Shakshuka (Shakshouka) by Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty Cookbook


I am really bad with cookbooks: I love them, but I never seem to find the time to use them. How nice would it be to have a pantry full of all the possible ingredients, then pick up a recipe at random and say “today I am going to cook / bake this!”.

Shakshuka (Shakshouka) by Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty Cookbook

The reality is that I am always busy and running around so my meal planning consists in whatsapping my husband at 6pm asking “what do you want for dinner?”. In 4 years of living together, he answered the question only a couple of times with something vague like “pasta?” (and a question mark to imply that he doesn’t really care, I can cook whatever I want). Yet I keep asking the question, it makes me feel like I’m not the one making the all food decisions in the house!

Shakshuka (Shakshouka) by Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty Cookbook

Anyway, long story short: last Saturday I decided to spend the day at home working on my blog, but then – like the great procrastinator that I am – I started thinking about baking a cake. I looked for a baking recipe on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook (spoiler: there aren’t any baking recipes) and this Shakshuka caught my attention.

Shakshuka (Shakshouka) by Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty Cookbook

I love middle eastern cuisine, which is becoming very popular here in London thanks to Ottolenghi’s recipes, restaurants like Honey & Co., Palomar and Arabica, and cookbooks like Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour.

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)

Also, my husband and I have started the #Whole30 program yesterday, so I’m on the lookout for exciting ways of cooking with eggs. Although this recipe is not strictly paleo or suitable for the Whole30 program because of the vegetable oil and muscovado sugar, it can be easily adapted for it.

This Shakshuka was a success and I’m certainly going to make it again. Having a lazy weekend brunch at home is such a treat, especially when you have a lovely husband that prepares you a delicious cup of coffee!

Brewing Coffee at Home with Chemex


  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 yellow and 1 red peppers, cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • salt
  • pepper

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)


In a very large pan dry-roast the cumin seeds on a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and onions and saute for 5 minutes.

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)

Add the peppers, sugar and herbs and continue cooking on a high heat for 5-10 minutes to get a nice colour.

Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The original recipe says to add water at this stage to obtain a pasta sauce consistency, but my tomatoes were already watery so I didn’t feel the need to add more liquid.

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)

Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavoursome. You can prepare this mix in advance.

Turn the heat to medium, then make gaps in the pepper mix and carefully break an egg into each gap. Sprinkle with salt and cover the pan with a lid.

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook) Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)

Cook on a very gentle heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. It’s a fine line between eggs that are still runny and eggs that are slightly overcooked.

Shakshuka (Shakshouka) by Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty Cookbook

Be careful not to overcook otherwise the peppers and tomatoes will burn at the bottom of the skillet.

Before serving, top the shakshuka with chopped parsley and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty Cookbook)

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  • Reply Valeria 14/10/2014 at 09:01

    I made it last night as I was looking for something warming to make my cold feel less crap…It worked! I love it. I am now curious to compare it with the recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. Both look perfect for an unusual brunch :) x

  • Reply Thalia @ butter and brioche 14/10/2014 at 21:09

    I love shakshuka.. but I have not made it myself before! Definitely a recipe that I must recreate, this looks utterly delicious, comforting and hearty. Perfect for the weather right now here in Australia!

  • Reply frugalfeeding 15/10/2014 at 09:13

    What colours! Amazing. I still haven’t tried an Ottolenghi recipe. I need to!

  • Reply mehrunnisa yusuf (@comeconella) 15/10/2014 at 11:16

    i love shakshuka. it doubles up as dinner as well in our house. i never bother with a recipe because i simple use what is in my vegetable drawer. i love that it is so forgiving! x

  • Reply Chelie in TX (@ChelieinTX) 23/10/2014 at 15:50

    Is the sugar really necessary? Has anyone tried the recipe without it, or maybe with less sugar?

    • Reply mondomulia 23/10/2014 at 16:01

      The sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes, but it is not mandatory, you can make this dish without it.

  • Reply Ila 10/12/2014 at 14:18

    For your next trip…try a place called “Dr.Shakshuka” in Yafo, Tel Aviv! The real place for the real Shakshuka ;)

    • Reply mondomulia 10/12/2014 at 14:20

      Thanks! I would love to visit Tel Aviv and Israel!

  • Reply Gail Platt 09/06/2015 at 08:50

    Would like to try the authentic version in Tel Aviv!

  • Reply Weekmenu Geitige Aardbei, kliekpasta & microwave meringues 15/06/2015 at 05:02

    […] Woensdag: Shakshuka volgens Yotam Ottolenghi Ik vind hem zelf extra lekker met wat feta, de standyoghurt* van Zuivelboerderij Brandwijk en wat sneetjes desembrood* van Jordy’s Bakery. […]

  • Reply Make Coffee at home with Barista Express + Nutella Brioche Croissants - Mondomulia 04/09/2015 at 14:33

    […] We usually make filter coffee on the AeroPress machine and eat a slice of bread with peanut butter on a working day, but when we have more time during the weekend we make a Chemex and maybe cook Shakshuka baked eggs. […]

  • Reply Sweet Potato Pancakes from NOPI cookbook 17/10/2015 at 10:16

    […] of my favourite Ottolenghi recipes ever are breakfast/brunch dishes (Shakshuka from Plenty – Chocolate Babka from Jerusalem), so of course the first recipe I tried from NOPI’s […]

  • Reply Giuseppe Saatchi 05/01/2016 at 00:12

    I love the combination of Tomato sauce and eggs! A couple of similar Greek recipes are “Avgo me Ntomata” (meaning egg and tomato) and Strapatsada! Obviously, feta cheese is added to the sauce:)

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  • Reply Baked Huevos Rancheros with British Lion Eggs, Refried Black Beans and Avocado 27/03/2017 at 17:06

    […] more egg recipes, check out my Menemen Turkish Eggs and Shakshuka […]

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    […] like it paired with this equally oomph-y shakshouka and some fresh baked/fried homemade […]

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    […] am a big fan of egg-based brunch dishes, such as shakshuka, menemen or huevos rancheros. They are easy to cook, filling and always – no matter what […]

  • Reply Elizabeth Adams 09/05/2021 at 09:40

    When cooking for a larger group; can you cook the dish in the oven by dividing the mixture into ceramic plates ?
    If so, how long and would you cover the dish ?

    Thx in advance Elizabeth

  • Reply Giulia Mulè 11/05/2021 at 11:57

    Yes, you can divide the sauce between several ceramic ramekins, then crack an egg or two in each one, and transfer to the oven for baking. Baking should be around 7 to 12 minutes, depending on how well cooked you want the egg. I have never tried the recipe in this way though, so I cannot advise on exact temperatures and timings…

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