Aubergine Shakshuka, a flavourful vegetarian breakfast or brunch recipe made with poached eggs in a chunky tomato and bell pepper sauce with hearty aubergines, seasoned nicely to create a perfect one-pot dish that goes down well with absolutely everyone. Serve it with crusty bread for a feast fit for a king!
What is shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish consisting of poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce. The addition of aubergines (eggplant) makes it hearty and filling, and even more flavourful.
It's a great vegetarian option for breakfast, brunch, or even a light lunch or dinner, and can be easily customised to cater for all tastes. While a more traditional recipe calls for spices like cumin and chilli pepper, it can also be made with any other spices you have around.
I opted for dried herbs, paprika and fresh parsley for a more Mediterranean touch, but feel free to add anything else that takes your fancy.
This shakshuka is a great brunch idea for Mother's Day or any other celebration throughout the year.
- aubergines - eggplant in the USA, I used 2 medium-sized ones
- tomatoes - I used fresh tomatoes on the vine
- onion - either regular onion, red or even shallots
- oil - I used vegetarian oil, but olive oil can be used too
- red bell pepper - or any other colours
- seasoning and spices - salt, pepper, paprika and dried herbs
- fresh parsley
- eggs - for poaching in the sauce
If you prefer a bit more heat, you can also add cayenne pepper or any other chilli peppers, either ground or fresh. Regular sweet paprika can be swapped for smoked paprika or hot paprika.
Parsley can be swapped for coriander/cilantro. Also, you can add a touch of cumin or any other spices for a more Middle Eastern touch.
Fresh tomatoes can be replaced with tinned tomatoes- either chopped or plum tomatoes - although I might add a bit of sugar to balance the acidify of the tinned tomatoes.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- heat up half of the oil in a large pan, and add half of the chopped aubergines
- fry them until golden, remove from the pan, and fry the remaining aubergines
- remove them from the pan and set aside
- in the same pan, add the remaining oil, and fry the onion until golden
- add the garlic and pepper cut julienne and leave it to cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften slightly
- add the chopped tomatoes, give everything a good stir, add the seasoning and herbs, and leave it to cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are mushy
- return the aubergines to the pan, mixed everything well, then make 3 nests into the sauce and crack the eggs in
- place a lid on the pan and leave the eggs to poached until the egg white is cooked, but the yolk is still runny
- add the chopped fresh parsley, and serve immediately
While this might not be the quickest dish - it takes around an hour to cook, it's definitely worth every single second spent cooking it. I highly recommend using a non-stick pan to cook this dish, as the sauce might stick to the bottom of the pan otherwise.
I chose to fry the aubergines, but you can also baked them - simply chop them the same way, transfer to a roasting pan, drizzle some oil over, and leave them to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Then just start making the sauce with frying the onions, and follow the exact same steps from here - this is a good option, but it's entirely up to you.
What to serve shakshuka with?
A nice bread is essential as far as I am concerned - and luckily I have lots of nice bread recipes on my blog that you can try. My first option would be my super easy Crusty White Bread, which uses basic bread ingredients.
For a more Middle Eastern touch, you can serve it with flatbread, my recipe uses yogurt and no yeast added at all.
Other aubergine recipes
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- 2 aubergines
- 6 medium tomatoes on the vine
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup vegetarian oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup water
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan and heat it up.
- Chop the aubergines leaving the skin on, and add half of them to the pan.
- Fry until golden, stirring occasionally.
- Remove them from the pan, add more oil, and fry the remaining aubergines.
- When they are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Add the rest of the oil to the pan, the onion chopped finely, and fry it on a medium heat until golden.
- Add the red pepper cut julienne, and cook it for 3-4 minutes so that it can soften a bit.
- In go the tomatoes chopped into quarters, peeled and chopped garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and paprika.
- Give everything a good stir, and leave them to cook until the tomatoes are mushy - it can take up to 5 minutes.
- Add the water, place the lid on, and leave it to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Return the aubergines to the pan, mix well, then make 3 nests into the sauce, and crack the eggs in.
- Place a lid on, and cook until the egg whites are cooked, but the yolks are still runny.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and extra black pepper if you wish, and serve immediately.
- I chose to fry the aubergines, but you can also baked them - simply chop them the same way, transfer to a roasting pan, drizzle some oil over, and leave them to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- Then just start making the sauce with frying the onions, and follow the exact same steps from here - this is a good option, but it's entirely up to you.