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Easy Shakshuka or poached eggs in tomato sauce | Healthy Egg Recipes | Quick Meal Fix Ideas

Hearty, tangy, delicious – Shakshuka truly embraces the richness of eggs poached in a spiced tomato-onion sauce. Originating from Middle East and North Africa, it’s paired with pita or bread loaves to make it a wholesome breakfast or a laid-back brunch.

Tasty, healthy Shakshuka or eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
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What is Shakshuka?

One of my favorite ways to relish eggs, Shakshuka consists of eggs cooked in a tomato sauce with onions and capsicum or bell peppers, spiced with paprika or chili flakes and cumin. A one-pot recipe, it can be made on the stove and later finished in the oven. Its origin may be traced to North Africa, but there are several variations that exist in different regions of the world, all of which are delicious! While some prefer it as an ideal, wholesome brunch or dinner option, it’s a popular breakfast dish in Israel. 

First, you begin with preparing the sauce. Oh, the luscious sauce. Consequently, you scoop out some sauce and make small pockets. Next, we crack in some eggs so they can nestle into the sauce and allow it to cook nice and slow over low flame, so it all comes together. Top with some feta cheese bits, coriander and sprinkle some chili powder.

Lastly, pair with a pita/ tortillas/ toasted bread slices/ sourdough bread to make it a splendid meal.

What makes Shakshouka special?

I mean, allow me to walk you through the flavor profile: the tangy flavor burst of tomatoes, the richness of eggs, the spicy zing to tie it together into one flawless delicious symphony. To top it off, it’s fairly easy to prepare and requires the basic ingredients available in most pantries.

What’s more, the nutrition is on point – there’s protein from the eggs; fiber, lycopene and other antioxidants coming through tomatoes and bell peppers and pairing the dish with fresh wholegrain pita or bread would entail your daily quota of complex carbs.

Furthermore, the rich goodness of shakshuka and easily available ingredients make it a flexible meal option – great for a wholesome breakfast, or a quick yet nutritious lunch or dinner. Works great on a brunch menu, too!

How to add more nutrition to this dish?

  • If you’re a vegan: Feel free to substitute eggs with vegan protein options like tofu, chickpeas, or kidney beans
  • If you’re watching your calories: Thereby skip feta to eliminate excess calories from fat. The dish tastes just as delicious nevertheless, promise!
  • To add more dietary fiber: Add 2 tbsp of wheatgerm flakes per person (caution: this has gluten) to increase fiber and protein content in the dish. However, actual values of these will vary from one brand to another so do check the label.
  • If you’re gluten-intolerant:  Avoid wheatgerm. Pair with gluten-free breads/ rice or even relish shakshuka on its own.

What if I need Substitutions? (Help, I don’t have all the ingredients):

Fresh tomatoes – Easy, we replace these with tomato puree that we can easily get off the supermarket shelves. Saves time too.

Feta cheese – This is anyway not a part of all the versions of the traditional recipes. Hence, either replace with any melty cheese variety you may have in your fridge, or simply skip.

Baking equipment – We usually finish the dish by placing it in the oven so that the eggs are perfectly cooked and the sauce is just the consistency we like. However, if you don’t have an oven or a baking dish handy, no sweat! Just leave the dish simmer on a low flame for few more minutes as you place the lid on, and enjoy the delicious end result.

More Comfort-meal Suggestions!

Looking for more quick and easy meal options which are healthy and balanced too? Check my:

One Pot Pasta with Chickpeas, Capers and Tomato Sauce,

Millet Pancakes with Pistachio Butter | Ragi Pancakes,

Pad Thai Noodles & Fried Tofu in Peanut Sauce, or

Whole Wheat Spaghetti in Homemade Pesto Sauce

for more easy healthy meal ideas!

Pair with pita/ tortillas/ bread for a splendid meal!

RECIPE: SHAKSHUKA OR POACHED EGGS IN SPICY TOMATO SAUCE

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs
  • 10 ripe tomatoes, diced finely
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper or capsicum, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 jalapenos (pickled or fresh), sliced
  • 1.5 tsp red chili flakes or paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g feta cheese, crumbled or cut in cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander or cilantro, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by heating olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add onions and garlic and stir until the onions are a soft translucent pink.

Next, add diced bell pepper and cook for a minute. Consequently, add chilli flakes or cayenne pepper and cumin, followed by diced tomatoes. Thereafter, add in sliced jalapenos, tomato paste and salt. Allow to cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, until the sauce has thickened.

At this point, make a well or a shallow indentation in the sauce with a spoon, near the outer edges of the pan first, and then towards the center of the dish. Now, gently crack the eggs, one at a time, directly into the well you just made. Thereupon, I find that spooning the sauce around the egg whites helps them cook a tad bit faster.

Next, allow the eggs to cook. Thereafter cover the pan for 5-8 minutes and let the dish simmer until the whites are just about set, whilst the yolks are still runny.

Lastly, add crumbled feta and sprinkle chopped cilantro/ coriander. Finally, transfer the dish to the preheated oven. OR you can also turn the heat to lowest setting and continue to simmer the dish on stovetop with the lid on.

Most importantly, serve while hot with fresh pita bread/ toasted bread slices and devour!

NOTES

  • Noteworthily the servings are kept in mind with 2 eggs allocated per portion/ person. I personally like it saucier and hence the tomatoes are used generously. If need be, you can add more eggs into the same sauce portion. 
  • Above all, try not to stir or mix the dish too much to not to disturb the poached eggs nestled in the sauce. Therefore, its essential to cook this at a medium or low heat.
  • Furthermore, if you prefer fully set yolks instead of jammy ones, allow them to simmer for 1-3 minutes longer on a low flame, until the yolks are cooked to your liking.

I’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you, if you tried it. Do post a pic on Instagram and tag #fitfoodiediary in the picture!

Shakshuka or Poached eggs in tomato sauce | Egg Recipes

Hearty, tangy, delicious – Shakshuka truly embraces the richness of eggs simmering in a spiced tomato-onion sauce. Originating from Middle East and North Africa, it’s paired with pita or bread loaves to make it a wholesome breakfast or a laid-back brunch.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Calories: 208kcal
Author: Sonia

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 10 ripe tomatoes diced finely
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper or capsicum diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 jalapenos pickled or fresh, sliced
  • 1.5 tsp red chili flakes or paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 g feta cheese crumbled or cut in cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander or cilantro chopped

Instructions

For the Tomato Paste:

  • Start by heating olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add onions and garlic and stir until the onions are a soft translucent pink. Take care not to brown the onion as this may render a bitter taste to the dish.
  • Now, add diced bell pepper and cook for a minute. Next, add chilli flakes or cayenne pepper and cumin, followed by diced tomatoes. Thereafter, add in sliced jalapenos, tomato paste and salt. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat, until the sauce has thickened.

Adding the eggs:

  • At this point, take a spoon and make a well or a shallow indentation in the sauce, preferably near the outer edges of the pan first, and then towards the center of the dish. Gently crack the eggs, one at a time, directly into the well you just made. Thereupon, spooning the sauce around the egg whites helps them cook a tad bit faster than the yolks.
  • Next, allow the eggs to cook. Cover the pan and let the dish simmer for about 5-8 minutes until the whites are just about set, whilst the yolks are still runny. If you prefer fully set yolks instead of jammy ones, allow them to simmer for 1-3 minutes longer on a low flame.
  • Lastly, add crumbled feta and sprinkle chopped cilantro/ coriander. Finally, transfer the dish to the preheated oven. OR you can also turn the heat to lowest setting and continue to simmer the dish on stovetop with the lid on.
  • Serve while hot with fresh pita bread/ toasted bread slices and devour!

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 775mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g

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2 Comments

    1. Hi there! Your comment made me realize that I had mistakenly left out information related to this. To answer your question, I add the eggs once the sauce has thickened a bit, at about 10 minute-mark and I allow the cracked eggs to cook in the sauce until the whites have set in but the yolks are still runny. This takes about 5-8 minutes on a medium flame. I’ve updated the recipe as well. Hope this helps, and thank you for your question 🙂

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