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Monday, September 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents: Shaksuka makes eggs perfect for any meal

Shaksuka is easily adaptable and scalable. (Adriana Janovich)
Shaksuka is easily adaptable and scalable. (Adriana Janovich)

It sounds more exotic than it is.

Shaksuka, a North African dish of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce, is perfect for any meal – breakfast, brunch, lunch, even dinner.

Better yet, it’s budget-friendly and simple to prepare. Plus, it comes together quickly. And, it’s easily scalable.

If you have a bunch of people coming over for weekend brunch, consider shaksuka. The colors – the deep rich red of the sauce, sunny yellow yolks rimmed with white, a sprinkling of startling fresh green herbs – make it look both dramatic and inviting – sort of like pizza, but without a crust.

Why not add sliced black olives, mushrooms, spinach or other leafy greens? No parsley or not a fan? Use fresh thyme or oregano or basil. Garnish with green onions or chopped bell or jalapeno peppers or more fresh herbs. These additions might not be traditional, but the dish – including the heat level – is easy to adapt to taste. So, go ahead, make it spicier, if you’d like. Add more chilies or jalapenos or cayenne.

Make nests in the sauce, then crack the eggs gently into the pan. Add feta or chevre. Then, serve the shaksuka with pita or challah or a good, crusty bread and maybe a side of homemade hummus.


1/4 cup olive oil

3 Anaheim chilies or 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and stems removed)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained

Kosher salt, to taste

6 eggs

1/2 cup feta or chevre cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (or fresh thyme, oregano or basil)

Warm pitas, for serving

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft, 2-3 more minutes. Crush tomatoes. Add tomatoes and their liquid to the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and simmer stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, if needed. Gently crack eggs into sauce, making sure they are evenly distributed. Cover and cook until yolks are just set, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with feta or chevre and parsley or other fresh herbs, and serve with pita, challah or a good, crusty bread.

Yield: 3 to 6 servings

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