Shakshuka is a really delicious, popular dish that originated in either Egypt, Tunisia, or the Middle East. It can be vegetarian or contain meat, and is easily adapted to any special dietary needs or your favorite taste profile. There are similar dishes in the Mediterranean, such as Uova in Purgatorio in Italy.
Shakshuka is an easy, one-pan meal consisting of a sauce made of tomatoes and various spices, meat, cheese, and poached eggs. It is easily adaptable to vegetarian palates, and is a delicious, satisfying low-carb meal! This dish works for both the Ketogenic and Paleo diets. The recipe below tells you how to make this dish with meat, however, my dish was ovo-lacto vegetarian. Skip step #2 if you are not cooking with meat.
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
Green, Red, Orange, and/or Yellow Bell Peppers, sliced thin
Cayenne Pepper Flakes
Smoked Spanish Paprika
Ground beef, lamb, or sausage
Fresh or Canned Diced Tomatoes
Goat Cheese or Feta Cheese
Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
Himalayan Pink Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)
Cast Iron Skillet
1. Heat up the olive oil over a medium flame, then add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers (or other pepper of your choice). Season with cumin seeds, cayenne pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir gently until onions are caramelized.
2. If you are making Shakshuka with meat, add it to the skillet and cook until browned, stirring all the ingredients gently.
3. Once the meat is cooked, add diced tomatoes (fresh or canned). Allow the sauce to simmer down. Cook, stirring gently, for about 15-20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to mingle together. You may add a touch of water if the sauce is getting too thick.
4. Make little pockets/holes in the sauce using a cooking spoon.
5. Crack an egg into a ramekin, then slowly place the egg into the little hole you’ve made. Repeat the process for each egg. Season the eggs with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper.
6. Cover the skillet with a lid, and reduce heat to low, cooking until the eggs are poached, about 5 minutes. If you do not like poached eggs, cook longer. You may also choose to put the cast iron skillet into a pre-heated oven to ensure that the eggs are cooked to your liking.
7. Crumble goat cheese or feta cheese over the top of the eggs and tomato sauce. You may wish to cover the skillet again to quickly melt the cheese.
8. You will know the eggs are perfectly poached when the whites are cooked, yet the yolks are runny and warm. When the eggs are poached, you are ready to sprinkle with fresh cilantro or fresh parsley. (I did not have any fresh, so I used dried parsley.)
9. Serve immediately by gently dishing out eggs and sauce onto a plate.