Egg

9 Warming Shakshuka Variations for Chilly Winter Mornings

When the weather outside is frightful...

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December  7, 2018
Photo by Mark Weinberg

We've partnered with Muir Glen to celebrate the season with recipes, tips, and videos that make holiday entertaining easy, elegant, and totally stress-free. Here, we're sharing a few variations on shakshuka, the crowd-friendly breakfast we're serving up over the holidays.

I am a creature of habit. Sure, I love to experiment with a new recipe every now and then when I have time, usually on a lazy Sunday. But when times get busy, I stick to the dishes I know and love, the recipes in my repertoire that are quick and reliable. Oh, and easy, too.

During the warmer months, I usually rotate between pastas loaded up with whatever veggies I can grab at the farmer's market and bright, crunchy salads. But as soon as winter arrives (and especially when it's in full swing, snowstorms and all), I opt for meals that are as warm and comforting as they are simple to make: think tray bakes (yes, more pasta), soul-soothing soups, and spicy, tomato-y shakshuka.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

As far as I’m concerned, you won't find a better bang for your buck in terms of flavor, texture, and all around comfort than shakshuka. Common throughout the Middle East, this hearty breakfast dish—eggs simmered in a stew of tomatoes, peppers, spices, and herbs—has North African origins and is hugely popular in Israel. The tomato sauce is flavorful and warming, the eggs are halfway between sunny side up and poached, and the whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes.

I'll eat shakshuka any time of day or night with hunks of fresh bread or warmed-up pita, but it's especially delicious as breakfast or brunch. I'll often whip up a batch on chilly weekend mornings or when I have friends or family staying with me, which happens a lot during the holidays. (Although my apartment is tiny as can be, its prime location makes it worth the cramped accommodations for anyone I know that wants to visit NYC. Plus, breakfast is complimentary.)

The basic method for the shakshuka I typically make is as straightforward as it gets, and mostly features ingredients I already have stocked in my pantry: eggs, harissa (a North African chili paste), spices, and a few cans of high-quality diced or crushed tomatoes. Cook down the tomatoes, spices, plus garlic (and peppers if you have them on hand), until everything is nice and stewy; make a few little indentations in the sauce and plop an egg in each (if it's just me I'll do two eggs, and up to six per batch for a crowd); then put the lid on and let the eggs cook until the whites are firm and the yolk is still runny. Once the eggs are set, serve everything alongside a savory, sauce-absorbing vehicle of your choosing: pita, country bread, couscous, or rice are all perfect platemates.

If you feel like experimenting, try playing around with herb and spice combinations, or different types of canned tomatoes. For something smokier, swap in fire-roasted tomatoes and sprinkle fresh cilantro over the finished product. For a tangy and creamy version, dollop yogurt or labneh on top. For something totally different, try mixing in coconut milk and lentils. You can even depart from shakshuka altogether and give one of its cousins, like eggs in purgatory (a similar Italian dish made with tomato sauce and red pepper flakes), a try. Once you've got a handle on the basics, it's pretty impossible to take a wrong turn. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll turn to this dish all the time.

If you're in need of some inspiration, check out a few of my favorite shakshuka variations below:


The Classics


With a kick


With a Twist

What's your favorite way to serve shakshuka? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with Muir Glen—makers of premium, organic tomato products grown in California's Sacramento Valley, aka our go-to canned tomatoes—we're excited to share all the ways we holiday. From make-ahead appetizers to dinner table show-stoppers, you can look forward to party-ready recipes that are even easier (and tastier!) when you bring a few cans of Muir Glen tomatoes into the mix.

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