This easy recipe for Shakshuka and Kofta meatballs has quickly become one of my favorites. It was the dish of choice for this years Mother's Day Brunch and was a real crowd pleaser. I always strive to create the best version of the dishes I make. In order to do so I start with the origins and variations. Let's dive right into my research and how I came up with this recipe for Shakshuka.
Origins of Shakshuka
According to wikipedia, Shakshuka derives from the Northwestern part of Africa, known as the Arab Maghreb. This area consists of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. It has a few different spellings such as Shakshouka, Chakchouka, Shakshouka, or Shakshuka, translating to 'Mixture' in Arabic.
The true origins of Shakshuka are possibly Moroccan, Tunisian, Turkish, or Yemeni, but nobody knows for certain.
One thing I do know for certain...an easy to make Shakshuka Recipe is a must in every kitchen!
What is Shakshuka
Shakshuka recipes have many different variations. While commonly served with no meat at all, some contain meat or have meat on the side. Many recipes are sweet, spicy, contain cheese, or again, use no cheese.
However, there are of course commonalities that make up this exquisite dish.
A traditional Shakshuka recipe is made up of a tomato sauce and olive oil with peppers, onions, garlic, spices and is then finished by poaching the eggs in the sauce.
What Spices go in Shakshuka
Just like any other recipe the spice blends are different from cook to cook but most commonly are a variation of Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Nutmeg, Coriander, Caraway, and Chili Powder.
Like I said before, theres many variations around meat and cheese as well. Some recipes contain Harissa, chorizo, parmesan, feta, goat, or sheep cheese.
So, I would say that when asking 'what's in Shakshuka', the answer is...it depends on your taste!
Shakshuka with Feta Recipe
For my particular taste, I wanted to make an easy Shakshuka recipe with feta cheese that had a decent heat level and contained meat.
I didn't want It overbearingly spicy. Just enough that you could feel the heat. It was also my goal to use a meat that would take this dish from a breakfast to brunch, lunch, or even dinner. After all, in Israel it is commonly served at any time of the day despite the main ingredient being eggs.
I chose to include a recipe for Kofta Meatballs as the meat for my Shakshuka. Kofta meatball recipes are very common in Middle eastern, Asian, and Northwestern African Cuisine. So I felt that a Moroccan Kofta Beef Recipe would be the best option for this particular dish.
So there you have it....Now I know you're probably like, okay get to the POINT!
How do YOU make Shakshuka?
Let's do this! First step is to prep the Kofta meatballs if you are wanting this to be a little heartier.
In a mixing bowl, simply hand mix lean ground beef with tallow, fresh parsley, cilantro, mint leaves, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, cayenne, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Now it's time to start working on the Shakshuka itself. Begin by finely dicing a red bell pepper and yellow onion. I personally like using this little gadget to do so. I can simply quarter the veggies, toss 'em in, give it a few little spins and BAM! DONE! It's truly magical.
Next, heat olive oil in a 12" cast Iron skillet over low heat. Add the diced pepper and onion mix to the skillet and sauté for about 20 minutes or until softened and becoming translucent. Be sure to stir the mixture every few minutes just to be sure everything is cooking evenly. Now add the garlic, stir to combine, and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
Its time to get it all flavored up! Stir in your Harissa, Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne, Chili Powder, Salt, Black Pepper, and fire roasted tomatoes until well combined. Bring the Shakshuka sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, form your meatballs on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Once the sauce has thickened up, add the feta cheese stirring as it melts, followed by the meatballs. Cover the skillet again and allow the meatballs to cook through. This step should only take about 10 minutes, however, at this point you can continue to let the Shakshuka simmer on low without any worries of overcooking.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to serve, add the eggs to skillet, cover, and allow the egg whites to cook leaving the yolks runny. They should only take about 5 minutes but just be sure to watch them.
There you have it! An amazingly delicious and easy recipe for Shakshuka with Kofta Meatballs.
Serve this on its own, with bread for dipping, or for the ultimate meal a side of air fryer potatoes.
Easy Recipe for Shakshuka with Kofta Meatballs
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 2 tablespoon Tallow
- ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- ¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro
- 5 Chopped Mint Leaves
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 tsps Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion - Diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - Diced
- 3 tsps Minced Garlic
- 28 Oz Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 8 Large Eggs
Kofta Meatballs (Step 1)
- In a mixing bowl, hand mix all of the ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Shakshuka (Step 1)
- Heat olive oil in a 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet over low heat.
- Add diced onion and bell pepper sautéing for about 20 minutes or until softened and becoming translucent.
- Stir in minced garlic and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add Spices, Harissa, and Roasted tomatoes, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes.
Kofta Meatballs (Step 2)
- Form the meatballs on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Shakshuka (Step 2)
- Stir in Feta cheese and add the formed meatballs.
- Cover and allow the meatballs to cook through, about 10 minutes.
- Add 6 large eggs, cover and poach for about 5 minutes or until egg whites have cooked through leaving the yolks runny.
- SERVE AND ENJOY!
There are many different variations and preferences when it comes to making Shakshuka. I truly hope that you, your family, and friends enjoy this one. Please don't hesitate to share the recipe if you have a second, unless of course you're going to keep it in your secret recipe box...then I completely understand.
Let us all know what you thought in the comments or if you made any adjustments. I would love to hear how YOU make Shakshuka!
Thank you for reading and as usual,
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