I had never heard of Shakshuka until I started following a bunch of instagram foodies. Then, all of a sudden, it was in my Insta feed…seemingly every day, all of the time, everywhere I looked. At first I was curious what it was, then I was intrigued about making it, then the other day I was like I HAVE TO MAKE THIS NOW!

So…that’s what I did.

However, I was so impatient about trying it that I didn’t want to wait and go to the store to buy all the ingredients. I had a full fridge, so it seemed silly to go buy some additional ingredients to make this one specific dish.

In true Emie fashion, I decided to make some substitutions and just go with the flow. I used a recipe for guidance but then used whatever I had and threw in some ingredients I wanted to use up or thought would be a tasty additional!

If you’re trying to make an authentic Shakshuka? Not the way to go. BUT if you’re trying to make something delicious and convenient – adding and substituting things that you have on hand is perfectly acceptable!


I used this NYT Recipe for inspiration. It is also a somewhat untraditional rendition of the dish, because it calls for feta crumbles on top. I love feta and had some on hand, so it was a perfect addition!


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped (wanted to use it up, so I threw it in)
  • 1 tiny clove of garlic (I have a garlic sensitivity and get stomach aches if I eat too much – feel free to add the 3 cloves the recipe calls for)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (didn’t have sweet paprika)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (we like spicy!)
  • 1 fresh tomato, diced + 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large leaves of chard, chopped finely (wanted to add greens and use them up)
  • salt + pep
  • healthy sprinkling of feta cheese (vegan? ditch the feta, it would still be tasty!)
  • 4 eggs
  • Homegrown chives & oregano for garnish (they use cilantro)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in cast iron pan. We didn’t have an onion so we skipped that step and jumped right in to the bell pepper. We cooked it for 10-15 minutes until soft. Then added zucchini and garlic, sautéing for 2 min and then added the cumin, paprika and cayenne. After a minute or two, add the tomatoes and season with salt & pepper.
  3. Simmer until tomatoes have thickened. NYT says 10 minutes but it took mine a little longer. I add the chard in right near the end to let the leaves soften. Then stir in the feta – we just eyeballed it, stirring in less than the recipe called for but still a healthy amount!
  4. Crack eggs in over the tomatoes, careful to note break the yolks, and season with more salt & pepper.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are just set. Recipe says 7-10 minutes but our egg whites were still jiggly when we moved the pan. We left it in another 5 minutes, checking periodically. When we removed ours, the yolks were a little harder than we would have liked, so next time we will remove ours a minute or two before we think they are done!
  6. Season with herbs and serve with hot sauce. We served ours with buttered sourdough toast – though pita or challah bread is more traditional!


Enjoy! We were ooohing and ahhing over every bite. It’s such a fun experiment to try a new recipe and realize you LOVE it. We will probably end up making this on a regular basis now! I encourage you to experiment and throw in what you have in the fridge – who knows, maybe you’ll like it even more than the traditional version of the dish!

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