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Easy Classic Israeli Shakshuka

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Easy Classic Israeli Shakshuka is dairy free, vegetarian, and gluten free. A healthy and filling meal, rich in flavor. Great any time of day!

Classic shakshuka with Two eggs in tomato on a white plate

Shakshuka is not a beautiful or appetizing looking dish (ever wonder why there is often parsley all over it in most images when the dish itself is not served with parsley at all?), but Easy Classic Israeli Shakshuka is not only healthy and simple to make, it tastes terrific!

And…the tomatoes and eggs have health benefits as well!

Love eggs? Try: Really Easy Dairy Free Scrambled Eggs or Easy Deviled Eggs.

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

Everyday pantry essentials (suggested)

As I learned to prepare more and more recipes, I also learned which basics and seasonings are good to have on hand to have the ability to make a dish on short notice and not have to run out to the store or borrow from a neighbor.

While I will admit that I am not always prepared when one of my kids will ask for eggplant parmesan or lasagna at the drop of a hat (which they have done), I dislike having to postpone making something just because the ingredients needed to make a reasonable meal were not readily available.

So, I maintain selection of what I consider “pantry essentials” in my refrigerator and on my shelves at all times.

Initially, many of the herbs and spices were useful to me only on occasion (having been purchased for a particular recipe) and I usually just had them around as leftovers. However, as I began to cook more of a variety, I was really glad to have them (hey, look, I already have that !) and that is how my list began.

While, of course, most of the essentials will not be needed just for any one recipe, at least some of them are needed for most recipes, and you would be surprised how many recipes be made just with this list. So, if you keep whatever you use regularly on hand, it can really save you time and effort.

Everyone has their favorite recipes, preferred seasoning, and just whatever they like to use to cook. Your own list should certainly reflect your own cooking tastes and style.

Just to give you an idea, the list below is a comprehensive list of what I normally keep on hand (this does not necessarily include what I keep for baking and there may be some overlap between the two lists as some items are used for both, such a brown sugar) and, of course, it reflects the meals and desserts that I like to make for my own family and guests.

Seasoning and flavoring:

  • salt (my receipes use regular table salt)
  • ground black or white pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder (I prefer granulated)
  • onion powder
  • sweet paprika and/or sweet pepper flakes (paprika is ground dried red pepper, pepper flakes are crushed dried red pepper)
  • hot paprika, hot pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper (moderately spicy dried ground chili pepper) for those occasional spicy dishes
  • ground turmeric
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground Cloves (for pumpkin flavors)
  • sugar (granulated)
  • brown sugar
  • chicken consomme powder / beef bullion powder (regular or vegetarian)
  • onion soup mix
  • onion flakes (substitute for fresh onion – 3 tablespoons for 1 medium onion).
  • various herbs
  • additional spices to adapt taste to preference


  • oil / margarine / butter / cooking spray
  • coconut cream as a dairy free cream substitute
  • corn starch as a thickening agent
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • bread crumbs or Corn Flake crumbs (you can make these with your blender or food processor) for coating
  • condiments – such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce
  • tomato sauce/tomato paste/canned tomatoes – diced or crushed/pasta sauce
  • soy sauce
  • ready made pie crusts and dough (to just add filling)

We always have eggs in the fridge and onions, rice, and potatoes on our shelves as well as pasta.

In addition, having some fresh vegetables in the fridge, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, green, etc), etc. can be very useful when putting together a quick, but delicious meal.

It is also a good idea to have some ground meat or chicken (breast, ground, or in parts), in the freezer for anyone who likes meat dishes in a snap.

Weather can have an affect on some of the spices and on the chicken consommé powder, so I keep as many of the seasonings in the refrigerator or freezer as I can and I keep everything tightly closed in containers (you will be surprised to know just how determined moths are at getting into sealed bags and how hot red pepper powder can attract little black bugs – YUCK!).

Therefore, store your items well.

Why are these pantry essentials beneficial to have on hand?

Personally, having the above ingredients in my kitchen is very advantageous, as I make a variety of dishes and use most of the items on the list regularly enough to warrant storing them. However, I do not store items for dishes that I make seasonally or only on rare occasions or those that spoil easily.

Whether or not it is workable for you depends on your cooking style, the space you have to store, and whether or not you mind running out to the store as needed. Of course, the more you cook and the more varied your recipes, the more you will use, and the more you will need.

For example, if you wanted to make shakshuka, most everything you need would be in the list above.

A little about Israeli cuisine

Some people complain about cultural appropriation in cuisine when food from one country is attributed to another country.

However, national cuisine in itself is often a mingling of food from of a variety of cultures, often due to a change of ruling countries and a shifting of borders.

Turkish cuisine, for example, goes back to the Ottoman Empire and was a combination of several cultures under Ottoman rule.

When people move from country to country, they will take their cultures with them and their decendents may adapt their traditional cuisine with that of their new home and, if they don’t, others might.

Chinese food in US restaurants is quite often not really authentic Chinese, but American Chinese.

Americans have created a whole variety of types and styles of pizza and pineapple pizza was apparently created in Canada by a Greek immigrant. Yet, everyone still calls them all “pizza”, which originated in Italy.

Spaghetti is thought to be an Italian food, but many historians believe that it was brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.

Apparently, battered fried fish was from the Portuguese Jewish community as a sabbath food and ended up in England via Holland during the Spanish Inquisition, yet everyone attributes the food to the British.

…and don’t get me started on Hummus.

When one lives in a melting pot, such as the US or Israel, it is just unrealistic to expect that food from a particular culture won’t mingle with that of other cultures.

That being said, “Israeli cuisine” is basically Middle Eastern (as opposed to Eastern European food) that was brought to Israel by Jews when they fled or were expelled from Muslim countries and moved to Israel mostly after the declaration of the State of Israel (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews).

Recipes were passed from generation to generation and, although decades have passed, the foods are still known by the culture they came from and everyone seems to have their own way of making them.

That said, there are many variations of pretty much any “Israeli” recipe, because of background, custom, or even just taste. When choosing a recipe, one has to know what actually constitutes a main ingredient – what makes the dish what it is – and what is left up to individual taste.

I personally find it very arrogant and quite irritating when a blogger(not naming names) will put “authentic” in the title of an “Israeli” recipe, as if all the rest are mere imitations. What’s worse, is when that blogger makes the recipe with her own twist and then calls it authentic!

Adding more or less of a spice or adding a spice that is not in the recipe, does not make it less authentic, but calling it “authentic” and then adding unnecessary extra ingredients above and beyond what needs to be there, is misleading.

For example, “authentic” Israeli salad (what Israelis call Israeli salad) is diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, they will add some oil salt and pepper, but THAT’S IT. Anything else does not have to be there, but if you leave out the cucumbers or the tomatoes, you no longer have an “Israeli salad”.

So, find the recipes you like with the ingredients you prefer, add your own twists, and בתאבון (literally translated, “with appetite”) !

A little about shakshuka

There are MANY suppositions as to where shakshuka originated, but all agree that it originated somewhere in the Middle East or North Africa.

Shakshuka is very popular in Israel. It was brought by Jews who took refuge after the establishment of the State of Israel, fleeing Muslim countries.

While this dish is no stranger to Middle Eastern ethnic restaurants, in more recent years it has become a welcome addition to menus in some of the hip restaurants in the United States and Europe as well.

Shakshuka is a vegetarian, tasty, healthy breakfast, however it obviously can be eaten at any time of the day.

Why do I see variations of shakshuka online?

The recipe I have posted is in it’s simplest and original form, however many people add red and/or green pepper (one or two of either or both, depending on how much you like peppers), mushrooms, chili powder or paprika (sweet and/or hot), cumin, termic, pepper, etc.

Like pretty much every other recipe out there, everyone makes dishes according to their own tradition and taste, the sabich is no different. I like to keep my recipes as simple to allow anyone who wants to make a quick dish without straying from the basics to do just that.

You certainly can any any, all, or none of the above to taste.

You do not need garnish at all, unless you want to impress. It is shown that way in pictures, because the dish itself doesn’t photograph well, so the green helps to detract. I have yet to actually have seen the dish served garnished.

Tips for making Easy Israeli Shakshuka

I use canned tomatoes rather than fresh whenever possible, just to save time, and one 28 ounce can is equal to approximately 2 pounds or 3 cups of fresh diced tomatoes.

If you have tomatoes or onions that are still good, but are going soft, feel free to use them. I am a big proponent of using what you have and saving what you can.

If you want your shakshuka more saucy, feel free to use more tomatoes, just make sure to adjust the herbs/spices so that you don’t lose flavor and, of course, feel free to add all of the flavoring embellishing you like to your own taste.

Tomato sauce helps to give a little stronger tomato flavor. This can be left out if need be, but if you want more of the flavor, add.

If you like your eggs poached, cover the pan, however if you prefer sunny side up, cook the eggs uncovered.

The longer you leave the eggs on the heat, the more cooked they will be. If you want runny eggs, make sure not to overcook. However, if you like your eggs more on the cooked side, just make sure that the sauce doesn’t dry out (add a little water while cooking).

I find that using powdered chicken consommé for sides and main dishes just adds a little more flavor that salt and use the non-meat or vegan variety (any store that carries kosher items may have some by Osem or another such brand).

Many recipes call for red peppers that cook with the tomatoes, so feel free to add diced red pepper. In fact, many recipes call for the addition of quite a few other veggies, so don’t be ashamed to add them. This recipe is just the basic.

A little about eggs

For many years eggs were considered a source of high cholesterol and a possible cause of heart disease and people were warned against them and recommended to have only a few per week in their diets.

It is true that one large egg yolk has 200 mg of cholesterol, however the additional nutrients that eggs contain may actually help LOWER the risk of heart disease by raising the “good” cholesterol in one’s body.

In addition, eggs are packed with nutrients and health benefits.

Eggs are high in protein and filling, but low in calories. They are nutritious and contain a large variety of vitamins as well as some anti-oxidants.

The color of the yolk depends on the diet of the hen and different types of chickens may lay different colored eggs; white or brownish.

Egg white consists primarily of approximately 90 percent water and contains almost no fat or carbohydrates.

The yolk of a new egg is firm, but then it absorbs water from the egg white, which causes it to increase in size and become loose.
You may be suprised to know that raw egg white is sometimes used in the preparation of vaccines.

Many people believe that since eggs are found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, and very frequently near the dairy section, that they are also dairy.

Nonetheless, eggs are NOT DAIRY. You CANNOT milk a chicken!

So, there you have it. Now, go and enjoy your Easy Classic Israeli Shakshuka!

Yield: 3 servings

Easy Classic Israeli Shakshuka

Classic shakshuka with Two eggs in tomato on a white plate

Easy dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian classic shakshuka in it's simplest form.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • One 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (or three cups of fresh, diced tomatoes)
  • 1 red pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian chicken bullion powder or salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • water
  • oil


  1. Pour oil to just cover the bottom of a large skillet.
  2. On a medium heat, sauté onions (and garlic if using cloves) until they soften (they don't have to brown).
  3. Add tomatoes, peppers (if desired), tomato paste, bullion powder and water to cover the mixture and mix.
  4. Lower the heat to low, and simmer mixing occasionally until the mixture becomes a thick sauce.
  5. Create six openings or craters in the sauce and drop a raw egg into each.
  6. Continue simmering until the whites of the egg are cooked, but the yellow is still runny.*

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 372mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 18g

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