Spicy Harissa Shakshuka Breakfast
Harissa Shakshuka is a slightly spicy version of our favorite one-pan breakfast recipe. A little harissa paste is added to the rich tomato sauce and the eggs are baked right into it. It's healthy and delicious!
Have you guys heard of shakshuka before? It's a breakfast dish I've been making for years without knowing it had an official name, and without knowing that other people make it too. It's basically a tomato, onion and pepper stew that you cook eggs on top of. Can you imagine anything better for breakfast? Hardly possible.
I've never been a sweet breakfast person. Sure the pictures of pancakes stacked high and waffles dripping with maple syrup look incredible, but what I really crave is something warm and savory.
Which do you prefer: sweet or savory breakfasts?
If you're on team savory, like me, you're going to love harissa shakshuka.
I've always thought of it as a kind of breakfast skillet and have made versions of it for ages, like that Spicy Chorizo Breakfast Skillet I shared with you a while back.
It's a funny thing to find out that other people (like whole other countries full of people) have been cooking the same thing as you. When my sister and I were kids we used to put honey on our aged cheddar cheese. The first time I saw honey on a cheese and charcuterie platter I genuinely felt ripped off. It was like someone had stolen our best idea. I felt a little like that when I first stumbled upon shakshuka.
Apparently, shakshuka is a popular breakfast dish served throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
I spent quite a few months traveling around the Middle East several years ago but never ran across shakshuka. Or harissa shakshuka. If I'm ever fortunate enough to spend some more time in that fascinating part of the world I'll have to make sure I get my hands on some. I love going places and trying the authentic version of a dish. It's the best, right?
Making harissa shakshuka
Luckily for us, making harissa shakshuka is super simple and involves only 3 easy steps:
- Caramelize the onions
- Simmer the onions with tomatoes, peppers, and spices till it thickens
- Add the eggs and let them cook
A Few Words About Cooking the Eggs
You can cook the eggs on the stovetop if you like. You will need to cover the pan so that the whites cook through. The eggs won't look as pretty if you do it this way but they will still taste great.
If you cook the eggs in the oven it can be a little hard to tell if they are done. 5 minutes will usually do it. Keep an eye on the yolks, not the whites, to judge if they are done. The whites will look undercooked but it is because of the moisture from the pan, not that they are actually undercooked.
Make Ahead Harissa Shakshuka
If you are making this for brunch (i.e. Christmas morning) and want to make your life as simple as possible, you can make most of this ahead of time. Prepare the stew up until the point where you add the eggs (don't make the eggs ahead!) then let it cool and put it in your fridge. The next morning all you have to do is heat it until it is bubbling on your stovetop, add the eggs then pop it in your oven for 5 minutes. Easy!
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Favorite Egg Breakfast Recipes:
- Spanish Baked Eggs with Roasted Garlic
- Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
- Eggs in Purgatory with Spaghetti Squash
- Green Eggs and Ham Shakshuka with Lemon Dill Pesto
- Baked Spanish Deviled Eggs in Tomato Sauce
- Egg Sausage Breakfast Muffins
Make Ahead Shakshuka
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, you can get away with less if you're using a non-stick pan
- 1 ½ large onions, diced
- 2 medium bell peppers, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons harissa paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes, see note
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup goat or feta cheese, omit for dairy-free
- 8 large eggs
- A handful of flat-leafed parsley and some good quality olive oil to finish
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the peppers and onions are very soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ large onions, 2 medium bell peppers, 5 cloves garlic
- Add the harissa, cumin, paprika, and turmeric to the pot and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, honey, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and stir until everything is mixed together. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato sauce is quite thick. Add the goat cheese or feta and stir. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove the skillet from the heat.2 teaspoons harissa paste, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, ¼ cup goat or feta cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Make 8 small holes in the sauce, making sure that the bottom of the pot isn't showing. Carefully crack an egg into each hole. It is easiest to do this by cracking an egg into a small bowl and then pouring it into the hole in the sauce.8 large eggs
- Put the skillet in the oven for 7-10 minutes to finish cooking. Watch the eggs carefully as they are a little tricky to see when they are done. They can often look undercooked when they are actually cooked through. The easiest way to check them is simply by gently touching the top of the yolk. You want the yolk to be soft.
- Remove the skillet from the oven, sprinkle the top with parsley and serve it right away.A handful of flat-leafed parsley and some good quality olive oil to finish
This is an amazing Shakshuka recipe! I made it tonight for our weekly “Quarenteam” dinner and everyone was very complimentary! It is definitely a do-over choice!
I don’t have harissa paste handy, what is your opinion on substituting thai red curry paste? (saw a recommendation on the internet)
Red Thai curry paste would definitely alter the taste quite dramatically … although it could be a nice twist! I think a garlic chili sauce would be a better option here. If you don’t have that on hand, some sriracha or similar hot sauce would give it some nice heat!
Hello Kristen! I have just stumbled upon your blog to my utter delight. Just read the inspirational shakshuka recipe. And yes, I am definitely on team savoury most of the time, especially around breakfast time. I will be back.
Thank you so much, Kathleen! You just put a big smile on my face. 🙂
So nice to ‘meet’ you!
In honour of our family trip to Israel last year, I made your shakshuka recipe for supper last night. It was fantastic: perfectly stodgy, spicy and filling. Next time I’ll have to serve it with pita. And I nuked an egg in the middle of the leftovers for lunch today — too easy! Thanks for such a great recipe.
So happy you liked it too!
Isn’t Israel amazing? I loved loved loved Jerusalem. I was only supposed to stay there 2 days but it look me a week before I was able to pull myself away. It was mesmerizing. 🙂
Hello, I am planning on making this recipe and I have a question – beside “fresh tomatoes” in the ingredient list you have “see notes” but I don’t see any note about fresh tomatoes anywhere. Also, at the end of the recipe it says to add the goat or feta cheese, but those aren’t listed in the ingredients. Please clarify. Thanks.
Thank you for pointing that out! I’m not sure what happened but it looks like half the recipe was missing. Yikes!
I’ve edited the recipe now so it should be clear.
Let me know how it turns out. 🙂
Thank you for the clarification 🙂 This was absolutely amazing! We are not ‘sweet’ breakfast people and in fact do a lot of egg dishes so this is perfect to add in to the mix. I actually made it for dinner tonight. It wasn’t going to be easy to find the harissa paste so I made my own the other day using this http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/harissa.htm (in case anyone else finds it helpful – it was easy to do) Thanks Kristen.
Great idea about making your own harissa. I’ll have to try that one day!!
I just made this for dinner and it was amazing!! It took my eggs a while to cook and I wasn’t exactly sure when I was supposed to drop them in the sauce. But it turned out great anyway. My husband likes a little more salt than me-I would probably cut it to 1/2 tsp. Wonderful recipe! Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it!
This is an absolutely stunning recipe. I love everything about – the photos, how it honours Middle Eastern food, how bountiful and yet simple it is… Great work. I featured it in my round-up of vegetarian paleo dishes this week (http://immigrantstable.com/2015/01/09/best-vegetarian-paleo-recipes), so thanks for sharing!!
Thank you so much, Ksenia!!
Made this recipe New Year’s Day. My guests loved it and I was asked to forward the recipe to several . Thank you for sharing this simple and delicious recipe.
So great to hear the feedback! Hope you had a great New Year’s Day. 🙂
Holy WOW, these pictures are divine and drool-worthy. I love shakshuka! Love the addition of turmeric here too!
Thank you so much, Dana!
Runny yolk dripping over that spiced up tomato sauce sounds like the perfect breakfast to me!
Thanks, Joanne! Funny I was just on your site a few minutes ago pinning your Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage. It looks so good!
Yum! I generally prefer sweeter breakfast foods, but this sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it out!
Hope you love it as much as I do!
Oh my goodness. This breakfast skillet is just gorgeous, Kristen! Definitely a must-make recipe! Love it!
I like both savory and sweet breakfasts, but mostly savory. Sometimes the sweet breakfasts are too much like dessert! Eggs is definitely a favorite. And some weekdays I will have overnight oats, which is normally more sweet than savory, or fresh fruit and cottage cheese or yogurt. But in general, savory more than sweet.
I always feel sweet breakfast are too much like dessert too! But they are good for a couple bites.
I’ve never made overnight oats but I’ll have to try that 🙂