White bean shakshuka is similar to the classic Middle Eastern poached eggs in a tomato and pepper stew. In this recipe, white beans and charred vegetables lend this one-pan breakfast or dinner smoky depth and richness.
Chances are you may already be familiar with shakshuka, the Middle Eastern breakfast-for-dinner classic composed of eggs gently poached in a skillet of simmering tomatoes and onion. Trust us, you’re not familiar with this rendition, which lends a smoky and hearty depth to the familiar thanks to white beans and charred vegetables. An already soul-satisfying staple made even more enticing.–Angie Zoobkoff
White Bean Shakshuka
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- One (28-oz) can diced tomatoes undrained
- One (15-oz) can white beans drained and rinsed
- 4 to 6 large eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Set a largish skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool before grinding them in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle.
- In the same skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the bell pepper and onion in an even layer, then do not be tempted to stir or fuss with them. Let them cook, undisturbed, until the bottom side gets a dark char, 3 to 4 minutes. Then give everything a quick stir and continue to cook until nearly all of the peppers and onions are blackened in parts. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the ground spices, paprika, and salt to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Carefully add the tomatoes and their juices as they may spatter. Bring to a simmer and then stir in the white beans. Return to a simmer and then reduce the heat until the mixture holds at a bare bubble now and again. Simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Using the back of a spoon, create a little indentation in the tomato mixture for each of the eggs you plan to cook. Then carefully crack them into the tomato mixture. Add a bit of salt and black pepper to each egg and then cover the skillet with a lid (or, if you can’t find the matching lid, use a baking sheet or even the bottom of a large saucepan). Cook over low heat until the eggs are done to your liking, 5 to 7 minutes for soft, runny eggs. If you like the yolks more well done, you may want to gently spoon some of the sauce over the yolk.
- Sprinkle with the fresh herbs and feta. Serve immediately, preferably scooped straight from the skillet.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve often wanted to make Shakshuka, namely whenever I saw the photos of eggs perfectly nestled in a tomatoey veggie stew. It always sounded good, but also a bit intimidating. So when this recipe came along, it gave me the perfect excuse to finally try it. I had obviously never read through the recipes to realize how unintimidating this dish really is.
It was very easy to make and I was also super surprised at how rich and filling this dish was on its own. The white beans, no doubt, helped with making this meal more filling. The eggs look so pretty floating on the bright red sauce (I only used 4 eggs since I was only cooking for the 2 of us, but my skillet could easily have held 6 eggs.)
The feta added the perfect complement to this dish, lending a creamy, salty tang to each bite. I could easily see some kalamata olives and even some garlic added to this sauce the next time. All that was required to complete this yummy dinner was a good bread for dunking into the flavorful spiced sauce and a side of steamed broccoli. Done!
Shakshuka heals and energizes you—a wonderful unpretentious meal to enjoy after a long tiring day. (I love Emiko Davies’ Acquacotta. This is a spiced version of it.) The fragrant spices and the smell of pepper and onion sizzling immediately start to rejuvenate your soul and in no time you’ll be sitting down being comforted by a delicious hot dinner that almost cooks itself.
I loved the combination of the aromatic seeds and smoked paprika and the salty feta is fabulous with softly cooked eggs. I served it with thick slices of multigrain country bread for scooping and cleaning up the bowls. To speed up this one-skillet dish even further, you can prep and weigh the beans, eggs, cilantro, and cheese while cooking the onion and pepper or simmering shakshuka.
This recipe is the first time that I successfully convinced my 8- and 9-year-old children to try “runny eggs.” The sauce was so tasty that they didn’t mind (and dare I say enjoyed) the eggs! I will make this dish again and again.
This Shakshuka recipe is so hearty and filling as compared to other shakshuka recipes that do not include beans. The beans make it a complete meal good enough to eat for dinner. And who doesn’t love to eat “breakfast for dinner?”
The charred onions and peppers make for a smokey almost “fire-roasted” taste without the use of actual fire or a broiler. The spices develop a deep rich flavor that tastes like it has been simmering for hours when the whole dish from start to finish only takes about 35 minutes!
If you do not own a spice grinder or do not want to purchase whole seeds just to try this recipe, go ahead and use pre-ground spices in the amount indicated in the recipe plus an extra 1/4 teaspoon and add them at the beginning of Step 3.
I used cilantro leaves and they made the whole dish so fresh tasting and pretty to boot!
Consistency wise, I am going to dice both the peppers and the onions next time so that all of the “pieces” in the recipe are about the same size (tomatoes, beans, feta, peppers and onions). I found the slices of peppers and onion to be a bit stringy.
Both my husband and I thought that this dish made a very satisfying supper. It was hearty, warming, flavorful, and quite healthy. I made it with 4 eggs and we each had 2 eggs. The leftover beans, tomatoes, and peppers made delicious lunches a couple days in a row. It’s possible that the 2-day-old lunch tasted better (although maybe I was hungrier).
I used a 10-inch skillet, which accommodated everything quite nicely. If I had used 6 eggs, it would have been a bit overfull.
As we like our eggs a little more set, they cooked for longer as well. At 6 minutes the whites weren’t completely set yet, so perhaps I needed to turn the heat up.
We love shakshuka for dinner and I have made many different versions over the years. This one interested me because of the beans. It did not disappoint! The smoky, spicy flavor of the vegetables went beautifully with the tanginess of the feta.
The other nice thing is it was quite quick to make, which is something I love for weeknight cooking. I was able to do all the prep work ahead of time in 15 minutes, and then I picked up with the cooking portion after our evening walk and it took about a half hour. Great quick meal with plenty of satisfying flavor.
This served 2 of us for dinner. No leftovers.
I roasted the spices in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. It takes some willpower to leave the peppers and onions alone but after the initial 3 to 4 minutes there was some charring on the onions. After 10 minutes, the peppers were starting to soften, but they weren’t charred by any means, that’s why my dish didn’t look like the photo, it wasn’t as dark.
The timing in the rest of the recipe was correct, it took 6 minutes for the eggs to be set but the yolk was still runny.
Originally published February 02, 2019
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
My husband is a Shakshuka connoisseur and the head Shakshuka maker in our house. I decided to surprise him and make this recipe knowing a brutally honest review would be forthcoming. Two bites in, he said “Wow.” Five bites in, he said “This is a 10 and the best I’ve ever had.” He wished it was spicier, so I sprinkled a little cayenne on top and he was very, very happy.
I made this in a 10 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet and it just fit. I would not go any smaller. I used 5 eggs but 6 will fit. I recommend using the high-end of medium-high to get a good char on the peppers and onions. The feta and parsley is a nice finish and the dish looked very delicious. I served this with a crusty bread.
This is a great football Sunday dish so make it for your guy!