Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)



I’ll be honest, I totally underestimated this recipe when I first tried it out. I thought it was creative and unique, and a great way to have eggs for lunch or dinner, but didn’t think that it would really be my thing. But something magical happened when the egg melted into the sauce– it provided this totally unexpected, creamy, luxurious flavor that was to die for. I was shocked–not only was this an elegant, innovative recipe, but it was introducing me to flavors I had never experienced. Woah.

Serves 4.
Adapted from Food 52 and Food & Wine

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • optional topping: 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Ingredient Spotlight: Fennel

You’ll notice I list fennel as an “optional” ingredient here, just because it’s a bit more unusual. You may be tempted just to let it slide and forget it, but I urge you to rethink it–fennel is something worth trying out. This totally underused plant is a bit akin to celery, but has a stronger flavor- a bit like black licorice. To make sure this flavor isn’t overpowering, I use fennel with some caution. However, when used right, it adds great aromatics to a dish (think similar to onion and celery in soup) AND, because it’s used less often, it adds an extra touch to a dish.

Often found in Mediterranean cuisine, fennel pairs well with fish and shellfish (think Cioppino), lemon, and tomatoes and fairs best in soups and braises.

As far as nutrition goes, fennel is low in calories (27 calories in a cup), high in fiber (3g fiber), and surprise- a good source of vitamin c (17% DV).

Heat a deep medium skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add oil, diced onion, and fennel. Sauté until the onion and fennel are both lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic (and green bell pepper) and cook for another few minutes. If including sausage, add it now and cook for additional 3-5 minutes.

Lower heat slightly and add all the spices. After a minute or so, add in the tomatoes and cook until mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Crack eggs into the mixture and cover. Cook over low to medium heat until whites are set, but yolks are still runny, about 4-5 minutes.

To round out this a meal, serve the eggs over brown rice, with a baguette, and/or with sautéed greens and roasted cauliflower. The recipe I adapted this from also put sausage in with the tomato sauce, which is a great way to make this more filling.

Join the Conversation

  1. Jean Sherman says:

    Kate, this looks,sounds and is fantastic! I love all the ingredients and definitely like the fennel.

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