My 30-minute homemade Shakshouka recipe is the ultimate one-skillet breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The vegetarian meal is incredible on its own, and only gets better when you scoop it up inside warm, fluffy pita bread.

Shakshouka in a silver skillet.

At its core, Shakshouka is a simple dish. It involves gently poaching eggs in a tomato-based sauce. But it has a complicated past; food historians can’t agree on whether the one-skillet recipe originated in Tunisia, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, Lybia, or some other part of the North Africa or the Middle East.

Shakshoka also holds a complex present-day reputation as well, with millions of cooks staking their claim as the creator of the “best shakshouka recipe.” To find out what all those claims were about, my team and I got to work.

It was an enjoyable, thorough, and fairly comprehensive task, to taste dozens of the internet’s most popular shakshouka recipes to pinpoint what we loved (and what we didn’t). The 30-minute Shakshouka recipe below is what we landed on to showcase the elements that stood out to us most from the best Shakshoukas.

My Shakshouka is delightfully spicy thanks to jalapeños and homemade harissa paste, with a lovely smoky element on the back end, courtesy of smoked paprika and roasted red peppers. The salty qualities of olives and feta accent the other flavors even more. Then the eggs poach to jammy perfection in that stew. The pièce de résistance? Zhoug, a green spicy garlic sauce that crowns each serving and almost makes me want to dive head-first into the skillet.

Instead, I’ll grab a stack of warm pita and a plate, and pretend like I can keep my cool. Only you and I will know that I (and my taste buds) are losing it over this homemade Shakshouka.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQ
  6. Shakshouka Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for shakshouka.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Pita bread: Find this at the bakery section of your supermarket, or if you have time, mix up a batch of Homemade Pita Bread or Pita Chips. Whether you opt for purchased or from-scratch pita, warm them in the oven or brush with olive oil and grill until the pita are just beginning to get toasty.
  • Roasted red peppers: You have my full permission to use jarred roasted red peppers. But if you’re feeling ambitious, go forth and roast peppers yourself.
  • Jalapeño peppers: Bring the heat by adding the seeds from the jalapeños to the sauce, and use 2 jalapeños instead of 1. Or omit the jalapeños entirely for a mild Shakshouka.
  • Red harissa paste: Harissa is a dried chili paste from Tunisia made with garlic, spices, and olive oil. Again, scale back or omit this if you prefer a milder Shakshouka.
  • Smoked paprika: The smoky layer of flavor this lends is key, in my opinion, but in a pinch, substitute sweet paprika.
  • Zhoug: Shakshouka is often served with a green spicy garlic sauce called zhoug. You can find this pre-made at many supermarkets, including Trader Joe’s. Or for about 1 cup of homemade zhoug, to a food processor add 2 cups cilantro leaves and stems (1 bunch), 4 stemmed Thai chiles, 3 peeled garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in ½ cup oil. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Tear half of 1 pita into pieces and add to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Cut all remaining pita into wedges and set aside for serving (place in a 200-degree oven to warm if desired).
Pita bread crumbs in a food processor.
  1. To the food processor with the pita pieces, add tomatoes and half (1 ½ cups or 12 ounces) of the roasted red peppers. Process until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Chop remaining red peppers into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.
Shakshouka mixture in a food processor.
  1. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Jalapeño, garlic and olive oil in a silver skillet.
  1. Stir in harissa paste, tomato paste, coriander, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Cook until mixture is darkened and rust-colored, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Shakshouka seasonings in a silver skillet.
  1. Stir in the tomato-pepper mixture (be careful; the mixture may splatter) and reserved red peppers and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Shakshouka before being cooked in a silver skillet.
  1. Remove skillet from heat. Using the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack one egg into a small bowl and slowly pour into one of the indentations. Repeat with remaining eggs.
Shakshouka before being cooked in a silver skillet.
  1. Spoon some of the sauce over the egg whites. Return to heat, cover, and cook until egg whites are set and yolks are soft, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Shakshouka in a silver skillet.
  1. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro, feta, and olives. Serve immediately with pita bread.
Shakshouka in a silver skillet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: My homemade Shakshoua recipe makes six servings, each with 1 egg and a generous scoop of the tomato mixture. Please heartier appetites by cracking in enough eggs for 2 per person, or add other side dishes beyond the pita, such as Roasted Eggplant Dip or Hummus with Za’atar Butter.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Three bowls of shakshouka.
Shakshouka served with Pita Bread.

Recipe FAQ

How can I level-up my pita?

Store-bought or homemade pita tastes incredible on its own, straight from the oven or grill. (You did warm it up before serving, right?) The starchy side shines even more if you brush the pita with olive oil or clarified butter, then sprinkle on your favorite dried herb, such as oregano or marjoram, or a spice blend, like za’atar or dukkah.

Can I make Shakshouka without eggs?

While you’ll lose that jammy texture and rich flavor from the eggs, drained and rinsed white beans or chickpeas are a decent substitute if you’re out of eggs or are interested in a variation on the theme.

Harissa

Harissa is a dried chili paste from Tunisia made with garlic, spices, and olive oil. It’s packed with flavor and delicious as a condiment, marinade, or spread. I discovered Harissa in culinary school, and I…

40 minutes
View Recipe

More Mediterranean favorites

Shakshouka in a silver pan.

Shakshouka

My 30-minute homemade Shakshouka recipe is the ultimate one-skillet breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The vegetarian meal is incredible on its own, and only gets better when you scoop it up inside warm, fluffy pita bread.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 servings (1 egg + sauce)
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Calories 221

Ingredients 

  • 6 (8-inch) pita breads divided (see note 1)
  • 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes drained
  • 24 ounces roasted red peppers drained and divided (about 3 cups, see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers stemmed, seeded if desired, and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (see note 3)
  • 1 tablespoon red harissa paste (see note 4)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (see note 5)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives for serving, optional
  • Zhoug sauce for serving, optional (see note 6)

Instructions 

  • Tear half of 1 pita into pieces and add to a food processor. Cut all remaining pita into wedges and set aside for serving (place in a 200-degree oven to warm if desired).
  • To the food processor with the pita pieces, add tomatoes and half (1 ½ cups or 12 ounces) of the roasted red peppers. Process until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Chop remaining red peppers into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in harissa paste, tomato paste, coriander, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Cook until mixture is darkened and rust-colored, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato-pepper mixture (be careful; the mixture may splatter) and reserved red peppers and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove skillet from heat. Using the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack one egg into a small bowl and slowly pour into one of the indentations. Repeat with remaining eggs.
  • Spoon some of the sauce over the egg whites. Return to heat, cover, and cook until egg whites are set and yolks are soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro, feta, and olives. Serve immediately with pita bread.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Pita bread: Find this at the bakery section of your supermarket, or if you have time, mix up a batch of Homemade Pita Bread or Pita Chips. Whether you opt for purchased or from-scratch pita, warm them in the oven or brush with olive oil and grill until the pita are just beginning to get toasty.
  2. Roasted red peppers: You have my full permission to use jarred roasted red peppers. But if you’re feeling ambitious, go forth and roast peppers yourself.
  3. Jalapeño peppers: Bring the heat by adding the seeds from the jalapeños to the sauce, and use 2 jalapeños instead of 1. Or omit the jalapeños entirely for a mild Shakshouka.
  4. Red harissa paste: Harissa is a dried chili paste from Tunisia made with garlic, spices, and olive oil. Again, scale back or omit this if you prefer a milder Shakshouka.
  5. Smoked paprika: The smoky layer of flavor this lends is key, in my opinion, but in a pinch, substitute sweet paprika.
  6. Zhoug: Shakshouka is often served with a green spicy garlic sauce called zhoug. You can find this pre-made at many supermarkets, including Trader Joe’s. Or for about 1 cup of homemade zhoug, to a food processor add 2 cups cilantro leaves and stems (1 bunch), 4 stemmed Thai chiles, 3 peeled garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in ½ cup oil. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  7. Yield: My homemade Shakshoua recipe makes six servings, each with 1 egg and a generous scoop of the tomato mixture. Please heartier appetites by cracking in enough eggs for 2 per person, or add other side dishes beyond the pita, such as Roasted Eggplant Dip or Hummus with Za’atar Butter.
  8. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1egg with sauceCalories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 9gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 1927mgPotassium: 566mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1542IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 4mg
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