This Eggplant Shakshuka is one of the best breakfast, brunch or lunch dishes. Perfectly soft-cooked eggs are simmered in a simple, slightly spicy eggplant tomato sauce with garlic and herbs. Serve this one-skillet recipe with red chili pepper flakes and chopped fresh herbs. Enjoy it with tzatziki, rusks, or warm crusty bread for dipping. It takes no more than thirty minutes to prepare and is healthy and delicious.
Why this recipe sings
Traditional shakshouka is a poached eggs dish in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and olive oil. The spices used are usually cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Shakshouka originated in Ottoman North Africa in the mid-16th century after tomatoes were introduced to the region.
This eggplant shakshuka is a little different from the original but equally great. This one-skillet eggs recipe is cooked in a garlicky tomato-eggplant sauce spiced with cinnamon, dried oregano, cloves, and red chili pepper flakes. First, you make the eggplant tomato sauce, which comes together pretty quickly on top of the stove, then you gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Cover and in a few minutes you have the best brunch food on earth. Serve with red wine!
What you need for this recipe
- Good ripe tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes. Make sure you use the tomato juice as well.
- Eggplant. This recipe uses a medium-sized Italian eggplant.
- Eggs. I use medium-sized eggs but large would work as well.
- Garlic. I just slice the garlic because I love having more of it’s spicy and earthy taste in a bite. Plus it is easier to chop.
- Fresh sage and thyme. You can substitute with fresh oregano or use the dried versions of these herbs.
You also need
- Aromatics. I add a cinnamon stick, plenty of dried oregano, some cloves and a bay leaf.
- Tomato paste. A full tablespoon helps develop the sauce flavor even more.
- Extra virgin olive oil. It would not be a Mediterranean recipe without it.
- Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a tiny bit of sugar and red chili pepper flakes.
How to make it
Prepare the ingredients.
Dice the tomatoes and place them into a bowl. Don’t discard the juice, you should add it in the bowl as well. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar all over the tomatoes and let them sit until you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Dice the eggplant, slice the garlic, chop the sage and separate the thyme leaves from the sprigs.
- A dollop of full-fat Greek yogurt, tzatziki or whipped feta go well together on top of this shakshuka with eggplant.
- Add crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese or shaved parmesan for another layer of flavor.
- Add warm chickpeas or lentils to make this into a hearty eggs-for-dinner option.
- You can top with whatever is seasonal, like green bell peppers, arugula, or avocado slices when served. Pair with a cool cucumber salad or greek lettuce salad.
- Have this eggplant shakshuka over polenta. And make sure the yolks are runny. Delicious!
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- 1 Medium skillet
- 2½ cups ripe tomatoes diced with their juices or canned San Marzano tomatoes, crushed.
- 3 cups eggplant cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 pinch sugar Omit the sugar if using San Marzano tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste full tablespoon
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme just the leaves
- 2 fresh sage leaves roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 eggs
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- red chili pepper flakes
- crusty warm bread
- Dice the tomatoes and place dice and juice into a bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar all over the tomatoes and let them sit until you prepare the rest of the ingredients.Dice the eggplant and place it into a separate bowl.Slice the garlic, chop the sage and separate the thyme leaves from the sprigs.
- Heat four tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-low.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and tender, 1 to 2 minutes; Add the dried oregano, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to develop flavor.
- Add the eggplant, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the chopped sage and thyme leaves. Stir and cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until browned.
- Pour in the tomatoes—season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on low, medium heat until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Create four small wells in the eggplant sauce. Gently crack eggs into the wells. Season eggs with a pinch of sea salt. Cover with a lid and cook until eggs are just set 7 to 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with red chili peppers and chopped fresh herbs and serve with tzatziki, rusks, or warm crusty bread.
- Use the best ripe tomatoes you can find or canned authentic San Marzano tomatoes. Don’t discard the tomato juice, you should use it in the sauce.
- Eggplant. This recipe uses italian eggplant. Feel free to use the eggplant of your choice.
- Eggs. Any size would work well.
- Substitute the fresh sage and thyme with fresh oregano or their dried versions.
- Add a dollop of full-fat Greek yogurt, tzatziki or whipped feta.
- Add some cheese on top. Crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese or shaved parmesan work very well.
- Add warm chickpeas, lentils or beans to make it a full dinner option.
- Pair the shakshuka with a cool cucumber salad, some avocado slices or greek lettuce salad.
- Serve each poached egg with the sauce on toasted bread.
- For the ultimate comfort meal have this shakshuka in a bowl over creamy polenta. Make sure the yolks are runny!