This is a shakshuka appreciation post. It’s long overdue.
The first time I had shakshuka was in the hellishly tiny kitchen of my college apartment a few years ago (I’m a latecomer to the world of shakshuka, I know).
I woke up one morning, probably more than a little hungover, to the smell of garlic frying. Sensing that a hangover cure was nearby, I stumbled into the kitchen and onto a beautiful sight: my best friend and then-roommate, Daniel, simmering a spicy, garlicky, cumin-heavy tomato sauce on the stovetop. The sauce alone was enough to excite me, but then Daniel told me he was about to poach eggs in it.
The game was forever changed.
Fast-forward to the present. I now make shakshuka nearly once a week because of how easy, satisfying, and highly adaptable it is. In fact, I don’t usually follow any particular recipe when I make it because I use whatever I have on hand at the time. Some mornings, I’ll throw in sliced bell peppers; in the summer, zucchini finds its way into the pan. I’ve even added canned pumpkin to the simmering sauce before cracking the eggs into it (subtle pumpkin flavor, lots of creaminess).
This recipe riffs on shakshuka with the addition of chickpeas. They make the dish extra hearty and lend texture. I like to use fresh tomatoes in my sauce, but canned tomatoes work just as well. Don’t skimp on the toppings—fresh herbs, yogurt, and tangy goat cheese or rich parmesan take shakshuka to another level. Here, I serve it with bread, but shakshuka is also great with zucchini ribbons, rice, or pretty much any other grain–whatever you have on hand.
shakshuka with chickpeas and cucumber yogurt
for the yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- Salt and pepper, za’atar, cumin, and garlic powder, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. cucumber, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- Olive oil, for drizzling
for the shakshuka
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 lb. fresh tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes), chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. za’atar
- 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 eggs
- Goat cheese
- 1 Tbsp. tahini
- Lime wedge
make the yogurt
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, and seasonings; stir well. Fold the cucumber and cilantro into the yogurt. Drizzle the olive oil over the cucumber yogurt and set aside.
make the shakshuka
Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small nonstick skillet. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat until softened and fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the pan. Season with the honey, cumin, za’atar, chili flakes, and more salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Once the sauce has thickened, mix in the chickpeas and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Make two wells in the sauce. Crack an egg into each well and season the egg with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the whites are just set, about 5 minutes.
Spoon some of the cucumber yogurt over the shakshuka, garnish with crumbled goat cheese, tahini, and cilantro, and squeeze the lime wedge over everything. Serve with bread.