This post featuring my gluten-free shakshuka recipe features affiliate links.
Where are my shakshuka fans?
I love shakshuka and had my first shakshuka experience in Israel three years ago. We went to this small restaurant and ordered the dish on whim. It was marked gluten-free and my friend (who is also gluten-free) suggested we try it.
When it arrived, we were so excited. It was bubbling from just being cooked, and the smell was oh-so intoxicating.
We each took a bite, loved it, and dug in to see who could get the most bites in before it was gone.
Over the course of our 10 day trip in Israel, we ordered shakshuka a few other times. It is that good, yes!
Now that I’m back in Colorado, and doing the Whole30 challenge, I decided I would try to recreate this aromatic dish at home.
The recipe calls for very simply ingredients – except for one key ingredient that is a little more challenging to find. That ingredient is harissa.
Harissa is a hot sauce or paste that is used in North African and Mediterranean dishes. It’s made from crushed chili peppers, paprika and olive oil, among other spices. It’s spicy hot, but so good! A little goes a long way.
You honestly don’t need to overthink this gluten-free shakshuka recipe either. All you need is a few vegetables, harissa paste, jarred marinara sauce and eggs.
How Do You Make Shakshuka?
To make shakshuka, you’ll want to saute a few vegetables in a large rimmed saucepan over medium high heat. Use a litte avocado oil to help bring out the flavors and cook the vegetables nicely. I think red peppers, portobello mushrooms and onions make the best combination for shakshuka, but you honestly could add any vegetables you have on hand including diced zucchini, eggplant or carrots.
The next step is to add the harissa paste and jarred marinara sauce. Let the mixture bubble together. The smell will be incredible!
Then you’ll want to create small little divots inside the sauce… and then crack the eggs inside each divot.
Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the eggs are poached to your liking. Some people will even put the pan in the oven to finish cooking, although I think that step is unnecessary. The eggs will cook if cover the pan and give it a little time.
You can sprinkle a little Kosher salt and pepper on top, if you like, before digging in.
Every bite will be full of spicy flavors. A little harissa goes a long way, so start with about one tablespoon, and add more if you want it really spiy.
Keep some water nearby after you eat this. The heat will definitely make you thirst for something to help you cool off.
When to Make Shakshuka
I love to make shakshuka on a weekend morning when I have a little more time to play in the kitchen. That said, it can be enjoyed any day of the week for breakfast, and even for dinner too!
You will really impress your friends if you make it for your next brunch gathering, too. It truly is the perfect potluck dish.
This dish is naturally gluten-free, but of course you’ll want to check ingredient labels. Some jarred marinara sauces contain gluten. Also, if you’re making this Whole30 compliant, check that your marinara sauce does not contain any of the forbidden ingredients like sugar and soy. I found most Muir Glen flavors to be Whole30 compliant, as is the Organics brand at Safeway.
Gluten-Free Shakshuka Recipe
Shakshuka is a tradition Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dish that is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and busting at the seams with amazing flavors. This dish is Whole30 compliant (use compliant jarred sauce with no sugar, no gluten, no soy) and delicious any day of the week (although I love making it on the weekend when I have a little more time to cook).
- 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 5-6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-3 tsp. harissa or hot chili paste, to taste (I used Trader Joe's Traditional Tunisian Harissa paste)
- 20 ounces jarred spaghetti sauce (about 3/4 of a jar, more if you like your sauce thinner)
- 4-6 large eggs
- Ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat, then add onions and cook for 3 minutes until soft.
Add mushrooms and red peppers to onion mixture and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Add harissa, to taste. (Harissa is very spicy, so add more or less depending on how how "hot" you want it.)
Turn heat to medium and add sauce. Blend all ingredients together well and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes longer, until sauce begins to slightly bubble/boil.
Using a spatula, create a small divot in the sauce, than crack an egg into that divot. Repeat this process until all the eggs have been placed inside the sauce mixture.
Cook, uncovered for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook covered, on low, for 3-6 minutes, depending on how cooked you want your eggs. (Soft eggs will take about 2 minutes, while hard-yolked eggs will take closer to 6-8 minutes).
Remove from heat, add fresh ground pepper on top, and serve.