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.
5 stars (4 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. 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!!!

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

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

  4. 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! 

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

  6. 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.

  7. Love this! I keep coming back to use this recipe. It’s so simple, and I have very few simple recipes I use. Instead of canned tomatoes and broth, I use tomato sauce I canned in the fall. So good!

  8. Just like the one we had in Dubai for breakfast had it and was desperate to find the recipe great glad found it and tastes just the same 

  9. My cousin made this dish, and it was delicious! Thanks.

  10. Soooo good!  I a bit of chorizo to up the spiciness. Freezes well

  11. I loved this recipe! Thank you!

  12. SO in love with this flavor combination, looks like a great weekday dinner!

  13. I’ve been making this for myself and friends. It’s been a crowd pleaser. 

    I normally don’t put the parsley and feta because I usually don’t have it stocked, but it does elevate the flavor profiles when I’ve used it. 

    LOVE this recipe. 

    • So glad you enjoyed! Next time you can certainly use dried herbs instead! I’d swap about 1 teaspoon dried per tablespoon of fresh. 👍🏻

  14. Today, 9-11-19, I finally made this kinda)after wanting to for about 2 years. My parents live with us so trying to make breakfast interesting gets old. This recipe was so easy, and delicious!! Thank you!
    I had to make some changes because I Didnt have the exact ingredients. I used fresh from garden tomatoes, regular paprika, beef broth, and serrano peppers with jalapenos. I used mozz cheese, they used cheddar. Next time i will use parmesan or ricotta. Our bread was tortillas. Next time I will have the correct ingredients. yum!

  15. Made this excellent egg recipe last night. I did make a couple of changes to reduce the heat. I substituted the 28 oz. of tomatoes with a 14 oz can of tomatoes and a can of tomatoes and green chilies while eliminating the onions and peppers. This cut down the cooking time. I also cut the cumin in half.

  16. For anyone thinking of giving it a go, this shakshouka recipe was awesome this morning when we tried!

    It was easy to make, relatively quick, and started the day with something special and filling. It should be super easy to make lots, so I can’t wait to make it for an extended family get together some time.

  17. I really hate eggs but the presentation of this meal just gives me the urge to try it and see how it goes , so thank you for sharing

  18. I made this recipe and found it to be the most authentic – if I closed my eyes it reminded me of warm desert sands, spice markets and souks.  I loved it and have shared!! Thank-you!

  19. So I made this tonight! I added some garlic and left out the chillis because I didn’t have any and I also added spinach because I needed to use it up … and I think it was delicious! I won’t add spinach next time but definitely think I’m going to try adding bacon… MAKE IT… you won’t be disappointed 

  20. delicious! We added some small red potatoes. Came together nice.

  21. I made this recipe as directed except for finishing with cheese. It is absolutely delicious, easy to make. Will definitely make again soon, perhaps with the addition of some chorizo sausage. Great meal. 

  22. This is delicious – it was a big hit with my family. I served it without feta and with some fried potatoes – yummy!

  23. Delicious! I wanted to use up the last of my garden tomatoes so used them instead of canned. I didn’t have parsley so snipped some chives. I also had a couple strips of turkey bacon in the fridge so fried it up, cut it into little crossways strips and put it with th chives on top. Yummy breakfast!

  24. I made this tonight, with some Italian sausage and chipotles. My Husband told me to keep this recipe. Knock it out of the park. Thank You.!!!

  25. have made this spicy tomato sauce w/poached eggs twice and making it a third time in the past 3 months. my husband loves spicy food, and so do I. We love this recipe, and I will be making it either this week or again in early December for our son who is more vegetarian than meat loving. this almost fits his veggie menus, and i will make it for him then. i think i made it several years ago for a family brunch we had. he liked it then, and so did everyone else. thanks for posting. keep this on your site. ann forsyth

  26. Really nice dish! I added some sliced chorizo for extra flavour, the oils from the chorizo sitting on top of the white of the egg looked amazing, didn’t get a picture for Instagram we tucked in straight away!! Thanks for the recipe will definitely be trying again!!

  27. This is my new go to when I don’t know what to make for dinner as everyone loves it and I always have eggs and tomatoes on hand. I have even used my mom’s fresh salsa in it which made it even more delightful.

  28. It’s that time in the summer where I am getting fresh, delicious tomatoes, so I’ve been making my sauce fresh. Hungarian and banana peppers are out as well, so I’ve chopped them up along with a habenero my step mom grew. In addition to smoked paprika in the sauce, I sautee all my peppers, onion and garlic with sweet paprika. I also use oregano and thyme.

  29. I improvised almost everything since most of those are either too expensive or I just don’t want to get out of my way to buy it (or just impossible to find in newly developing country) I changed oregano with thyme, changed feta with dry cheddar, relaxed the chillies with green chilli (seed and vein removed) and the canned tomatoes with fresh tomato and tomato sauce. Instead on the pan I baked it in the toaster oven (ran out of gas lol) I cooked all the ingredients first in the oven (excluding the egg) until it was boiling then took it out. I placed an egg in the middle then returned it in the oven until the egg is done.

  30. With all of those goodies, I would take the salt out of the recipe. That amount of extra salt probably will not add that much additional flavor as there are salts already in many of the items.

    Salt along with sugar are my two biggest food enemies.

  31. Amazing! I omitted the anaheim peppers and just did the 1 jalapeño because I can’t quite handle too much spicy- just a kick- and it was so good! I added some sour cream to serve. Will be making again soon!

  32. Making this for the second time as it’s delicious. I don’t like feta so just leave that out. Seriously yummy, thanks for the recipe!

  33. Has anybody tried putting fried diced potatoes in it also? I think it would be great.

  34. Delish. Just like Yaya and nana made.

  35. Hi
    I have nothing in the pantry except for tomatoes and some eggs. I never even heard of this recipe but my eggs are happily cooking ontop of my sauce as I write…I live in UAE so this will be a nice surprise dish formy Arabic friends.! Thanks

  36. I made a knockoff version and liked it. One day when I have the time I am definitely going to try the original.

  37. I recently returned from my first trip to Israel and remember seeing this among a very diverse and vast buffet, but didn’t get to it with my stomach…although my eyes devoured everything. I love all the ingredients (especially tomatoes) and am definitely going to make this as soon as possible.

  38. My husband loves egg tomato sauce so, I am going to make this yummy sauce for him and I am sure he loves it.

  39. Honestly one of the easiest best meals I have ever made with no meat. I made it twice so far. I add a can of chick peas – and instead of the odd peppers I add my canned tomatoes with jalapenos . The warm pita I do with olive oil and parm. cheese. Amazing!

  40. Never heard of shakshuka until my trip to Israel and I was hooked.  After having it at a great Israeli restaurant near me, Hummus Elite in Englewood, NJ, I finally made it myself recently.  I sauteed several onions, a lot of garlic, a lot of mushrooms, an eggplant that had been cubed and roasted, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, 1/8 teaspoon salt, a little zahtar, large can of organic chopped tomatoes.  When it was pretty cooked, I made little “wells” and had room for 6 eggs.  I covered it and cooked until eggs were hard-boiled, my favorite.  Each slice with an egg was a great little meal.    Will be making this again and again!

  41. While this recipe looks delicious, it doesn’t look anything like what you’d get if you have it in a Mediterranean country, especially Tunisia where it originally comes from. I take it from the comments that it’s a common recipe for Shakshouka in the US, so I guess it’s been adapted?
    I honestly think I’ll try it and my family will love it, but I won’t name it Shakshouka, as I don’t want to get slapped by spoons. We are Tunisan-Italian-French, and we know the real thing, we cook it on a daily basis… Looks like something Greek and yummy!

  42. Shakshouka always looks so impressive, and I have yet to try it! Yours looks absolutely incredible.

  43. What a cool recipe very different! But sounds yummy!

  44. Looks so good! Is it possible to make a non-spicy version? I’m a wimp :P

    Ali :)

    • Sure, you could definitely leave out the jalapeno if you like. The anaheim peppers are very mild, they just add flavor to the sauce without much spice at all. Poblano would be another mild pepper you could use as well.

    • You could also use green, red, or yellow bell peppers or a combination of all three. They are not spicy at all.

  45. It looks so delicious. I love all the food from eggs. 

  46. I’ve always wanted to try this way of cooking eggs, I think it looks like it would be perfect with some chunky bread on a Saturday morning when perhaps there might be a hangover to cure! I can’t wait to try the recipe :)

    Issie x

  47. This looks incredible!


  48. When I saw the title of this post, I instantly remembered that it came from your cookbook because I almost made it many times, never have, but I love tomatoes and peppers and drippy eggs just speak for themselves! I never make recipes from my cookbooks either and it’s a shame considering how we slaved over those recipes, we should make them! Good reminder :)

  49. My friend made this dish recently – I didn’t know what it was called – and it was REALLY good. I am inspired to try it myself now, and use your version (because I love you haha!). It’s healthy too, I’m so excited!!

  50. Lindsay this is one of my all-time favorite meals to make. The first time I had it I fell in love and we eat this often for dinner as well. Your photos are beautiful as always and love your version of this classic.

  51. Mmmm, this looks delicious. Oh and the part about warm pita bread and the egg yolk, I want that now. 

  52. Can’t wait to try this


  53. I love Eggs in Purgatory but this has more spice than the version I have made so I will definitely have to try it as I love anything with lots of spices.  I like that the eggs kind of become little raviolis in the sauce and its such a good flavor combo…especially on a piece of toast – yum!  Will definitely try this Shakshouka for dinner soon!

  54. We LOVE shakshouka in my house!  There is a great Mediterranean restaurant near our house that makes this with merguez and chickpeas in the sauce, and I often do my best imitation of it for dinner at home.

  55. Officially excited to try your version of one of my favourite dishes.

  56. Looks great, I’m going to try this asap. Also a nice thing to do when you have leftovers at home. Thanks for the cooking inspiration!

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