Shakshuka with feta is a classic Vegetarian North African and Middle Eastern dish that can be served at any time of the day. Served as breakfast, it is a great way to support your immune system as it consists of nutritionally rich whole food ingredients including tomato, poached eggs, garlic, onion and peppers.
What is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a fragrantly spiced tomato-based dish that contains poached eggs. The eggs are poached directly in the tomato sauce. Shakshuka originates from the Middle East and North Africa, evident by the spice mix of cilantro, garlic and smoked paprika.
It’s been a relatively unknown recipe until recently when TV chefs started to pick up this super easy and delicious breakfast/brunch.
Recipes vary by region, but it’s usually cooked in one pan and the basics tend to stay the same. You’ll start with frying onion, red pepper, garlic and spices in a skillet. The tomato is then added and left to simmer for a few minutes. Eggs are then added in and poached until the whites are cooked while the yolks stay runny. Once ready sprinkle over some feta and serve with crusty bread or toast. You can also add halved black olives for a Mediterranean twist. It can be served for breakfast, brunch or a light dinner.
There is the option to use fresh tomatoes, but this can be a bit tricky. We’d recommend adding a bit of tomato juice if you’re using chopped tomatoes, leaving the tomatoes to simmer in the juice until it’s nice and soft. This will take a lot longer than using canned tomatoes, so factor in extra cooking time in this case.
Basic Shakshuka with Feta Ingredients
- Onion and Red or Green Pepper – these two ingredients go so well together, it forms the basis of the dish and adds texture and flavour
- Spices – you’ll need garlic, fresh coriander/cilantro, paprika or smoked paprika if you have it, cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Tomatoes – chopped and canned tomatoes
- Eggs – pasture-raised and organic is preferable
- Feta – from organic pasture-raised milk
- Black Olives – Optional
How to Make Amazing Shakshuka with Feta
To make a great Shakshuka you need to balance fresh and spicy flavours with a perfectly poached egg. Start with the onions and oil, then add your spices. The tomatoes will serve as the poaching liquid so make sure the balance between juice and tomato is correct. It should be juicy but not watery. Then once the tomato sauce is hot and well cooked, add the eggs and put the lid on.
At this point, you can also put the pan in the oven, but we find that stovetop cooking can work equally well. For both methods, we’d stress that you need just the right balance of sauciness. If not the sauce will start to burn, if there’s too much water in the sauce this will separate on the plate, which is also not ideal. If you do see a bit of water accumulating, cook on low for a few extra minutes.
Leave the eggs to cook for a few minutes once the lid is on – be careful as you can easily overcook the eggs so they will be hard rather than a nice runny soft. Unless you enjoy hard yolks rather than soft and runny. Check regularly and once the whites have just about set, serve straight away!
Shakshuka with Feta
- 1 medium organic onion chopped
- 1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 organic garlic cloves
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 400g can chopped organic tomatoes
- 1 small chilly (optional)
- 2-4 organic eggs from pasture-raised hens
- salt and pepper
- cyan pepper to taste (optional for a bit of extra punch)
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander chopped for garnish
- a handful of feta cheese crumbled (optional)
- Heat a little bit of olive oil on medium heat in a medium-sized saute pan. Add the onions and red pepper and cook for roughly five minutes until the onions soften and become translucent.
- Add the garlic, paprika and cumin for another minute until they become fragrant. This wakes up the aromatic oils within the spices to give it a bit of extra punch.
- Add the can of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Make little wells within the mixture and crack the eggs directly into the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5-8 minutes on medium heat, until the eggs are cooked just the way you like it.
- To serve, garnish with the chopped coriander and crumbled feta (optional, I didn't have any so skipped the feta on my version), and spoon over toast as pictured or add chunky fresh bread.
How to Serve your Shakshuka
The simple answer here is to serve your Shakshuka with feta right? Yes of course, but you’d want to do it just right. Once the eggs have set in the pan, you can sprinkle the feta over along with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves. Scoop a bit of the tomato and its juice into a bowl, along with two eggs, or one if you prefer.
Serve with a generous helping of chunky artisan bread or a toasted garlic flatbread. If you’re feeling particularly Mediterranean then splash over a few chopped black olives as well. You won’t regret making this one!
For extra goodness, we always recommend going organic with the veggies, and pasture-raised for the eggs. This is better for you and the environment. If you can grow your own, that’s always the ultimate option but not realistic for all of us, unfortunately.
Vegetables including tomatoes are sprayed with a long list of chemicals to keep pests away, it might be safe on a single tomato, but considering that these cocktails of pesticides can be found on all veg the safety quickly becomes questionable.
When it comes to eggs, pasture-raised is best. This means that the hens were eating a natural and varied diet, not processed feeds that contain additives and who knows what else. Remember that you will eat what the hens ate indirectly.
Shakshuka is a nutrient-rich breakfast, no wonder some swear by it as the ultimate hangover cure. That statement does hold a level of truth given the mix of fresh ingredients within a shakshuka. We’d also recommend this dish in colder winter months as it will warm you up and give you the immune support you need during low sunshine days as the egg yolks can help with Vitamin D levels when you need it most.
The onion, tomatoes and pepper used in Shakshuka are rich in Vitamin C and B6. And you’ll get a good power-up from a whole host of other vitamins and minerals for e.g. Vitamin A, iron, magnesium and potassium not to mention the added bonus of Vitamin D3 from the egg yolks. Sprinkle with a bit of feta cheese and you’ve included calcium into the mix for good measure.
The Shakshuka with feta recipe below can serve 4 if you use 4 eggs, but for an extra nutrition boost, the version pictured was for 2 giving you a more saucy dish that goes very well with bread for dipping.