This post featuring my Whole30 Shakshuka Chicken recipe contains affiliate links.
Traditional shakshuka is made by poaching eggs inside a spicy tomato sauce. If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend you try it. It’s a dish native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions – although many Americans enjoy it too.
I love eating shakshuka for breakfast. The only catch is it takes a bit of time to make. That’s why I mostly make it on the weekend or if I’m hosting people for brunch. It takes a little effort, but it has a huge payoff because you’ll get a flavorful and hearty breakfast. (Get my traditional shakshuka recipe.)
Given that shakshuka is so savory and delicious, I figured I should go ahead and make it for dinner one night during my Whole30 month. Believe it or not, all the ingredients are Whole30 compliant. You won’t find any weird ingredients here. This is a clean, whole-food recipe!
In making this dish, I encountered a few challenges – all easily overcome with some quick thinking:
The first challenge was finding a jarred marinara sauce that doesn’t contains things like soy or sugar, which are commonly found in jarred sauces but are Whole30 no-nos. I had to study the ingredient lists of a few brands, but honestly had no problem finding a few options at the grocery store. Muir Glen had compliant jarred marinara sauces, as did the Organics brand at Safeway. I stopped looking after that (although I’m sure other brands are compliant); I had what I needed.
The second challenge was finding harissa paste. Harissa paste is made from hot chili peppers and other spices and herbs. It’s not a commonly used ingredient in U.S. cooking (although I think it should be!), and it is an ESSENTIAL shakshuka ingredient. I was excited to see that Trader Joe’s had it – and they had a delicious harissa paste to boot! There are so many wonderful spices and seasonings in this one little jar – wow!
The final challenge was getting the chicken just right. Eggs are much more forgiving and poach well inside the sauce. However, I knew the chicken would turn out rubbery if I simply poached it raw inside the sauce. Instead of poaching the chicken in the sauce from a raw state, I decided to use my indoor grill pan and grill the chicken strips first.
Grilling the chicken gave the cooking process a head start. The chicken just cooked inside the sauce for a few minutes before it was ready to eat. The chicken was neither rubbery nor hard. It was, indeed, juicy!
As my family devoured the spicy shakshuka chicken dinner, I silently prayed they wouldn’t finish it all because I wanted to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. (Happy to say there was a little leftover shakshuka for me – score!)
I promise you, this meal is loaded with all things good for you. Sugar-free marinara sauce, mushrooms, onion, zucchini, and garlic. Every bite is so exciting. If you like spice and flavor, I know you will enjoy this Whole30-compliant dinner. Enjoy!
Whole30 Shakshuka Chicken
- 8-10 chicken tender strips, grilled (par-cooked)
- 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 10-15 portobello mushrooms, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp. harissa hot chili pepper paste – see notes
- 24 ounces Whole30 compliant jarred spaghetti sauce 1 jar
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes before adding zucchini and garlic and cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add harrissa to mixture (start with 1 Tbsp. and adjust to taste – it’s very spicy) and add Kosher salt and pepper.
- Add jarred sauce and bring to a slight boil, then lower heat to medium low (simmer).
- Add chicken pieces into the sauce until fully covered, cover and simmer mixture for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and continue cooking on low for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately
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