Shakshuka with Goat Cheese

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Shakshuka with Goat Cheese features softly poached eggs nestled in a flavorful, smoky tomato sauce infused with Middle Eastern spices. This dish shines on the table, boasting simplicity and stunning presentation, making it a standout among easy-to-make recipes.

This sponsored recipe, promoting healthier eating choices, couldn’t have come at a better moment. I’ve been eager to share one of my all-time favorite super-healthy breakfast recipes with you. Rest assured, all opinions and recommendations are solely my own!

Shakshuka with goat cheese made with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs.

We’re bonafide egg lovers and are always sourcing the best ingredients, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs fall right into this class, their motto is “Believe in What You Buy” and I couldn’t agree more. The Certified Humane® free-range label guarantees that they believe in the welfare of their organic, free-range hens, and it really shows! An independent study conducted by “Mother Earth News” confirms that free-ranging chickens lay eggs with two times the omega-3s, one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat as conventional eggs.

Shakshuka garnished with cilantro and goat cheese.

Hens have the freedom to strut their stuff spread their wings and bask in the sunshine doing their favorite chicken activities! Yes, we believe this is super important and their happiness results in superior eggs! Free from harmful chemicals and dreaded hormones they enjoy freedom on a network of over 125 small family run farms. Which means you’ll support local farmers too, please take a minute to check out their site you’ll meet these great farmers and can read about their adventure that began in the 1800’s!

Plate of Shakshuka with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs in the background.

Organic eggs make a huge difference in everything including eggs. They’re better for the environment, better for you, and 100% better-tasting, too.

As per Susan Allport, author of “The Queen of Fats,” eggs laid by free-range chickens with a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, sourced from grasses and weeds, contain higher omega-3 levels compared to those fed only grains. Omega-3s are vital for brain function and growth, inflammation reduction, and potentially preventing chronic ailments like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

Close up of Shakshuka on an elegant white plate.
Plus look at these eggs! Ok onto the Shakshuka!

Shakshuka is a dish with North African and Middle Eastern origins, particularly popular in Israel, where it is considered a staple comfort food. Its exact origins are debated, with some attributing it to Tunisian or Libyan Jewish communities, while others claim it originated in the Ottoman Empire. The name “Shakshuka” is believed to derive from the Arabic word for “mixture” or “shaken,” reflecting the dish’s preparation method of cooking eggs in a flavorful tomato and pepper stew.

Traditionally, Shakshuka consists of poached eggs nestled in a spiced tomato and bell pepper sauce, often enhanced with onions, garlic, and a variety of spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder. It is typically cooked and served in a cast-iron skillet or shallow pan, with crusty bread for dipping and sopping up the delicious sauce.

Over time, Shakshuka has gained popularity worldwide as a hearty and versatile dish suitable for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. It has also been subject to various regional and personal adaptations, with additions like feta cheese, spinach, or merguez sausage, reflecting the diverse culinary influences and preferences of different cultures.

Close up of Shakshuka with broken egg yolk on a white plate.

Choosing the Right Cookware for Shakshuka

We cook and serve ours up in our Italian terracotta pots which imparts the tajine’s earthy character. Cooking with terracotta is a whole other post but don’t worry if you don’t have any you can also use a stainless steel or cast iron pans (see chef’s note below).

  1. Skillet: A wide and deep skillet is commonly used for making Shakshuka. It allows for even cooking and easy stirring of the ingredients.

  2. Cast Iron Pan: Cast iron pans are excellent for heat retention and can give Shakshuka a delicious seared flavor.

  3. Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven can accommodate larger batches of Shakshuka and is ideal for oven-baked versions of the dish.

  4. Tagine: Traditional North African tagines offer a unique cooking method, allowing the ingredients to simmer gently and develop complex flavors.

  5. Baking Dish: Shakshuka can also be baked in an oven-safe baking dish, especially when making larger servings or serving a crowd.

Choose the cookware that best suits your cooking style and the quantity of Shakshuka you plan to make.

Note: A word of caution on cooking tomato based recipes in cast iron. Be sure that your pan is very well seasoned and has been cooked in for years otherwise the acid will strip the seasoning from the pan and result in discolored and metallic tasting food, so if in doubt use stainless. 

Shakshuka egg yolk being broken with a fork.

Seasoning Options for Shakshuka

  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cayenne pepper (for heat)
  • Smoked paprika (for a smoky flavor)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric (for color and flavor)

Feel free to adjust the seasoning quantities to suit your taste preferences and desired level of spiciness.

A plate of Shakshuka with a fork with dripping egg yolk.

Mastering Shakshuka: Tips for Perfection

  • Toast Spices: Don’t skip toasting your spices in the pan before adding the tomatoes. Heating spices releases their oils, flavors, and perfume increasing flavor 10-fold.
  • Get Saucy: Allow the sauce to simmer and cook down, keeping a watchful eye and stirring as you go. Not only does it improve flavor but it also thickens and will cradle the eggs as they poach.
  • Carryover Cooking: This applies to nearly every dish you’ll ever prepare. Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the desired doneness. Look for whites that have risen a bit and have a little shake to them and then pull the pan.
Close up of Shakshuka with broken egg yolk on a white plate.

Top Accompaniments for Shakshuka:

  1. Crusty Bread: Sop up the delicious sauce with slices of warm, crusty bread.
  2. Pita Bread: Tear off pieces of soft pita bread and use them to scoop up the eggs and sauce.
  3. Couscous: Serve Shakshuka over a bed of fluffy couscous for a hearty and satisfying meal.
  4. Hummus: Enjoy Shakshuka with a side of creamy hummus for added flavor and texture contrast.
  5. Israeli Salad: A fresh and crisp Israeli salad made with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions is a perfect complement to the rich flavors of Shakshuka.
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Alternatives to Poached Eggs in Shakshuka

You can still savor the delightful taste of Shakshuka! Whip up the tomato sauce and cook your eggs just the way you like them, then spoon the sauce over them. Voilà! Your very own Shakshuka masterpiece!

Storing and Reheating Shakshuka: Ensuring Safety and Flavor

Storing Shakshuka: After preparing Shakshuka, allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Properly stored Shakshuka can typically last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

Reheating Shakshuka: When reheating Shakshuka, ensure thorough heating to kill any bacteria that may have multiplied during storage. You can reheat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave it in a microwave-safe dish, heating in short intervals and stirring in between to ensure even heating.

Safety Considerations: To ensure the safety of reheated Shakshuka, it’s essential to follow proper food handling and storage guidelines. Refrigerate leftovers promptly after serving and reheat them to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) before consuming. Additionally, avoid reheating Shakshuka multiple times to minimize the risk of bacterial growth.

By following these guidelines, you can safely store and reheat Shakshuka while preserving its delicious flavors.

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Shakshuka egg yolk being broken with a fork.

How to Make Shakshuka

Shakshuka in terracotta pots on a rustic wooden background.

Shakshuka with Goat Cheese

Shakshuka; softly poached eggs in a smokey rich tomato sauce seasoned with essences from the Middle East. A star on the table and one of the easiest dishes you'll ever make, yet one of the most beautiful.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red, yellow or green bell pepper, washed + seeded + diced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled + diced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 6 large Organic Free-Range Eggs, Pete and Gerry's
  • Kosher Sea Salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed + torn
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, sub feta

Instructions

  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, add the EVOO and reheat for 30 seconds. Add the diced bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
    Diced onions and peppers cooking in an Italian terracotta pot for Shakshuka.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes until the spices release their oils and become fragrant and the paste begins to turn deep red. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.
    Spices and ingredients cooking for Shakshuka.
  • Pour in the hand crushed tomatoes and all of their juices and stir to combine, bring to a simmer and allow the tomato mixture to cook down for 10-15 minutes until it becomes slightly thickened.
    Tomato sauce being added to pot for Shakshuka.
  • Using a large spoon make indentations into the tomato mixture and then crack the eggs into each well.
    Eggs that are poaching in tomato sauce for Shakshuka.
  • Add ½ the cilantro and the ½ the goat cheese, cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes until or until your eggs reached desired doneness. Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the preferred doneness.

    Shakshuka cooking in a clay pot.
  • Garnish with remaining fresh cilantro and goat cheese and serve as is or with crusty bread or a salad.
    Shakshuka garnished with cilantro and goat cheese.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate.
  • Eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the heat as a result of carryover cooking. So remove Shakshuka a couple of minutes before the desired doneness.
  • Best eaten immediately, however, if you find yourself with an excess of tomato sauce it can be stored in the fridge up to 3 days or frozen 4-6 months. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

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    Join the Conversation

    1. I normally don’t care much about running eggs, but I think I would actually at least try this dish without the alterations!

      1. Great to hear Kyndall, it’s always good to try new taste sensations! 🙂

        1. I love how delicious it looks on the pictures. I love eggs with runny yokes like that. I should make these!

          1. I love eggs with runny yolks too, Carolina! So glad that you like the pictures too, thanks for visiting 🙂

    2. I can’t afford to feed my chickens organic feed, but I make sure it’s non GMO. We do love our fresh eggs from our own backyard. Great photos! Looks so delicious

      1. That’s awesome Laura, want to stay away from GMO for sure it’s great that you can source your own eggs! Thanks so much for the compliments 🙂

    3. I love shakshuka, spelling it is my only issue! haha – btw, I LOVE this for dinner too especially on busy weeknights. My kids love it with crusty bread to dip in the sauce and break the yolks but since I am grain free I have actually had it with plantain chips – so good!

      1. Lol, Angela looks like you have the spelling down to me, it does make a great dinner too! Thanks so much for visiting 🙂

    4. This is one recipe I’m definitely going to give a go. All my favorites with amazing spice blends to boot!!

      1. Great Suzan, please be sure to share a photo and tag us @meangreenchef too! Thank you 🙂

    5. These are gorgeous photos! They make me want to eat this even more!

      1. Thanks so much, Charlene, I had so much fun shooting this dish, really appreciate you taking the time to check out our recipe! 🙂

    6. I’m so glad you’re promoting organic eggs, Angela. I couldn’t agree more! I’m going to try to make this without the runny yokes so it won’t be as pretty, but it should taste just as good. It sounds just too good not to try, and my vegan diet ended a while ago. I love crumbled goat cheese!

      1. Hi Ramae!🤗 Organic eggs make a huge difference in taste and quality, even noticeable in baked goods too. This dish will great no matter which way you prepare the eggs, would be fabulous ladled over scrambled eggs and goat cheese! Please be sure to let us know how they turn out 🙂

    7. Brittany says:

      Your pictures make all of your dishes so incredibly appetizing! This looks amazing!! This will be another save from me!

      1. Yes, that’s what I like to hear Brittany! If I can make you hungry with my photos then I’m doing my job 🙂 thanks so much for the save too!

    8. I shared this!

      1. Thanks, Karla! 🙂

    9. I LOOOOOOOVE Shakshuka. Probably my all-time favorite brunch dish. Thank you for posting this, I am going to try it this weekend!

      1. Great, so glad that you are going to make it this weekend, please be sure to let us know how it goes! 🙌

    10. My husband and I are breakfast people and eggs is the main dish! When I saw this post, I shriek because I can now make something different for our breakfast! Hahaa..I’m super excited! Thanks for sharing yet another amazing menu!

      1. This excites me, Jane! lol We’re egg people too and hope you and your husband enjoy it as much as we do. It’s always nice to try something new, so glad that we could share it with you! 🤗

    11. This looks good, and you explain everything so thoroughly. The pictures are also helpful!

      1. Thanks, so much Stacey, so glad that the directions are helpful too! 🙂

    12. YUMMMMMMMMMMMM! Your photos make me want to eat them! 🙂

      1. Hi, Emily! 🙂 lol so glad that my photos make you hungry, that’s my goal!🙌

    13. I love poached eggs and this sounds delish😋

      1. Thanks so much, Robin! 🙂

    14. So you know… I am currently chanting Shakshuka in the kitchen

      1. Lol, Jen, it does make for a great chant! 🙂

    15. I have never had this, but it sounds amazing! I had fresh eggs for the first time last summer. OMG… what a taste difference. I am looking forward to the farmer’s market this year so I can buy them each week.

      1. It is an amazing dish, Heather, you can get Pete and Gerry’s Eggs year round in many grocery stores and trust me they are fabulous! 🙂

    16. Junell DuBois says:

      This looks so good! Like amazing comfort food!

      1. Thanks so much, it really is amazing comfort food, Junell! 🙂

    17. This looks amazing especially the dripping egg.

      1. Thank you, Lina, it’s one of my favorite shots!

    18. I have never experienced eggs like this. Once the youngest (egg allergy) is off to college, I’ll have to give something like this a try. It does look quite yummy.

      1. Even if you don’t like poached eggs, you can cook them any way you like and ladle the sauce over the top Tina! 🙂

    19. Can’t wait to try this – and totally agree with the comments on the organic eggs. Even just your regular hard boiled egg tastes better!

      1. It really is amazing the difference in taste in quality, Tiffany! 🙂

    20. Pauline Reynolds says:

      It looks pretty authentic to me. This is one of my favorite dishes ever!!

      1. Hey, Pauline, thanks so much I got as close to authentic as possible! It’s one of our favorites too, thanks so much for checking out the recipe 🙂

    21. This looks so tasty! I’ll have to try to make it this weekend! We always buy organic eggs from free range chickens! Our all time dream is to one day have a little farmette and have free range chickens and other animals!

      1. It would be nice to walk out the door and have your own fresh eggs, Eileen! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out our recipe, if you make it please be sure to take a photo and tag us @meangreenchef 🙂

    22. Annnette says:

      Great info you offered!!! I love reading your posts and seeing some new recipes to try!! Who would have known about the differences between organic eggs and nonorganic eggs – NOW I know!! Thanks!

      1. Thanks for visiting, Annette, you’ll be very surprised at the difference. Not to be cliche but it’s night and day and organic eggs make a difference in every dish they’re a part of too!

    23. yes! My recipe for huevos ahogados is almost identical to this. Soooooooo good!

      1. Thanks so much for checking out our Shakshuka recipe, Shanna 🙂 so glad that you like it!

    24. That doesn’t seem like something I would normally like but it looks really delicious!

      1. Well, I’m glad we could turn out something that you don’t typically like and make it look delicious Amanda! 🙂

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