Healthy Meal Ideas Healthy Breakfast Recipes

5 Easy Shakshuka Recipes That Bring Major Protein and Inflammation-Fighting Benefits to the Breakfast Table

Photo: Getty Images/ Tatiana Medvedtskaia / EyeEm
Once the weekend rolls around, your standard quick and easy scrambled eggs with a side of yogurt might not make the cut for brunch with friends. The best weekends, in my mind, are filled with four things: relaxation, a good book, catching up with friends, and a deliciously nourishing breakfast (or two).

In addition to your chicken and waffles or eggs Benedict, shakshuka might also be one of your go-to favorites when it comes to weekend breakfast or brunch. The dish has North African roots, though its exact origin is unknown (and highly debated). Nowadays, this hearty dish is eaten in all parts of the world and is especially popular in the Middle East, particularly Israel. Shakshuka recipes are traditionally made with poached eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion, garlic, and tons of anti-inflammatory spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. And although this dish can be eaten any time of the day, it’s become a brunch staple in recent years, served alongside crusty, fluffy bread for sopping up every last bit of the rich tomatoey sauce (swoon).

While we're particularly fond of traditional shakshuka recipes that feature protein-packed eggs, know that this dish can be easily adapted with other plant-based alternatives, too—and same goes for varying the seasonings and add-ins to meet your own flavor preferences and dietary restrictions. No matter what, know that this easy-to-make dish is filled with loads of healthy ingredients, anti-inflammatory benefits, and delicious flavor. Read on for five shakshuka recipes that'll please your palate any day of the week.

health benefits of shakshuka

Okay, let’s go down a tomato benefits rabbit hole for a minute. Aside from loads of vitamin C, the humble tomato is filled with lycopene, an antioxidant compound that gives this fruit its vibrant red shade. Aside from adding loads of color, lycopene has been linked to improving blood pressure and cardiovascular health, reducing cholesterol, and fighting a variety of cancers, as Laura Iu, RDN, CDN, CNSC, RYT, a registered dietitian and founder of Laura Iu Nutrition, previously told Well+Good.

According to Iu, lycopene helps fight off free radicals that build up in the body that can damage healthy cells, which in turn helps reduce inflammation linked to long-term health consequences, such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's. Now, to reap the most lycopene benefits from tomatoes, it’s good to know that processed tomato products have a higher level of the compound. Tomato purée has about 22 milligrams, while fresh tomatoes have about three milligrams. Of course, when making a batch of shakshuka at home, you call your own shots—but know that using a can of tomato purée is one heart-healthy way to go.

5 shakshuka recipes packed with antioxidants

shakshuka recipes
Photo: Love and Lemons

1. Vegetarian Shakshuka

This vegetarian shakshuka recipe by Love and Lemons is hearty and packed with flavor. It’s made with ingredients like potassium-rich bell peppers, avocado, and tangy feta. The recipe is also flavored with anti-inflammatory spices like black and cayenne pepper and has one of our all-time favorite flavor boosters, harissa. No wonder recipe creators Jeanine and Jack call it the “best” shakshuka recipe.

Get the recipe: Best Shakshuka

shakshuka recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

2. One-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka

Cancel your plans. This vegan one-pot chickpea shakshuka recipe by Minimalist Baker is calling your name. Although shakshuka is traditionally made with eggs, this recipe doesn’t skimp out on any of the protein potentials by using chickpeas, which are basically a superstar form of plant-based protein. Chickpeas are packed with loads of antioxidants and soluble fiber, too, which makes it a heart-healthy food that helps move cholesterol out of the bloodstream.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka

shakshuka recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

3. Shakshuka with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes

By now, we know that processed tomatoes have higher levels of lycopene (which we love), but that’s not to say that you can’t make shakshuka using the fresh tomatoes you scored at the local farmers’ market. This shakshuka recipe by Minimalist Baker shows how easy it is to make the dish in one pan using fresh or canned tomatoes.

Get the recipe: Shakshuka with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes

shakshuka recipes
Photo: Jessica in the Kitchen

4. Vegan Shakshuka

How about another plant-based interpretation of this delicious dish? This vegan shakshuka recipe by Jessica in the Kitchen is made with all plant-based ingredients, including dairy-free milk and firm tofu for loads of protein. Plus, it features an easy egg dupe made with tofu, nutritional yeast, and spices like onion and garlic powder that nestle into the tomato sauce. The result? The perfect vegan-friendly version of the dish.

Get the recipe: Vegan Shakshuka

shakshuka recipes
Photo: Weeknight Bite

5. Cauliflower Shakshuka

Alright, alright. We hear you requesting to throw in some more veggies into the mix. This cauliflower shakshuka recipe by Weeknight Bite calls for a cup of cauliflower rice, which is filled with fiber, antioxidants, and digestive health benefits.

Get the recipe: Cauliflower Shakshuka

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Find out:

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