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The Best Traditional Shakshuka Recipe

Looking for the perfect traditional Shakshuka recipe? Look no further! Today I will share with you my favorite method for making the best traditional Shakshuka. Get ready to indulge in a flavorful combination of poached eggs, simmered tomatoes, and aromatic spices. Whether you’re a fan of Moroccan cuisine or simply looking to try something new, this traditional shakshouka recipe is sure to impress your taste buds. Let’s dive in and discover how to create this delicious and satisfying dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.

traditional shakshuka recipe

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a savory and hearty dish that has gained popularity all around the world. With its origins in North Africa, particularly Morocco, this delectable dish and easy recipe has made its way into the hearts and kitchens of food enthusiasts globally and become one of the most popular breakfast dishes in the world. I grow up eating this delicious dish, and I proudly say that it is one of the most delicious foods I ever tasted. There are a lot of variations of shakshuka recipe online, but today, I would love to share with you my simple but extremely delicious traditional version of it.

What country is shakshuka from?

Shakshuka has deep roots in North African cuisine, specifically Morocco. It is believed to have originated as a breakfast dish enjoyed by farmers in the region. The word “Shakshuka” itself is derived from Arabic and means “a mixture” or “mixture.” The dish quickly gained popularity and found its way into Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, each region adding its own unique twist to the recipe. Moroccans however tend to serve it for lunch and dinner as well with bread as it is super easy to make, cheap, filling, and delicous at the same time.

What does shakshuka mean?

Shakshuka can be described as a flavorful and aromatic one-pan dish consisting of eggs poached in a rich tomato and pepper sauce. The base of the sauce is typically made with garlic, bell peppers, and ripe tomatoes, simmered until thickened and seasoned with a mix of spices such as cumin, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. The eggs are then gently cracked into the bubbling sauce and cooked until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.

Shakshuka is not only a delicious and satisfying dish but also offers a versatile culinary experience. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner. The combination of flavors, textures, and vibrant colors make Shakshuka a feast for the senses.

Stay tuned for the upcoming sections where we’ll delve into the ingredients, preparation, and tips to create the best traditional Shakshuka recipe right in your own kitchen!

traditional shakshuka recipe

Traditional Shakshuka Recipe Main Ingredients

Fresh Eggs

Eggs are one of the key ingredients in making traditional shakshuka. They serve as the base of the dish, providing a rich and creamy texture once cooked. The eggs are gently cracked onto the tomato and vegetable mixture, allowing them to poach and soak up all the delicious flavors.

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh, ripe tomatoes are the star of traditional shakshuka. They form the foundation of the dish, giving it its vibrant red color and tangy taste. Tomatoes are usually diced or crushed to create a hearty sauce that coats the eggs and vegetables. I personally prefer to dice them. In my opinion, they taste better that way.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers add a pleasant crunch and a touch of sweetness to the shakshuka. They come in various colors like red, yellow, and green, and each imparts a slightly different flavor. The peppers are typically diced and add to the mixture to create a flavorful base for the dish. In my case, I always use green bell pepper only. I love the unique and super delicious taste that it adds. I also don’t like the sweetness and taste of yellow and red bell pepper, so I always stick to my favorite greens, but feel free to use whatever you like. If you love your food spicy, feel free to throw in some diced chili peppers as well for a delicious spicy sauce.

Garlic

Garlic is a must-have ingredient in traditional shakshuka. Its pungent aroma and distinct taste add a delightful kick to the dish. It is finely minced and sautéed with the onions, lending a robust flavor to the sauce.

Spices (Cumin, Paprika, etc.)

A combination of spices is used to season the shakshuka and give it its unique North African flavors. Commonly used spices include cumin, paprika, black pepper, and turmeric. These spices add warmth, depth, and a hint of smokiness to the dish, enhancing its overall taste. If you like spicy food, you can also add some chili powder or red pepper flakes in it. I personally don’t, I love it as it it.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is the preferred cooking oil for making shakshuka because it doesn’t affect the taste of it as much as olive oil. 

Can you use canned tomatoes and tomato paste in Shakshouka sauce? 

I see some recommandations on the internet to use canned tomatoes and tomato paste in shakshouka sauce. Personally I never used them. I always use this traditional shakshouka recipe that was passed down to me from my grandma to my mom, and it always tastes incredible. It is an easy and cheap recipe that uses pantry staples and will yield you the best results everytime you try it.

How do you make shakshuka less watery?

The best way to make shukshouka less watery is not add water at all. Always juicy tomatoes and never add water to your sauce because it will thin it, and take away from it’s taste. The best way to keep your sauce from drying is to always cover it and let it simmer. After you add the eggs and they are almost done, you can then remove the lid, and let it cook for a few more minutes to dry. This process will give your dish just the right amount of sauce.

How long does shakshuka last?

If you already cooked the eggs with your shakshouka sauce, I highly recommand you store in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 3 days. If you didn’t add the eggs yet, then you can store the sauce on it’s own from 1 to 2 weeks and it will still taste amazing.

traditional shakshuka recipe

Serving and Pairing Options

When it comes to serving Shakshuka, there are several options and combinations that can enhance the flavors and elevate your dining experience. From the perfect accompaniments to the ideal beverage pairings, let’s explore how you can make the most of your Shakshuka meal.

Serving Suggestions

Shakshuka is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a great light dinner. Here are a few serving suggestions to inspire you:

  • Classic Brunch: Serve the traditional Shakshuka in a cast iron skillet or individual serving dishes, along with a side of crusty bread or pita for dipping.
  • Elevated Presentation: For a more elegant touch, transfer the Shakshuka to individual ramekins or small cazuelas before serving. Top with crumbled feta cheese, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for an aesthetically pleasing presentation.
  • Family-Style Feast: If you are serving a larger group, consider preparing a big batch of Shakshuka in a large skillet and serving it straight from the pan. Place it in the center of the table along with an assortment of bread, pita, and a variety of toppings for everyone to customize their own plate.

What does shakshuka go with?

To complement the rich and flavorful Shakshuka, consider adding some delicious accompaniments and side dishes. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Crusty Bread: The only and best way to eat your shashouka is to serve it with crusty bread. The soft and chewy texture of crusty bread is a perfect match for the saucy Shakshuka as the bread soak the sauce, and complements the all the ingredients beautifuly. Once you try it, I promise you won’t be able to eat the shakshouka without it.
  • Pita Bread: Pita bread also makes a great accompaniement to this delicious African dish, as it soaks up the sauce, and give you an amazing eating experience.
  • Fries: It might be a shock to you, but it’s true. Shakshouka sauce tastes amazing with fries. Give it a try, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving it more than ketchup.

Beverage Pairings

To enhance your culinary experience, pair your Shakshuka with the right beverages. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice: The bright citrus flavors of freshly squeezed orange juice complement the vibrant and zesty notes in Shakshuka. This refreshing drink provides a burst of freshness to balance out the richness of the dish.
  • Mint Tea: If you prefer a hot beverage, opt for a fragrant cup of mint tea. The herbal and refreshing qualities of the tea help cleanse the palate and enhance the flavors of the Shakshuka, and there is no better tea like the traditional Moroccan team. You can check my Fresh Homemade Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe.
  • Sparkling Water: For a simple and refreshing option, serve a bottle of chilled sparkling water. Its effervescence helps cleanse the palate and allows you to fully savor the flavors of the dish.

Remember, serving and pairing options can vary depending on personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Feel free to experiment and create your own unique combinations to suit your taste. Enjoy the culinary journey of discovering the perfect accompaniments and beverage pairings for your Shakshuka feast!

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tips and Variations

When it comes to making the best traditional Shakshuka recipe, there are a few tips and variations you can consider to customize the dish to your taste. From adjusting the spiciness level, and using different types of eggs, these options will elevate your Shakshuka experience.

Spiciness Level Adjustments

Spices play a crucial role in giving Shakshuka its distinctive flavor profile, with the key spice being cumin. However, if you prefer a milder or spicier version, you have the flexibility to adjust the spiciness level according to your preferences. 

To tone down the heat, reduce or omit the chili flakes or use a milder pepper variety. On the other hand, if you enjoy a fiery kick, feel free to increase the amount of chili flakes or even experiment with adding a dash of cayenne pepper for an extra punch. Adjusting the spiciness level allows you to customize the dish to suit your taste buds perfectly.

To explore more about different spices and their effects, check out this spice guide.

traditional shakshuka recipe

Using Different Types of Eggs

While Shakshuka traditionally uses chicken eggs, you can experiment with other types of eggs to add a unique twist to the dish. Consider using duck eggs for a richer and creamier texture or try quail eggs for an elegant and bite-sized version of Shakshuka. Each type of egg brings its own unique flavor and texture, allowing you to create a variety of delicious Shakshuka renditions.

To learn more about the different types of eggs and their culinary uses, take a look at this egg guide.

How to Use Leftover Shakshouka Sauce?

If you happen to have any leftovers of shakshuka sauce, you can put it in a container and store it for up to 1 week in the fridge. The best part though is that you don’t need to cook it with eggs necessarily, as the sauce on it’s own tastes amazing. You can serve it warm with bread or fries, or you can add it to your sandwiches which is my most favorite practice. I even love eating it on it’s own with crusty bread because it tastes that delicious.

traditional shakshuka recipe
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5 from 5 votes

The Best Traditional Shakshuka Recipe

Discover the authentic flavors of a traditional shakshuka recipe! Try my easy step-by-step recipe and spice up your breakfast routine today!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Morocco
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper 
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsps paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Stir in all the ingredients except for eggs.
  • Put on the lid and cook for 20 to 25 minutes over low heat, until the tomatoes and peppers become mushy.
  • Make 4 holes in the mixture, and crack an egg in each hole.
  • Put on the lid, and let them cook again for 4 to 5 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.
  • Remove the lid, and let them cook for a few more minutes so the remaining liquid evaporates.
  • Serve it hot with bread, and enjoy.

I hope you have enjoyed my easy traditional shakshuka recipe, and remember, these tips and variations are just a starting point to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. Feel free to mix and match these ideas or come up with your own unique modifications to make the best traditional Shakshouka recipe that suits your taste and preferences. Enjoy the journey of experimenting and creating your perfect Shakshuka masterpiece.

hard boiled eggs
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