Merguez Shakshuka features just-set eggs simmered in a rich tomato sauce with creamy feta cheese and fresh parsley. Add this savory, meaty brunch recipe to your routine and your friends will thank you!
Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern egg dish often enjoyed for breakfast or brunch. It features the umami flavors of simmered tomato sauce, tender poached eggs, and fragrant spices.
And the best part about shakshuka is how easy it is to customize. From extra vegetables to replacing the tomato sauce with herbs, it’s easy to spice up your homemade shakshuka with any of your favorite flavors.
Shakshuka is enjoyed throughout the Middle East in its various forms (they can actually vary quite a bit!). So to bring a bit more North African flavor to the dish, I added browned merguez sausage. I rounded it out with a sprinkle of fresh feta cheese on top for the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and creamy.
And in case you’re wondering – yes, there are many ways to spell shakshuka. Other common spellings are shakshouka or chakchouka.
Where does shakshuka originate?
The origins of shakshuka are disputed (contentiously so!). Though in North America, the dish is generally credited to be from Israel, and while the dish is certainly very popular in Israel, historians have three major theories as to its actual origins:
- The dish originated in Ottoman Turkey, before spreading to Spain and the Middle East
- Shakshuka originated in Morocco
- The dish is a variation taken from Yemeni cuisine.
The word shakshuka itself is Magherbi Arabic (that is, the Arabic spoken in places like Morocco and Tunisia), and translates to “a mixture”.
How to make Merguez Shakshuka
While this dish certainly looks (and tastes) impressive, it’s surprisingly easy to make. And you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.
Start making your sausage shakshuka by building the flavors of the tomato sauce. The merguez itself is highly flavorful, so you don’t need many extra seasonings for this recipe. Start by browning the sausage in the skillet. Break it up into crumbles and let them brown on all sides. Then remove the meat from the skillet. There will be a bit of grease left in the pan, which you will use to finish cooking the sauce, but you only need a few tablespoons.
From here, sauté minced garlic and a dash of paprika. Add in canned tomatoes to build the sauce and let it simmer a bit to develop the flavours.
What is Merguez Sausage
Merguez is a Moroccan spiced lamb sausage. It’s full of flavour, and slightly spicy, thanks to the mixture of harissa and cumin use to prepare it. In terms of is shape, merguez is long and thin. Though it originates in North Africa, Merguez is very popular in France. Growing up, it was one of my favourite things to eat!
How to add eggs to shakshuka
When the sauce is seasoned to your liking, it’s time to add the eggs. The best way to add eggs to tomato sauce is to start by using the back of a wooden spoon to make 6 shallow wells in the sauce, leaving a few inches of space between. Then, one at a time, gently crack the eggs into the wells. To avoid breaking the yolks or splashing the sauce, lower the eggs as close as possible to the sauce. (Don’t worry bestie…this process stays the same whether or not you have had added merguez to your shakshuka.)
When all of your eggs are in, sprinkle the skillet with feta. Then cover the pan and let it simmer. For soft-cooked yolks, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. You can cook for up to 10 to 12 minutes for hard-cooked yolks. To check that your eggs are cooked, uncover the skillet. The whites should be fully set. Gently tap a yolk. It should jiggle a bit.
You can serve shakshuka for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s easy to scoop right out of the skillet you made it in! I know, I know…eggs = breakfast, right? Well, not really. While here in North America, we generally associate egg dishes as breakfast recipes, in the Middle East, shakshuka is often eaten for lunch or even dinner.
Round out the meal with a side of crusty bread, flatbread, or pita. For a heartier option, you can also serve the eggs and tomato sauce over a bed of grains – I’d suggest trying it with farro!
Enjoy this flavorful, easy and satisfying shakshuka with merguez sausage at your next brunch get-together, or for a quick weeknight dinner, and you won’t be disappointed!
You can store shakshuka by refrigerating it in an airtight container for up to one week. You can reheat it over the stove on a low heat setting. Ideally, if you’re planning to make-ahead, you would prepare everything up to the point where you add the eggs. Then you would add the eggs in to poach when you are re-heating the recipe to serve.
(The reason for this is that you don’t want overdone eggs!)
I don’t recommend freezing shakshuka. It just doesn’t thaw nicely.
More Middle Eastern recipes
If merguez shakshuka sounds like something you might love, then you should definitely check out these other Middle Eastern flavours!
- Traditional Shakshuka
- Kunafah (Middle Eastern Cheese Pastry)
- Pastilla (Moroccan Chicken Pie)
- Cilbir (Turkish Eggs in Spiced Yoghurt)
- Chicken with Cumin, Tahini, and Burnt Onions
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Rejoice, bestie! This is a simple recipe that doesn’t require any specialized equipment. Providing you have a good skillet, you are good to go!
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Have you ever tried a merguez shakshuka before? Or did you try this recipe? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.Print