Switch up your lazy Sunday mornings with a saucy middle eastern favorite. Similar to eggs in purgatory, the classic Italian brunch, shakshuka is a humble one-skillet dish featuring a bubbly, savory tomato sauce with delicately poached eggs. Nestled in tomato-red pepper sauce lies a mixture of onion, peppers, and spices which sets this dish apart giving it its namesake, shakshuka, meaning "mixed up" or "shaken up."

Shakshuka originated from North Africa and the Middle East, becoming a popular breakfast and brunch option in Isreal. Now, this hearty, affordable, and filling vegetarian breakfast dish has been making the rounds on social media, declaring that eggs are not just for breakfast anymore when embraced in a thick, peppery sauce spiced with cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Add in a cup of crumbly feta cheese, and you'll have warm pockets of salty, tangy heaven in every bite.

One mouthful of this rustic, warmly spiced vegetarian dish will have you trading in your usual brunch and breakfast fare, guaranteed. Add this tasty shakshuka recipe to your brunch ideas to try this weekend!

Brittany Baxter/Oola


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 6 eggs


  1. Wash and dry the produce. Dice the onions, chop the bell pepper, cilantro, parsley, then mince the garlic. Set aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. Next, add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute.

  4. Pour the entire can of whole peeled tomatoes into the skillet. Using the back of a spoon, crush the tomatoes. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Gently stir in the feta cheese.

  5. Using a spoon, make small wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each well. Place a lid on top of the skillet and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your desired doneness.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and top your shakshuka with freshly chopped cilantro and parsley prior to serving. Serve immediately. Enjoy.


  • large skillet with lid

Recipe Notes

Should I Cook Shakshuka in the Oven?

Shakshuka comes together fairly quickly on the stovetop, with no need for the oven, as some other recipes may state. The eggs may overcook if placed in the oven, losing their runny yolk. Simply cover the pan and finish cooking it on the stove.

What is the Difference Between Shakshuka and Eggs in Purgatory?

Both dishes are similar as they both feature gently poached eggs in tomato sauce. However, shakshuka includes chopped onions, peppers, coupled with common middle-eastern style spices such as paprika, cumin, and cayenne.

Eggs in purgatory, or uova in purgatorio, the Italian-style shakshuka, contains different seasonings—usually fiery red-pepper flakes, rosemary, basil, and garlic.

What Do You Serve With Shakshuka?

Pair your shakshuka with warm crusty bread, pita bread, or naan. Pile it high on a bed of greens or with roasted potatoes.

Shakshuka lovers cover their tomato-y skillet with an array of toppings from chopped Kalamata olives, sliced avocados, feta, plops of Greek yogurt to a squeeze of lemon; the possibles are endless.

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