Best Shakshuka

Have you ever tried shakshuka? In this recipe, eggs are poached in a spicy, spinach-flecked tomato sauce. It's a nourishing, delicious dinner or brunch!

Shakshuka recipe

In her cookbook Sababa, Adeena Sussman writes that shakshuka originated as a breakfast for workers, who would scoop the eggs and sauce into pita bread for a convenient handheld breakfast. It’s North African in origin (Adeena says that the name comes from the Tunisian word for “shaken up”), but it’s now popular throughout the Middle East.

These days, you can find a million shakshuka recipe variations. Some have a tomato base, and others are made with fresh greens. No matter what, they always feature eggs cooked in a thick sauce.

My recipe starts with a bold tomato and red pepper sauce that’s spiced with harissa, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Then, chopped fresh spinach joins the mix, adding gorgeous flecks of green. Finally, gently poached eggs nestle into the sauce. It’s rich, flavorful, and oh-so-good. Even though shakshuka is a traditional breakfast food, you could just as easily enjoy this recipe for a brunch or weeknight dinner.

Shakshuka recipe ingredients

Shakshuka Serving Suggestions

Luckily, this shakshuka recipe is a breeze to make! It only requires a handful of pantry ingredients, and you could even skip the spinach if you don’t have any on hand. This recipe still tastes great without it.

Delicious and easy to make, this shakshuka recipe would be an excellent choice for a holiday brunch (don’t forget the mimosas!) or breakfast, or even a weeknight dinner. To make it a truly show-stopping dish, top it with sliced avocado, crumbled feta, and fresh parsley leaves. Then, scoop it up with pita or slices of the best crusty bread you can find.

Shakshuka Recipe Tips

  • Get the sauce nice and thick. You need a thick tomato sauce to support the eggs in this recipe, so don’t cut the simmering time short! I let mine cook for a full 15 minutes before I crack in the eggs.
  • Make sure you have a large lidded skillet. You’ll need to be able to cover the pan in this recipe – it’s essential for poaching the eggs evenly and gently.
  • Use however many eggs are appropriate for your pan. I list a range for the number of eggs in this recipe, and how many you use is really up to you. There should be a little space between each egg in the pan – they shouldn’t be crowded. In my 12-inch skillet, I can fit up to 5. But if I’m just making this recipe for Jack and me, I stick with 3 eggs. If we have any leftover sauce, I make a personal-sized shakshuka the next day!
  • Adjust the timing depending on how you like your eggs. How long you cook your eggs will depend on how you like them. I love mine when the egg whites have just set and the yolks are perfectly runny, so I take them off the heat after 5 minutes. If you like firmer yolks, you can cook them for up to 8 minutes. Keep in mind that they’ll continue to cook in the hot sauce even after you take them off the stove.


More Favorite Brunch Recipes

If you love this shakshuka recipe, try one of these delicious brunch recipes next:

Then, find more healthy breakfast recipes here and more great brunch ideas here!

Best Shakshuka

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 51 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves 4
Originally from North Africa, shakshuka is a popular breakfast food throughout the Middle East. This recipe is simple and satisfying, featuring eggs poached in a harissa-spiced tomato sauce. Serve it with pita or crusty bread for breakfast, brunch, or dinner!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste*, see note
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 to 5 eggs
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Microgreens for garnish, optional
  • Toasted bread, for serving


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a 12-inch lidded stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron skillet. Add the onion, red pepper, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne, if using. Stir and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and harissa paste. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  • Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Make 3 to 5 wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes. The timing will depend on how runny you like your egg yolks.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the feta, parsley, avocado, and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping.


*If you're sensitive to spice use a mild harissa (like Mina Harissa Mild), for a spicier shakshuka, use hot harissa (like Trader Joe's Hot Harissa).



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  1. carlos at Spoonabilities

    5 stars
    The dish looks amazing. I’m looking forward to try this recipe.

  2. Heidi

    May I ask where did you get the cute little copper cups/bowls?
    The Shakshuka looks delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Heidi – they’re from Anthropologie!

      • Heidi

        Thank you for responding so fast, I guess they are not available anymore! I love copper! I make all my jam in French copper jam pans.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Oh bummer! You might want to check a store – I got them somewhat recently. I’m surprised to see that they’re gone so quick!

  3. Kathy K

    5 stars
    I was so happy to find this recipe this morning, realizing that I had farm-fresh eggs and all of the ingredients on hand. First time making shakshuka and it was deliciousI I made half of the recipe for lunch and look forward to enjoying the remaining sauce with fresh eggs and spinach tomorrow! BTW, your photography is visually stunning and captures the ‘essence’ of each of your recipes (IMHO). Love your cookbook too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kathy – I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I’m so excited that you had all of the ingredients on hand. Love when that happens 🙂

  4. Mary Helen Markovich

    Love the potholders too! Where are they from?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      The towel and the square potholder were from Anthropologie at least 2 years ago. I don’t see them in stock anymore – so sorry!

  5. Mackenzie D

    I think you did a great job in making it look cute 🙂 Have you ever thought of doing any sort of posts on food photography / styling tips? I’m a photography and I’ve seldom come across food photos as beautiful as yours.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thank you Mackenzie! I have thought about it, maybe one day 🙂

  6. Jane

    Woke up to this post on Instagram- just when I was trying to decide what was for dinner tonight! So delicious- came together very easily- did use frozen cauliflower rice –
    We all loved it ! Now I need to check out this

  7. giselle

    5 stars
    Hello from south of France!!!!
    Here below I put a link just to share with you all about the origin of this simple but so delicious dish….
    My grand mom used to cook it so often! And so do I of course, but yours seems just interesting and quite elegant!!
    Thank you for this good idea!

  8. Donna from

    I’m so hungry right now 🙂

  9. This looks so fantastic! What type of skillet would your recommend buying for something like this? I am preparing my wedding registry and would love to know your thoughts on a good skillet. Can’t wait to make this for my fiance!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Samantha, the cast iron skillets in the photo are Lodge. I also like Staub’s skillets because unlike regular cast iron, they can be washed and don’t need to be seasoned. Hope that helps!

  10. All kinds of items is fulfill with vitamin and these are essential for health. “Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa” this item will seem to see yummy. I will cook it today because I like this recipe.

  11. Johanne from

    When I was young and lived in Israel we would stop at an amazing restaurant called Dr. Shakshuka for an early breakfast, late dinner, after dancing the night away. I recommend you make it for breakfast one day.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, and thanks to your mom for clipping the recipe. -Johanne

  12. Diane

    looks wonderful…however you note to skip the feta if vegan…what about the eggs if you’re vegan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Oh oops, sorry I meant to write “dairy free”…

  13. Maria from

    Yes!!! From the moment Shakshuka entered our repertoire it has been the answer to just about every easy dinner and almost-empty pantry dinner. Its such a comforting dish. Your version looks fabulous with all those greens added in – and of course, the avocado on top;) YUM!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thanks Maria!

  14. Sabrina B.

    saw another harissa recipe for the first time recently and then this one, beautiful, looks even better, now I’ll have to make sure to get some harissa, thank you for this!

  15. ila from

    5 stars
    I found your blog via bloglovin. Love you blog and the photos are so awesome.

    • Jeanine Donofrio


  16. Dina from

    I tried to convince my husband to this but he only said that he will not eat anything with that funny name. What a shame… more for me 😀

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha, well maybe you can just tell him it’s eggs with tomato sauce 🙂

  17. Lauren

    This looks delish however, I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t cook acidic food in cast iron. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lauren, I think the pan just has to be well seasoned (the new-ish cast iron pans come pre-seasoned). I didn’t have a problem with mine – there was no metallic taste whatsoever. Although you could really use any pan you like for this recipe.

  18. stanp from

    I have harissa powder…can I use that instead of paste…if so…how ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’d try adding 1-2 teaspoons in place of the harissa paste, depending how potent/spicy the powder is. Hope that helps!

  19. This recipe is just lovely. Thanks for creating it! If it’s ok for you I would like to share it on Canalla’s social media.

  20. Billy

    5 stars
    I’ve never tried shakshuka before – but I love that it has harissa and spinach – it looks so delicious. Definitely going to have to try making this one at home the next time I head to the grocery store. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe!

  21. Julia

    Hi there,

    If we wanted to add more eggs, making a total of 6, would you up the sauce too, or would it be ok to just add two more eggs? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Julia, I think it’d be fine to add just 2 more eggs, it’s a pretty flexible recipe. I’d just see how many will fit in your skillet once you start cracking them in. I’m guessing that a 10-inch skillet will hold about 5, and a 12-inch skillet could hold 6. (Anything smaller and you’ll have a very eggy top layer). Hope that helps!

  22. E

    5 stars
    Made this dish and received so many compliments of pick eaters in the house. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Rachel Louise

    5 stars
    This was so, so, SO fabulous! We didn’t use the cayenne or harissa bc of our preschooler and toddler, and yet it was phenomenal! Everyone gobbled it up. This will be a new fave in our rotation for sure!

  24. Tanzeela

    I added in some crushed mushrooms and this was DELICIOUS. Super flavorful in every bite, will be making again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yesss!! I love hearing that! I’m so glad you enjoyed 🙂

      • Ray

        Shakshuka literally has been around before israel was even a state. It’s an arab dish. Also eaten in Palestine

  25. Maddie

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I used the Trader Joe’s Harissa paste and it was the perfect amount of heat and spice in the dish. Will definitely make this again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      So glad you loved it!

  26. Opal

    5 stars
    loved this!

    Didn’t have feta or bread. Used Monterey Jack and corn tortillas and tripled the harissa. Didn’t have canned crushed tomatoes so I combined a small can of tomato paste, small can of tomato sauce and two kumatos pulsed. Still. So. Good.

    Was quick and easy and perfect to empty out the fridge of extra things.

  27. 5 stars
    I was first introduced to Shakshuka by my friends last year. While I enjoyed eating their recipe… I must say that yours is even more delicious Shhh… don’t tell them =)

    Thank you! This is a keeper for sure.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hahaha, I’m so glad you loved the shakshuka…I won’t tell 🙂

  28. Amy

    Hi, i want to make this dish for brunch tomorrow. I got crushed tomatoes in a can, do i drain the liquid??

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Amy, no don’t drain the liquid, it all goes in. I hope you enjoy!

  29. Sarah

    5 stars
    I‘ve been looking for a good shakshuka recipe for a while and this turned out amazing! Thank you for the useful tips and great photos. I will definitely try more of your recipes.

  30. Minal Khilnani

    5 stars
    Made this today. Family went bonkers😁 so good and healthy. One way to brunch. Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Minal, I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  31. Lauren D

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING!
    I used to go out for this dish once per week but have been missing it dearly since quarantine. This recipe was spot on- authentic and absolutely delicious. Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lauren, I’m so glad you loved it so much!

  32. Jane

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was INCREDIBLE!

    For the sauce I used a jar of strained san marzano tomatoes and blended it together with some leftover roasted peppers that I had from the previous night. Also in the blender I added all the spices + the harissa paste. Once blended I added it to the pan where I had already sautéed with onions and garlic. I found I still wanted some texture though so I tossed in some diced fire roasted tomatoes.

    From there I followed the recipe exactly! This is going to be a forever staple. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jane, I’m so glad you loved it!!

  33. Jeanine Donofrio

    I’m glad you loved it!

  34. Rachel

    What type of bread specifically, did you use in the images displayed here in your dish?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      it’s baguette in the picture.

  35. Sasha Kadun

    This dish is amazing!!
    Thank you for sharing.
    I also added pickled red onion and jalapeños on top.

  36. WP

    How much spinach is “a cup of fresh spinach, chopped”? Can I use frozen chopped spinach, which I always have on hand?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      It’s a packed cup of fresh spinach. You can use frozen, I’d use probably 1/2 cup frozen spinach. I hope you enjoy!

  37. Farah

    Thank you for this delicious recipe. I like it when a when a dish from my country’s cuisine gets famous, it makes me feel proud, the only thing is that I’m not « israelien » (actually Palestine) nor middle eastern, I am from Tunisia which a country in North Africa, and shakshuka in North African (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) You can check the origin of this meal with a simple google search, please correct the information, thank you.

  38. venny

    Hi! i cannot find any harissa paste in here. what can i substitute it with?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Venny, you can skip it or you can and add some spices like cumin, coriander, a few red pepper flakes, or a little caraway… you could also add a few diced red peppers. Those are some of the flavors that are in harissa that could spice up your tomato sauce.

      • Venny

        Thanx for your reply 😄

  39. Hannah

    5 stars
    Made this vegan by subbing two cups chickpeas and a touch of black salt for the eggs, and tangy tofu chevre for feta. I also doubled the smoked paprika because I didn’t have any harissa paste at hand. Everything else remained the same. It was a stunning dish, gorgeous to look at and profoundly flavorful. It earned its place in my family’s regular rotation. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ooh I love this vegan version, I’m so glad you enjoyed the base recipe!

  40. Kathy

    I have now cooked over 10 of your recipes and have yet to be disappointed. Thank you for your insights and well-managed blog. I’ve passed it on to several friends and have only heard excellent feedback. Per your recommendations, which I now trust implicitly, I’m planning on making the Cinnamon Rolls and Shakshuka for our Christmas morning feast. Happiest of holidays to you and your family!

  41. Jessie

    4 stars
    Thank you for a great recipe. We challenged our kids to find recipes through a variety of cooking themes and our eldest stumbled upon this. Not only was it delicious, but using crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes (like some recipes) made it more palatable for my other kids. Our 15 year old made this for dinner tonight (with only a bit of chopping and timing guidance from mom)

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jessie, I’m so glad you all enjoyed it!

  42. Aimi

    HI – what’s the nutritional information for this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Aimi, I’m sorry, we don’t calculate nutritional info.

  43. Iliana

    5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe ❤️

  44. Jordyn

    5 stars
    Obsessed with shakshuka! I make it for dinner at least once a week. So simple and so delicious.

  45. Carmine

    5 stars
    We just made this today for brunch with family. It was fantastic! We did add the spinach and he only modifications we made were to use only about a cup of chopped red pepper (per my son’s request to add less) and only 1 tablespoon of Harissa since the one we have is pretty hot – it’s a red Moroccan harissa from Zamouri Spices. Great advice to not skimp on the time to let it thicken, and the fresh parsley leaves sprinkled on at the end are a great accent. We are definitely adding this to the rotation!

  46. Erin

    5 stars
    This was a hit with a vegetarian crowd! Not to mention easy preparation. Thank you!

  47. Jessica

    5 stars
    We just made this for Easter brunch and we loved it! Even though we used mild harissa sauce, 2tbsp was still too spicy for us so next time we’ll just do 1tbsp but that just for personal taste. The recipe is perfect as is and we garnished it just like your photo. Absolute treat. Thanks!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.