Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (2023)

Moroccan poached eggs in a spicy tomato base, with parsley, avocados and crumbly cheese. Cut into runny yolks for a perfect brunch!

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Shakshuka is a Tunisian (or more broadly, North African) dish, with poached eggs in a bed of spicy tomato sauce. This Moroccan Shakshuka is iInherited from my Moroccan host mother, and perfect for lazy Sunday brunch! Nothing better than breaking into the yolk of the shakshuka eggs and have it mix into the rich tomato base. Yum.

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (1)

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Jump to:
  • 💭Why you'll love this recipe
  • 🥘 Difference between Moroccan shakshuka and other variations
  • ♨️How to make shakshuka
  • 👩🏽‍🍳 Shakshuka for one person
  • 🍞 Serving and storage suggestions
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 💬 Comments

💭Why you'll love this recipe

This recipe is authentic, delicious, and comes together in almost no time.

  • Basic ingredients, less than 45 minutes: This recipe requires simple pantry staples like onions and tomatoes, and comes together in under an hour
  • Great for make-ahead: You can make a large batch of the sauce and just cook the eggs in it whenever you need a 15 minute breakfast!
  • Easily customizable: You can adjust the spiciness, the consistency of the base and how many eggs or garnishes you use, quite easily!

📋 Ingredients & Tips

This recipe uses a base made with tomatoes, onions, habanero peppers, and some spices. Then, you crack the eggs into that base as it's cooking.

(Video) Moroccan Shakshuka - You Can't Resist These Perfect Runny Yolks!

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (2)


  • Spice notes: You can adjust the spiciness in two ways - through the habanero and/or the red chili powder. For the habanero, you can take out the seeds or swap it with a less potent pepper (e.g. jalapeno) and for the red chili powder, you can use red pepper flakes
  • Canned vs. fresh tomatoes: I prefer canned tomatoes for shakshuka (diced and unseasoned). Canned tomatoes have been stewing those juices for a while, and I find that they cut across the richness of the eggs much better. From Summer to Fall, when tomatoes are in season, you can use fresh ones too
  • Buying the right eggs: Eggs are the centerpiece of this dish. If you're wondering what type of eggs you should buy at the grocery store, read my post on everything you need to know about buying eggs
  • Garnishes: I typically use fresh herbs (e.g. cilantro or parsley), crumbly cheese (e.g. feta, gorgonzola or goat cheese) as well as avocados for creaminess. But these are all optional!

🥘 Difference between Moroccan shakshuka and other variations

There’s a raging debate about where shakshuka really originates from. Though it is mostly associated with Israeli cooking these days, most people believe that it was actually brought to Israel by North African immigrants. The thing is, shakshuka is SO versatile and it’s spirit really just revolves around eggs poached in a delicious sauce, that I might argue that it’s one of the most universal dishes ever. My Moroccan shakshuka has habanero peppers or harissa for a kick, and almost always has cheese.

I’ve made shakshuka with other bases – spinach, tomatillos, chickpeas and eggplants are all great (um, green shakshuka!). In terms of the spices, I have used harissainstead of habanero peppers. I’ve added za’atar or even served some zhug on it (Yemeni pesto made with parsley and cilantro). You can leave out the cheese and avocado if you want something simpler, but they’re both excellent (or shall I say, eggcellent) additions too.

♨️How to make shakshuka

You can make this recipe on stovetop or in an oven!

First, start by sautéing chopped onions, habanero peppers and garlic over medium heat

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (3)

Prepare the base of the shakshuka

Then, add cumin and red chili powder, followed by diced tomatoes as well as salt and pepper. Let this simmer for a few minutes so the tomatoes can cook through.

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (4)
Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (5)

Finally, crack the eggs and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes until whites set

Make indents with the back of a spoon and crack the eggs into the indents. I don't like covering my skillet since it produces a thin film over the yolks, but you can do that to make the eggs cook faster. Spoon some of the sauce onto the whites to help it cook. I like cooking my eggs to be runny, so that takes about 10 minutes. You can adjust this to your desired consistency!

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (6)

Note: For shakshuka in an oven, pre-heat to 375F. Then, using an oven safe pan, follow the steps in the recipe until you break the eggs. Once the eggs are broken, just throw the pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites set. 8 minutes gets you closer to runny yolk for the shakshuka eggs, while 10 is more set. Garnish as desired, and serve!

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (7)

👩🏽‍🍳 Shakshuka for one person

The recipe I have here is typically for 2-3 people (~2 eggs per person). If you want to make this shakshuka for just one person, I have a few tips:

  • Pick the smallest pan you can use - this will help make sure that you have a good base and things don't burn! I love using mini cocottes to make single-serve shakshuka!
  • Use half the recipe (i.e. half an onion and half a can of diced tomatoes, etc.) The recipe scales easily - just make sure you have enough sauce for the base!
  • Make a large batch of the sauce, cook eggs to order: The sauce stays well for a while, so make a larger portion, and then use a smaller skillet to crack as many eggs as you would like to make in a given serving!

🍞 Serving and storage suggestions

I have added my own little twists to it from time to time. You can eat the shakshuka by itself, or if you want something a bit more starchy, consider scooping it up with some fresh, lightly toasted bread. As Ottolenghi would recommend, consider having a spoonful with some yogurt orlabneh.

I’ve found that shakshuka doesn’t store well once the eggs are cooked. So I recommend making the sauce in a big batch if you must, and then you can heat it up whenever you want to eat it, and crack the egg fresh. The sauce can be stored in a fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Plus, this way you get the perfect runny yolk every time!

Did you make this recipe?! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please leave a comment and a star rating and let me know how it went! We love hearing from you, thank you so much

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  • Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread (or Quiche!)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Avocado Toast ... and Toppings!
  • Vegan Gochujang Cauliflower Tacos
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📖 Recipe

Moroccan Shakshuka with Perfect Runny Yolks - Urban Farmie (12)

Print Recipe

5 from 52 votes

Moroccan Shakshuka

Moroccan poached eggs in a spicy tomato base, with parsley, avocados and crumbly cheese. Cut into runny yolks for a perfect brunch!

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Total Time40 minutes mins

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Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: Moroccan

Servings: 3 servings

Calories: 380kcal

Author: Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju


Shakshuka base

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion or shallots, thinly diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, thinly diced (substitute with jalapeno as needed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, or 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, preferably unsalted, use 14 oz for a thicker shakshuka or 28 oz if you want more base

Seasoning and eggs

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, cayenne and/or paprika both work
  • 6 eggs, prefer large, organic & free-range
  • 1-2 teaspoon salt, as required
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, as required

Optional garnishes

  • 1 avocado, medium size
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon feta or gorgonzola , can also use goat cheese


  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil (see notes for making for one person)

  • Once oil is hot, add onions and habanero peppers - cook until soft (~5-7 mins)

  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant (~ 30 seconds)

  • Then add the can of diced tomatoes, followed by cumin, red chili powder, salt & pepper - mix well and cook until it starts to simmer (5 minutes)

  • Make six little dips in the sauce using the back of a spoon or spatula - crack an egg into each dip, taking care not to break the yolk

  • Simmer for ~8-10 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are runny (you can cover while you do this step, but that typically cooks the eggs faster). If you prefer your eggs done a different way, cook them to your desired consistency!

  • Take off heat, garnish with avocado, herbs and/or cheese and serve while still hot!

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  • Adjusting for spice: Habaneros are quite potent! So, if you don't want it to be too spicy, consider substituting the habanero pepper with jalapenos, or even just red or green pepper. Just remember to cook the peppers for another minute or two if you decide to do this
  • The shakshuka is also an extremely versatile dish. You want to take out the onions? Go ahead. Substitute red chili powder with a milder variety? Works too!
  • A lot of people use cast iron skillets, but I recommend using a stainless steel pan. The acid from tomatoes can ruin cast iron skillets and the residual heat might cook eggs more than you'd want.
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Serving: 200g | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 337mg | Sodium: 1241mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1123IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 4mg

Tried this recipe?Tag @urbanfarmie or #urbanfarmie to let me know – I would LOVE to see your creations!

Note: This recipe was originally published on March 15, 2020. It was updated on Jan 1, 2021 to include video and helpful process photos.


How do you make runny yolk in shakshuka? ›

Then, using an oven safe pan, follow the steps in the recipe until you break the eggs. Once the eggs are broken, just throw the pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites set. 8 minutes gets you closer to runny yolk for the shakshuka eggs, while 10 is more set.

What country is shakshuka from? ›

Shakshuka is a simple dish made of gently poached eggs in a delicious chunky tomato and bell pepper sauce. Said to have originated in Tunisia, this breakfast recipe is popular in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

Why won't my eggs cook in shakshuka? ›

Maybe your mix is too thick, if there isn't enough water in the mix it's more likely to burn, this dish depends on having enough moisture. Make your dents deep, get the egg as close to the pan as you can. Also, make the dents big enough that your eggs spread about a bit, more surface area means the egg cooks faster.

How do you keep egg yolks runny? ›

Crack egg(s) in pan and cook for 3 minutes uncovered (add seasonings — optional — at this time). This allows the whites to partially cook and the yolk to begin cooking slightly. Then cover with a lid in the last 1-2 minutes to help the whites cook while the yolk stays soft for a “sunny side up” with cooked whites.

How do you make the perfect runny egg? ›

Slowly lower the eggs into the water using a spoon. Set your timer for 4-5 mins for runny/dippy eggs to serve with soldiers, or 6-7 mins for soft-boiled eggs for a salad.

Why is shakshuka healthy? ›

Shakshuka is great for weight loss - it's a naturally low calorie dish given that it's made of mainly tomatoes and eggs, which are packed with nutrients and low in calories. Stewing it makes it very comforting and satiating, so you are much more likely to feel full from this compared to a salad.

Can eggs be a little watery? ›

For instance, the older a hen is, the more watery her white will be. If you have an older hen, really, the watery white could very well be a badge of honor! If she has access to pasture, the yolks of her eggs will still be that beautiful deep golden, and they will still taste delicious despite being a bit thinner.

Should raw eggs be runny? ›

Since the salmonella crisis in 1988, official advice has been that vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, young children and elderly people, should avoid raw and lightly cooked (runny) eggs.

Is shakshuka Moroccan or Israeli? ›

Shakshuka is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce (most important). It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews. These Sephardic Jews came from Spain, Portugal and the Middle East.

What is shakshuka called in English? ›

Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and the traditional version uses tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top. Today, you can find many variations of shakshuka, like my Green Shakshuka with Brussels Sprouts and Spinach and Orange Shakshuka with Butternut Squash.

What religion is shakshuka? ›

Recently, shakshuka has been Americanised, with dairy-based ingredients like labneh and feta making their way into the dish. And with its Americanisation comes the reference “Jewish cuisine”, a term used to describe many types of food from the Middle East.

Do you eat shakshuka with spoon or fork? ›

Serve Shakshuka in the skillet or pan it was cooked in and enjoy it directly from the dish with bread or pita on the side for dipping. What is this? While you certainly can use a fork or spoon, traditional serving uses bread or pita as a serving utensil.

Why you shouldn't add salt to eggs before cooking? ›

According to Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking, when salt dissolves into egg, it separates into charged ions that change the electrical environment enough to encourage coagulation.

What time of day is shakshuka eaten? ›

Popular in Israel, shakshouka is a savory egg entree made with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Though it's most commonly served as a main dish for breakfast, it's also eaten for lunch and dinner.

What makes an egg runny? ›

The development of watery whites is chiefly due to the increasing age of the egg. The rate of development is increased by high storage temperature and low humidity (see figure 4). As birds age, the Haugh unit value of their eggs decreases by about 1.5 to 2 units per month of lay (see figure 3).

How much to boil eggs for runny yolk? ›

Start the timer – 6 minutes for runny yolks, 8 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for classic hard boiled, 15 minutes for unpleasant rubbery whites and powdery dry yolks. Transfer into a large bowl or sink of cold water.

Is sunny side up egg yolk runny? ›

What are sunny side up eggs? Sunny side up eggs are eggs cooked until the whites are solid but the yolk is still runny.

What is runny egg yolk called? ›

Each results in a slightly different experience: over-easy eggs have a really runny yolk perfect for dipping and sunny-side-up eggs have a slightly more set yolk better suited for sandwiches. Both get grouped together so often, it can be hard to distinguish, especially when ordering your eggs quickly in the morning.


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