Some simple tips for how to thicken shakshuka sauce include draining the fresh tomatoes after dicing them or using a thickening agent in the sauce. Options for the latter include adding flour, cornflour mixed with cold water, a beaten egg, cream cheese, or making a beurre manié from equal parts softened butter and flour. Stir well and give your thickener of choice a few minutes to work its magic.
The latter three options will add the most richness to the dish as they thicken the tomato sauce and, as such, make for tasty options. Using cream cheese or beaten egg will make for the most filling, enriched sauce. This is great when you want to make sure that you serve your family a suhoor meal that will leave them full and satisfied for many hours.
The egg dish shakshuka has been a staple dish across Northwest Africa since tomatoes were introduced into the region in the 16th century. Popular for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner across the world, the poached eggs in spiced tomato sauce with onions and peppers make for a great suhoor dish to enjoy during Ramadan. Shakshuka is usually served with fresh herbs, bread on the side, and sometimes meat either in the dish or as a side.
When cooking for suhoor, it is lovely with tasty dishes that do not take long to prepare. Fortunately, a quick shakshuka with eggs and cream cheese qualifies! Start by cooking the homemade sauce with onion, garlic, green bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, and tomato paste. Season with warm spices and crack eggs into holes in the sauce made with a wooden spoon. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites have set. Remove the skillet from the heat, garnish with cream cheese, fresh coriander, and sliced chilli, and serve warm with baguette slices.
For suhoor, you can serve it with crisp-crusted bread with a creamy cheese spread and maybe a sweet breakfast dessert on the side like pancakes. You might also like to try serving it with North African mutton and beef merguez sausages on the side to make it more filling. Regardless of how you serve it, it tastes wonderful with a cup of freshly brewed mint tea. For iftar, you can incorporate meat like beef, lamb, or chicken or serve it as a side dish to other iftar dishes.
In the fridge, shakshuka will last for 3-4 days. Simply store it in an airtight container as soon as it has cooled. As such, you and your family will have plenty of time to enjoy it. The sauce keeps better than the eggs, so it is a good idea to scoop out the eggs before cooling or even freezing the dish and simply crack in a few fresh ones when you reheat it in the oven. In fact, the sauce is the only part of the dish we recommend freezing. In the freezer, it will keep for up to 8 months. Reheat the sauce in a skillet and cook fresh eggs in it when heated through.
You certainly can! Some even say it tastes better the next day, or even the day after that when the spices in the homemade shakshuka tomato sauce have had time to infuse and develop further. As it is an egg dish, we recommend reheating it on the stovetop rather than in the microwave. Transfer the leftovers to a skillet with melted butter and reheat them for about 5 minutes at low to medium heat until the sauce has been heated through. Or, remove the eggs, crack in new ones, and reheat it in the oven until the eggs are fully cooked.
Shakshuka and eggs in purgatory are very similar. Eggs in purgatory is essentially an Italian version of the traditional Magrehbi dish. As such, this Neapolitan variant also consists of poached eggs in a hearty, spiced tomato sauce. Both dishes are usually served with cheese, fresh herbs, and bread. The major difference is found in the spices and vegetables used to flavour the sauce. While both usually have onion, garlic, and chilli flakes, only the Arabic one has cumin, paprika, and green peppers.
Though it is originally from Maghreb, the most North-western part of the Arab-speaking world, creamy shakshuka with cheese is popular across many different countries and cuisines. Against the red tomato sauce and green garnishes, the white eggs and cream cheese simply look stunning. Both enrich the dish and make it creamy and filling. In addition, this soft, creamy cheese has a mild, yet rich, taste that balances and mellows the spicy shakshuka sauce so everyone can enjoy it.
No authentic shakshuka recipe is complete without a delicious tomato sauce in which to poach the eggs. When made with onion, garlic, green peppers, and fresh tomatoes in addition to a bit of intense tomato paste, this sauce gains a vibrant red colour, a slightly chunky texture with a bit of bite, and a perfectly balanced sweet-tangy flavour with hints of bitterness.
To ensure it is flavourful and perfectly spiced, it is seasoned with cumin, paprika, and chilli flakes. These shakshuka spices create heat and depth and give the tasty sauce its signature spicy and slightly smoky flavour.
Though it tastes great any time of day, this dish is a perfect suhoor meal. With its rich vegetable sauce, beautifully poached eggs, and rich cream cheese it is quite filling. Served with crisp, crusted, French bread slathered with cream cheese, a breakfast shakshuka is sure to keep you full for many hours to come. Also, since it does not take long to prepare, it is well suited to the early morning hours before a day of fasting.
In case you are looking for more delicious and filling suhoor ideas, we suggest checking out our recipes for fluffy pancakes with labneh, paratha sandwich, and mushroom and cheese omelette.
Although delicious as it is, you can easily make shakshuka with meat. A popular option is to make a lamb shakshuka with mince in the sauce. With a flavourful, gamey type of meat like lamb, a bit of additional sweetness can also be nice. If this appeals to you, you can add a few chopped carrots to the tomato sauce.
If you would prefer milder-tasting meat in the morning, a chicken shakshuka might be for you. You can either use minced chicken directly in the sauce or add cooked pieces of chicken breast or barbeque rotisserie chicken for the final few minutes of cooking to heat them.
Beef shakshuka also makes for a tasty breakfast. Rich, savoury ground beef mixed with the well-seasoned sauce of our original shakshuka recipe thickens and enriches it considerably. As such, a salty addition like crumbled feta cheese will also work beautifully.