Shakshuka usually is quite spicy, but its easy to tone down the heat for kids’ meals.

Shakshuka is a North African dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. Shakshuka usually is quite spicy, but because I make mine for kid palates, I tone down the heat. This Meatless Monday dinner has the added benefit of being quick to prepare-perfect for a busy weeknight!

– Emily Paster


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons harissa* or other chili paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley

* Harissa is a spicy North African sauce made with several different kinds of chile peppers, garlic and herbs. You can find prepared harissa at Whole Foods and other well-stocked markets. If you do buy some, try it on eggs, falafel or grilled meats.


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in deep, oven-proof skillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté harissa (if using), shallots, garlic and pepper over low heat until softened, about 8minutes. Season vegetables with cumin and salt and pepper and sautéthe mixture a few more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes, raise heat to high and bring sauce to aboil.
  4. Turn down heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10minutes. Turn off heat.
  5. Make a well in the sauce with your spoon and crack an egg into it, taking care not to break the yolk. Repeat with three remaining eggs.
  6. Carefully transfer skillet to oven. Cook until egg whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley.
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