A traditional Shakshuka is a tomato-based sauce in which eggs are poached. It makes a delicious breakfast dish; and the variations provided here make it suitable for many diets, including replacing the eggs with Tofu for Egg Free and Vegan diets.

Originating in North Africa, the rich tomato sauce includes a selection of herbs and spices: thyme, bay, cinnamon, cumin, caraway and paprika. Here is a simple version to which I have added a little chilli and some roasted cherry tomatoes for a little sweetness and texture.

In some recipes garlic is added in large quantities. But when eating shakshuka for breakfast I often omit it. If you choose to do likewise, ensure you add flavour with herbs and spices or other vegetables.

Use fresh ripe tomatoes when they are in season. At other times tinned tomatoes are a suitable, being a more flavoursome choice than forced hothouse varieties.

A great feature of this dish is that it is a ‘one pot’ meal. Serving with pitta bread (not Fodmap or Gluten Free) is always a favourite. Alternatively, spoon it over a bowl of rice or quinoa.

Diets for which Shakshuka is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free (see notes)*, Fodmap**, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Paleo**, Vegetarian and Vegan (see notes)*.


Preparation: 10 mins | Cook: 20 + 5 mins | Serves: 2
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes (optional)***
1/2 small onion (not Fodmap or Paleo)**
2 garlic cloves (optional, not Fodmap)**
1 kg (16 oz) tomato or large can tomatoes
1 red pepper***
Pinch of cayenne or whole chilli (optional)****
4 eggs (not Egg Free or Vegan)*
Salt and pepper

Optional Extras to select from:

coriander leaves
lime juice
1 big handful of greens, chopped (eg spinach)
2 cups cooked grains: brown rice, quinoa etc. (not Paleo)
60 gm (2 oz) feta, crumbled (not Dairy Free or Vegan)
2 pitta bread (not Fodmap or Paleo)


HEAT the oven to a hot temperature.
COAT the cherry tomatoes and red pepper in a 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
BAKE for 15 – 20 minutes, until softened.
HEAT the remaining oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat.
DICE the onion and cook until it is soft, not browned.
DICE the tomatoes and add to the onion with cayenne or chilli, if including.
COOK until the tomatoes soften providing a thick sauce-type consistency.
ADD the chopped greens, if including, and cook for a minute until the greens soften slightly.
FOLD in the roasted tomatoes and red pepper.
SHAPE four holes in the sauce, using a spoon.
CRACK the eggs into the ‘holes’, place a lid on the pan and cook over a medium heat until the egg whites cook. (The yolks will remain runny.)
SERVE; tasty with a squeeze of lime juice and a scattering of coriander leaves.


– With pitta or crunchy bread (not Fodmap or Gluten Free)
– Over grains and sprinkle with feta cheese (not Dairy Free)
– Add a dollop of labneh or greek yoghurt (not Dairy Free or Vegan)


* Replace eggs with slices of tofu (400 gm/14 oz) for Egg Free or Vegan diets.
** Fodmap and Paleo diets: do not add the garlic (garlic chives are a good substitute); replace the onion with spring onion tops or chives (do not fry the chives, cook with the tomato).
*** Roast some cherry tomatoes and red or green pepper for flavour and texture variation.
**** Herb and spice variations: thyme and bay leaf; a combination of cinnamon, cumin and caraway; sweet paprika or smoked paprika for a smoky flavour.

Other Egg Dishes for Breakfast

Baked Eggs
Savoury Muffins

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