Level up brunch with this chickpea shakshuka! This popular one-pan North African and Middle Eastern classic is a hot contender for the ultimate vegetarian friendly breakfast. It's superbly versatile, requires simple ingredients, and is just darn delicious.
If you’re after a wildly satisfying, tasty and nutritious breakfast or brunch idea, look no further than shakshuka (or shakshouka) – aka eggs poached in a simmering spicy tomatoey sauce.
With a million and one variations online, this simple no-bake shakshuka is my spin on the much loved classic. It’s simple, hearty and ideal to whip up on slower mornings when you’ve got wriggle room to play in the kitchen.
The delicious chunky sauce is bulked out with canned chickpeas, boosting its protein and fibre content. Of course, and only indulging my professional stereotype, a few handfuls of greens is always a welcomed addition too.
Here are tips to help your kitchen flow:
Use a fit-for-form pan. A shallow casserole or small deep frying pan with a fitted lid is ideal – there’s only a single tin of tomatoes here! My pictured Le Creuset is 26cm in diameter, which was perfect.
Fry spices before adding the tomatoes to help release their flavour and fragrance. Yum.
Take time to sauté and simmer. Time helps build deeper flavour that pays off 10-fold come feasting time.
Opt for fresh room temp eggs. Cold eggs lower the temperature of the dish, delaying cooking time and leading to uneven cooking. Boo!
Know when the eggs are done. Oh, the great minefield of shakshuka! Check for whites that are largely opaque, and that have a wee jiggle to them when you move the pan.
Is shakshuka healthy? Absolutely! Shakshuka champions nutritious and simple ingredients. It plates up as a balanced meal idea too, offering up a rich source of carbohydrates (chickpeas and bread), protein (eggs and chickpeas), vegetables (spinach, capsicum, onions and tomato), and heart-healthy fat (olive oil).
Is shakshuka vegetarian? Typically yes, but some shakshuka recipes may have meats added. When in doubt, always check the ingredients. This recipe is vegetarian-friendly.
Is shakshuka vegan? Due to the addition of eggs, shakshuka isn’t innately vegan. To make this specific recipe vegan friendly, simply remove the eggs. The addition of chickpeas will keep it hearty and a source of protein.
Is shakshuka low carb? As shakshuka recipes differ, the carb content can too. Due to the presence of chickpeas, this dish won’t be as low-carb as other recipes.
Is shakshuka a breakfast food? Shakshuka is commonly served for breakfast or brunch. But, it’s an anytime meal that can be enjoyed at lunch or dinner too.
Serve shakshuka in the pan it’s cooked in. It’s great enjoyed as is, but a crusty piece of bread is always welcomed to mop up the sauce. To brighten, I like a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley overtop.
It’s a goodie to meal prep – simply whip up a batch of the sauce (sans eggs) and refrigerate for a few days until ready to eat. To cook, spoon a serving of sauce into a ramekin, make a well for an egg, crack it in and (this time) oven bake until set.
Add olive oil to a small deep fry pan with a fitted lid or a cast-iron shallow casserole (mine was 26cm across). Heat over a medium heat.
Sauté onions and capsicum for fifteen minutes – give it the time to really soften! I literally time it so I don't skimp or jump ahead.
Add garlic and spices and sauté for a minute or so until fragrant.
Add tinned tomatoes and a generous few turns of the salt and pepper shaker. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. In the last five minutes, mix in the chickpeas and spinach.
Taste test sauce and season again with salt and pepper until it tastes seasoned to you.
Make four wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Cover with the lid and let cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
Garnish with finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Serves 2 big portions or 4 smaller portions. Bread helps stretch it!