Welcome to the Storied Recipe! This traditional Shakshuka recipe comes from health expert and my podcast guest Jordan Syatt, who first enjoyed it on a group hike in the Negev Desert. Back home, in the early days of his now wildly successful business, he began making this high protein, vitamin-rich Shakshuka for one while living by himself in a tiny NYC apartment. I invite you to listen to his episode while you make this famous Mediterranean eggs & tomato dish!
This easy shakshuka recipe is known and made in huge swaths of the globe, from North Africa to the Middle East to the Mediterranean. And no wonder its so beloved - what is quicker, simpler, more satisying and delicious than eggs gently poached in a rich and spicy tomato sauce, made from red peppers and tomatoes cooked in olive oil, and garnished with loads of feta or fresh herbs?
This recipe is the single serving Shakshuka that fitness coach Jordan Syatt made for himself in his New York City apartment. However, the great thing about Shakshuka is you can scale up or down so easily. It's the ultimate healthy meal, especially when trying to build muscle.
Listen to Jordan's Story
Strength and fitness coach and common sense proponent Jordan Syatt explores the intersection between a love for food, health, and culture by sharing stories from his childhood and trips to his heart's home, Israel. He shares personal stories, discussing how his unique challenges contributed to his success and clarity in life's purpose. Jordan also addresses the conflict that American culture creates between loving food and being healthy, offering insights on how to reconcile this conflict and maintain a balance that allows us to enjoy food, prioritize our health, and foster meaningful connections with others along the way.
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
There's 4 elements to every good pan of Shakshuka. It's a simple dish, but you can always elevate with your add-ins. Here are things to consider in all 4 categories.
Fresh or Canned Tomatoes?
- Opting for fresh tomatoes involves peeling them and a longer cooking time
- However, fresh tomatoes generally lend more flavor and more vitamins and minerals, enhancing the overall nutritional value of the dish.
- Tomato paste can be added for a concentrated tomato flavor
- Perfectly cooked eggs are the soul of this hearty dish
- Spices bring this to the next level and also lend a regional element to each dish
- Every recipe calls for some spicy options, from paprika, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or black pepper.
- Jordan calls for Za'atar in his recipe, as a nod to Israel
- North African or Moroccan recipes call for Ras el Hanout (and even honey!)
- Cumin is another common addition and one that Jordan includes in his recipe
Fresh Herbs & Greens
These offer freshness and brightness while also amping up the nutritional value of the dish. Options include:
- For an added boost of nutrition and texture, consider topping baby spinach into the mix (or mix it into your sauce)
There's really no limit of different vegetables you can put in your shakshuka sauce. Every recipe calls for a slightly different combination. Here are the most popular options:
- Red bell pepper
- Fresh garlic
One More Topping Idea
- Sprinkle with feta cheese when you add the eggs, especially if you're going for more of a Mediterranean flavor (vs. flavors common to Northern Africa)
- Feta adds saltiness, richness, and flavor to the dish
- Also, this is a low-calorie meal. Feta is a great way to add calories. It's also a good idea to add fat, which increases will be more satiating.
- Saute different vegetables and chopped garlic cloves
- Bring the tomatoes and vegetables to a gentle simmer until a thick sauce forms. This will take longer for fresh tomatoes. (See below)
- Use the back of a spoon to make indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each divot. Cover and poach until cooked to desired texture.
How long to cook down fresh tomatoes?
- Count on about 30 minutes. If you're looking for an ultra quick Shakshuka, go for canned pasta sauce or doctor up some pureed or crushed canned tomatoes
How long to cook the eggs?
- To achieve perfectly runny eggs, you'll want to cook them for approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- If you prefer fully set yolks in your shakshouka, you'll want to cook the eggs for around 8 to 10 minutes (or more).
Shakshuka is a popular dish all across the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa, so it's not surprise that there are LOTS of variations on this dish! Here are a few you may want to try:
If you're making Shakshuka for One you'll need:
If you're making Shakshuka for a family, large or small, you'll need:
**Pictures on this post notwithstanding, avoid choosing a cast iron pan, which may add a slightly metallic flavor to the dish
Making Ahead and Storage
- You can make the sauce ahead! Store in the fridge up to 3-5 days, depending on the temperature of your fridge
- Tomato sauce freezes and defrosts really well. It will be a little runnier when you defrost, but will thicken right back up as you cook it down again.
- Do not cook the eggs until you're ready to eat.
Origins and Shakshuka Around the World Today
The exact origin of shakshuka is unknown, but it is believed to have Middle Eastern roots. The word "shakshuka" is derived from the Arabic word for "mixture," reflecting the dish's combination of ingredients. This flavorful creation is popular across parts of North Africa and the Mediterranean, particularly in North African countries. Over time, it has become associated with Jewish immigrants, who have contributed their own variations to the dish. Today, shakshuka is enjoyed worldwide as a delectable representation of the diverse culinary influences of the Middle East and North Africa.
Since this recipe comes to us from one of those most recognized, popular, and helpful experts in the health industry, it's no surprise that this easy meal is SUPER healthy. Briefly, here are the health benefits that both the sauce and the eggs offer:
Fresh Ingredients in the Sauce: Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, and Other Veggies
- Rich Source of Lycopene: Tomatoes are a prime source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to various health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
- Nutrient-Rich: Together, tomatoes and bell peppers are packed with vitamins K, C, A, and potassium.
- Low in Calories: Tomatoes and red pepper are both low in calories and high in water content, which make them filling and excellent for hydration.
- Digestive Health: Tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables contain dietary fiber that supports digestive health and may help prevent constipation
- High-Quality Protein: Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, containing all essential amino acids needed for various bodily functions.
- Muscle Building: The protein in eggs supports muscle growth, repair, and maintenance, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.
- Nutrient Density: Eggs are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins B12, D, and selenium, promoting overall health and vitality.
- Brain Health: Choline, found in eggs, is crucial for brain development, memory function, and cognitive health.
- Weight Management: Protein-rich eggs can help control appetite and promote a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management efforts.
Breakfast or Main Dish?
eggs breakfast food but I eat this as a main dish any time of day with crusty bread and salad
Food safety: Are runny eggs safe?
- Freshness: Always use fresh eggs from a reliable source to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.
- Quality Assurance: Look for eggs with intact shells and no signs of damage or cracks, as this reduces the chance of contamination.
- Cooking Temperature: To ensure safety, eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C). While runny yolks are popular in dishes like shakshuka, it's important to ensure that the egg whites are fully cooked to avoid any potential bacterial contamination.
- Vulnerable Groups: Pregnant individuals, young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses. In such cases, it's advisable to fully cook eggs to minimize any potential risks.
- Pasteurization: Consider using pasteurized eggs or egg products if you have concerns about consuming raw or runny eggs, as these have been treated to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria.
- Storage: Store eggs properly in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C) to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Overall, if you handle, store, and cook runny eggs properly, they can be enjoyed safely as part of a balanced diet.