Discover Shakshuka: A Nutritious and Flavorful Alternative to Traditional Breakfast Eggs

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.16 - 2024 4:02 PM CET

Photo: Wiki commons
Photo: Wiki commons
If you enjoy eggs for breakfast, you should try making Shakshuka.

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Breakfast is a meal beloved by many, and eggs are a popular choice due to their versatility. Among the many ways to prepare eggs, shakshuka stands out as a healthier option that might just surpass scrambled eggs in terms of flavor and nutritional value.

What makes shakshuka so special, and what are its nutritional benefits? Why might you consider replacing your usual scrambled eggs with shakshuka?

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a favorite breakfast dish in the Middle East, often described as eggs poached in tomatoes. This dish is distinguished by its combination of eggs and tomatoes, spiced with hot peppers, onions, and garlic, all cooked in olive oil.

Unlike traditional breakfasts that might include fatty meats like bacon or sausage, shakshuka uses no meat, making it a healthier choice.

Benefits of Choosing Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a light, low-calorie meal rich in various nutrients. The basic recipe involves sautéing onions (such as shallots) in olive oil, adding garlic, and then finely chopped tomatoes. The mixture is simmered until some of the water from the tomatoes evaporates and the dish thickens.

Then, eggs are cracked over the tomatoes and the dish is covered and simmered until the egg whites are set but the yolks remain slightly runny.

Shakshuka can also be prepared with additional ingredients such as bell peppers, olives, capers, or avocado. In its traditional version, the dish is seasoned with harissa spice mix. If unavailable, you can use ground chili pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, nutmeg, as well as fresh coriander or chives.

Nutritional Value of Shakshuka

Tomatoes, one of shakshuka's main ingredients, are a source of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. These play a crucial protective role by fighting free radicals in the body. An antioxidant found in tomatoes is lycopene, a substance belonging to the carotenoids. Lycopene not only has anti-cancer effects but also cardioprotective effects, significantly supporting the cardiovascular system and possibly acting against the development of heart diseases.

Eggs provide a solid portion of proteins and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. They contain a variety of amino acids essential for basic bodily functions including cysteine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and methionine. Eggs are also a source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and B vitamins.

Other key ingredients in shakshuka include bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Bell pepper provides more vitamin C than lemons and is a source of vitamin E, beta-carotene, and folic acid. Onions also provide vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. Garlic is known for its health benefits, exhibiting antibacterial effects, acting against inflammation, and can lower blood pressure.

So, if you're opting for scrambled eggs for breakfast today, try adding this ingredient to the mix; the results will surely surprise you:

Quick and Easy Shakshuka Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced or 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 4-6 eggs

  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

  • Optional: feta cheese, for topping


  1. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Sauté the Vegetables: Add the chopped onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the Tomatoes and Spices: Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet, along with paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

  4. Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and let the tomato mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Stir occasionally.

  5. Crack the Eggs: Create small wells in the tomato mixture with a spoon. Crack an egg into each well. Season the eggs with a little more salt and pepper.

  6. Cover and Cook: Cover the skillet with a lid and let the eggs cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Adjust the cooking time according to your preference for how well-done you like your eggs.

  7. Garnish and Serve: Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish the shakshuka with fresh parsley or cilantro and crumbled feta cheese if using. Serve hot, directly from the skillet.

Enjoy your quick and easy shakshuka with a slice of crusty bread for dipping into the flavorful tomato sauce and runny egg yolks.

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