Love and Olive Oil
Shakshouka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Shakshouka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Shakshuka, meaning “all mixed up” in hebrew, is a traditional middle-eastern breakfast of eggs poached in a richly spiced tomato sauce.

This one-dish wonder of a meal is quick to prepare and satisfying from the inside out. Perfect for breakfast, or breakfast for dinner!

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

This recipe comes from our second book, Breakfast for Dinner. Sometimes I forget about the recipes in that book and how much we love them; we need to be better about revisiting them more often. Taylor especially loves this dish, and that’s no surprise, seeing as how it’s satisfying and hearty and chock full of peppers and onion and everything else he loves.

Shakshouka (or shakshuka) loosely translates to “all mixed up” in Arabic, and hints at the potent spice and exotic flavors. This one-pot-wonder of a dish also goes by the name “eggs in purgatory”. I don’t know who came up with such an obvious misnomer, but I seriously question their judgement: anyone with tastebuds will know that this richly spiced tomato sauce is hardly purgatory. In fact I’d argue that it’s nothing short of heavenly. Which is why I think shakshouka is a far more apt name, in my opinion.

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Perhaps it’s the same ‘they’ that decided eggs were breakfast, and tomato sauce was dinner, defining a set of arbitrary boundaries that still define our meals to this day. I cry foul. Perhaps this anonymous ‘they’ needs to step out of their comfort zone a bit, get out and see the world. A bit of worldly perspective will do wonders for the soul; they may even change their tune entirely.

Meanwhile, ‘we’ will cook up our eggs in a pot of simmering spicy tomato sauce and eat it for dinner. Or for breakfast. Or any time in between. Because ‘we’ won’t be defined by such pettiness as breakfast and dinner stereotypes.

Shakshuka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

We like to serve this with warm pita bread, perfect for sopping up oozing egg yolk and leftover sauce. Crusty bread would be perfectly suitable as well. And while our version takes on a distinct middle-Eastern flavor, you could just as easily shift it towards the Italian coastline (think a more traditional and less spicy marinara sauce, maybe with parmesan cheese instead of feta). That you’d call Uova al Pomodoro.

Indeed, this dish not only blurs the traditional mealtime boundaries between breakfast and dinner and beyond, it also spans cultures. Dare I say a recipe like this could bring about world peace? It sure seems that way.

Shakshouka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Shakshuka, meaning “all mixed up” in hebrew, is a traditional middle-eastern breakfast of eggs poached in a richly spiced tomato sauce. Itʼs a one-dish wonder of a dinner: quick to prepare and satisfying from the inside out.
4.43 stars (7 reviews)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can / 794 g diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup / 120 g vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 6-8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup / 40 g crumbled feta cheese, for topping
  • fresh pita bread, for serving


  • In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper; simmer for 20 to 22 minutes or until thickened.
  • Crack eggs evenly on top of sauce; cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are thick but runny (if you like firmer yolks, cook for 1 to 2 minutes more).
  • Sprinkle with parsley and feta cheese and serve with warm pita bread.
Recipe from our cookbook, Breakfast for Dinner.
All images and text © for Love & Olive Oil.

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  1. Not a Middle Eastern food!! It’s Tunisian! In north africaaaaa

    Thank you 
    Oh and shakshouka is a Tunisian word for mixed up :)

  2. 5 stars!

  3. Delicious!

  4. I just made this bc i have chickens and wayyyyy to many eggs lol…It is Fabulous and so easy. I even used dehydrated onions i had stashed in the cupboard so i didn’t have to go to the store for a fresh onion. I added a bit of spicy honey. Thanks so much for this one!!!

  5. It was so tasty wow. Love it. But I used fresh tomatoes and their juice was bomb 

  6. Delicious. I added extra tomatoes as we have a glut of fresh tomatoes at the moment. I’ll use this recipe again.

  7. I had vegetable/tomato gravy almost exactly like your recipe that I thawed from the freezer and I was looking for something fun to do with it and I found this recipe. I cooked couscous as a base cooked the eggs in the gravy. Added spinach and avocado and it was OUTRAGEOUS! Thank you so much for the idea!! We ate this for breakfast on a Saturday on a super cold (20’s) day in Atlanta. My husband LOVED it! 

  8. Very good.  I used fresh tomatoes from the garden & added about 1 Tbs tomato paste.  It was delicious 

  9. This was so good and easy to make. I followed the recipe as written. I used everything fresh from my garden. We topped with freshly shaved parm because not big fans of feta. I used a couple of pounds of cherry tomatoes, that’s what I have an abundance of right now.

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