Weekend Brunch is an important thing in my house
Not only because I have a tendency to get hangry when not fed, but because I think it’s important to mark the weekend with something intentional and positive to disengage from the stresses of the week. In my opinion, brunch is best when enjoyed around the people you love while doing something you love. For me, that usually means staying at home curled up with my honey and some Netflix or puttering around the farmers’ market. Essentially, brunch should not be unwrapping an energy bar while driving to your first errand of the day – unless you’re heading directly to a late brunch after running those errands, of course.
One of my favorite ways to mark the weekend is by making Shakshuka, a savory stew that pairs best with a chilly fall or winter morning and an inclination to not rush to the next activity.
What is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a savory stew often found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines whose essential components include eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce with peppers, onions, and various spices. Some variations of Shakshuka also include meat, yogurt or cheese, and additional vegetables or greens.
In my version, I love to add sausage, lamb, or chorizo, both poblano and bell peppers, and swap in green onions in place of the traditional white or yellow as a dietary preference. I also love to top my Shakshuka with a salty feta cheese or creamy goat cheese because I think it pairs well with the rich umami of the tomatoes and heat from the peppers and spices. If you prefer to make it without meat, it makes a hearty option on top of cauliflower rice, potatoes, or sautéed greens. We generally eat this dish for breakfast or brunch, but it also makes an amazing comfort food option for dinner.
A note for special diets
This Shakshuka recipe is grain-free and gluten-free. If you choose to use a lactose-free sour cream or a sharp white cheddar in place of the feta cheese, it is also friendly for SIBO diets.
Yield 6 portions
- 1 lb ground sausage, lamb, or chorizo
- 1 bell pepper (I prefer yellow), diced
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup of cilantro (plus more to top, if desired)
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes - AND -
- 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (for a total of 42.5 oz)
- 2 tbsp garlic oil (you may sub 4 minced garlic cloves)
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- In a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, brown sausage until cooked through.
- Add bell pepper, poblano pepper, and green onions, and cilantro, sauteeing for about 2 minutes to allow the peppers to get some direct heat.
- Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
- Season the mixture with the garlic oil, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
- Once the tomato sauce is nice and bubbly, make a well in each section that you would like to add an egg. Gently crack an egg into each well.
- Top the dish with feta cheese and place in the oven to continue cooking. I prefer my egg whites to be cooked through for safety reasons, but like my yolks to be slightly runny still. If your tomato sauce was sufficiently hot when you add the eggs this should only take an additional 7-10 minutes in the oven to complete cooking. Alternatively, if you would prefer to continue poaching the eggs on top of the stove instead of the oven, you may do so.
- Serve warm with additional cilantro on top.
Courses Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Serving Size 1/6th of the recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 248 mg
Sodium 1518 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 12 g
Protein 26 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.