Shakshuka and the Israel To Go Book

If living in Israel has done anything, it has been to instill in me a lifelong love of shakshuka (also spelled shakshouka). This North African egg dish is an integral part of the fabric that is Israeli cuisine, and it's commonly eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, served in a sizzling cast iron pan, on a sandwich, or in a pita. Essentially eggs poached in tomato sauce, this is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And the recipe that I bring you today is from another book that I'm thrilled to have contributed to, Israel To Go: Look & Cook Book Vol. 1 (LunchBox Press, 2012; see it on Amazon here). Shakshouka (Shakshuka)
I first virtually met Ofer Vardi, the editor of the book and the man behind Israeli-based LunchBox Press, while writing an article (read it here) on his Hungarian Kosher e-cookbook, Going Paprikash. We touched base again a few months ago when I was writing a piece on Goulash and he told me about his latest project, which would "present kosher Israeli cuisine with recipes and artwork solicited via crowdsourcing, which is an open call conducted mainly via online social networks, such as Facebook" (read more here). I happily submitted a photo and I am thrilled that it's been included. Israel To Go Book Even if I wasn't a tiny part of this book I would want a copy. I know that I will treasure it always as a reminder of my time in this crazy, beautiful, delicious country. It's a wonderful glimpse at Israel and Israeli cuisine through gorgeous, artistic photographs printed on thick, matt paper. The back of the small book includes 35 recipes, all in English, for some of the most iconic (adopted) Israeli foods like Malawach (Yemenite fried dough), kebab, schnitzel, and malabi (milk pudding). And this classic shakshuka. Shakshouka (Shakshuka) Don't you want to dig right in? About 10 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of simmering on the stove will get you one of the most satisfying, comforting (vegetarian! gluten free! parve!) dishes imaginable. You can use jarred sauce or canned tomatoes, but it only takes a few extra minutes to chop up all those fresh tomatoes and the result is totally worth it. And shakshuka is infinitely variable. I've excluded the red peppers and it's still perfect. I often enjoy it with chunks of eggplant and crumbled feta, or topped with mozzarella cheese for an "Italian" version. However you prepare it make sure you have plenty of bread - pita, French bread, any bread - to soak up the sauce. Shakshouka (Shakshuka)
5.0 from 14 reviews
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This quick and easy dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce makes for a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner - just be sure you have plenty of bread to sop up the sauce!
Recipe Type: Entree
Yield: 3 to 6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 red peppers, cut into cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 tomatoes, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon water (original recipe calls for 2½ cups - use your judgement)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Hot pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a wide (preferably cast iron) pan and stir-fry the peppers. Add the garlic and continue stir-frying for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook, continuing to stir, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, continuing to stir, for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add water, cumin, salt, pepper, and hot pepper, if using.
  5. One at a time, break the eggs into the simmering tomato sauce, spacing them evenly in the pan.
  6. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through to your liking.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Gluten free, Parve, Vegetarian

Get Israel to Go HERE >>

Disclaimer: I was not paid to contribute to Israel to Go nor was I compensated for this post, but I did receive a complimentary copy of the book in lieu of payment. All the opinions expressed are my own.


  1. There is a very similar Italian dish! I can imagine it being delicious! I have to try it when BF is not home… he wouldn’t appreciate..

    • Yes, it’s very similar to Uova in Brodetto (that’s what it’s called right?) Anyway, it is absolutely delicious! And you can easily make a smaller portion for one 😉

    • My husband surprised me after my bike ride with this lovely shakshuka. I loved it and will save the recipe. Thanks.

  2. Oh my goodness. I absolutely LOVE shakshuka. What a stunningly beautiful dish!

  3. My hubby would go nuts if I made this for him. This is lovely.

  4. Another superb dish from your kitchen – I feel so ignorant when I visit because every dish you create teaches me something new 🙂
    Thank you!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. My family grew up on a dish like this, but my dad included a cured Armenian meat called basturma with it, and a lot of garlic. It is most definitely delicious no matter how it’s made though. And yes, I do want to dive right into that skillet.

    • Oooh basturma would be amazing in this. I love all the different ingredients you can add to dress up this dish 🙂

  6. I had this at a cafe and I was wondering how to make them as they were so full of flavour! 😀

    • It couldn’t be easier! It’s amazing how a few ingredients can transform into something wonderful.

  7. Congrats on your photo being featured. I have seen a lot of egg currys but nothing of african cuisine. The method of cooking the egg in the sauce does sound like it would really get all that flavor baked in. It looks amazing and I am sure tastes the same. Thanks for sharing this particular dish, I love trying new things!

  8. What a beautiful dish, and congratulations on the feature!

  9. I have a tagine and an accompanying tagine cookbook that features a lot of poached egg in tomato sauce recipes. I can’t believe I haven’t made any of them yet! This looks so good.

  10. This is so unique, and looks really delicious:-) I love the idea of dipping a warm loaf of bread in the sauce, YUM! Hugs, Terra

    • Thanks Terra! The bread is totally essential – it would be a low carb recipe if only I could resist eating an entire loaf of bread every time!!

  11. I found your site through Foodgawker, and am I glad I did! I love Shakshuka! And of course, it brings back memories of Jaffa and Dr. Shakshuka!!! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  12. Sue Goldian

    About the amount of water – did you really mean 1 tablespoon? Sounds like not enough, especially since the original recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups.

    • I really meant 1 tablespoon Sue! I really felt that it didn’t need all that water, and that just a drop helped to loosen the sauce up a little without making it watery. But, I left in the original amount so everyone can feel it out and add as much as seems appropriate.

  13. That looks absolutely delicious! Will have to try make this

  14. This dish looks so unique and delicious!!

  15. This dish looks amazing! I can only imagine all the flavors it has and how delicious it is. The color itself just makes you want to dig in, indeed. 🙂

  16. Wow, it looks amazing!!!

  17. I love all simple meals involving eggs for lunch or dinner and this is definitely going on the list. Yum, yum, yum!

  18. How exciting to get your photo published in a book … congrats 🙂

  19. Congrats! Never had a shakshuka…now I am totally tempted!

  20. Hi , this dish reminds me sicilian “butta le uova”. Anyway, I sknow that it taste good 😉 Regards

  21. That is awesome Katherine – Congrats! This is one dish I have always wanted to make. I am bookmarking your recipe, it looks fantastic. And i LOVE the idea of adding eggplant!

    • Thanks Alyssa!! I hope you make it and enjoy it soon – so easy and delicious! I love eggplant in it and always order it that way if it’s an option 🙂

  22. The photo of the pita being dipped into this dish really made me want some! I haven’t been to Israel in a long time but I do remember how much I enjoyed the varied cuisine when I was there. Reading your blog brings it all back.

  23. This does look delicious! What a fantastic brunch or any time of day!

  24. Hi Katherine! I’m not familiar with this dish yet I always have a weak spot for dishes that have eggs on top! This looks amazingly delicious!

  25. Love it! I had my first shakshouka in Melbourne a few months back and ADORED it 😀

  26. I once saw this dish on a well known Indian news channel as a part of their international cuisine program. The recipe was provided by the then ambassador of Israel in India. I never got to making it and your delicious and lovely post reminds me its time to dish it to my family 🙂

  27. That calls for a good bread to match with it. Looks like an even better version of the pisto manchego. Yum!

  28. This looks good, but is it vegetarian with eggs? Also, congratulations on being published and making the foodbuzz Top 9!

    • Thanks! In the US at least it would be considered vegetarian but not vegan with eggs. I guess technically it’s ova-vegetarian (inlcudes eggs but not dairy).

  29. Congratulations on getting your photo publishes. That must have been a thrill. The dish looks delicious. We’ve never had anything like that but I can imagine dipping pita bread into that flavorful sauce. Yum. It’s fun to think of Northern African dishes making their way into Israel.

  30. Wow this looks amazing, I’m not to familiar with Israel cuisine but this has definitely sparked my interest. Will definitely have to try this recipe, congrats on the top 9!

  31. Congratulations on top 9 today! I absolutely LOVE shakshuka! It looks incredibly delicious.

  32. I love this. I’ve had Italian versions, but this looks fantastic. You can cook anything with a cast iron skillet!!

  33. Hey, congrats on being included in Israel To Go! Exciting news. Good recipe – as you know, there are dozens of variations of this worldwide. There’s a classic Moroccan version that also includes kefta (ground meat with spices and cilantro) formed into meatballs and cooked in the tomato sauce, with the eggs added right at the end. (Similar concept to meatballs in Italian gravy, but not at all the same flavor-wise.) Whenever I make that I never use extra water, so I think what you call for sounds right. BTW, love the overhead shot of the tomatoes, red pepper, eggs, and garlic – creative and beautiful. Good post – thanks.

    • Oops! Sorry – I forgot to close the italic!

      • Haha it looks nice all in italics 😉 I love all the versions of eggs baked in tomato sauce all over the world. I haven’t had the Moroccan rendition but it sounds right up my alley.

  34. This dish will certainly appear soon on my table! I am crazy for eggs and am always very happy to learn new egg dishes. I can already imagine soaking a piece of crunchy baguette into these runny yolks… Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and congratulations for your contribution to the e-book.

  35. Beautiful! And congrats on your Top 9 today.

    This makes me think warm thoughts!

  36. i’m drooling over this…looks so good!

  37. Mmmmm, I could eat this whole skillet by myself!

  38. I ate this at CafeCafe like once a week when I was in Israel. I love shakshuka!

    • I love the shakshuka at CafeCafe! Seriously, I know Dr. Shakshuka is famous for the stuff, but give me CafeCafe shakshuka any day 🙂

  39. Mei-i @gastronomic nomad

    Ymmmm…I’ve been wanting to make this for a while now. This looks so gorgeous and simple. I can’t wait to try it out! You’ve been buzzed. Congrats on top 9!!!

  40. I definitely want to dive in to that! Congrats on being published!

  41. Well, I’ve never lived in Israel but I definitely have a serious love of shakshuka! This looks delicious!

  42. Una splendida foto per un piatto delizioso! Buon weekend…

  43. I’ve actually been thinking about making a similar dish tonight or tomorrow! Such a coincidence I came to your blog today. 😀 Absolutely LOVE this dish, except my version would be Spanish with chorizo and olives. 🙂 Love your photos too!

  44. absolutely love this preparation. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  45. Eaman

    I love Shakshuka! I think Israel took it from Libya because it was a Libyan dish before the existence of Israel! I guess the Libyan Jews who migrated to Israel brought the dish to you. Same like Tabbuoleh, falafel and hummus 🙂

    • Me too! It is absolutely 100% a Libyan dish, and I don’t think any Israeli would claim otherwise. Hummus you’ll have a harder time convincing them about 😉

  46. funny.. I was thinking of shakshuka today! I d love to introduce my parents to this amazing israeli dish!

    by the way I made your egg benedict with salmon and hollondaise on top of the puff pastry from your ebook! Was absolutly delicious, loved it all in all!

  47. Thanks for sharing this easy and delicious recipe. I posted mine too this week with an instructional video, hope you check it out.

  48. we eat this every weekend breakfast and call it “menemen” in Turkey. shakshuka means fried vegetables such as patato, pepper, eggplant etc. with tomato sauce for us. and our shakshuka is really amazingly delicious .

    • That is so interesting!! Thank you so much for sharing this information – I’ll have to look for menemen next time I am in Turkey.

  49. Just discovered your blog via Foodgawker and I love it! I live in Nahariya, a beach town in northern Israel of so-so chain restaurants. It’s amazing, how much the culinary scene has changed in this country in the last few years, even locally. Four years ago you couldn’t get shakshuka here without completely hard yolks. Around that time, to my shock and joy, I heard a woman send her shakshuka back because the egg yolks were set. Nowadays, when I order shakshuka out (which is a lot), my whites are cooked and my yolks are runny – hey, if you’re a shakshuka lover, this is the dream. Unfortunately, I’ve had no success with recipes at home – I can’t get the whites cooked without the yolks being “hardboiled.” If you have any tips/tricks regarding that, please tell – my go-to shakshuka restaurant recently closed.

    • Aw thanks Sara! I know Nahariya but haven’t been there yet. I still find shakshuka with set yolks more often than I’d like, but so many places don’t seem to quite make it to order. I think the key is to make the sauce, have it hot, then lower the heat, add the eggs and cover the pan – I usually have good luck with that method (I also always cover my pan when making sunny side up eggs, it helps to set the bottom without overcooking everything). Hope this helps! Happy eating 🙂


  1. Schploof ! Into the shakshuka « GOURMANDE in OSAKA - [...] had an envy of shakshuka triggered by a post on the blog of Katherine Martinelli about shakshuka from…

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