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Eggplant (Aubergine) Shakshuka

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Shakshuka is a delicious, Middle Eastern egg dish that consists of poached eggs cooked within in a tomato sauce, with extras like garlic, peppers, onion, spices and herbs. It is traditionally served within a skillet.

This recipe adds some eggplant (aubergine) that adds some extra stodge to the dish whilst adding other extra vegetables for an extra health kick.

If you’re looking for a tasty meal you can cook on a whim, then this eggplant shakshuka recipe is perfect.

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka (also known as shakshouka) is a dish that is thought to originate from Tunisia, but is popular in many Middle Eastern and North African cuisines.

It consists of a poached egg cooked within a tomato sauce, peppers, onions, garlic and other ingredients. Seasonings like chili powder, paprika, garlic and cumin are commonly used seasonings, but these can differ depending on the recipe.

These spices come together to create a flavorful, but necessarily spicy, dish.

I’d consider it flavorful spicy, not hot spicy. Though you can always add cayenne pepper if you’d like to heat it up.

Traditional recipes keep the ingredients basic and are unlikely to use eggplant or aubergine for example. Cheese is also a more common ingredient that is used more nowadays that wouldn’t be used traditionally.

This eggplant shakshuka differs from a traditional dish, but includes eggplant and spinach, as well as uses some cinnamon for some extra flavor.

Why You Need to Try This Eggplant Shakshuka

This eggplant shakshuka recipe is simple, delicious and excellent if you’re on a budget.

It can be on the table ready within 30 minutes. Shakshuka itself can quite light, so the extra addition of eggplant (aubergine) adds some extra substance to the recipe. Along with the extra spinach, you can get 5 different veggies into one dish. 

The eggs also ensure a good amount of protein within the diet, without resorting to eating any more meat.

It’s made out of ingredients you can most likely have already in your pantry, with only a few ingredients that go off quickly (peppers, spinach, eggplant, eggs). If you’re in a pinch and need to make a dish on the fly, you know you can whip this eggplant shakshuka up within 30 minutes.

It works for all meals of the day, whether as a breakfast, brunch, lunch or light dinner. It has great versatility and if you have any leftover meat, veggies or other ingredients you need to get rid of, you can easily throw them in.

Eggplant Shakshuka Ingredients

To make this eggplant shakshuka, you’ll need the following ingredients to serve 2 people:

  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Onions – 1 
  • Red peppers – 1
  • Garlic clove – 1
  • Eggplant (aubergine) – 1
  • Canned chopped tomatoes – 2 cans/800g
  • Eggs – 4
  • Paprika – 2 tsp
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Parsley – small bunch
  • Spinach – ⅔ cups (50g)
  • Any crusty, wholemeal bread – 2 slices (optional)

A wide, squat, crusty loaf is traditional, but nobody will bat an eye if you prefer pita, ciabatta, a French baguette, or even a sourdough

Ingredient Substitutions for Eggplant Shakshuka

Sweet Paprika or Smoked Paprika for Paprika. Each has a different flavor and brings some different to the dish, but they all work really well. Use cayenne pepper for an extra kick or sweet paprika for a sweeter flavor.

Chilis for Chili Powder. Chili powder is a seasoning blend of ground dried chilis and other spices. If you don’t have chili powder on hand, you can just dice 1 chili instead and add with the onions and peppers.

Any Choice of Bread. We always recommend having some type of bread with shakshuka so that you can mop up all the delicious sauce at the end. Traditionally shakshuka is served with a crusty loaf of bred, but in reality any type of bread works, whether that’s pita, ciabatta or even sourdough. If you’re really struggling, you can even try a tortila or bagel, as long as you can mop up those juices.

Other Herbs for Parsley. Parsley originates from the Mediterranean basin and is often used in Mediterranean, Northern African and Turkish cuisines. It is used within a traditional shakshuka however, different herbs work just as well whilst bringing their own flavors.

Parsley has a more bitter, grassy flavor that can brighten up savory dishes. Cilantro has a stronger flavor than parsley, with a strong herby lemongrass like flavor whereas a herb like basil can add a minty freshness.

Spinach. Spinach isn’t a traditional ingredient served with shakshuka but is often used in a green shakshuka. We love adding it in for the extra color and health kick it gives the dish, but if you’re not a fan, feel free to leave it out. 

What Can You Add to a Eggplant Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a versatile dish. If you’re looking to use up any leftover meat or vegetables, then they can easily be added in.

Some of the best additions to bulk out the dish include:

  • Red meat like chorizo, bacon or ham – if you’re looking for an indulgence than these can be added. Chorizo in particular works very well. If you’re on a health kick, these might not be the best due to their high saturated fat content.
  • Cheese like feta or goats cheese – these are another way to make a more indulgent shakshuka, but the extra dairy also adds some extra protein to the dish.
  • White fish like cod or haddock – many people don’t like the taste of fish, but it’s recommended to be eaten 1-2x a week. Adding it with all the shakshuka flavors is a great way to enjoy it.
  • Beans (black beans, red kidney beans etc) and legumes (chickpeas, lentils) – if you’re looking for a high-protein dish without adding meat, adding beans and legumes is great.
  • Herbs (coriander, basil, parsley) – we recommend mint in this dish, but different herbs can bring out different flavors within the recipe. Try experimenting and see what works for you.
  • Vegetables (particularly peas, green beans or broccoli) – if you have some extra vegetables to use up, this is the recipe to use them in. Green vegetables can also add some lovely color to it.
  • Harissa – if you’re looking for an extra kick, then adding some extra harissa is perfect.
  • Potato wedges

Remember: Shakshuka literally means “mixed.” It invites invention and kitchen-sink-iness. If you can put it in an omelette, you can put it in shakshuka.

What to Serve with Shakshuka

If you really want to put on a special meal, you can try these side dishes alongside it.

How to Make Eggplant Shakshuka

Step 1 – Add the olive oil to a pan and heat at a medium temperature.

Step 2 – Dice the onions and peppers and cut the eggplant (aubergine) into small cubes.

Step 3 – Add the onions, peppers, and spinach to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 4 – Crush the garlic. Add the paprika, cumin, chili powder and garlic and cook for an extra minute until fragrant. 

Step 5 – Add the canned chopped tomatoes, season and bring the tomatoes to a simmer. Bubble for 8-10 minutes until thick. Stir in half of the parsley. 

Step 6 – Using a spoon or spatula, create 4 spaces in the tomato sauce. Crack an egg into each and spoon some of the tomato sauce onto the egg yolk. Depending on the size of your pan, you can use more or less.

Step 7 – Put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking. Cook your eggs for less time if you don’t like runny eggs and more if you prefer yolks cooked through.

Since eggs cook even with residual heat, you don’t want to keep them in the pan for too long. Look for opaque whites and yolk that has risen a little. The eggs should jiggle a little if you shake the pan. 

Step 8 – Scatter the remaining parsley leaves and serve with bread of your choice. 

Yield: 2

Eggplant Shakshuka

Eggplant Shakshuka

This shakshuka with eggplant (aubergine) recipe is packed with
vegetables and spices that make for a healthy, yet filling breakfast, brunch or
dinner. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all those delicious sauces.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cups/800g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ⅔ cups (50g) spinach
  • Small bunch parsley
  • 2 slices of any crusty bread (optional)

Instructions

Step 1 - Add the olive oil to a pan and heat at a medium temperature.

Step 2 - Meanwhile, dice the onions and peppers, cut the eggplant (aubergine)into small cubes.

Step 3 - Add the onions, peppers, eggplant and spinach into a pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 4 - Crush the garlic. Add the paprika, cumin, chili powder and garlic and cook for an extra minute until fragrant.

Step 5 - Add the canned chopped tomatoes, season and bring the tomatoes to a simmer. Bubble for 8-10 minutes until thick. Stir in half of the parsley. 

Step 6 - Using a spoon or spatula, create 4 spaces in the tomato sauce. Crack an egg into each and spoon some of the tomato sauce onto the egg yolk. Depending on the size of your pan, you can use more or less.

Step 7 - Put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Step 8 - Scatter the remaining parsley leaves and serve with bread of your choice.

Notes

  • Serve shakshuka immediately, as the eggs continue to cook from the the residual heat. 
  • Shakshuka isn't ideal to keep for leftovers, since the heats will cook during the reheating process. However, since it's a recipe that can be scaled up easily since everything it cooked with one pan, sometimes it's a sacrifice that's sometimes worth making! 
  • You can also cook the eggs in the oven. Simply remove the led, put the pan in the oven and broil the eggs until your liking.
  • Nutrition Information

    Serving Size

    2

    Amount Per Serving Calories 493Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 327mgSodium 489mgCarbohydrates 60gFiber 17gSugar 24gProtein 24g
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