Shakshuka with Sambal Oelek Paste

Shakshuka with Sambal Oelek Paste

Shakshuka has an interesting origin story. Originating in northern Africa, the savory egg dish was adopted by Israel, and today has become a staple Israeli breakfast. The name roughly translates to “all mixed up,” which points to how easily this dish can be customized. And this shakshuka recipe takes full advantage of the dish’s versatility.

How to spice up your Shakshuka Recipe

We went beyond the traditional shakshuka ingredients like peppers, onions and tomato sauce. Our shakshuka gets its unique and complex flavor from Sky Valley® Whole30-approved Sambal Oelek Paste.

Sambal oelek paste is a condiment more commonly found in South Asia than Israel. Yet its primary flavors, spicy red peppers and garlic, complement shakshuka quite well. The sambal oelek blends right in with the dish’s foundational flavors, built from softened onions and peppers and flavorful canned tomatoes. This flavor base also keeps the door open for further experimentation with toppings.

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That’s what’s great about this dish. It can be totally customized to each person’s tastes. A fun way to serve shakshuka is to make a big batch and set it out family-style with plenty of toppings for everyone to dress their dinner however they like. We love a mix of fresh herbs to start. Mint, oregano, thyme, basil, chives and really whatever else you have on hand all offer brightness to the dish. Thinly sliced avocado also provides more body and creaminess. Same goes for fresh crumbled feta. Sprinkle some over your shakshuka just a minute or two before serving and the cheese will melt wonderfully into the rich tomato sauce.

Not only is shakshuka incredibly versatile, it also offers plenty of protein and healthy fats, yet this recipe is both Whole30-approved and vegetarian! Though it’s common on Israeli breakfast tables, I’ve been known to enjoy shakshuka at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s so easy to whip up in less than 30 minutes and satisfies everyone’s hunger and dietary preferences. It’s really an ideal party food. Why not mix up a batch with plenty of toppings for a brunch with friends?

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Ingredients for Shakshuka Recipe

  • ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • ½ tsp Kosher salt

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tbsp Sky Valley® Sambal Oelek Paste

  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 14-oz can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 cup kale leaves, roughly chopped

  • 4 eggs

  • Feta, for topping, optional

  • Fresh herbs, for topping, optional

  • Sliced avocado, for topping, optional

  • Crusty toasted bread for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red bell pepper and cook until the pepper softens and onions begin to caramelize, about 7 more minutes. 

  2. Stir in garlic, paprika, and sambal oelek paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add both cans of tomatoes, stir well, and bring sauce to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. 

  4. Stir the chopped kale into the tomato sauce. Then make 4 small wells in the sauce and gently crack an egg into each well. Cover the skillet and cook for 6-7 minutes, until the egg whites set and the yolk is still soft. You can cook for longer if you like a firmer egg yolk. 

  5. Top with feta, herbs, and/or sliced avocado and serve with crusty toasted bread on the side.