Is it a traditional shakshuka?
Probably not. I won’t be debating the origins of this tasty dish. I have learned that shakshuka is commonly found in North Africa, Middle East, Palestine, Israel and Egypt. Our version uses the foundation of a traditional shakshuka, with a few little twists.
As usual when a dish is found in different regions or countries, each will likely claim theirs is the best. Who am I to argue over who’s grandmother’s delicious recipe is the best? 😂 Given the chance, I would love the opportunity to taste all the versions that exist, though I probably still wouldn’t be able to decide on which is the best of the bunch. I believe they’d all have differences that make them amazing and uniquely their own.
What I do know for sure is that I absolutely love the version I made for you today. I’ll be honest, I had to work hard to control my urge to eat the whole thing! So much flavour!
A few things that are perhaps a little different in my version, than a more traditional shakshuka, are the use of canned tomatoes (I explain this further down), roasted red peppers, wine, Spanish hot paprika, and feta cheese. I feel like this is a very versatile dish. Feel free to add your own twists and flavours!
Partnering again with our friends at Meyer Canada
I don’t need a thousand tools in my kitchen to make good food, but I do believe that the tools I use should be very high quality! The right tools make cooking easier and quality tools will last longer.
For today’s recipe, I used my Meyer Confederation Stainless Steel 32cm/12.5″ Non Stick Fry Pan Skillet. This pan is gorgeous, it distributes heat for even cooking, and it has super power nonstick-like properties.
Although I like the flavour of a little olive oil or butter when I cook an egg, for instance, I can cook an egg on this pan without either. Impressive, right!?
How easy is it to make shakshuka?
It’s so much easier to make than it might look. It’s a one-pan meal and you don’t need a lot of technical skills to make this.
In a nutshell, you cook up onions and peppers in olive oil, add tomatoes and spices, cook for a bit, add the eggs, let them set, and finally add the cheese and cilantro. Doesn’t sound difficult, does it? It’s not. Plus, this meal cooks up in about 30 minutes, so you won’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen when there’s little time to spare.
To ‘canned tomatoes or not to canned tomatoes’… that is the question
You’ll find many opinions on what type of tomatoes to use for this recipe. Some people prefer to use fresh tomatoes, other use a mix of fresh tomatoes with some puree, others like myself, prefer canned tomatoes. I find that using canned tomatoes speeds up the process a little, without compromising on flavour.
In my personal opinion, if you use really good canned tomatoes, like San Marzano tomatoes, your dish will taste wonderful. I also used a bit of tomato paste in mine, for that extra umami flavour.
Shakshuka is a flavour explosion!
Between the combination of spices, the sautéed veggies, the tomato umami, and fresh herbs, this is a recipe that’s sure to leave your home smelling wonderful and your taste buds begging for more after that first wonderful bite!
For this recipe I used red pepper flakes and Spanish hot paprika. The final result wasn’t very spicy (to me), but if you aren’t into spicy foods you can omit the pepper flakes and substitute the hot paprika for sweet paprika. Believe me, it’ll taste amazing either way!
Pick your favourite
You could ,of course, eat this with a spoon, but unless you have an intolerance to bread, why would you?! 🤪 The perfect vessel for carrying shakshuka to your mouth is some crusty bread or a warm flatbread.
Because of diabetes, I avoid heavy carbs like breads, rice and potatoes, but I’ll sometimes make calculated exceptions so I can indulge in a little treat. Shakshuka was definitely a reason for an exception! I went with pita, lightly grilled. No regrets.
Different is often unexpectedly wonderful!
Like many other recipes on our blog, this dish isn’t something Liz and I grew with. Although prepared a little different from food we were accustomed to, growing up, the ingredients and flavours actually have a lot in common with Portuguese foods.
I can’t stress enough how happy it makes me to get out of my comfort zone and experience new dishes from all around the world. There are certainly differences of opinion and turmoil in the world, but I believe food and music can bring us a little closer in our human experience.
Give our version of this recipe a try, scoop it up with delicious warm bread, share it with friends, and make today yummy!
My delicious shakshuka recipe
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup roasted peppers roughly chopped
- 4 medium cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp Spanish hot paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 398-ml or 13.5 fl oz cans of quality diced tomatoes (don’t buy the cheap ones)
- 6 large fresh eggs room temp
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- Add the olive oil to a large pan (we used a 12.5 inch pan)
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the onion and green bell pepper and stir.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, add the garlic, stir and cook for another 2 minutes or until the onions start to soften.
- Add the white wine, stir and let reduce for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the roasted red pepper, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, 1/2 the chopped cilantro and tomatoes.
- Stir, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Use a large spoon to make a well into the sauce. Crack an egg over the well.
- Repeat the last step for the remaining 5 eggs. Make sure to space the eggs evenly apart.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the egg whites are set. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cook longer of you prefer the yolks a bit more cooked.
- Sprinkle the crumbled feta evenly around the eggs.
- Sprinkle the last half of the chopped cilantro evenly over the entire pan.
- Enjoy with pita bread, challah, naan or any favourite crusty or flat bread.
- Many recipes we read use cooking or yellow onion. We like using red onion, but feel free to substitute.
- You can use a chopped fresh red bell pepper instead of the roasted pepper if you prefer.
- Replace the hot paprika with sweet paprika, and leave out the red pepper flakes if you’re not into spicy food.
- Don’t skimp on the quality of the tomatoes. Use San Marzano if you can find them.
- Don’t buy cheap eggs. The better your eggs, the better the dish. Farm fresh or from a trusted local shop is recommended.
- Using eggs at room temperature is ideal, they’ll set quicker in the pan.
- Leave out the feta cheese if you’re not into feta. It’ll still taste great!
- Feel free to use chopped parsley instead of cilantro. We do recommend that you include at least one of these fresh herbs.