How to Make Shakshuka Eggs For a Fancier (But Simple) One Skillet Meal
Shakshuka is not easy to pronounce.
But, don’t let the name fool you. Shakshuka is an easy one-skillet meal that will satisfy all your weeknight flavor wants and needs. And it has nothing to do with Chaka Khan, the queen of funk and singer of I’m Every Woman.
I love the look of shakshuka eggs. Maybe a picture of it is what brought you here. The dish looks like it was cooked by a pro chef that uses all of their skills to develop layers upon layers of flavor.
But, you don’t need to be a pro chef to cook shakshuka. Quick to make, consists of pantry staple ingredients, cheap, filling, healthy, and has plenty of room for error. Cook it an extra few minutes, no big deal.
What does this all mean?
It means that this one-skillet shakshuka may just be the perfect weeknight meal.
Plus, what is better than telling your co-workers that your lunch is something they can’t pronounce. They’ll think you’re a pro chef. And you’ll have the confidence of one.
What Is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a vegetarian dish typically cooked in a skillet and made of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, spices, and eggs. Before the eggs are added, the sauce is left to cook down and let the flavors develop. Then, eggs are cracked right in the middle of the sauce and either baked or simmered with a closed lid.
I say “typically” for all the ingredients because there are many versions to this egg dish. For instance, this easy shakshuka recipe leaves out peppers and adds chickpeas. This makes it a more affordable and filling meal.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we didn’t have Instagram back in the early culinary times of humans to document the creation of dishes.
I love learning about the origin of dishes that we cook today. Where they came from and how they transformed over time. But, I’m learning that the exact origin of most dishes isn’t really known.
This includes shakshuka. It may have come from what is now Turkey, Morocco, or Yemen. But, we don’t know for sure.
We do know that shakshuka has been a part of Mediterranean, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. During the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, the dish was brought to Israel by fleeing Jews. Shakshuka is now a staple dish of Israeli cuisine.
Shakshuka Cooking Tips
How to Make Shakshuka
To make shakshuka, you will use one pan to continually build layers of flavor.
First you need to saute chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until the onion has softened. Then add spices like paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper for heat. A can of chickpeas is added to make the dish a filling meal. Then the sauce is given its backbone with a can of whole peeled tomatoes.
After seasoning with salt and letting the sauce cook down to further concentrate the flavor, it’s egg time. Eggs are cracked and nestled into the sauce. Here they’ll bake until set. Then it’s time to enjoy!
Controlling the Spiciness
I’m the kind of person who likes a little spice to contribute to taste. But, once a dish starts to be spicy just for the purpose of being spicy, I’m out.
When I order from my favorite Thai restaurant, I get a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the spiciness scale. My wife is more of an 8. She’s way tougher than me.
I added 1/4 teaspoon of hot cayenne powder to this dish and it was toeing the line on being too spicy for me. But, my wife loved it.
So, I’ll answer the question with a question: how spicy do you want it to be?
Next time I make it, I’ll probably add closer to 1/8 teaspoon. Just don’t tell my wife. I do want to note, the cayenne I use is this super hot stuff from my local health food market, so it may be a bit spicier than yours.
Variations to This Shakshuka Recipe
- Add roasted red peppers – Make this shakshuka more traditional by adding roasted red peppers.
- Top with yogurt – When serving, top with plain whole milk, Greek, or dairy-free yogurt. The acidic yogurt will pair nicely with the spicy and rich sauce.
- Add chorizo or another meat – Ground sausage like chorizo would turn up the flavor and fullness factor.
- Omit chickpeas and serve over another grain – This shakshuka and it’s flavorful sauce is perfect to serve over all types of grains. Rice, farro, barley, and quinoa would be great.
How Long Does This Shakshuka Keep?
One of the best things about this dish is that it gets better over time. Like other sauces and braises, an extra day or two allows the flavors to meld and concentrate. This will keep well for 4-5 days.
These OXO containers are the best reusable containers you can get. No leaking. And microwave, dishwasher, freezer, oven, and freezer safe.
What If I Don’t Have a Skillet With a Lid?
No worries! Instead of making a little oven by placing a lid over your pan, just put your pan in the oven.
Make sure you are using an oven safe skillet. Cast iron works great. This cast iron skillet is my kitchen hero.
After cracking the eggs into the sauce, place the pan into a preheated oven at 425 degrees F. Remove once the eggs are set, about 5-7 minutes. It won’t take long so keep an eye on it.
Is Shakshuka Healthy?
Here we have chickpeas, tomatoes, eggs, veggies, and spices.
According to Healthline, eggs are one of the most nutritious types of food on the planet. They lead to eating less, contain at least a little of most nutrients you need, are packed with healthy fats, and raise good cholesterol.
Chickpeas are a critical component in plant-based diets because of their relatively high protein content. According to Medical News Today, chickpeas are rich in folate, fiber, phosphorus, and iron to name a few. Chickpeas also have certain characteristics that may help defend against heart disease and cancer.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin K and C, folate, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that have been linked to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer (Source: Healthline).
The bottom line: Add “healthy” to the list of words to describe shakshuka.
Should I Use Chickpeas or Garbanzos?
I get this question all the time! So, I have a well researched answer for you:
Chickpeas and garbanzos are the same thing. Garbanzos is the Spanish term for the same bean. It dates back to the 1750s in northern Spain. The term stuck with the cuisine that came from that region.
So, you can use chickpeas or garbanzos because they are the same thing.
Can I Use Dried Cooked Chickpeas?
I’m a huge fan of dried cooked chickpeas. They are much more affordable and meal-prep friendly than canned chickpeas. Plus, they are less wasteful because there is no can to toss.
A can of chickpeas is equal to 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas. Use that conversion wherever necessary.
More Chickpea Recipes
- 15 Minute Marinated Chickpeas
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
- Easy Homemade Hummus
- Sauteed Chickpeas with Yogurt, Garlic, and Herbs
Easy Shakshuka With Chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp parpika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder or crushed red pepper (optional, use 1/4 tsp or more to make spicier)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 tsp + more to taste kosher salt
- 6 eggs
- freshly cracked black pepper
- parsley, cilantro, mint or mix to garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven with a lid.
- Add onion to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add garlic. Cook until onion softens, another 4-6 minutes.
- Add paprika, cumin, and chickpeas. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the can of tomatoes and their juices, crushing tomatoes with your hands or wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens, 10-15 minutes. Season with 1 tsp salt.
- Use a spoon to make a small well in the sauce and crack your first egg into the well. Repeat for each of the eggs, spacing evenly apart. Cover with lid and simmer until egg whites set, but yolks are still runny, about 7-10 minutes.
- Season with salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs (if using). Serve immediately or store, covered, in the refrigerator 4-5 days.
Ready to Turn Up the Flavor on Your Weeknight Meals?
To look forward to a weeknight meal, it needs to be quick, easy, satisfying, and not require grocery shopping. This shakshuka checks all the boxes.
Once you taste this, you’ll want to make sure there isn’t a professional Israeli chef ghost in your kitchen that was adding in flavors while you weren’t looking. The depth of flavor is unreal.
You’ll understand that you have the ability to quickly make delicious weeknight dishes. And they don’t have just be bagged salad kits or stir-fry.
So go ahead and sing Chaka Khan while you make this shakshuka. You’ve earned it. You know the song: Cause I’m every woman. It’s all in me, it’s all in me…
Because you’re every woman (or man). The ability to provide for yourself is all in you.