Zucchini Shakshuka

Zucchini Shakshuka
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zucchini shakshuka
Odd name (to us), but fast and tasty!

We include zucchini in the title simply because we’ll make this dish to help use some of the plethora of summer squash that we get during the season. But, really, there are only two things you need to remember for making Shakshuka: spicy tomato sauce and eggs. As far as we can tell, everything else can be changed (even the spiciness, of course) to suit what you have on hand and what you like. With that in mind, we’ll show you what we did for a quick and easy lunch (it’ll also work for dinner, or even breakfast).

When we went to the Internet find out how to spell Shakshuka, we found that everyone and his fifth cousin twice removed has a recipe out there, so we almost didn’t write up this one. But, then we thought about all those people who find bags of zucchini left on their doorstep in the middle of the night, and figured that, if one or two see the idea of using summer squash in Shakshuka, and it helps reduce their courgette mountain, it’ll have been worth the effort to write up. If you’re one of those people, the entire Scratchin’ It staff is glad to have helped.

We’ll be making enough for one large serving in the photos, but the recipe below is doubled to serve two.

Zucchini Shakshuka

Yield: 2 large servings

Zucchini Shakshuka


  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp harissa, or to taste
  • 2 zucchini or other summer squash, sliced into quarter moons
  • 1-2 Tbs chopped preserved lemon (or lemon juice)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, or 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • about 10 olives, optional
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cumin seeds, and harissa, and stir until onions have started to cook. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minutes.

Stir in squash, preserved lemon, and tomatoes, and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring as needed, until squash is mostly tender.

Stir in peas and, optionally, olives, and cook until bubbling and the peas are cooked through, 3 minutes. Season with smoked paprika and stir in.

Make two small depressions in the mixture and crack an egg into each. If desired, sprinkle eggs with more paprika. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until eggs are poached, about 6 minutes.

Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper before serving.


Ingredient discussion:

sliced zucchini
Sure, this is yellow squash, but it’s still pretty much zucchini.

We really suggest looking in your refrigerator for small bits of greens, perhaps a couple of mushrooms, and whatever else you have on hand, and not trying to match our ingredient list. You might not have Preserved Lemon (they’re easy to make; just follow the link) or Harissa (also easy), which is a very spicy North African condiment. You can use some lemon juice and some sort of spicy pepper, instead.

Procedure in detail:

cooking onions and harissa
Harissa is a very spicy red pepper paste, so use with caution.

Cook onions. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, onion, and harissa, stirring to mix in the harissa paste. Continue cooking and stirring until onions are starting to turn soft, then stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

adding tomatoes and squash
Once you add the main ingredients, cook until they start releasing liquid and make a sauce.

Add squash and tomatoes. Stir in the squash, preserved lemon, and tomatoes, and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until the squash is mostly soft and the tomatoes are breaking apart, about 5-8 minutes.

adding peas
We added peas and olives mainly for the color. If we’d had green zucchini, we might have added corn.
adding smoked paprika
We love smoked paprika; it adds a great flavor to nearly everything.

Add peas and season. Stir in peas (mainly for color) and olives and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are cooked through and everything is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Stir in smoked paprika. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.

Add eggs. Make two small depressions on each side of the mixture and crack an egg into each. If desired, sprinkle a bit more smoked paprika on top of each egg for color. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let the eggs poach for 5-7 minutes. The yolks should remain runny.

Serve. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Quite good. A bit spicy, but that’s tempered by the poached egg yolk; its added fat helps to cut the spiciness. We also like the addition of preserved lemons. They add lemon flavor, but, since they’re fermented, they add a lot more in the way of flavors. The other thing we like is that this is such a fast easy meal. Everything goes into one skillet, and, in about 15 minutes, you can be serving up dinner. Easy five stars.

Worth the trouble?

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