Shakshuka is a Tunisian dish of baked eggs. I love it because it’s super versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you don’t have access to harissa (a super hot and delicious Tunisian chilli paste) there’s a recipe to make your own or see the variations for alternatives.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes

2 red bell peppers (capsicum), chopped
1 jar tomato pasta sauce (1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon Harissa (optional)
4 eggs
handful labneh or other soft cheese (optional)
1 bag baby spinach

1. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in a large fry pan. Add peppers and cooks, stirring every now and then until they are soft. Between 5-10 minutes.

2. Add tomato sauce and harissa (if using). Bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and more harissa if you prefer it hotter.

3. Break the eggs into the sauce. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny.

4. Serve eggs and sauce on a bed of baby spinach with cheese scattered over (if using) and lashings of black pepper.


no harissa? – any hot sauce, chilli paste, or finely chopped fresh red chilli can be used, just be careful not to add too much. Harissa is well worth making from time to time. See the recipe here.

carnivore – add bacon, salami, ham, chorizo, proscuitto or spicy sausage with the peppers.

not hot – reduce or skip the harissa. Still a really lovely dish.

vegan / egg-free – replace the eggs with a drained can of beans. And replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds or pine nuts.

dairy-free – replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds, pine nuts or some smashed avocado.

short on time – skip the peppers or use pre-roasted peppers.

more substantial – serve with hot buttered sourdough toast, flat bread or tortillas.

more substantial (low carb) – extra eggs or cheese. Roast almonds.

keto / ultra low carb
– use 1/2 cup pasta sauce + replace peppers with zucchini. Replace labneh with mayo.

more veg – soften and onion with the peppers. Other possible additions include mushrooms, sliced zucchini or eggplant.

different cheese – ricotta, goats cheese, goats curd, shaved parmesan.

home made labneh – labneh is a ‘cheese’ made by straining yoghurt to remove some of the moisture. To make your own take natural plain yoghurt and place in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, tea towel, a cloth or other cloth that you’re happy to touch your food. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the liquid ‘whey’ refrigerate until the yoghurt is as thick as you like. I usually leave it 6-8 hours. The whey can be used for smoothies, fed to your pets (except if you have pet fish!) or I just drink it straight. The labneh will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

bell peppers (capsicum) – keep in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer grill and store in an airtight jar under oil. Or freeze them.

tomato pasta / harissa – keep in the pantry.

eggs – will keep in the fridge for a month or so. Or use for another meal.

labneh – will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.

baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.

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  • This was our first time trying the much discussed shakshuka. The whole family liked it! I made the non-hot version, and totally forgot to spinach. We topped it with crumbled feta that was left over from an earlier dish, and soft goat cheese for my non-lactose dude. It was filling and lovely and thanks so much for giving me an easy way to try it!

  • Hi Jules,

    So this was one of those stone soup recipes where I thought – hmm, spinach, capsicum and pasta sauce. This is going to taste bland and not be filling. I’m not sure if it is the simplicity but stone soup recipes often make me feel like this, and then prove to be otherwise. This was no exception.

    So, I went off to find the ingredients, I was lucky to get long bell peppers, which are sweet in taste. I also chose a puttanesca sauce for instant heat and threw in some chorizo I had left over (not veggie, but yummy).

    The end result was amazing. My other half who is a pasta addict, was amazed at the way the spinach replaced the role of pasta, providing the much needed “bite”. The flavour was great and it was really filling. This (after broccoli and chorizo (with egg rather than mayo)) is my new favour.

    For anyone that hasn’t tried this, please do. It is great and so simple.

  • Hi Jules
    In regards to making your own labneh, I have tried this a couple of times at home. It turns out great but when I have to store it in the fridge I usually put it in a glass jar covered with olive oil. I find the oil sets around the cheese and trying to retrieve some cheese is difficult without it breaking up in the oil. Any suggestions?

    • I don’t bother with the oil if I only want to store it for less than a week Kathryn. Which saves this problem.

      The other solution would be to get it out of the fridge 10 mins before you want to use it to allow the oil to warm a little.


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