whites are mostly set but still translucent on top, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the eggs are cooked to your liking, 1 minute or less for runny yolks. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cilantro over top.

shakshuka ready to eat

Serve hot with bread.

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Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a smoky, spicy, vegetable-laden tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions (or 1 medium), peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups finely chopped greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, tough ribs removed, gently packed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 eggs
  • Handful chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until softened. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1¼ teaspoons of the salt, sugar, and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  3. Add the chopped greens and heavy cream to the sauce, and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the greens are soft and wilted, about 10 minutes more. While the greens are cooking, set an oven rack in the top position and preheat the broiler.
  4. Turn off (or remove the pan from) the heat. Using a spoon, make 6 wells/indentations in the sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each well, then spoon a bit of the sauce over each of the egg whites (this will contain them and also help them cook a bit faster than the yolks), being careful not to disturb the yolks. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, then sprinkle the feta around the eggs. Set the pan on the stove over low heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites are mostly set but still translucent on top (check frequently towards the end as cook time can vary). Remove the lid, transfer the pan to the oven, and broil until the eggs are cooked to your liking, 1 minute or less for runny yolks (see note below on cooking eggs further). Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cilantro over top. Serve hot with bread.
  5. Note: You can cook the dish entirely on the stovetop for just a few minutes longer (without using the broiler) if you like your egg yolks cooked through. If you like your eggs runny, however, I find that the stovetop-to-broiler method is the only surefire way to cook the egg whites thoroughly without overcooking the yolks.
  6. Make Ahead: The tomato sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat the sauce on the stovetop and proceed with the recipe when ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 254
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 636 mg
  • Cholesterol: 200 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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